When I speak to groups or talk to new clients, I can count on hearing questions about dating sites… which one should I use, what’s is the “best” one? Over the years,I’ve come to understand what they’re really asking is: (1) Where are the good people? (2) Where will I meet the person of my dreams? (3) What sites don’t have scammers?   You may be surprised at my answer to their question, which is, “They’re generally all the same.”
At the same time, I let people know that some dating sites do have a particular focus. For example, religious beliefs such as Christian Singles, JDate, and others. Or sites for people over 50 such as Our Time, Silver Singles, and others.   Some sites serve a variety of age groups, such as, Plenty of Fish (POF), eHarmony, etc. There are even sites for folks who love to travel, people who are farmers(or are interested in farmers), gluten free eaters, and people who love spicy foods.   The outcome of your online dating experience often has more to do with some of the following:
Your attitude toward yourself, the opposite sex, and dating in general. Many people tend to struggle if they have negative opinions about the opposite sex (due to past dating experiences). My recommendation is to first learn why the negative things happened and how they might be prevented in the future.   Profile content and photos. Many of us are tempted to lie about our age or touch up our pictures. Lots of people do look and act younger than their chronological age, and the way to show this in your profile (besides lying) is to include all the “young” things you do in your life. Talk about how active you are. Include pictures of you doing those activities. And talk about the activities you’d like to do with a partner.   Persistence. Sadly, some people give up quickly when dating doesn’t turn out to be what they were looking for. But think about other things in life you’ve started where the outcome was important – such as going to college, learning how to drive, applying for a job, or becoming a parent. Even though it was hard, even though it took time to learn how to do it well, even though you got discouraged – you kept going because the outcome was more important than your feelings of “it’s so hard”. I tell people to consider adopting this same stick-with-it attitude about dating.   Keep your emotions and expectations in check in the beginning. This is one of the really challenging ones. I hear people say, “I really want to be in a relationship AND I really don’t want to date.” I tell them, “Unless you’re planning on an arranged marriage, you’ll need to at least date a little.” (Even if you hire a matchmaker, you still need to go on a date.)
I have clients who have met their significant others on dating sites after we worked on all these things together. I’ve found that it’s usually not the site causing a person to not find the right date… it’s the person not using the site to their best advantage.
My coaching is deeply influenced by my own period of online dating. It was a wonderful time of challenges and discoveries. Not only did I become an expert at online dating back then, I figured out how to have fun while doing it. And it led me to meet and marry my late husband.
As a widow, I have a new level of understanding about dating after loss. Widows (and widowers) tell me “All the dating rules have changed”. They tell me they wish they could skip the dating part and just find a wonderful relationship. And I know what they mean. The good news is – my clients and I have discovered there are many safe and proactive ways to re-enter the dating world. And I’m here to tell you, they really do work!  You can write Christine at [email protected]

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