You can meet the spectacular man who is going to be your life partner using online dating, or you can waste a ton of time and energy trying. It took me years of being online before I met my husband, Larry, on Match.com, when I was 47. For about six of those years I was making every mistake possible. (This is why I can give so much advice about what not to do!) But the last year I figured it out, and met the man of my dreams.
It may not happen for you overnight, but if you learn how to do it right and stick with it…like me you will find love online.
Here are five things to know if you want to make the best of online dating and find that special man to share the rest of your life.
1. There is nothing to be afraid of.
No one can make you do anything you don’t want to do. You can wink at guys you like, ignore winks you don’t like. You don’t have to email, talk to or meet anyone you don’t want to. (Though, in the spirit of being a grownup, I do recommend a polite rejection when a man makes an effort.)
You can take your profile down if you need a break, and refresh it at any time…with a click of a button you are back in business. You can report the scammers and block the jerks. (They are easy to spot when you know the signs.) You can email the guys you like because, happily, in the online world, there is no need to wait for them to write first. Bottom line, you are in control, sister.
2. Your profile counts big-time.
Your profile and photo is your marketing piece, not your wish list. This is especially true for women in their 40s, 50s and beyond whom, since the numbers are not in our favor (sorry gals), have to try just a little harder.
The ultimate turn off for a guy is when he sees a laundry list of what he must be or must not be, or what he has to do in order to be worthy of you. When creating your profile, instead of emphasizing your wish list, let him know what life will feel and look like in a relationship with you. Paint him a picture instead of listing a bunch of adjectives. Tell him what you want to share with him and how much fun you will have together. Be honest and don’t hesitate to show your personality. The right guy will love your profile and the rest will flee. Perfect.
3. There is no such thing as online rejection.
I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating because it seems to be the #1 reason women give up before they meet The One. Rejection can seem unbearable, and it seems to be true that those of us over 40 tire of it much faster than the youngins.
Here’s the truth: There could be a million reasons a guy doesn’t respond to your wink, stops emailing after two or three passes or doesn’t call when he says he will. Maybe he only wants to date gals who ski, he’s having problems at work or the woman he met the day before happened to be someone he likes. You’ll never know, and none of it matters. It has nothing to do with you because he doesn’t even know you. So who cares? Just keep on keepin’ on.
4. Start with the good stuff and you’ll meet more good men.
There are millions of nice, interesting relationship-minded guys online, and they are looking for women like you. (Hey…I see proof of this every day.) Your success in finding The One starts with how you read and interpret profiles. Tamp down your inclination to find why he’s wrong by starting off looking for three things that are right. If the things you find are potentially your must-haves, unless he grosses you out, connect with him.
My husband’s profile honestly didn’t thrill me at first. His photo wasn’t great (sorry honey) and he had all this stuff about boating and the ocean – which I hate. Here’s what he had that was important and attractive to me: He was optimistic. His politics agreed with mine. He spoke kindly about his family. He was well traveled and wanted to travel more. He was clever (aka smart). Those important things outweighed the beachy, boaty, water stuff. After six years of a spectacular marriage, I thank goodness I knew how to read profiles with a positive and open mind.
5. Every communication counts.
Let’s face it, women can fall in love with a profile. (I did it many times myself.) Men, however, generally don’t connect until they meet you…hence the oh-so-common disappearing act during email and telephone foreplay.
You can avoid this by making every email and phone conversation an opportunity to keep him interested. Remind him that you’re interested and you like him. Give him a reason to want to get to know you. Intrigue him or delight him. Be positive and show him your personality. Yes…every time, with every communication. It’s not that hard and remember, this guy probably has an inbox that’s pretty full. Grabbing and keeping his attention is the way you’re going to turn your online connection into a real meeting.
Had I not known these five juicy bits of information, I could still be flailing away online. Seven years after meeting, Larry and I marvel at how easy our relationship has been from the start, and how much like our profiles we really are. (Yes, I kept our profiles and all our emails.) He still sails and loves the water, and I still don’t. It’s the big stuff that connected us and continues to keep us happily together.
Give these tips a try and see if they change your experience. Let me know how it goes.