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Online dating more trouble than it's worth?

Dear Diva,
I have been trying to use online dating to meet men. It seems like it may be more trouble than its worth! Sometimes, I feel like I am trying to find a needle in a haystack. Sorting through all the people and writing and replying, only for nothing to ever really materialize. Does anyone actually meet someone that way?…
Signed, Frustrated in Farmers Branch


Dear You-Only-Need-One,

Sure people meet that way. They also meet at the grocery store, the car wash, the gas station, weddings, church, events…well you get the point. Online dating is one vehicle used to meet people. It can get overwhelming and frustrating at times.

It does have its downsides, and believe me I know them. Remember, you are talking to a girl that got to the “phone call” phase with over 100 men in a six month time period! http://100men400dollars.com/ (Shameless plug for book!) Anyway, the good news is I can share a few hard-learned tips to make it a more enjoyable experience.

One negative with online dating is that 2-dimensions and 3-dimensions don’t always translate exactly. The old “They don’t look like their picture” problem. I think its best to meet relatively early in the “relationship” because truth be told there is no substitute for physical chemistry. Also by meeting in person, one can avoid that mind relationship that can develop by getting into the habit of talking to someone online-only, for an extended length of time. It stings a bit when someone that you have shared several evening chats with suddenly disappears.

Now you aren’t going to meet every single man that writes you- that would get overwhelming quickly. In keeping with my theme I follow a 3-step process: Email & IM/ Phone Call/ Quick meeting. If after a few emails or IM’s, we are still interested, a quick phone call is in order. Hear his voice, how he laughs, how easy is it to talk to him. If he does not want to call me, it tells me he may just be looking for a chat buddy, or just isn’t feeling it with me. That happens, and I move on. Ditto for the meeting. If you have shared some emails, and talked by phone a few times but he doesn’t seem interested in meeting, it tells you all you need to know. Recognizing the signs that its time to go spares you a ton of frustration and time when it comes to online dating!

What sites you use and the way you construct your profile make all the difference in the world. I am asked often what the best sites are to use, and my response is the same- “What does good look like to you?” There are a million dating sites out there to choose from. Spend some time browsing through some of them, most will let you look through the profiles without signing up. There are sites for specific interests, age groups, religion, etc…Choose a couple sites that seems to “fit you”, and have the type of people you are looking to meet and start there.

Your profile is your first impression. Make sure it conveys the same impression you would want to give someone if you were to meet at a party. Remember, you are only looking for one person. (Assumably) Write for quality and not necessarily quantity. It is better to get 3 letters from people you would be compatible with than 30 letters from a bunch that you aren’t. For more on this topic see related article Making an online dating profile

Finally, don’t forget that online dating is only one medium. Get out and enjoy yourself and do things! Meet people because its fun, to make friends, to learn things- not always with the intention of finding your “soulmate”. Be happy, and have fun- on and off-line and don’t forget to write us back in a few months and lets us know how your doing!

Love, Diva

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