Not all of us have jumped into the world of online dating, but many of us have! What are those things that we should AND shouldn’t do?! If someone you know is considering online dating, how would you encourage him/her? What advice do you have?
Great topic! If you don’t mind, I’m going to pull some highlights from the super-long post I did on online dating a while back. The Intro also has some updates, given my new life circumstances.
Ever think about online dating? Hear conflicting advice from trusted people? Well, here’s how your sister-in-Christ managed to find dateable marriageable (!) 😀 men—without losing her mind. The first and foremost piece of advice: keep the lines of communication open with God—prayer, Mass, sacraments. Those practices help with discernment.
And I know, advice coming from an engaged woman seems limited to my experience, BUT I did meet and date 6 great-in-their-own-right guys over 6 years, DID find The One, and am currently engaged to Mr. Lucky #7!
What I Kept in Mind:
– It’s a strategy, not the strategy.
– Remembering that I am trying to connect with a possible future spouse, not shopping for emotional satisfaction.
– Figure out what I wanted in a guy.
– Figure out HOW I would be able to tell if his responses seem legit
So, I’m going to actually skip the section of “how to create a profile.” Just KISS: Keep it Simple, Silly!: be myself, be honest, include variety of photos of me, me+friends, me+family in assorted activities/times of year; etc. I will tell you that a trustworthy male friend looked at my profile and told me not to reveal too much (list favorite genres of music and no more than two examples of specific artists, for example).
Evaluating the Profiles
When it came to this point, I got a little overwhelmed—not only does CatholicMatch match you based on a Match Portrait that’s essentially a pre-marital survey about your views on, well, everything, but also your “Primary Search” (where you check boxes about height, eye color, distance, level of faith, etc.). This is good because sometimes some guys are on one list, but not the other. But I reminded myself that Match Portraits and the like are algorithms with thresholds, not an exact science. Plus, I found that my Match Portrait netted results halfway across the country, and I am too poor to fly and too not-the-person to have a phone-based relationship for several weeks or more. Here’s what helped:
– Be open-minded, but honest with myself.
– Don’t spend too much time with Mr. Vague: the guy who has no specifics, no quiz questions, no temperament test, etc.
Managing the Messaging
– Set limits for how often I messaged.
– I allowed myself to send an emoticon/flirt, answer his quiz questions, but did not send a chatty message first thing during my latest go-around.
– If you find yourself saying “he’s not responding because he’s shy,” think about the conclusion I came to: “if he’s so shy as to be uncomfortable sending an Internet message, then is that degree of bashfulness something I really want to take on?”