Books About Dating Note – This article is about finding online love
Everyone knows someone who met their sweetie online, right? So why not rev up your love life in the same way? To get you started, we asked some of our Success Story couples who met on Match.com to offer up their best love advice. Why? Because clearly they did something right when they went online. Read on, then try their proven strategies for yourself… your love life will thank you for making these love resolutions!
1. “I will be proactive in my searching”
Success Couple: David, 43, and Tina, 39, Brooklyn, NY; married May 25, 2003
“Match.com was a great help to me in finding a lifelong partner, but the larger lesson is that I ‘put it out there.’ Instead of hoping that someone special would just suddenly appear, I asked people if they knew of anyone who might be a good match for me and I actively searched for her online. My goal at the time was to try and make two new connections per week. When Tina and I found each other on Match.com, I absolutely believe it was because I was actively looking for her. I suppose it’s no coincidence that I was a corporate recruiter, a.k.a. ‘headhunter’ at the time, so my ‘search’ skills were in excellent shape!”
Lesson learned: Don’t just expect matches to find you! The most successful online daters know how to search (and wink, and IM) well. In other words, spend some time this new year seriously searching for potential matches. And then don’t wait for them to find you in their “Who’s Viewed Me” section. Initiate contact! It’ll literally double your chances of connecting with your match because you’re taking matters into your own hands… or into your own mouse, should we say?
2. “I will tell nothing but the truth in my profile”
Success Couple: Kevin, 49, and Dana, 45, New York, NY; married July 13, 2006
“Be honest with what you write, the photos you post, and in how you portray yourself. I cannot stress enough how important it is that you accurately represent who you are. There were times that I showed up excited for a date only to discover the woman was nothing like her online persona; it was so disappointing. Fortunately, when I first met my now-wife Dana, she was exactly what she’d presented… in fact, even better! We enjoyed a three-hour dinner with nearly no lapse in conversation. I know for a fact that wouldn’t have happened is she hadn’t matched her profile. Lack of online honesty starts your relationship with lies, and that never works!”
Lesson learned: Keep it real! OK, so we know it’s incredibly tempting to give in to the little voice in your head that says, It won’t hurt if I shave a few years off my age or post a slightly slimmer photo. But this year, don’t do it! When it comes to online dating, honesty is truly the best policy! Why? Well, if you pretend to be you’re something you’re not online, chances are you’ll never get past a first date (because your date will catch onto your lies over that initial latte). If you’re truly looking for someone who loves the real you, then don’t be afraid to let your real self shine!
3. “I will truly identify my deal-breakers”
Success Couple: Shannon, 25, and Matthew, 29, Chicago, IL; married September 2, 2007
“First and foremost, be honest with yourself. Sometimes online you see someone who might not totally be your type or might have something that doesn’t work for you, like smoking, but you find yourself thinking, ‘OK, maybe I could make this work.’ Though being too closed-minded can backfire, you should still really listen to your gut. With so many people dating online now, you can afford to be a little choosy and specific. When I saw Michael’s profile I knew he was cute, but if the other things hadn’t lined up for us too, compatibility-wise, then I don’t think we would have clicked. Spend time this new year identifying what things are your relationship ‘must-haves.’”
Lesson learned: Know what you can live with and what you can’t. Discounting someone over eye color or latest books read is just silly. But if you know you need a partner who practices your faith, is a non-smoker and lives within 10 miles, then those must-haves should factor into your searches/winks/emails. It’s vital to your online dating success that you identify your deal-breakers. Otherwise, you’ll end up wasting your time — and other people’s.
4. “I won’t be disheartened when someone isn’t into me”
Success Couple: Patricia, 66, and Josh, 60, Dover Plains, NY; married February 21, 2004
“My advice would be to tell people not to lose time being sad when someone rejects you. Early on, I was rejected by a very handsome and humorous Englishman whom I really liked a lot; but, unlike the real world where it might take weeks, months or even years to meet another ‘special person,’ online you can have as many dates as you like lined up the next day! And if I hadn’t kept at it after my first rejection, I would never have met my wonderful husband Josh!”
Lesson learned: There are many fish in the sea. The beautiful thing about online dating is that it opens up a whole new world of prospects that weren’t there the day before. If someone you like doesn’t return your interest, winks or emails, don’t give up! Keep searching until you find the person who reciprocates your interest.
5. “I will post or update photos for my profile”
Success Couple: Steve, 37, and Rachel, 31, Ft. Collins, CO; married September 18, 2004
“I read a lot of profiles when I started dating online and I found some that were very interesting… but if they didn’t post photos, I wouldn’t look any further. It is so crucial to see the person to get an idea of who he or she is along with the words in the profile. With Rachel, her pictures were so cute, and as I told her in one of my first emails, I had a real affinity for blondes with short hair! If I hadn’t seen her photos, I wouldn’t have known that about her. She also liked my photos of mountain-bike races and outdoor activities, because they showed I actually did the things she loved to do as well. So this year, make sure your profile includes great photos that represent you… it could be the winning difference in your profile.”
Lesson learned: Make yourself visible! Like it or not, Match.com users who post photos get more responses than those who don’t. So if you’re serious about online dating, it’s time to show yourself to the world. Already posted but had the same shots up for a while? Might be time to start the new year with a makeover. New pics may attract new prospects!
6. “I will date outside the box”
Success Couple: Dana, 45, and Kevin, 49, New York, NY; married July 13, 2006
“When I first embarked into online dating, I promised myself that I would consider men that I may not have chosen in the past. I am an artist and always had relationships with partners of the same ilk… that always ended with drama! So I decided this time I would look for anyone who seemed grounded and together instead of someone who worked in a creative field. Had I not done that, I would never have met Kevin. I would have passed him right by because he worked in the financial industry! Thank goodness I didn’t. I have never been happier or had more love in my life than I do now. Before I would have said, ‘Oh no, I can’t date a suit.’ I ended up marrying a suit!”
Lesson learned: Sometimes it pays to be a little more open-minded. Most of us can rattle off a list of what they want in a mate, but the thing to keep in mind is that sometimes we don’t know what we really need! There’s no reason you should consider someone completely unattractive to you or who fails the deal-breaker test. However, if your searches present a possibility you find interesting, albeit not your norm, consider giving him or her a chance. It might turn out to be the smartest move you’ll ever make.
7. “I will make sure dating doesn’t become ‘work’”
Success Couple: Josh, 60, and Patricia, 66, Dutchess County, NY; married February 21, 2004
“My advice would be not to schedule so many dates in a week that it becomes a tiring chore. Dating isn’t supposed to be like a second job. If it stops being fun, back off for awhile. If you burn out, you won’t have the energy if that perfect someone does happen to come along!”
Lesson learned: Make dating fun! You’ll increase your odds for finding a match if you look at dates as a chance to meet someone new instead of an opportunity to “interview” potential partners. Don’t try to juggle too many people, and keep in mind that it’s a process. This year, relax and enjoy the ride!
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Redbook, Women’s Health and frequently online for Match.com’s Happen magazine.