Jumping In To The Adventure Of Online Dating

Dear Karen,

I am thinking that I should do some internet dating, even though it makes me very nervous.  Do you have any suggestions for how I can reduce my anxiety about it, and do you have a recommendation for which site to join?  Thanks for your help with this. – Carley, OH

Dear Carley,

I’m delighted that you’re going to take advantage of this great resource: online dating!  I’m a huge fan, and always encourage my single clients to join a site they like, and get to work (and play!).

You know, it’s gotten to the point that it’s almost silly if you’re not online.  After all, if you’re serious about meeting someone you’re compatible with, who is available for dating (and possibly creating a lifetime together), why not go to where the highest concentration of available men are? (And who are wearing their “stats”, for the whole world to know: relationship status, age, location, occupation, education, interests, etc. – stuff you’d have to see someone at least a couple of times to learn!).  Now that’s what I call efficient!  Hey, time is precious, right?  We’re all too busy to be foolin’ around with things that are not what we really want in our lives.

By the way, you may hear stories from women who will tell you that men lie on these sites.  There are men who lie in “real life”, too.  The same things you’d do in other parts of your life you would do with online dating: trust yourself and your gut, don’t get too attached to a particular man – or outcome – too quickly, and make sure you do things that ensure that you’re safe.

Okay…we’ve established that you’re a smart woman to make the most of your dating time by going where thousands and thousands of single men are identifying themselves as available.  Now let’s make sure the experience is optimal for you!

Your basic plan for success:

1)    know who you are and what you want – in a man, in your life;
2)    have a great attitude about men and about dating;
3)    have a profile, with pictures, that you feel great about, and that accurately represent who you are;
4)    date lots of men in the beginning, so you know when you’ve found a man you can really choose as a great fit for you.

Of course, even though this list is short and simple, there’s a lot behind each one of these, and you want to check in with yourself about which of these (if any) could use some work.  You do want to put forth your best effort with this, rather than just making a half-hearted attempt to “do internet dating”.  Anything less than your best is going to produce less than what you’re hoping for.  Give it the care, attention and love it – and you – deserve!

As far as what site I’d recommend, there are loads of good ones.  www.Match.com has the highest number of members, and it appeals to the quick-results people.  www.eHarmony.com came out with a more in-depth site a few years ago, matching people on multiple levels.  Match.com came out with their version a couple of years ago – also based on doing a questionnaire and being matched on many levels, and they addressed some of the complaints people had with eHarmony.  Do an internet search for dating sites that specialize in your passions (there are sites for green, for fitness, for seniors, etc.).  The one thing I do like about Chemistry is that they’re still offering a great deal (buy one, get three months), which gives you a fabulous amount of time to get results with very little investment of cash.  If that feels like a fit for you, I’ve got the link on my website that takes you right to the 3-for-1 special: www.theheartmatters.com/single.htm

Above all, Carley, have fun with it.  Just think: somewhere out there, a man who is the most scrumptious fit for you is getting ready to sign up for one of these sites…as soon as he stops feeling so nervous!