Online dating… would you?

An old friend of mine is setting up a new online dating website and recently asked me to assist by filling in a survey. I happily helped out, and it got me thinking…

For those of you who do not already know, I met my (current) husband via an online dating site, so of course I am all for it. I believe it is the way of the future, like so many things we do these days. When I was cruising this new (to me) world online, I was fascinated… so many people willing to put themselves out there to the world in hope of finding a partner. That’s how I viewed it then anyway.

For me it was an exciting time of discovery, I had just gone through a very traumatic breakup, moved cities and jobs looking for a fresh start. And thanks to the internet I did not have to go to stinky, noisy nightclubs looking for a man. In my late 30’s at the time, I did not have any desire to start clubbing again.

When I joined the online dating scene over eight and a half years ago, there were only a few options to choose from. RSVP was the one a friend was on and recommended to me. I had quite a few dates before I met my man. I used to be a sales executive, and we all know that sales is a numbers game. I figured the more dates I had, the more likely it was I would find a guy I really liked. Someone who was also looking for a long term committed relationship, someone who liked travel and adventure, just like me. Someone who would walk beside me, challenge me and someone who I could have real conversations with.

Here I could filter out the smokers, the ones who wanted more kids or had little ones, the ones who liked heavy metal music, and the ones who had a profile photo that looked more like a mug shot! (Seriously, if you are trying to attract a nice lady, put a decent photo up!)

It’s such a funny… funny odd not funny ha ha, thing to reflect back on. When you are single and want a relationship, you think to yourself ‘I just want to meet a nice guy (or girl), they don’t have to be perfect, just someone I can spend time with’. Then you go on a date and the smallest thing ticks you off in the first 5 minutes (he has bad breath, or talks too slow or has 5 kids to 3 ladies)… so you go home and logon and look for your next prospect.

I was a little more methodical than that. I had an excel spreadsheet. I had so many guys on my ‘possibilities list’ it was hard to keep track. My friends tell me I’m a very organised person, to me I was just keeping the list in order. If they passed my rigorous test and got on the list (we all have a list in our heads) on the first contact, I would enter them on the excel list, some would be really keen and things would progress very fast and others would take their sweet time. So when emailing and speaking on the phone, I had to know who I had said what to! When this is your primary activity (and it was for me) I wanted to get it right.

Unfortunately, so many sites now are a bit on the sleazy side, guys and girls looking for a quick hook up, where names are not important and some are just looking for a long term f**k buddy, or to add to their harem.

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In any case, I truly believe there are some great dating sites available now. I do suggest you do some research before joining any of them, some are specifically for a quick hook up as opposed to looking for a long term monogamous relationship. Don’t be mingy, if you find a good site, pay the fee for access if required. Having a fee will deter non-genuine people from joining. You may even find a site that will only send or show your computer match possibilities.

And finally a word of warning, there are some people on dating sites who are intentionally there to lie and deceive. They prey on the vulnerable and the desperate, they know they have a willing audience. Always make your first meeting in a very public, busy place, never give anyone your address or phone number until you have met them and assessed their legitimacy.

There are also people out there who are giving themselves a VERY good rap. Their photo may be 10-15 years old, they tried surfing once, but list it as a hobby, they say they are romantic, but this is a very loose word and can mean something a whole lot different to different folks. They may even lie about their height… really… you think I would not notice the second we meet that you are 3 inches shorter than stated…?

If you are over 30 or just back in the game after a long term relationship breakup, I highly recommend utilising the tools now at hand… the internet is an amazing tool, use it wisely and it can reward you handsomely!

Life is an Adventure…

Darleen