Who said ‘love is free’? Seriously, I’d like their address so I can send them a bill. I think it cost me approximately $719.76 to meet Jon. That’s a rough estimate and I dare say it’s probably cheaper than a mail-order husband. I’m guessing. It would have been another year or two before I looked into that option.
Online dating was a learning process and when I began it was still a little taboo. I didn’t know a lot of people who were willing to try it and I certainly don’t remember anyone giving me advice. As a matter of fact, the only advice I remember anyone ever giving me in life was my grandmother, “Safety pin your money inside your panties so no one can steal it.” Words to live by right there.
Since I married Jon, I’ve had a few people ask me for online dating tips. Because let’s face it, unless you’re after promiscuous sex, snagging a spouse is the ultimate goal of online dating.
So, my spouse and I would like to share our top five tips for online dating. (His will be posted in tomorrow’s entry.)
Tips for Women
1. Photos: If you don’t post a picture, you won’t have much success. As great as you may be, without a photo someone is going to imagine you an unattractive, socially awkward, psychotic woman who lives with fifty cats. Or a creepy man. Either way it’s not to your advantage. Post a photo. Just a few (4-5). Posting 25 pictures of your self sends the wrong message as well.
- Include a full body shot and a close up.
- Don’t post photos of you with a group of girls (no one wants to guess which one is you… and personally, I wouldn’t want some man comparing me with my friends).
- Don’t post photos of you alone where there’s a mysterious arm around you (that probably belonged to an ex-boyfriend).
2. Meet sooner rather than later. E-mail is a great way to start conversations with strangers, but over e-mail it’s easy for people to appear funny, outgoing, and well… normal. The longer you imagine how someone is based on his e-mails, the bigger your disappointment can be when you meet in person. At least have a phone conversation within a week or so of initial correspondence. And always, always have a set deadline for your first meeting to end. That way, you already have an escape if it’s a flop and you can always alter your “plans” if it’s not. There is nothing more painful than being stuck on an endless, awkward date. Trust me.
3. Always meet in a public place. Unless you want to risk having your story re-enacted on Dateline. Safety first, ladies!
4. Be honest. It sounds like a given, but it’s easy to fake a few details with online dating. True, admitting you have a third eye will probably weed out a lot of candidates but if you ever plan on meeting anyone in person, there are some things you just can’t hide. If you really want to meet a mate, you want them to like the real you.
5. Broaden your view. I could have saved $60 if I had responded to Jon the first time he contacted me. I didn’t like his photos so I automatically ruled him out. Thankfully he persisted and by his third attempt, I had come to my senses. It always felt like there was an endless supply of men to meet online and it was easy to imagine the next one would be better than the last. Don’t throw a good fish back because you think you can catch a bigger one.
Most importantly, if you’re dating online – have fun. Enjoy it for what it is – dating. Don’t treat your first (or second or third) date like a marriage interview. If you like someone, there’ll be time to get to know their political views, religious doctrine, and opinions about wedding colors. Relax and enjoy getting to know people without the pressure. And finally, if I have any wisdom or experience to pass on to you online dating hopefuls it’s this: Keep your money in your purse. You never know when that safety pin in your panties can come loose and that’s just a recipe for disaster.