Love at First Click
Internet Dating Tips
By: Lois Requist
When my husband died after many years of marriage, it was awhile before I even thought about dating again. He’d been sick for several years, so I’d realized that I might be single again. I never thought I’d be back to those insecure feelings experienced in junior high-sweaty palms, nervous smiles, and timidity. In most aspects of my life, I’m pretty confident, but when it comes to meeting men, I can be a blithering idiot!
Eventually, I registered at an online dating service, and answered all the questions put to me. After doing this a few times, I know, everyone likes long walks on the beach, and romantic candlelight dinners. If they don’t, there’s no admitting it.
All the services I’ve used offer a few ground-rules that are worth noting:
- Before meeting someone, don’t give your phone number, address, or last name.
- First meetings should always be in a public place.
- Don’t give out more information unless you are comfortable doing so.
I usually made first appointments for coffee or a glass of wine. In many cases, I knew as soon as I saw the person that I wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship. It isn’t fair, but we all make first-impression judgments, so if you’re in the dating scene, take time to be clean and well-groomed.
Any amount of preparation won’t make up for misrepresentation. Men have told me that the women they meet sometimes bear little resemblance to the online picture. Often, they said, she weighed a lot more than it looked like. This kind of deception can only lead to disappointment on both sides.
A close friend of mine has never been small, but she’s vivacious, pretty, intelligent and fun to be around. In the years I’ve known her, she’s never lacked for male companionship.
As with most things in life, honesty is the best policy. You can still put the best “spin” on who you are, but don’t wander so far from the truth that no one will recognize the real you.
The last and most successful time I registered online, I decided I’d be very frank. Whatever had attracted the wrong type before, I wouldn’t do that again. I don’t like watching sports on television, so I said that up front. I’m not a meat and potatoes person. In terms of cooking, I’m good at making reservations. I wanted to get the “deal breakers” out there.
Once I emphasized bicycling because I’d just returned from a bike tour in Europe. I met someone in a dirty shirt, which was pretty much the end of that. We shared nothing except an interest in bicycling. That’s not enough.
Another time, I stressed my interest in literature. The man I met was terribly interested in Proust but was stuffy and never dusted his house. I couldn’t eat there. Check, please!
I may have learned a few things about how to present myself online; other things have changed as well. Online dating has become much more “mainline,” so the field of potential people to date is bigger and broader. I met some men worth more than one date. It’s worth a try.