Internet Dating Tips
We need some internet dating tips if we're looking to find a
relationship online. With an estimated 30% of the baby boomer age group
now single - over 22 million of us - most dating sites have seen a real
surge of growth in recent years just by virtue of our age cohorts. Yet
another example of how major an impact we boomers make as consumers! And
as time passes, there is less and less of a social stigma in having to
say, "we met on the internet". It seems that who we meet, is much more
important than where and how we meet!
Internet Dating Tips - The Good
- So many options
available - search by locations near or far, by age group, religious
preferences, common interests, and other characteristics.
- Most online sites enable the user to set personal preferences and choose their own matches.
growing number of niche sites base themselves upon particular areas of
activity, religion, or other orientation; hence searches are more
- The convenience and privacy of conducting searches from home.
communications through e-mails and telephone calls may be less awkward,
allowing gradual progression to a first meeting in person.
honesty, of course (more on this shortly), online profiles provide some
degree of initial information relative to common backgrounds,
interests, personal values and availability.
less expensive than in-person matchmaker services; some sites are free
to join or allow visitors to search without joining. Some sites will allow you to subscribe for free, but require a membership fee before you can send or receive email.
growing technology, competition and experience offer prospects for
improved safeguards and matching reliability in the near future (get
ready for "virtual dating").
Internet Dating Tips - The Bad
- some men will lie about income level, age, height, education and
worse (see discussion on "the ugly" below); some women will lie about
age, weight, and physical appearance; both genders will often use older,
- Misrepresentations - some sites will
exaggerate the size of their membership by including past (no longer
active) members, but still portray their profiles.
- current members contact other profiles still posted on some sites but
with no chance of getting a reply, not knowing that the profile is
either inactive or not a paying member and therefore can not respond
unless they choose to rejoin (other cases of no reply may stem from
members' lack of courtesy or disinterest, and are not the fault of the
- Billing Practices - some sites offer free or
reduced rate introductory sign-ups, but automatically trigger regular
billing in some cases without subsequent action by the user.
Profiles - some sites will portray one or more profiles as window
dressing, in an effort to attract new users or to promote a spin-off
site (that "member" can only be contacted through the other site, and
subject to its requirements).
- Gender Distribution - the
percentages of male vs. female members on some sites is unbalanced and
not made known to prospective users (e.g., a male would likely prefer a
site with a greater percentage of female members, and vice versa);
gender distribution can be even more of a factor on the smaller niche
- Shared Data Base - some sites will produce a spin-off
site or align themselves with a new site by another name, implying that
the membership base is distinct but in reality is common to both sites.
Hence a user may pay for two sites in hopes of greater opportunity, but
in fact only has access to the same single data base.
Internet Dating Tips - The Ugly
Status - some men (more often than women) will lie about being single,
when in fact married but considering divorce if there is "something
better out there"; essentially, they are "shopping".
- Character Flaws - hiding behind a computer
may mask more serious issues, such as infidelity, temper, addictions,
self control problems, et al.
- Predators - fraud and those looking to prey upon their victims are not strangers to the internet.
Internet Dating Tips - Typical Steps
now we understand the pros and cons of internet dating, and we've decided
to proceed (with caution of course). We've chosen a dating site based
upon our personal goals and computer keys areas of interest - a large
general site such as Match or eHarmony because we prefer larger numbers
from which to choose, or a smaller niche site because we want something
already tailored to one of our primary interests. Some thoughts for each
1. Internet Dating Tips- Writing Your Profile
- Albeit difficult, be open and honest in writing about yourself; how do others see you? If in doubt, ask your friends to describe you.
your preferences, such as age group, distance, and other
characteristics most important to you. Make conscious choices; being too
specific may limit the number responding to you, and overly broad may
prompt too many off-point matches).
- Posting at least one (and
preferably more) recent photo of yourself as you really are, greatly
increases the numbers responding to you. Try to use pics that show you in different settings and activities that you enjoy, and if at all possible, take off the hat and sunglasses!
- When choosing your preferences, don't obsess over
some physical characteristics such as an age group much younger than
your own, or a particular body type; most readers find such preferences
insulting and likely avoid those profiles.
- Avoid references to
your income, whether it's high, low or in between - you want someone
attracted to you as a person, and not thinking you can support them in
style or that you're in need of a financial partner.
2. Internet Dating Tips - Search Other Profiles
- Look beyond photos - what's inside a person will last much longer than anything on the outside!
for things most in common with you, such as spirituality, values,
favorite activities, educational background, family circumstances,
etc.; some sites allow advanced searches to key in on such areas.
