Tips For Online Dating: What Works And What Does Not

Front view of young girl with cat mask and laptop indoors, online dating and abuse concept.

Statistics vary from 10% to 35% of marriages today are due to meeting one’s spouse from an online dating site. The higher range is from studies that are sponsored by the various dating sites themselves. Regardless, many people are successfully using this method to meet their life partners.

  • Do expect some disappearing acts. One will meet wonderful, charismatic dates who seem like candidates for long-term relationships. Then they utter the words reminiscent of uni days, “I’ll be in touch.” He or she does not call or answer any texts. If one is finally able to catch them, they are vague and say “no” to a future date. You never find out what happened. 
  • Do not take the first date to your flat, or give out personal contact information. 29-year-old Sharon Siermans met a man on a dating site in Australia, who seemed kind. They arranged to meet in a public area. After seeing him in the flesh, he gave her the creep and she did not want to be seen with him. Grabbing a quick cup of coffee and terminating the date would have been more prudent than bringing him back to her house for a quick snack. She avoided him and refused more dates, which angered this fellow. The news reported that he went back to Siermans’ house at a later date and murdered her. The extra sad part is that her four-year-old son, Aron, witnessed this horrific act. If you meet someone and your red flags go up – terminate the date quickly without mentioning personal information. One way to do this, is to nip into the loo and arrange for a friend to call you in ten minutes. 
  • Do not expect a dating site to vet out undesirables. Jason Dinsley, who murdered Sharon Sirmans, had been in jail for a vicious rape and that was why he had been absent from the dating scene. Before the internet, one met other people’s co-workers, neighbors, third cousins, and so forth. Then these dates came with a known background.  When I was at uni, my pals and I were into recycling. When we went out with perfectly lovely guys – that just were not our type- we passed them along to worthy friends with recommendations.  
  • Keep your profile realistic with a recent photo. Have a friend check out your profile before posting it, to make sure it seems to potentially attract the type of person you are seeking. Please keep cats out of your picture and most of your profile. It is okay to say that you do not date people allergic to cats or dogs. 
  • You have met someone you really like. Some people then arrange for a double or group date with friends. Particularly get feedback from your pals’ partners. Men can spot a phony with other men and women can suss out a social climber. 
  • Consider paying more and going to a match-making dating site. They spend much time interviewing people and finding the most compatible dates. They also do background checks so this lessens the chance of dating a criminal. 
  • Have fun. One meets a variety of people who could wind up as friends, a future boss, or a friend’s husband. So many people meet partners online and are happy with the process. The important thing is to listen to any warning bells and to take heed of them.

 If you are having dry spells between dates, ask friends for help.  Get their candid opinions on your hairstyle, makeup, and clothes. Maybe your appearance needs a little updating. Many stores have a stylist who could do an assessment and bring you into the 21st century for clothes, accessories, and style. Consider going to a dating coach when you have been out of the dating scene for so long. They help one to sort out issues to see what is not working with dates. Are you revealing too much, too soon?  Talking about your ex?  Like many other things, once you get more experience with dating again, it gets easier.

Originally published in The Divorce Magazine

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