We’re all familiar with those awful, ancient dating “rules”. The same ones we’ve been conditioned into thinking are the norm; “Always play hard to get!”, “If he doesn’t call in 3 days, it’s over, he’s not interested!”. When you’re knee deep in swoon-city you shouldn’t have to stress about those trivial mandates.
You did it! You’ve met someone great on Plenty of Fish, had amazing conversation online and are ready to meet in person, awesome. Unfortunately, sometimes the difficult parts about dating aren’t even in finding a person, but finding how to actually connect with another person. Witty banter, charm, and a relaxed flow of conversation are not things that can be faked IRL. Often times – even when you know you would hit it off with your date – your nerves inhibit you from carrying on a thriving conversation.
Between work, hobbies, family and friends, it can be hard to find time to date. But when you finally get some free time, you can meet people anywhere these days. There is no doubt that asking someone out can feel gut wrenching, but once they’ve said yes, the rest is a no-brainer. The most important thing to remember while dating is to keep an open mind. Bad dates might happen, and probably will happen, but they’ll only help you figure out what you want and don’t want in a partner. Throughout the process you’re going to have some questions, and thankfully, others have been in your place and have advice to help build your confidence and success in the dating world.
Picture this: you’ve spent the night out with your girls, getting turnt at the hottest club in town. As you file out into the street, walking gingerly in your heels, you blow kisses goodbye and hop into a cab… just as someone else climbs in through the other door! It’s awkward for a moment, but you agree to share the ride, and tell stories of your epic night along the way. By the time the ride is over, you’ve swapped phone numbers (maybe even a kiss), and the world is aglow with the potential of a new romance…
Sounds exhausting, right?
If you’re an introvert, a meet-cute like this is just not for you. In fact, you’d probably rather find someone online, sharing long, soul-spilling emails with potential partners like Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. And guess what? That’s okay! In fact, it’s practically the norm: it is believed that one-third of modern marriages got their start on the Web. Online dating is a phenomenon, and for many introverts who are tired (or afraid) of the traditional dating scene, the Internet can be the perfect solution.
But with so many people looking for love online, how will you know who’s right for you? For all it’s good qualities, the Internet can feel scary. But by following just a few tips, you’ll be able to suss out your soulmate from the World Wide Web.
Get Personal With Your Profile
With online dating, even more so than in the world, you have to “put yourself out there.” In a real-world setting, prospective partners can learn about you from your body language, facial expressions, and behavior; here, there is only your profile. So make sure the profile screams “you!”
And we mean the REAL you. Everyone likes “spending time with friends,” “watching the sunset,” and “cuddling by the fire.” Be specific about your interests, and don’t hold anything back. Are you an avid hiker who spends your mornings meditating on mountaintops? Write it down. Do you spend your Saturdays writing fan-fiction about the best friend adventures of Gandalf, Magneto, and Dumbledore? Put it in the profile. Do you breed madagascar hissing roaches? Let the world know!
According to Christie Hartman, Ph.D., many people stick to the basics when building their online profile. They are afraid of “sounding too different or too odd, not realizing that it actually backfires.” But the people you’re looking to connect with are the people who share your interests (or at least think they are interesting). So let your true colors show!
Check For Personality Clues
You want the people you meet online to share your interests. But you also want to make they have what you’re looking for. Pay attention to clues in their profile that reveal the man (or woman) behind the screen.
Do you want a fellow introvert you can cuddle with quietly? Look for someone whose interests line up with the quiet life – reading, movies, etc. Do you want an extrovert to bring you into his active social life? Look for a profile filled with pictures from parties. These little clues will point you towards the person you want to be with!
Try A Specific Site
Remember all those interests we talked about before? The things that make you the unique and amazing person you are? Well, for those of us searching for some who truly understands our likes and dislikes, niche dating sites exist! Whether you are a cat lover or a Dr. Who fanatic, there is a site for you! Many introverts have tremendous passion when it comes to their hobbies, so sites like these can be a good way to meet someone with whom you’ll feel a connection. And besides, even if you don’t find a soulmate, you might end up with a whole bunch of new friends!
Go On A Date!
Yes, yes, this one may seem obvious, but it’s important! After all the time you spent building a profile, searching for matches, and getting past the (horribly awkward) initial small talk via text and email, you deserve a date. Get out of your comfort zone, get face-to-face with your online match, and have fun! Who knows, maybe you’ll be in the lucky one-third of folks who found their soulmate on the screen.
