Welcome to the world of internet dating.
Some positive points.
- Quick access to a number of potential matches
- You may read profiles to find the most likely match
- You get to see a picture (which might be accurate)
- You can correspond with others without exposing your identity
- You can easily obtain information for various sites
- You can choose the type of site you want to advertise on
Some negative points.
- Sometimes too much data, too many people
- Many predators of both sexes try to prey on the unwary
- Many connections do not tell the truth
- It can get expensive. Some sites are less honest than others.
- It can be hard to get rid of an unwanted online visitor
- Many sites do not follow your guidelines in sending potential matches
Being recently divorced, I tried out two dating sites and will share some of my experiences and observations. In three months, I listed 746 potential dates. About half were eliminated immediately because their profiles were unacceptable (at least to me). Currently I have four with whom I am corresponding (more than 2 messages), and 26 others who are pending a response.
- Write down and follow your desires and guidelines. Do not compromise. There are thousands of people out there looking for match-ups. Do not settle for less than you want.
- Keep track of everyone you attempt to reach and/or reject. I use a spreadsheet. It will save you a lot of time and effort, as it is difficult to remember all the names.
- Be completely honest with your picture and profile. There is no point in trying to fool anyone, as they will figure it out eventually anyway. If you have a potential show-stopper, tell it out front—again it can save a lot of time effort, and misunderstandings. Examples could be having a child at home, smoking, a handicap or physical problem, and your status (divorced, married, widowed, or whatever).
- Do not send provocative pictures unless your intent is to attract scum.
- When rejected by someone, let it drop and move on. Do not harass someone who obviously is not interested. It won’t help you find a date and could get you barred from the website. At the same time, don’t take it personally. It could be that they already found someone, or you live too far away, they don’t like your religion, race or politics, or whatever. Never bad-mouth or insult someone. If you decide to reject someone after corresponding, it is nice to tell them why.
- Be realistic about your expectations. If you are retired, balding, and broke, you are not likely to find a 20-year-old movie star who just wants to jump into your bed. On the other hand, identify some of you desires in your profile, such as a height or religion or age. If you do not match someone’s profile desires, do not bother answering.
- Do not readily give out personal identity information such as address, phone number, or last name. Nickname, looks and city of residence are acceptable.
- When you plan your first date, meet at a neutral, public place. Lunch is a good first connection, as the expectations are small. Pay your own way. Do not feel that you have to stick it out if there is no connection, or, worse, the other person is not what was ‘advertised’. Pay your bill and walk away.
- After a first date or connection, send a thank you email or message. You should wait a few days before trying to set up a new date. That way, you both have some time to consider whether or how to move on. As time goes on, you may share more of your information.
- BE CAREFUL. There are a lot of bad people out there. And the nice ones deserve your respect and consideration.
I have not recommended any particular dating websites (I might later). Do your own research and ask around. Some are better and/or cheaper than others. Do not sign up for lengthy contracts; I suggest three to six months as tops. If you don’t find anyone by then, you may want to change sites or your methods. Internet dating may not meet your needs, but you’ll never know unless you try. [If someone has other pointers they would like to add, message me.]
Whether you use internet dating or some other search method, trust that there is someone out there waiting to meet you. I wish you the best of luck in finding the happiness you seek.