Welcome to the 21st century of online dating! In the good old days—that is before people swiped right or left to find love—if you were an adult over 30, you met your match through friends, at a party or a bar, or through a personals ad in a newspaper.
The 80s introduced video dating, where people recorded themselves at a video dating service, and interested parties were able to view your videotape. [Watch below.]
Now, with online dating sites and apps, your potential partner is only a click or swipe away. The problem is, most people join these dating sites and have little to no success. They quit after a few months, and they believe online dating doesn’t work.
Not only does online dating work, it’s your best bet for finding true love. People match with romantic partners on every site every day. It’s all about knowing how to successfully date online. So, if you hate online dating, I’ll show you how to love it.
Here’s what you do. Join an online dating service like Match or OkCupid, or you download an app like Bumble or Tinder. Upload 4-5 of your best photos (no bathroom selfies), and post a short but honest and compelling profile.
You’re scrolling past lots of meh profiles until you come across one that you like. Here’s where it can get a little confusing. How do you initiate contact? Can a woman email first? Do you send a ‘flirt’/’icebreaker’ or whatever your site calls a canned one liner, such as “You seem amazing. How is it that you weren’t snatched up yet”?
Communicating with Your Potential Match
#1: Icebreaker or email?
Although one-liners are an option on many sites, I don’t know anyone who will respond to them. The message they convey is that you’re too lazy to start a real conversation. Many send these canned flirts, because they fear rejection. You’re more likely to get rejected if you do send one.
I recommend sending a brief email, initiated by a man or woman. This email should reflect that you have read the person’s profile. Be specific about one thing you liked. Otherwise, people get the impression that you are writing mass emails to tons of prospects and hope one of them bites. Not a good idea.
#2. From email to phone call
He/she responds to your email. Yahoo! I recommend a few email exchanges before giving out any personal contact information, such as your private email address or phone number. Once you feel you’ve built enough trust to give out more personal info, you can share an email that’s been set up specifically for online dating (i.e. your screen name @gmail.com). When you’re ready to share your phone number, add a privacy layer to your real number with either a Google Voice number or a Burner Number. They’re both free and easy to set up.
#3: The phone call!
Keep it brief and positive. This is your chance to see if there is enough connection to go on the first date. Flirt, and ask a few questions. Do not share anything about the past. Disclosing tales about your dysfunctional family or your past date fiascos is taboo for this initial call.
You don’t want to lose a potential date because you’ve revealed too much too soon. People who don’t know you or like you will have a hard time hearing about the hard stuff. If you continue to date, there will be plenty of time to share your war stories later.
#4: Video Chat?
If you connect with someone who either lives a distance away or you’re both busy and can’t meet for a while, go on a video date. Today, there are many free options; from Skype to Face Time to Zoom conferencing, you can see if there is any chemistry. It’s not exactly the same as an in-person date, but it’s so much better than building false expectations.
#5: Go on a first date!
You’re now ready to meet in person. I call this a meet-date. You’re meeting to see if you’d like to go on a real date. That’s why I recommend keeping this first date fairly brief, under two hours.
Meet in a public place for safety purposes, and tell a friend or family member where you’ll be. Have fun. Flirt and enjoy.
Seems pretty straightforward, right? So, please don’t quit online dating if it hasn’t worked for you yet. It’s just a matter of time if you’re staying positive and making authentic connections.
Which online dating tips have worked for you? Please share in the comments below.
Enjoy this montage of video dating from the 1980s:
Photo credit: Pixabay