First, a definition….by “online dating” I’m talking about any situation where you become interested in someone online, with the intention of potentially meeting and dating them. This could be a formal online dating site, or maybe you’ve connected on Facebook or Twitter. In any case, you’ve connected with them virtually before you connect with them physically.
Here’s five things I have to say…
#1 – Meet them as soon as you feel safe.
If I have multiple conversations, texts, etc, I find I’ve become more “invested” in how the meeting turns out. Of course I learn things from the conversations, but I learn the same things, and more if I just meet them. I’ve had quite a few experiences where I’ve had hours, days, weeks worth of communication…then I meet them, and it’s not a fit.
When this happens, I’ve noticed I’m much more impacted if I’ve had a bunch of conversation with someone. It kinda leaves a little “hole” when it doesn’t work out, regardless of who decides there’s no magic. If I meet them quickly, I might still be disappointed, but it’s only momentary, and it’s easier to move onto meeting someone else without taking on too much “why didn’t they like me” or “I wasted a lot of time”.
#2 – It’s just a numbers game.
I believe there’s more than one “right” person out there for each of us. The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone who’s a fit.
I’m not heavily in the market for Mr. Right right now, but I’ve made some great friends, and I’ve learned a lot by continuously saying “yes” to meeting. All you learn, and the wonderful experiences you’ll have, make meeting as many people as possible worth it.
#3 – Fire Fast
I’ve adopted the Fire Fast mentality, like they recommend you do when you’re an employer. When a situation isn’t a fit, when something’s not a match, get out of it respectfully, but get out. This way both of you are freed up to find someone who’s a more appropriate fit. See #2.
#4 – Make A List
Make a list of what you want in a relationship. Then, before you communicate with, and again before you meet someone for the first time, read the list. Make sure the list is specific enough that you will be able to identify when someone fits or doesn’t fit what you’re looking for. Try to think of conversation topics that will reveal the information you’re seeking.
#5 – Test The Waters
Create some personal scenarios. A girlfriend told me she does three things with a man in the first two weeks she knows him – 1) Take him to Home Depot, 2) Take him grocery shopping, 3) Gosh darn it, I can’t remember the third one. 🙂 Oh, yes, now I remember – take him to a fine dining restaurant.
Let me explain the reasons for these three scenarios as I understood them.
1) Home Depot – Is he macho or helpful? Does he know a lot? Is he interested in teaching or showing off? How does he interact with customer service people in a store?
2) Grocery Shopping – I don’t think I need to explain the reasons one might have for this one. 🙂
3) Fine Dining – How does he treat you in this situation? How does he treat the wait staff?
My “personal scenarios” are completely different than these; but I do agree that it’s helpful to structure scenarios that reveal what YOU want to know.
Please note: I’m NOT suggesting you play games. Be as open about what you’re looking for as you’re comfortable being. When you find the right fit, you will be respected for caring about yourself and them enough to look closely.
Of course I’ve learned other things as well, but this is enough for today. 🙂 If you’re involved in online dating (see above definition), I’d love to hear what you’ve learned about it, too. You can email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment here. Thanx for reading!
And don’t forget….Dating is a blast if you don’t get too wound up about how it turns out
Next time I’m in the mood to write about this, I’ll write about…When It’s Not A Fit