How to: Online Dating

Whether you’ve never been married or find yourself newly single, the mysterious world of dating as an adult can be overwhelming.

When I found myself still single at 30, I started looking at nunnery options. Maria made it look downright magical.

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But, let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want a dude to look at them like George…amirite?

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So, the question: How do you meet someone? Dating someone from work can get messy fast. I live in a college town, so unless I’m ready to cougar it up at church, that options out as well.

One lonely day, a coworker asked why I didn’t date online. I was like, “First of all, the situation isn’t that desperate. Secondly, what do you know that I don’t?” She’s newly 20 and met her boyfriend on Instagram. I was like, “What does this mean???”

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So, my research started. Keep in mind: My goal’s been to meet to marry. Tinder: hard pass. Match.com: well, let’s just say I prefer potential prospects to have a full set of teeth. But, I knew Les & Leslie Parrot (creators of SYMBIS) helped develop eHarmony.

Y’all. It took me a good month to actually complete my profile. I mean honestly, I was scared. Scared of getting catfished. Scared of people finding out I was on a dating website. Scared of not meeting anyone.

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Let me tell ya: it hasn’t all been rainbows. A lot of people are just plain weird, and as hard as those eHarmony algorithms try, you still get matched with some doozies. One guy had his profile pic with a mannequin. That was cool. Another one had the corner of a quilt as his only picture.

Another fun surprise is chatting with someone who seems relatively normal & then you find they’re super into hydroponic fish tanks. Like super into them.

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Okay, so there’s loads of freaks out there. Don’t get discouraged: the same people go to coffee shops & concerts. Wait. That IS actually discouraging—but you get my point.

It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Here are 3 things I’ve learned that’ll help you become a successful online dater:

  1. Be yourself.I know, I know. Gag. But hear me out: write your profile as you. Don’t put things in you think people want to hear. Be genuine about your likes and dislikes.
  2. Ease up on the seriousness. You’re meeting complete strangers and there’s no way either of you can really know someone by glancing through a profile. Get-to-know-you conversations are awkward—just let it be awkward & keep talking.
  3. Consider you intentions.If you’re all about yourself, you’re not gonna attract much attention. Are you willing to open up? To really get to know someone, you have to be willing to share, not just receive.

And because I think you’re swell, here’s a 4th point:

4. Learn from your experience.

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If you’re willing, you can find out you might be better at this online dating beast. There’s no pressure, so just be yourself! You’ll soon discover what you really want and don’t want in a relationship.

Chin up, online dater. You can find someone. Just keep on chattin. And always…ALWAYS…say no to mannequins.

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