Preparing For Online Dating

Dear Karen,

How do I manage online dating?  I decided to take the plunge – thanks to the link on your website for that 3-for-1 special that is running…it was the final “nudge” I needed!  Anyway, how do I do this successfully?  If this is too big a question for the newsletter, I guess my question is this: I don’t have a lot of extra time, and I want to make sure that the time I spend is going to give me the best results.  What would you advise? – Marilyn, NY

Dear Marilyn,

I’m so pleased that you took the plunge – and what a great time of year to do this…you’re launching ’09 in fine style.  (Plus, you can imagine how many men will be doing the same.)

Attention ATC readers – length alert here.  This is a longer-than-normal response, but the topic is so important…please take the time to read it, if you’re at all interested in online dating.


For anyone who isn’t already aware of this, I am a very big fan of online dating.  Look at it this way: you say you want to meet a single man.  You have (basically) two ways to go about this – you can go about your life and hope for the random meeting of a man who is single and available, or you can head right into the middle of a gathering of men who’ve already identified themselves as single and available (of course some really aren’t – but that’s also true with the random plan).  To me, the 2nd option makes more sense; if you really want to meet the most numbers of men who have the potential to fit what you’re looking for, and in the least amount of time, go where they hang out.


Before you get yourself online, there are some things you want to make sure you’ve got in place:

#1 – (This one is the highest priority) Know who you are and what you want.

#2 – (This one is the next on the list, although equally important) Know the type of man you must have, as well as your vision for your relationship.

#3 – Have a profile (and several photos) that you are thrilled with (important note here: do not bother posting your profile if you feel less than ecstatic about what you’ve got).

#4 – Have at least one “dating buddy” you can give and get support from; a like-minded friend can be a great help in the process.


There are basically three things you’re going to deal with as you immerse yourself into this adventure:

1)    there are men who will contact you who you’ve got no interest in;
2)    there are men you’ll be interested in who won’t be interested in you;
3)    there are men who will be interested in you, and you’ll be happy about it!

It’s important to use your time effectively, particularly given your concern about the amount of time you have to devote to this.

Here are some suggestions for you:

•    Respond in a timely manner to any men who communicate with you – yup, all of them (even the ones who inspire a “Yuck!” when you see their profiles).  Hey, they’re people who are looking for the same things you are – to love and be loved, to be accepted for who they are…to feel safe.  So even if they’re not a fit for you, there’s still an opportunity here to spread some healing magic in the world; that way of being: respectful of men, appreciative of their efforts – is badly needed.

•    If you can see that someone’s not a fit for you, consider yourself “whistled at”, be flattered, and then just send a quick response such as “Thanks for your interest – I appreciate it.  I don’t get that we’re a good fit, though.  Good luck to you!”

•    If the site you’re on has a function like “flirt” – some way where you can let a man know you’re interested without initiating a personal email – that’s optimal.  Flirting is a very natural thing for women to do, and it still allows for a man to feel like he’s in the driver’s seat (and you want to be with a man who is actively showing you his interest, right?).  Don’t be bashful about letting a man know you’re interested!

•    When a man you feel is a good fit doesn’t respond, let it go.  He is not as available to you as you may have thought/wanted.  You’ve been saved the unpleasant (for most women) task of saying “No, thanks” to him at a later point.

•    Give men the benefit of the doubt – this is not their best arena for letting you know who they are.  Keep in mind that action is their turf, language tends to be ours.  So if he’s a little wordy (or not enough), or he’s a little sloppy, but everything you see says he may be worth checking out, go for it.

•    Trust your gut.  You don’t have to know why you don’t want to pursue something with a man.  If your inner voice is saying “no”, then don’t continue.  This is particularly true if something he says/writes feels off-color to you (my advice to you: any sexual innuendo is a definite “no thanks”).

•    You’re not going for quantity, you’re going for quality.  It’s not so great to have dozens and dozens of “hits” from men who aren’t ultimately a fit.  Attracting lots of wrong men can backfire, if a belief you have about yourself is that you don’t get to have what you want.  Shoot for fewer men, better fit.

•    When you are excited about a man, keep yourself active on the site, and make sure you’re still open to new men.  There’s nothing like being connected to abundance to keep you from settling for less than what you want, or from losing yourself in a relationship.

Online dating is a grand adventure – if you decide it is.  Hold a vision that you’ll have a great time, you’ll meet lots of great men, you’ll get to practice dating, and you’ll learn more about yourself…all fabulous outcomes.

And who knows?  You may just meet the man of your dreams in the process.