When I speak to groups or talk to new clients, I can count on hearing questions about dating sites; which one should I use and which 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 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 Match.com, Plenty of Fish (POF), eHarmony, etc. There are even sites for folks who love to travel, farmers (or are interested in farmers), gluten-free eaters, and people who love spicy foods.
In reality, 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. In particular, many people struggle to have negative opinions about the opposite sex (due to past dating experiences). My recommendation is first to 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. Many people 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. And talk about the activities you’d like to do with a partner. Include pictures of you doing those activities.
Persistence. Sadly, some people give up quickly when dating doesn’t become 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.)
A few tips to further improve your dating experiences…
Set expectations before each date. For example: (1) I’m going to learn about myself. How do I feel during a first meeting? How can I help myself feel more comfortable and relaxed? How do I learn how to talk about myself? (2) I’m going to learn about a new person. How do I learn to ask “I’m curious” questions that don’t feel like interrogations or interviews?
Help your emotional self with messages such as: (1) I’m meeting a new person to see how I feel about being with them. (2) My first meeting is to decide if I want to spend more time with them (not the rest of my life). (3) I’m not meeting my forever-person right now (even if it turns out to be the one, it’s important to allow your emotions to grow slowly).
Work on your self-confidence. Wouldn’t you like to date someone who has good self-confidence? Then it would be best if you increase yours. Get clear about what makes you an interesting, valuable person. This will help you not settle for someone who isn’t your match. Add friends and activities to your life. The best way to feel good about yourself is to have a well-rounded life filled with things that make you feel happy and needed.
I have clients who have met their significant others on dating sites after working on all these things together. I’ve found that it’s usually not the site causing a person not to find the right date… it’s the person not using the site to their best advantage.
If you’d like to learn how to be more successful in your dating endeavors, let’s chat. You can schedule a complimentary conversation with me here.
As a coach, I’ve helped hundreds of people successfully through their dating and relationship processes. I enjoy listening carefully to who you are and then using that knowledge to help you explore your dating and relationship needs.
Take the first step toward achieving your dream of a happy and fulfilling romantic relationship! Fill out my questionnaire What’s Holding You Back From Love, and then let’s talk.
My coaching is deeply influenced by my own period of online dating. Not only did I become an expert at online dating back then, I figured out how to have fun while doing it. It was a wonderful time of challenges and discoveries. 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 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 do work!