A few weeks ago, I hosted a dinner party for four couples. That evening while lingering over coffee, we discovered that each of us had met our spouses online. And, as a matter of fact, we were all near or over fifty when we met them.
I am fessing up to this because, first, I have no shame about it, and second, I want those of you who would love celebrate Valentine’s Day tomorrow with someone special, to know that it is never too late. Even if you are younger than fifty, say in your twenties, it is a great way to meet people who you wouldn’t meet otherwise.
My step-son, who is 26, started dating a new young woman and when we asked where he met her, he boldly came out with it, “I met her on Match”. When another young man I know heard about that, he got himself a profile that very night.
I think the process of finding a great partner is very similar to one you would go through if you were hiring someone for an important job. You would first need to think through and create a list of fairly specific job requirements and characteristics needed to excel at the position. Then you must post this job listing somewhere your potential candidates are likely to see it. This process will surely result in a better selection of applicants than if you hire the one person you already know that is looking for a job and try to make that person work out.
ONLINE DATING TIPS
I promise it is never too late. A friend of mine’s mother met the love of her life at age 80, in a retirement home. You do not have to wait that long. In honor of Saint Valentine’s Day, you just might want to give online dating a try, or if you’ve done it before, go ahead and give it another go. More than twice as many people who married last year met from online dating services than those that met at a club or social event, according to a survey commissioned by Match.com. Twenty percent of committed relationships met online making it the third-most-frequent method of introduction, after meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school.
Here’s a list of online dating tips that I think are really important:
- Fill out the profile completely, with thought and with spell check.
- If you are really serious about being successful here are two videos that will give you some real insight: How to Fascinate by Sally Hogshead and Amy Web’s Ted Talk How to Game Online Dating which is not really gaming the system but playing a better game.
- Use great photos. Make some close-ups that show your eyes and smile, and include some of you out in the real world. Show off your best self, but make it real. No photos from fifteen years ago. If you do that, when you show up in person, you date is likely to think you sent your parent to meet them and they will run for the hills.
- Don’t wait for someone to select you. Go ahead and search for and contact people who meet your requirements. Look at the person’s profile as a whole and don’t be too quick to rule someone out.
- As soon as you see that you are both interested, arrange a coffee date, only. Don’t spend too much time emailing and phoning. It is amazing the pictures we get in our heads about a person from e-mailing or talking to them. Eventually these assumptions may dashed to smithereens when we finally meet and the chemistry is just not there. If go out for coffee after a couple of interactions and there is no chemistry, you have only committed an hour of your time and it is kinder for both parties.
- Leave ’em better than you found ’em. If it is not a match, please be kind. Thank them for giving you the attention but let them know it does not feel like a good match for you and wish them luck in their search. I have actually made good friends this way and even found a contractor for a huge project I was doing just by being nice.
- Think of this as research, as a way to increase the pool of people to practice relating with. You will discover more about yourself and who you are looking for in the process. Online sites are not magic so don’t blame them if you have bad experiences with people you meet or are not meeting people. This could be a sign that you need to take a deeper look at yourself, how you are presenting yourself to the world and how you interact with people you meet.
- If you are serious, sometimes the paid sites like Match.com will attract people who are willing to invest in the process. But I have known people who have met on free sites like Plenty of Fish or OK Cupid as well.
I wish you all the love you want. I would love to hear some of your online dating stories if you are willing to share.