Ever felt like your online dating workout plan was working you, rather than working out? Oh yes girl, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This leaves so many woman exhausted beyond tears and simply discouraged thinking, “After coming home from a hard day of work is it even worth it?” Wait! Before you skip that waxing routine and grab your fuzzy slippers to fall asleep with Netflix- THERE IS HOPE.
Let us look at 5 proven ways to get you back on your A-game.
Search In Packs
It’s hard to top laughing and drooling over prospective matches with close friends and family. Whether there’s teamwork or simply a look over the shoulder, checking out potential matches; this will help increase confidence and wisdom in the decision making process. In addition, when those closest to you, are involved in the process; online dating feels more enjoyable and less time consuming.
Check your bait
No matter lady or gentleman, when clients come through The Online Love Doctor’s doors, the first step is an intense renovation of their profile. I look to see if the profile is clear, attractive and confident with a calming presentation. A “relaxed” approach is important to allow the man space to share his true colors upfront and show whether you need to run or relax!
Share your wounds and your wins
So many times women try to hide embarrassing date moments, like a guy going MIA and standing them up. Even if you have fallen headfirst into those types of traps, it is ABSOLUTELY important to share those with a close friend or family member, because there is only so much a girl can take before self-worth starts to get a bit wobbly. When the tears are still fresh, consider having a designated friend to call who be an ego booster.
Re-evaluate Your Type
Unless a woman has had a successful relationship where the match was just perfect, many women don’t really know what their prince charming looks like, much less what he should act like. The tall, dark, handsome and just 5 minutes away prince isn’t for everyone. For some, their prince may be short, talkative and a world traveler. If the date is not a home run, at least you went and shared a new experience with someone.
If a woman is only “popping in” her account twice a week, she should really be more proactive. Potential date interests start to dwindle and the few left reciprocate the same “popping in” effort, while the other more intentional men have swam to other ponds. Try to reply to potentially interesting matches within 24 hours to keep the momentum going.
Hope these 5 Tips help ladies stay on their A-game. Don’t forget to have fun! Laugh at personal mistakes and the awkwardness that is often faced in online dating endeavors. After settling back and finding the one, there is going to be some chuckles at all the “quaint” encounters had. Most of all don’t give up hope! He is out there…
Have you ever wondered how to improve your online dating game to get more matches?
First, second, and even third dates can be made awkward for a variety of different reasons but lately the question of “who pays the bill?” has been the topic of conversation among my single friends, men and women alike.
I caught up with a friend over coffee and she confessed she was back in the singles pool and actively dating again.
Exciting? Very. Awkward? Extremely.
Gabbing about our latest dating experiences, my witty, outgoing, gorgeous friend surprised me when she admitted she was at a loss for words on her last date. She said,
“The date was going great, both of us in the groove, conversation flowing, but then my anxiety crept up at the very end when the waiter looked down at the two of us and asked, “will this be together or separate?” I froze instantly. So many thoughts whirling in my mind…Do I grab my wallet? What if he puts his card down first, do I put mine on top? Do I argue with him? When do I stop arguing with him? Do I offer to pay half? Do I sit and say nothing? I got so awkward! I didn’t want him to think I was expecting him to pay the full bill!”
My friend went on to tell me she has gone as far as buying gift cards to restaurants for dates, telling her date it was a present from a friend, just to avoid the awkward method of payment at the end. This way they were “both” getting treated…
I realized quickly this was a problem for my friend and most likely other singles attempting to navigate the uncharted realms of the dating world.
Expectations can vary among daters, but I have always stuck to a couple guidelines before heading on a date to keep me in check.
Never assume the bill will be covered
The majority of first dates I have been on, my date has covered the bill but this isn’t always the case. Whether it be drinks, dinner or a movie, I have never expected my date to pay the full bill. When the check is placed on the table, pull out your wallet. If your date says they’ve got this one, thank them politely, put your wallet away and say you’ve got the next one, if you want a second date that is.
Always carry cash
Take money out prior to a date just in case you two decide to split the bill. If your date only has card, let them know you have cash and have no problem going halfsies! Cash in your wallet is also helpful at old school restaurants that refuse to take card! I have definitely found myself in that awkward situation before.
Talk about it
I would reserve this conversation for the fourth, fifth or sixth date when you have established some sort of exclusivity. I think it is really important to understand each other’s expectations and dating style early on. The rule that has worked best for me in the past is going date for date. For example, if I treat my boyfriend to a date night on Friday, he will get the next one the following weekend, so it becomes an equal playing field.
I want to know how you choose to pay the bill?! Together or separate?