- Act directly on profiles that interest you; those that are equally serious about finding a relationship tend to move on quickly.
that not every profile you contact will respond back, by virtue of no
longer being available, not currently a paying member and thus can not
respond, too busy with other parts of life, out of town, or simply not
seeing you as their match.
- Don't be affected by the number of
responses you do receive, be it a large or small number; it only takes
one right match, not dozens of wrong matches!
3. Internet Dating Tips - Sending and Receiving Email
an email account and user ID without your own name in it if possible;
most sites provide their own email service without you having to use
your own until you choose to do so - later.
- Avoid "fish net"
email, i.e., generic notes written vaguely for a large audience. Sincere
notes comment on more specific items that caught your eye in the
profile, such as common interests, values, activities, etc.
that initially you're talking to strangers who might be (and should
be) as nervous and cautious as you are. Start your email conversation
slowly by introducing yourself (first names only starting out), where
you're from, favorite activities, etc., and what you liked about their
profile. Ask a general question to which they can easily and comfortably
respond, such as where they grew up, or how they like living where they
- How one writes and the words chosen gives insight into
character and personality; consider evasiveness, reluctance and
inconsistent responses as red flags.
- Receiving a lot of email
can pose a dilemma - on the one hand, you're not obligated to respond to
every single one, especially if you receive a large number (the "stray
cat" result); on the other, most people do appreciate the courtesy of a
response, even if it's the standard "no thank you" note offered on most
- Should you receive an email that makes you
uncomfortable in any way, most sites have a blocking option that
prevents any further receipt from the sender, and also prevents your
profile from showing up on their list of potential matches.
4. Internet Dating Tips - Phone Calls
rush to hand out phone numbers; best only when comfortable after
exchanging some email notes, and even then only a cell phone number.
phone calls to "humanize" the electronic image of your prospective
match; some are legitimately more comfortable talking rather than
writing. The manner of speaking - words used, tone, politeness, even
accents - can all give additional insights.
- Be wary of
"expert on-liners" - those that have perfect (often rehearsed) answers
to most any question; too good to be true often is.
- Getting a
phone number can also pose a dilemma - in later stages of communication,
reluctance to give a home number, or instructions to only call at
certain times, may imply that a spouse or significant other also
occupies the household. Reluctance to give a work number could mean
unemployment, or simply a legitimate workplace policy that discourages
personal calls. Be aware and tailor your judgment to the circumstances.
5. Internet Dating Tips - Meeting in Person
the time needed - at least a week or two - to get comfortable with each
other through email and/or phone calls; doing so will take away first time
jitters and allow conversation to flow along more familiar lines when
you do meet in person.
- Giving or getting pressure to meet right
away is a red flag; however, waiting too long (a month or more)
over-hypes expectations and raises anxiety levels.
- Ask for a
full name before agreeing to meet in person, allowing you to do some
initial background check using internet search engines, local government
agencies and other public records. Keep in mind that few if any dating
sites currently conduct any type of background check on their users.
- Choose a public, well-lit place to meet, and agree that each use their own means of transportation to get there.
a trusted friend the name and phone number of the person you're
meeting, along with the time and place that you're meeting, and your
expected time of return. Always carry a fully charged cell phone (comes
in handy even if you're just running late).
- Choose an activity
and place that enables good conversation without shouting or whispering,
such as lunch or a coffee shop; save movies, noisy restaurants, and
sporting events for later.
- Dress for the person that you are, and appropriate for the place that you're meeting.
- Best not to bring anyone home after the first date.
over-expect (it saves subsequent disappointments); you're simply
meeting a new friend. Enjoy yourself and have fun - it's not a job
6. Internet Dating Tips - After You've Met
that virtually everyone having reached our stage in life, has some sort
of "baggage"; the better question to ask is how the baggage has been
handled at the various stops along the way.
- Watch for how personality and character traits emerge in various situations, particularly during times of stress or anxiety.
anyone asking for money, wanting to partner in a business transaction, or
companionship on a trip; be wary of anyone with lofty promises or
illusions of grandeur.
- Spend time and share activities and
experiences in order to develop any type of meaningful relationship; before making a long term commitment, it's best to allow at least a year to see how the seasons,
holiday celebrations, and other annual events affect attitudes,
decision-making, and patterns in various situations.
- Allow your
head to have equal time with your heart; at the end of the day, trust
your instincts and your own good judgment. Albeit difficult but if
necessary, it's best to break things off earlier than later, and agree
to respect each others privacy.
Bottom line internet dating
tip - or for that matter any type of mature dating - is to go slow,
stay in control (of yourself as well as the process), and enjoy the
experience. Don't rush to invest your time, your heart, and your money.
Good things take time but ARE SO WORTH IT!