From Online Dates to Potential Mates

Using an online dating service has become about as commonplace as using the Internet to book flights or shop for shoes. And while some are still embarrassed to admit they’ve tried it, we’re getting close to the point where online dating is so mainstream that no one thinks anything of it at all.

But is it smart? Like almost anything else, that depends how you go about it. Here are a
few things to remember if you’re considering using an online dating site:

Many people lie, in one way or another, on their online profile. This is common knowledge, right? Still, you might be surprised (or at least become better informed) by knowing the most common lies people tell according to the online dating site Okcupid.com.

In descending order, here are the top three profile deceptions: height, income, and pictures.

Many of these untruths will be clear the moment you meet your date in person. It doesn’t take a genius or even measuring tape to see that the man who claimed to be 6’1” is really closer to 5’6”. And while you might have been delighted with a man who is 5’6”, the fact that he lied about his height raises flags about his honestly and self-esteem.

Other deceptions might be more difficult to root out, but you should always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t, and you should move on.

All of these are good reasons to meet your online acquaintance sooner rather than later instead of engaging in lengthy getting-to-know-you sessions over the internet. No matter how well you hit it online, it’s never a substitute for getting to know someone in person (and eliminating frauds as soon as possible).

 

On the other hand, let’s assume you want to be the right kind of online dater, the one who presents him or herself in a flattering and honest light in that all-important profile.

On this front, Whitney Casey, a relationship insider for Match.com, recently gave readers of the site Oprah.com a few tips. For the picture, she suggests enlisting your best pals to help. “Your friends are going to keep you honest,” she said. “Plus, they’ll make sure you use the best picture of yourself.” For the profile, she recommends sharing who you are and what you like to do, a bit of unique information about your pet peeves and personal quirks, and a basic description of your current life—movies you’ve recently seen, books you’ve read, new restaurants you’ve tried, etc.

Once you decide to meet for a date, use common sense. Wendy Atterberry, who runs the dating-advice site DearWendy.com, recommends meeting in public and planning a first date that “can be short, sweet and low-key, like lunch or a coffee date.”

If the chemistry’s clearly not there, it will be over and done with in no time. If you do feel a spark, however, there’s nothing stopping you from lingering over a long meal, taking a leisurely walk or whatever feels comfortable for both of you.

So whether you’re looking for friendship, a casual date or a serious romantic partner, don’t be afraid to use all the tools at your disposal, including online dating. In the digital age, it can be the most efficient way to find the person you’re looking for. Just be safe, smart, and of course, remember to have fun. Isn’t that what dating is all about in the first place?

 

You deserve to have a great love life.  Let’s see if we can make yours better.Our Orange County relationship counseling services looks forward to connecting with you.