For all purposes, Crush and I met online. Match.com to be exact. I had NEVER met anyone worth mentioning before online and I thought that online wasn't for me, but now I am eating major crow.
Also, I know many wonderful people, including my sister, who met their spouses online. It is the way to meet people these days. I have said it before and I will say it again, but, if you meet someone in a bar, they just may be a drunk and if you meet someone on a boat dock (how I met Awful) they may just be obsessed with their boat and also love bars and dark rum and acting like a man-child that makes Peter Pan seem mature....
So, where was I...oh yes, online dating....Before I met Crush, I had been on and off line for years toying around with the notion (and secrecy) of online dating. I wanted it to work, but I was embarrassed of it, too, so I was torn between really committing and making fun of myself for HAVING to date online. True story, most of my friends did not meet their spouses online (they met them in college, in grad school, when they were in their early twenties, or through a set up), so I was always trying to make their kind of luck work for me.....because they hadn't met someone online, I framed it in my mind as something nerdy and bad and secretive and it is so not! Sidenote: My friends have ALWAYS been supportive of online dating, I just like to create scenarios in my head.....
So, here is a little list of helpful tips for successful online dating from an online dating pro who may have met their life partner online. Also, if it doesn't work out with Crush, I will dust myself off and make a new profile! Here goes:
1. Get over yourself. Yes, tough love here. There is nothing wrong, nerdy, embarrassing, or shameful about meeting someone online. This is how dating is now. People are obsessed with the Internet, not talking to people in public, and being rude and not opening doors or offering seats because their faces are plastered to a 3 inch screen on their phone. The days of bumping into an attractive stranger on a street corner do not really exist anymore, but I bet that person, if single, may have a really great online dating profile. Online dating is awesome! It has the ability to connect people you would never have the ability to ever meet by normal circumstances and everyone is now online, so they probably won't talk to you in public as they don't want to take the time to find out if you are single in person as they are busy with potential matches online. Online dating is cool, efficient, mysterious, humorous, and exciting. It is THE WAY these days, so embrace it, get off your high horse and sign up.
2. Make your list. Yes, the list. The dreaded list. Make a list of all of the qualities you are looking for in a mate. Make it detailed and make it superficial and make it personal and make it private. List EXACTLY what you are looking for including things like height, teeth, income, education, etc. We all have secret deal breakers, so don't keep them a secret from yourself, get them on paper, right where you can refer to them. This is the only way you will be able to find what you are REALLY looking for, you NEED TO KNOW what you are really looking for!
3. Be honest. This is a BIG one, especially for me, queen of exaggeration.....but, I was honest in my dating profile! I was! This includes all the obvious stuff like using a recent photo, not lying about your job or education, and admitting if you like or own a certain kind of pet.....but it goes one step beyond that, too. If you want to be in a serious relationship that may lead to marriage, admit it. If you love kids, say it. If you would rather have 3 doggies and no babies, put it out there. You will attract the kind of person you are seeking, if you open about it. You will save yourself so much trouble, by being honest from the very beginning. You have nothing to lose or hide because you don't even know the people reading your profile.
4. It is quality, not quantity. I have heard people bragging.....I got 50 emails the day I posted my online profile, all these people want to date me, I am so overwhelmed.....and while I think that this is awesome and super flattering, I also think that a really honest, specific, detailed, and thought-out profile, shouldn't warrant these results, because a great complete profile should eliminate the quantity. If you are online looking for a real relationship and not just a warm body, then, you should have the kind of profile that selects the good ones for you...the quality. Everyone likes pizza, movies, going out, and staying in, breakfast, lunch, dinner, TV, music....BUT WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU?! Why are you different, what are you seeking that you can't find???? Include it in your profile!!!!! I have always been attracted to gentlemen. To men that have manners, that do not talk about women's vagina's at the dinner table, that don't use alcohol as an excuse to act like a neanderthal, that don't say that what I am wearing is unflattering (AWFUL SO DID THIS ALL THE TIME!) 1 minute before guests are due for supper....AND I said it on my profile, that I was looking for a true gentleman and Crush said in his profile that he was a gentleman looking for a person to challenge him and support him and be his best friend and look....match!
5. Cut the red tape and MEET. Yes, suck it up and meet. I know it is fun to email, text, IM and fantasize, but you need to talk to this person on the phone ASAP and then plan a date to meet them in person. I have created so many potential suitors because they are witty and fun over text and email and then when I finally meet them, they are actually toothless assholes. Save yourself the trouble and get on the phone and meet. It will save you so much time daydreaming that you can use to meet other people in person.
6. Give it 2 dates. Everyone wants to make a good first impression, but sometimes nerves do get the best of us. If I had eliminated Crush from the awful first conversation we had, I would be sad and stupid right now...he was nervous and acting like a real blockhead and he says that I wouldn't shut up and stop bragging about myself and my career...so, we both acted like morons to protect ourselves....but, we gave it another go and the second time was SO much better than the first! If you can tolerate someone the first time and didn't gag in their presence, give it one more time before you rule them out.
7. The truth will set you free. If you went out twice and still aren't feeling it, be honest. Tell the person that you appreciate their time and company, but you just don't think it is a match and best of luck out there. That is all you have to say, but don't poof and don't lead someone on. I promise you, in the wild world of dating, someone you like won't like you and you won't like someone who thinks you are the one. It is so much easier to say it like it is. I wish potential clients had the same courtesy.....
8. MINIMAL ALCOHOL. This should go without saying, but I will say it. 1-2 drinks if you can handle it. No more. Don't put yourself in a dangerous situation or do something you wouldn't. Don't be the man who was so drunk that he fell off his bar stool (this happened to my sister) and walked into a closed door and called her the wrong name. Shame on him.
9. Take note of everything. Your date should be on their best behavior. Pay attention to them: if they offer to pay, if they pull out your chair, if they are generous, sarcastic, or rude. Take in the person and not just the idea of the person. You can't change someone, you may be able to influence someone, but you can't change them...so, if someone is doing or saying something that is outside of your comfort zone, they may not be the one for you. This is your life, no excuses. We all deserve to be treated the way we want to be treated.
10. Have fun! This is not work, this is life and you will have to go out on a ton of dates (I DID!) perhaps until you meet the one. The one means 1 PERSON, so it may take a lot of time, dedication, and heartbreak until you find that person, but you can still have fun on the journey. This is all about the experience. Enjoy the wild ride, laugh at the stupidity of it sometimes, and brace yourself for a few bumps and bruises along the way. But, remember that everything does indeed happen for a reason and these pratfalls can make the BEST dinner party stories!