We’ve all read articles and listened passively to our friends spouting about running the dreaded dating gauntlet while we ourselves have been all safe and tucked up in our relationship. What happens though when we are thrust from the cosy embrace of that safe little union and forced back into considering how to meet our next love interest while strategically avoiding all the pitfalls of dating that we’ve heard the rumours about.
So let’s consider the options. There’s getting all togged out for a big night on the tiles with the girls and adopting my very best moves: going to the bar to order drinks “sans” wingman (to make myself more approachable); smiling a lot and looking like I’m having a super-fab time with my girlies and NOT desperate for a man (without over doing it and looking like the party girl he won’t take home to his mammy) and of course NEVER standing mute clutching my beverage and eagerly eying up every new gang of guys that walks in the door.
There’s tapping the family and friends for introductions to their most fabulous man friends. That’s all fine well, and certainly the best way to suss out the guys you have most in common with (a 3rd party that knows you can vouch for them) however there’s that fine line between a friendly nudge to remind them you’re single and waiting, and coming off as that desperado that won’t stop badgering everyone to find her a MANNNNNN!
Of course there’s face to face Matchmaking Agencies like Intro that provide suitable introductions but you’ve then got to trust them to make the selections for you after you’ve specified what you want. Not everyone feels comfortable enough to loosen the steely grip they have on their love lives and relinquish full control.
Then there’s Speed-dating – where the men are “30-40” but mysteriously they were all born in the 1960’s?!
And then – there’s ONLINE….. as a matchmaker I hear the most gobsmacking horror stories from those that have tried online dating – and heard all the excuses in the book as to why those that haven’t – won’t -and never will! If your skin crawls at the thoughts of putting up a nice photo of yourself online, then the web certainly is not the place for you to find love. If you’d rather DIE than run the risk of family and friends discovering that you’re proactively looking for a partner and nosing around your profile then my advice is, steer well clear.
However, in spite of all the pitfalls of online dating, I’m a firm believer that it can and does work for a lot of people that try it. There are tricks and guidelines that you must adhere to in order to make it work though, and it begins with choosing the right site.
One of the biggest problems our clients have encountered is attracting unwanted advances by other users and once those advances aren’t reciprocated they get angry and send insulting messages. To avoid this choose a site that you have to pay to become a member of. There are a lot of free sites out there and as it’s free to set up a profile then the users behind the profiles don’t really care if they are banned from the site because they can simply set up multiple profiles and behave how the please. You get what you pay for so generally you get a better, more serious type of person on paid sites.
Other clients have found that the motives of the other users are questionable and in the most extreme cases have started dating “available” men that later admit being married. The solution to this again is going to a paid site – married men will be afraid of how the monthly payment will show on their credit card so they will usually avoid paid sites as it’s harder to get caught on free “casual” sites. These men are usually just looking for affairs or one night stands so the more costly the site you choose, the more likely it is that the men you’ll meet are as committed to finding real relationships as you are.
If you choose to go online and want to find a suitable life partner then you must start with being honest. We hear time and time again of people trying online and going on up to 50 dates with no success and they wonder why. That’s for 2 reasons – they’ve put up false or fabricated information about themselves hoping that “once he meets me he’ll fall for me and it won’t matter that I’m 10 years older than my profile says”, well it does matter and it’s starting a relationship on a lie. Also if you do go on dates, only go with men you have formed a genuine connection with first, otherwise you could go for coffee with Mike who’s the perfect guy for you but you’re too busy peering around the corner at Dave and Paul thinking the grass might be greener. And it never is.