My career in matchmaking and dating predates social media. I was bringing love into peoples’ lives before MySpace was a household name and before Zuckerberg launched Facebook. Online dating however, has been around since the chat room. I can remember as far back as 1993 when AOL personals replaced the classified ads that lonely hearts would place in the back of their regional magazine.
Although digital dating has evolved in the last twenty years, many of the perils and pitfalls remain the same. Here are some tips to make sure you’re not wasting your time online or setting yourself up for disappointment in person.
Speak before you meet. When you connect with someone through a nifty hookup app like Tinder or a dense online matchmaking site like Eharmony, you must make sure you have some sort of connection before bothering to meet in person. After messaging until your heart’s content, arrange to speak to one another before setting up a date. In today’s day and age, you have nothing to lose by giving your number out to someone you met online.
Do your homework. When you get the chance to speak with someone you met online, go on a fact-finding mission before you get together in person. You should know where they grew up, where they went to high school, when they graduated, where they attended college (if applicable) and where they now work before you plan to meet. If you get a home address and date of birth you can actually perform your own criminal background check of them online. This usually isn’t necessary if you have references so find out if you know any of the same people before you become friends on Facebook.
Meet in broad daylight. Whenever you get together with someone in person for the first time, and you’ve already met online, you never really know what you’re going to get. That’s why I always suggest meeting during the day and allotting only an hour or so of time. If its known in advance that you’d like to get together just to get acquainted and you end the meeting on a high note, both of you will have something to look forward to when you go on an actual date. If it’s a mismatch however, you aren’t trapped in dire straits.
Keep the texting to a minimum. Text messaging is asynchronous. When you get into the habit of texting someone too soon you may find yourself anxiously awaiting acknowledgement, engagement or a response. Although many people nowadays loathe the telephone conversation I still suggest placing a phone call and leaving a voicemail at least to express your gratitude, interest, or desire to see someone. Text messaging should only be used to convey messages you do not expect the receiver to reply to.
Always be gracious. Whether this mystery match turns out to be good, bad, or ugly, the number one thing you can do is be as gracious as possible. Word of mouth is now viral thanks to social media. And there are even apps now designed to warn women about scandalous men online. Lulu and DontDateHimGirl are just a couple products that come to mind. Your hope should be that afterwards this person you met would have something positive to say on your behalf.
Use common sense, follow this simple advice, and you may avoid a lot of wasted time and disappointment with dating online. If you’d rather save yourself the trouble, and spare yourself surprises, you could always hire my team and I to do the work for you. Just complete our ‘Getting Started’ form to be contacted.