Is Online Dating Really Worthwhile?

Is Online Dating Really Worthwhile? [EXPERT]

... featuring an interview with YourTango Expert Joe Amoia.

YourTango: I don't know. This last guy I went out with was a perfect gentlemen on the first few dates. We were meshing really well and connecting, and then, on the third date, he blew up at my friend. We all met for drinks, and then he got angry at my friend because we couldn't find a cab home. All of a sudden, he just switched and this anger came out and I was like, "Oh my. Who is this guy?" A whole different guy came out.

Joe: Here's the thing: guys know what women want to hear. They know how to put up a front, and they know women are looking for relationships, so they know what to say and what to do. They know how to be on their good behavior. This is what you just reaffirmed. The good news is it only took three dates to figure it out what it sometimes takes women three years to learn.

The one thing I recommend with women is to have a screening process. I always recommend to email a couple of times and then talk on the phone, because very often you'll start to see these red flags. Does he call when he says he's going to call? Does he compliment you? People are who they are. If he is talking about how he was at work today and a co-worker was being an a-hole so they "got into it," that's a red flag. That's a reflection of how he's going to be six years down the road in a relationship.

YourTango: Good point. I remember sitting on my first online date, just looking across the table at this guy, and I could feel him looking at me thinking the same thing, "Aren't we two losers for meeting online?" Recently, I met a guy online and he travelled four hours to see me and he said, "Isn't this weird to you?" How do you shake that?

Joe: There are over a hundred million people looking for love online, so it's not like you are the only one. Just look at it, what is really strange about it?

YourTango: I've only gone on free sites. Would guys be more serious if they are paying for online dating?

Joe: Well, great question. Let me ask you this, do you value things more when you pay for them or when you get them for free?

YourTango: When I pay for them.

Joe: So the answer to your question is yes, absolutely. It's one of the things I recommend. It's one of the things I see consistently. If a guy isn't willing to spend 25 bucks a month to go online, what does that tell you first and foremost about how serious he is about finding love and then what does that say about his financial state? If he can't afford 25 bucks, do you want to be in a relationship with someone who's struggling to fund their bills? I'm not saying that you can't meet someone on a free site, but statistically is going to be that much harder because you have to weed through a lot more profiles.

YourTango: Joe, any other common issues you see women running into?

Joe: The most important thing is understanding the importance of a profile. That's why I favor sites where you actually write the profile. In a lot of these computerized programs, you check a box or write certain words and the computer picks them up. If you read a profile, you not only get a good sense of who a person is but you can also put out who you are. When a guy reads a profile, he decides within 15 seconds. If you don't grab his attention, if you don't show him your what he's looking for, guess where he's going? To the next profile.

YourTango: How do you do that?

Joe: You have to represent who you truly are. Once you're clear on what you're looking for, that's when you start to put it out there: this is who I am; this is how I'm special. We all think we're special but then we all think we're not special. What are your passions, what are your goals? Where do you want to go? Paint a picture of who you are, what you're looking for, and what you're not looking for. If you do that correctly, you're going to grab the guy who is looking for that, too.

Come back tomorrow for Online Dating Bootcamp: Day 3, Which Online Dating Site Is Right For You? featuring pros & cons by YourTango Experts Laurie Davis, Rick Clemons, Larry Cappel.