January 4th is the biggest online date join up ever. Online dating giants track this information and realize it is the Black Friday of online dating. No wonder they offer free weekends at the same time your relatives are prying into your love life or the lack of one. Unlike Black Friday, if you missed one day, all is not lost. All those thousands of people who signed up are still there at least for another month or more. Before you jump into the pool expecting endless winks and dates, you need some info.
1. Choose your online dating service wisely. Many smaller firms have less to offer. Decide if a specialty dating site is for you. Do you have to date someone who is Jewish, a farmer, over 50, or an avid golfer? If not, you might go for the big guns such as Match and eHarmony. They’re better known and have many more people to peruse.
2. You are the product. With this in mind, market yourself well. First, think of yourself as a prize, not some lonely loser who needs a date. With this in mind, pick a username that reflects positive qualities and will stay in someone’s mind. Often companies allow taglines. Make yours unique. “Looking for my last first date” was good the first time, but now it’s trite. Ask friends for help.
3. Grammar matters with both males and females. I realize most of you aren’t hoping to attract a writer or an English teacher, but the use of texting terms or failure to employ full sentences immediately gets your profile trashed by around 60% of potential dates. The simple reason is you don’t care enough to take the time to do it right.
4. Be specific. The generalized “I like people, animals and sunsets” might earn you a place in the Miss Teen USA pageant, but doesn’t go far with real adults. If you like astronomy, mention it, as opposed to just stars. If travel is your thing, mention where you been and where you might like to go.
5. Then there are things you shouldn’t ever mention in a profile such as:
· Your love for your pets. (Assumption: crazy cat lady)
· Collections of anything from Smurfs to Star Wars figures. (This translates to lonely loser who spends all their spare time on Ebay.)
· How your children or faith are first in your life. (Immediate thought is there is no place for a relationship.)
· Recent weight loss. (Even though you’re proud of this, your date will think you’ll be no fun as far as dining out or you’ll balloon up to your former size.)
· Recent divorce or break up. (Any mention of this in your profile or on the date lets people know you’re not ready to date.)
6. Profile Photos. Every site you go to will tell you something different. Some will say yes to outdoor photos, others, no.
· Do have a close up with you smiling
· A full length shot
· 2-3 casual shots with a mix of full length and close ups
· Be well groomed
The don’ts are much easier to list.
· No mirror or obvious selfie shots
· No shirtless photos
· No shots with friends
· No photos with a drink or cigarette (It looks like you can’t put either one down)
· No cut down shots where you’ve snipped your former mate out of the photo
· No out of focus or dimly lit images. (Looks like you have something to hide)
Realize people will be looking for a reason to message or not message you. Even too many photographs of non-related items such as the beach, the sunset, your car, or a bird could be all it takes. You are the product, not what you own, where you’ve been, or even your Jet Ski. The Jet Ski isn’t looking for a date.
7. Have realistic expectations.
· Not everyone you think is a good fit will think the same about you.
· Just because you received a profile, doesn’t mean the other person received yours. Be proactive. Wink, send a note, do something. The worse that can happen is nothing.
· Silence happens. Often you don’t get a reply to your wink, or someone doesn’t answer after initiating the response. Anything could be the cause, from the membership ran out, shyness set in at the possibility of meeting, or connection with another member worked out.
· Don’t give up if you don’t meet someone significant immediately. I winked at my own sweetie and didn’t hear from him for a month. His membership had run out. Even when I met him, I didn’t know he was the one until about three months later.
8. Stay safe. Everyone has heard horror stories of online dates gone bad. Truth is people your cousin fixed you up with can go horribly wrong too. Most of us have the common sense to intuit when something isn’t quite right.
· Use a nickname
· Give a general location, as opposed to neighborhood or town.
· Develop an account just for receiving dating emails without your actual name in it.
· Photos should not have identifying items in it such as home address or work logo.
· Agree to drive separately to a public place for the first meeting.
· Go with your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, you’re under no obligation to continue the date or communication.
Be positive. Expect good things. We usually find what we are looking for. Good luck to all of you in 2015.