You've tried the bar scene, blind dates and even dated a coworker or two - but nothing resulted from all your efforts. So you've decided to give online dating a try.
And you're not alone - in 2003, Forbes magazine reported that online-dating-service revenues topped $214 million in only the first half of 2003. By now, you can imagine that with the myriad of online dating sites out there, the dollars are pouring in like never before.
Online daters are not desperate, lonely people (at least not all of them). Most men and women who end up on online dating sites are looking for someone because they're tired of the dating scene, don't have time to hunt for a mate, or both.
And chances are, you're in the same boat. The problem is that you're not sure how to go about it or what to do once you do get to an online dating site.
Don't worry, I'm here to help. All you need is a positive attitude and the willingness to find the man you want.
Here, now, are some tips to ensure that you spend hours on end looking for a man online without any undesirable results.
Online dating tips #1
Find men in your area
Unless you are willing to relocate for a man, you're best bet is to find an online dating site that offers you the option of finding men in your area.
Not only will this simplify your ability to meet with one at your leisure, it may even save you potential travel complications down the line (imagine you're in Illinois and fall in love with a man from California).
If you're willing to take your chances, however, that's fine. Just be aware that you do have that option in online dating.
Online dating tips #2
Work your profile
When you describe yourself in your online dating profile, be honest. What good is this whole thing if you're going to start off a potential relationship with lies? Dedicate about 200 words to describing yourself and use another 100 to describe what you're looking for.
How can you describe yourself? Write about what you look like, your education, your job, and things that make you original (you speak Italian fluently, you have a ferret, etc).
Be witty in your profile by making a humorous comment or two. Ensure that you get straight to the point, however, about what you want in a man and what you can bring to a relationship.
Be specific about what you're not interested in when it comes to a man (divorced, children), but don't limit yourself so much that you end up with a specific type of man. For example, you can mention that you absolutely do not want to date a smoker, but don't mention that you prefer blonds.
Also, make sure to double-check your spelling and grammar. Think of your profile as your opportunity to make a lasting first impression.
Finally, do not post any personal information that may give men clues about where you live specifically or who you are. Although online dating is relatively safe, you want to avoid any problems.
Online dating tips #3
Post your photograph
To start, if a man doesn't have his picture posted next to his profile, you can probably bet that not many women will be contacting him. Putting a face to the profile is very important when it come to online dating and you should definitely post yours.
But... do not post a picture that was taken 10 years ago when you weighed 20 pounds less and had no laugh lines. It's not only deceptive; the person who sees it will expect to see that person should you decide to meet up with him.
Post a recent photograph of yourself that you like and try not to have all your friends in it. You don't have to post a host of shots; one or two is more than enough. This will ensure that more eyes take a look at your profile.
Online dating tips #4
Flirt with men
If you're online and someone wants to chat with you, go for it. And if the two of you have a good rapport, then feel free to flirt. But if you're looking for a serious relationship with someone, being overtly sexual may get you a cheap thrill, but that's about all you'll get out of it.
Of course, if you're in the mood for a little fun, go for it by all means, but don't expect a couple of masturbation sessions to turn into a marriage proposal. Just like in the real world of face-to-face meetings, you shouldn't confuse sex with love.
By flirting, you could wink at a man or blow him a kiss, but overtly writing about your genitalia or going over a sexual fantasy won't likely land you a great man.
Online dating tips #5
Keep an open mind
It's possible that men whose pictures don't appeal to you will try to contact you. But rather than reject them outright, why not give them a chance? After all, what do you have to lose?
Online dating opens doors to men you may never have considered at a bar or via a blind date, but if you can get to know a man's character, it's quite possible that he will become better and better looking to you.
Online dating tips #6
Talk on the phone
When you finally do find an interesting man, speak with him on the phone before you meet up. This will tell you a whole lot about his social skills.
Take his number and, when you call him up, use a call-block option before you call him up (better safe than sorry). If he doesn't want to give you his number and starts to make excuses about why, chances are he's hiding something (like, say, a wife). Take the hint and move on.
I strongly recommend that you don't give out your number, but if you are wholly confident about the situation, then give him your cellular phone number and not your home or work number.
Online dating tips #7
Meet in public
If everything is copasetic thus far, then you're probably going to want to meet this gentleman and see if the chemistry is there. That's great. But be careful about where you decide to meet.
First, make sure the location is a public one where there will be a lot of people. Second, don't meet for a full course dinner, but rather a cup of coffee (what if you feel nothing?). Finally, don't meet him at one of your hang outs. If he's a weirdo, there's a good chance he'll frequent the place to see you again.
Always tell a close friend about the situation and where you're headed.
Online dating game
Online dating is a fantastic way to meet great men who have a lot to offer, and even though there is a lot of precautionary advice involved, it's only because you really don't know what you're getting into.
It's the same with any relationship; sometimes what you thought was a great guy turned out to be a freak in a suit. Be careful and have a good time online, and you might just find what you're looking for.