Many years ago, internet dating was almost a taboo topic. But in today's modern world, it's a very common way to meet your potential life partner. It beats the bar scene by far, as you don't have to come up with a cheesy pickup line or practice your flirtatious eyelash batting across a room. And while it may be seem much more romantic to be set up by Aunt Sally or your best friend, dating on the internet has much more versatility for finding someone with whom you share many similar interests and passions.
A monthly fee does not necessarily mean better quality dates. Free sites such as OK Cupid have the instant gratification of posting your pictures instantly on your internet dating profile. You then have the opportunity to answer hundreds of questions ranging from "Do you want to have children?" to "How well do you deal with clutter?" After sifting through the multiple choice answers, you will be given a percentage match with potential dates. You can then see how your compatibility rates with various suitors as you venture out to the real world to meet over a cup of coffee.
Composing an internet dating profile can be intimidating at first, but it has the opportunity for being a very rewarding adventure as well. Here are five valuable tips that you may find helpful to your overall experience:
1. Make sure your internet dating profile honestly reflects your life.
Don't be shy about being who you are completely and fully. If you write your internet dating profile as though you were talking to a friend, you will have an easier time just being yourself in person. It's natural to want to make a good first impression with people, but you also want to genuinely write about what gets you excited. What do you love to do? What is your style of humor? If you have only gone to the gym twice this year and put in your profile that you are a fan of bodybuilding, you are just doing yourself a disservice. At some point, you may be caught in your little white lie and may have to explain yourself in some socially awkward moment.
2. Don't just drop the ball on people.
After scanning the dating website, you finally find someone ultra attractive and end up dropping him a line. You are completely stoked when he writes you back. Then you start a flurry of lengthy emails back and forth. You may even venture into chatting online and you begin to pine by your computer screen as you wait for his username to pop up. But then all of a sudden one day you stop receiving his emails. It is pretty inconsiderate for someone to disappear off the face of the planet without warning, even though it seems to happen very frequently in the internet dating world. A short, polite email can save a lot of time, energy and disappointment in the future. Many people just vanish because they do not want to deal with the discomfort of having to tell someone that you are not interested. Yet having a sense of closure is not only more courteous but more complete. And remember that you may be on the other end eventually.
3. Take a risk and make the first move.
It may be easier to hide behind your computer and continue to stalk various people online from the comfort and privacy of your own home. However, the whole purpose of internet dating is to actually go out and meet people. A little word of advice - men love to be asked out. They don't always want to do all the work. If the idea seems uncomfortable to you, then choose a neutral place where you can have an escape plan. You may want to even give a girlfriend a heads up to call you and check in during your date. Cafes are a great choice because they are a safe environment and not a costly investment if you are going Dutch. At the very worst, you can spend an hour chatting with the guy about your jobs and the weather. Then you can get up, shake his hand and call it a day.
4. Be careful about fantasizing too much about a potential date.
It is very easy to put someone on a pedestal when you are online dating. Everyone is on his or her best behavior to start off and then suddenly the real personality comes out for a test ride. In a way, it's almost like writing your resume - you may embellish a little bit. The point is that many people create a fantasy image of the person through their internet dating profile and it's very easy to fall in love with a fantasy image and not the real person. The face to face meeting will tell you much more about your chemistry and connection. Even though a person may look good on paper, it doesn't mean that he will click with you in real life. And of course, people who seem perfect for you online could disappoint you if you create all these unrealistic expectations.
5. Use your gut intuition.
As women, we get a lot more attention up front and may have to deal with the initial flood of interested suitors. Being able to filter through the provocative messages takes a little time, but in the end you'll start getting the hang of it. One of the great features of many online sites is a convenient blocking button to get rid of those guys who start sending you creepy messages and marriage proposals. You will also get better at reading between the lines. Remember, if someone is making you feel uncomfortable, you have the power to take control of the situation and draw some appropriate boundaries.
After creating an internet dating profile, treat it as your personal science project. It's a great place to meet interesting people, develop new friendships and test the waters for what you truly want in a relationship.