Updated: Aug 1
By Dr. Weldon Green
Since the inception of online dating with the launce of Match.com in 1995, online dating has become a popular and accepted method for meeting people. According to Statista.com, the online dating industry is estimated to reach revenues of $2.86 billion in 2022, and there is no indication this upward trend in online dating services will slow down any time soon.
The online dating experience has been a source of great joy and enrichment for many and a series of regrettable choices for others. You can make your first or next online dating experience joyful and rewarding if you follow the online dating guidelines I'm going to share with you in this post. I know these guidelines will work, because I used them to meet and eventually marry my incredible wife. After 13 years of marriage, our relationship is as fun and enjoyable as it was when we were dating. I have also coached others who have used them successfully in their online dating adventure.
Whether meeting someone online or the traditional manner, the most important rule I advise my clients to do is, always be true to yourself. Establishing this foundational guidepost, before you enter the online dating arena, will enable you to safely navigate through the dense fog of bright smiles, smooth talk, knockout bodies, and deceptive answers of those you meet online.
These ten guidelines are:
1. Have a plan for the type of person you want to date
2. Have an end game in mind
3. Be honest to yourself and about yourself when creating your online profile
4. Be deliberate in your approach
5. Don’t compromise your values
6. Do your due diligence
7. Be open to new ideas and experiences
8. Meet online but date offline
9. Don’t rush the process
10. Know when it’s time to step away
In Part 1 of this three-part series, I will share the first three guidelines for online dating. I’m confident that implementing these three guidelines with get you started on the right path finding the idea mate you are looking for and deserve.
GUIDELINE 1: Have a plan for the type of person you want to date. Having a plan is a basic strategy that is recommended for starting a business or buying a car. If you don’t know what you want, you can waste a lot of time being indecisive or confused about what choices to make. Having a plan helps you narrow down your choices and quickly move to the next opportunity if what you are presented is not in your plan.
When I decided to try online dating, I initially responded to or initiated conversations with many women based on their profile picture and not what I read in their profile. I guess I was excited about the whole online dating experience and the possibilities that it offered. Then, when I met the women in person, I quickly realized they were not the type of mate I desired. I would have been able to discover this by reading their profile. But I really didn’t have a plan in place that specified the type of women I was interested in meeting and dating.
To develop your plan, I suggest you take out a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it creating two columns. Label one of the columns Needs and the other column Wants. Remember, be true to yourself! If you desire a mate that is interested in getting married and it is a deal breaker if they don’t, put it in the “Needs” column. If you desire a mate that is a certain height or weight or is athletic, but that is not essential, put it in the “Wants” column. Needs are what I consider deal breakers, because over time, not having those needs fulfilled will eventually cause you to feel unsatisfied, regardless of how good looking or fine that person is. Wants are nice to have items that would add enrichment to the relationship but are not deal breakers if they are not included.
GUIDELINE 2: Have an endgame and mind. There is an old adage, “If you don’t know where you want to go, any road will get you there”. This holds true for online dating. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish in the relationship, you will not know if the relationship is heading in the right direct
ion or not. If your desire and purpose for dating is to meet someone you would like to marry, then that is your endgame. If you only want companionship and not marriage, then that is your endgame. There is nothing wrong with that but be prepared to be hurt or disappointed if you are dating someone you eventually want to marry, and they don’t. You would have wasted whatever time you have been with them, trying to determine the right path for you.
When I started online dating, I knew my endgame was to get married, not doubts about it. So, when I read someone’s profile and they indicated they did not want to get married, I did not bother corresponding with them. Or, when we went out and during the conversation, they indicated they were either not interested or unsure about marriage, I didn’t ask them out on a second date. I was being true to myself and did not want to waste their time or mine trying to find out which path we were on.
You may know someone in a relationship, and they are unsatisfied with because they want to get married, but the person they are dating does not. Or they do not want to get married, but the person they are dating does. Not having an endgame in mind may cause you to settle for good enough, when you desire and deserve better.
GUIDELINE 3: Be honest to yourself and about yourself when creating your online profile. This guideline is almost humorous, if it wasn’t for the aggravation it causes when it happens to you. When creating your online profile don’t describe yourself as someone you are not or post a picture of yourself that is 15 years old. The truth will be known the first time you meet in person. Be honest with yourself. If you are an introvert, don’t describe yourself as an outgoing, fun-loving adventurer or someone who likes meeting new people. Or, if you have gained a few extra pounds over the years, don’t post an old photo of yourself when you still had that figure 8 or figure Y body.
When I created my online profile, I was reluctant to mentioned that I was a minister or that writing was one of my hobbies, because I knew it would turn some women off. I took recent photos of myself, hoping that my looks would be appealing. I was being true to myself, because that is who I was. It was annoying when I met women who did not look anything like the photo she posted or they told me they were not really in to attending church or faith based activities.
Being true to yourself means accepting that you will not be desired or attractive to everyone. That’s ok. If someone will not accept you for who you are, then that is not the person for you anyway. You will not be able to keep up the façade for very long and when the true you is revealed, the issues it will create in the relationship will be unavoidable.
In Part 2 we’ll discuss guidelines 4 through 7.
Visit my web site at www.amazing-you.org and discover how I can help you be amazing.