You've been working on your wardrobe, got over your summer fling and survived the anxiety that comes with the June through August wedding rush. So you put down the money to renew your online dating subscription, made sure to upload new photos of the hotter sun-kissed you, and even had a friend edit your personal profile.
But suddenly it's almost New Year's and you're still fantasizing about woulda/shoulda/coulda, feeling sorry for yourself and scheduling clandestine rendezvous with your DVR. Stop chastising yourself! Online dating is a game and chances are you are not playing it right. So in order to find the perfect pick, here are the rules of engagement:
Learn Not to Take it Personally: You simply cannot let a few unnoticed pokes or a series of bad first dates send you into a tail spin. Yes, rejection is difficult. But is it rejection when you don't even know the person on the other side of the screen? And if a person decides to blow you off after one evening of cocktails do you really know what's going on in their head? So don't waste time writing their story when you could be working on your own.
If you take a step back you will realize it is not a reflection of what you look like, how much you make or where you live. It all boils down to one thing and one thing only and that's timing. What's important to remember is that each person you meet brings you one step closer to the person with whom you are meant to be.
Find the Right Spot to Settle Down: Many singles gravitate to the most popular sites without realizing that profiles can get lost or overlooked in the highly trafficked dating destinations. You are more likely to find success by sticking to smaller, niche sites whose members meet your search criteria right off the bat.
To find a spot that's right for you, stick with what you know (skills, interests, education or career), where you are (age, location or life stage specific) and/or what matters to you (The environment, fitness, religion). And whether you're looking for a super tall mate or want to canoodle with a Star Trek fan, chances are you will come across a dating website that's ideally suited for you.
Imperfect Your Profile: It may not seem obvious but even the most prolific writers have a hard time perfecting their profiles. Here's what you need to remember. Most normal people shy away from those who (a) disclose their annual salary (b) post aggrandizing personal shots or (c) write themselves to perfection. And, try not to preface your bio by excusing yourself for why you are looking for love on line. Your profile should paint a picture of who you are and should never justify what you look like, so make sure it's accurate, heartfelt or humorous and uniquely you. For example, rather than rationalizing being a tomboy one SingleEdition.com poster told how she listed all her "shortcomings," including the fact that she hates getting her nails done, is not into jewelry and does not waste her time straightening her naturally curly hair. Her honest, self-deprecating humor attracted more men than ever before. How To Translate Online Dating Profiles
Learn How to Break Boundaries: Your search criteria can be killing your success, so carefully contemplate your preference settings. Start by evaluating your expectations to make sure they are realistic and then adjust accordingly to broaden the scope of your search. If you're urban, chances are there are plenty of suburban types that are worth finding so why stay limited to the city? Similarly, if your age cutoff is too low or height requirements too tall, you may just want to adjust those parameters. Just consider Michael, a 37-year-old divorced financial planner from Boston who ultimately met his wife when he went to an age limit of 35 after three years of searching.
Optimize Your Rankings: As sophisticated as technology may be, the most active or newest profiles often receive the most prominent exposure. How can anyone ever find you when your profile is at the bottom of the pile? It's easy to improve your search ranking performance, just make sure to edit or adjust your profile, even just slightly, every once in a while.
Try Not to Become a Serial Player: Over scheduling has its dangers. But when it comes to online dating pitfalls include, but are not limited to, burn-out, hasty oversights and poor decision making, like the regretted one night stand. Think of online dating as an extended vacation rather than your outlook calendar at work. And remember, we are all connected so you will most likely get caught if you decide to date more than one person at a time.
Avoid Full Disclosure: Bear in mind that you are dealing with a perfect stranger. This means you should not be talking through that morning's therapy points or revealing the details of your inheritance before the initial encounter, or even on the first few dates. By keeping emails short and conversations light you will not only be playing it safe, but keeping them wanting more. 5 Acceptable First Date Lies
Learn How to Diversify: As with anything else, it's important not to put all your eggs in one basket. While online dating is a great vehicle for meeting new people, it should not completely replace other efforts. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there by accepting fix ups, trying offline matchmaking events or attending social events and parties.