So you've drained the pool of potential hook-ups from your circle of friends and co-workers. Fishing around the bar scene has you at the end of your line. And your dates have become way too few and far between. Everyone’s telling you there’s plenty of fish in the sea, but you’re beginning to wonder if you’re swimming in the love pond all alone?
It’s time to cast a wider net and find another way to get the word out that you’re on the market. Although it pays to advertise, is taking the plunge and posting a profile on a dating website a desperate measures? And if you do decide to create your own marketing plan, what are some guidelines you should follow to find the “Perfect Match” and live happily ever after in “eHarmony?”
In this day and age, it’s not taboo as you think to seek out the future love of your life on the web -- so delete those thoughts from your head.
However, before you log on, you need to put some time and thought into how you’re going to sell yourself now that the product of you being placed on the dating shelf. Just like a consumer you have to develop some brand recognition to catch your potential soul mate's eye. It's all in the packaging.
Although it should be a no-brainer, some forget the most important rule in creating their profile -- start with the truth. Hiding behind a keyboard doesn't mean you’re allowed to embellish with the old bait and switch. Eventually you’ll meet them and I guarantee you they'll be disappointed.
Be up front from the start. If you’re 5'6" don't say 5'10.” Haven't seen a gym in a long time? Don't even try putting “athletic built” (and no, those 12-oz. curls don’t count as a work out). Nothing like being called out on false advertising.
The photos you post should be recent, at least within the last eight months to a year. A lot changes in a year. Show a variety of pictures especially ones with family and friends, particularly the ones with lots of smiles. It will show more of your personality.
At first, you’re going to have to let your fingers do the talking. Be creative when talking about yourself to separate yourself from the pack. Years ago my profile was a book metaphor called "The Book of Me.” I used lines like "I’m an easy read that only gets better with every turn of the page” and “all you have to do is open me up.” There was more, but you get the point.
So brush up on your writing skills and most importantly always use spell check.
Last tip? Give yourself no more than one year to be on a particular site. Many complain it takes up lots of time with all the e-mails, phone calls and dates. For the guys, most of the time we’re the ones picking up the check, which will consume your wallet and possibly have you filing for Chapter 11.
Alright, so you’re pond has dried up after exhausting most of your options. This just means it’s time to gear up and start fishing at another riverbank. Yes, we live in a much more technical world, but online dating is not for everyone. If you decide to take the plunge, proceed with caution.
Not everybody on dating sites is looking for commitment. Some are just looking to have a good time, while others hope to find a keeper. So depending on what you’re looking for, that will determine how much you should put in.
As you start treading in unfamiliar territory, be selective with who you choose to entertain. Don’t think the ones that bite first are going to stick around. People have the opportunity to take on any identity they want and step outside of who they are. That’s why after a few chats, you may want to throw ‘em right back in the sea.
Of course, it saves time and a whole lot of energy, but if you start becoming an online dating addict, it can also become quite a drag. No one wants to see your profile pop up on every site like those annoying ads.
I don’t believe online dating is done out of desperation. Let’s face it, the dating scene can become quite challenging no matter what stage you’re at in the process. All the match.com and eHarmony.com’s are network tools to link up with others. There are plenty of successful computer love stories. But like anything else, be smart about it.
Stick to the sites you know are legit and don’t give up on making new “friends” by trying new hangout spots in your area. You never know who might end being the perfect catch!