... featuring an interview with YourTango Expert Joe Amoia.
Joe: I think the biggest thing is what you said right there: it was a last resort. You are going into it defeated. Go in it thinking this way: "This is a wonderful opportunity to meet guys. It's not the only way." Where else can you sit in the comfort of your own living room and find a pool of guys and recognize whether these are the type of guys you are looking for? When you're out at a bar or you're out at a club, and you see a guy, the only thing you're basing it on is his looks.
YourTango: You are so right.
Joe: Of course, looks are important. Anybody who says looks aren't important is either ugly or lying. You have to be attracted to someone on some level. But hopefully looks just open up the door to who the person is. It is the essence of who they are, their qualities and characteristics, that you make you decide whether you should stay or you should run. So, sitting at home on a computer is a great way of finding someone, because if you know how to do online dating right, a profile can tell a tremendous amount about a person.
Joe: I remember when I was doing it, I would read a profile and think "this person is insecure; this person has baggage; this person is a good person and not the person for me; this person is lying; this person is desperate," you know, spotting the red flags. If you know what to look for, the red flags are there and they're usually glaring.
The problem is that dating is so emotional for everyone, that they read a profile and go, "Oh he's male and single, this might be the one!" or, "You know what, he likes Bon Jovi, I love Bon Jovi, so we're destined for each other!" Those things are nice but a relationship takes a lot more than that.
YourTango: So, then, tell me this: when I'm looking at somebody's profile, what should I be looking for to determine that he is actually relationship material?
Joe: That's a great question. This is where starting with the end in mind is really important. When I was first online dating, I knew I was looking for a relationship. I had just come off an engagement. I didn't want to be playing games. I didn't want to date any more people who said they would call you and didn't call you after three days. I was looking for the signs of someone who wanted to get married, who was looking for a relationship.
So when I read my now-wife's profile, her headline was "Where are you, Mr. Right?" Right off the bat, her profile told me this was a girl who was looking for a relationship. Then, because I was clear on what I was looking for, the more I read her profile, the more I would go, "This is a girl I would like to get to know better." That's the key to online dating. Is this the kind of person I would like to get to know better?
The more we engaged each other, the more it seemed that there was some compatibility there. I was out there to meet Mrs. Right, but there was no way I could know that in a date or two. The biggest thing I hear from women is something like "We were on the phone for three hours; we have so much in common!" I'm want to tell those women, "don't get all excited. Go on a few dates first."
YourTango: I've been on a bunch of online dates. After reading a guy's profile and in the beginning of our exchange, he seems like everything I'm looking for. I'm definitely looking for a committed relationship and then usually by date three, I start to see his true colors come out and all of a sudden I have a different person sitting in front of me. That's happened to me so many times. By date three, its just fizzled out. Is there anything I can do to avoid that? Why does that happen?
Joe: Well, there is a pattern. Anytime there's a pattern, it means there's something we're doing that we shouldn't be doing or there is something we're not doing that we should be doing. Does that make sense?
Joe: So what is the pattern? I hear that you go out with these guys and everything seems cool, but on the third date, things start to go different. Why do you think that is?
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