10 Rules to Optimize Online Dating

 Flickr photo by Ed Yourdon

Flickr photo by Ed Yourdon

I’m a big fan of online dating. It makes me happy when my girlfriends tell me they’ve signed up for one of the popular dating websites. It tells me they’re willing to step out of their comfort zones to take a risk. That’s guts. They don’t realize it, but by that simple act, they’ve strengthened who they are. I’m so proud of them!

They have asked for my advice to help them succeed sooner with online dating. I’m finally delivering and hope you benefit, too!

10 Rules to Optimize Online Dating

1. Write a positive profile. Treat online dating profiles like a job interview. Would you want to reveal your failures or would you want to show how amazing you are and why you should be on their team? Don’t talk about your past relationships and avoid using the word “baggage” at all costs. Do talk about everything you’re passionate about – writing, baseball, 5K races. Remember: this should be fun!

2. Put your best face forward.  I’m not gonna lie: sex sells. Guys are visual and you’ll get more responses with a knock-out photo. Please don’t post offensive photos or junk shots. Do consider getting a professional head shot taken.

3. Know what you want. This might be easier said than done but eHarmony helps with this by requiring a Must-Haves/Can’t Stands list. The clearer you are with what you’re looking for, the easier it will be to find it. But if you can’t give a straight answer when asked the question, you’ll end up with men who are just as wishy-washy.

4. Commit to 100 first dates. From a practical standpoint, I knew dating was a numbers game. If I met 100 different men, I was bound to find at least one worth my time!

5. Treat it like a game. Psychologically, it takes the pressure off…and you NEED that if you’re going to do this.

6. Be ruthless when closing matches. I immediately closed matches with guys whose profiles had no photos or whose pictures I didn’t find attractive. Don’t date a guy you’re not attracted to. I also recommend closing matches immediately with people who are rude. A girlfriend told me of a guy who asked if she was fat. She responded to him but I would have deleted his match instantly. There are jerks out there ready to upset you if given the chance. Delete.

7. Detach yourself from the outcome. Forget that you’re trying to accomplish something and enjoy the moment. Dating is fun! There’s excitement meeting someone new for the first time. Even with crummy dates, you’ve got loads of stories to keep your friends entertained. It was honestly fun for me, no matter the outcome.

8. 3 Red Flags. If you were ruthless during the online stage and the match has made it far enough for a first date, give a little more room for warning signs to build up. Yes, people are going to be nervous and might say or do something wrong. It happens to all of us. But if a few add up, ditch the person and move on.
I went on a date with a guy who didn’t hold the door open for me which resulted in my body being trapped between the front door and the wall of the restaurant. He never turned around to notice what happened. That plus two more red flags on the first date and I never saw him again.

9. It should be easy. If you like each other, you should be seeing each other at least once a week. If you get more than two excuses in a row to meet up, drop them! Assume they’re not interested and move on. Leave hard-to-get back in high school.

10. Don’t give in to pressure.  Not by you, friends, family or even the date! One guy after our first date stopped me dead in my tracks and insisted on knowing right then and there whether or not I saw a future for us. Not cool. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, but forcing me to decide on the spot after a first date made it easy for me to end things pronto.

What are your rules for online dating? Please share your experiences below.

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