Online Dating Tips That Will Help You Find Love
Yesterday’s radio show was filled with lots of great tips on how to become more successful in online dating. My guest, Michelle Frankel, of NYCity Matchmaking and Coaching, shared so much useful information, I am highlighting some of her best online dating tips for you.
Michelle found love online, but her husband wasn’t her first date. In fact, he was the 1,000th date she went on! She reminded the audience, online dating is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. If you want to succeed, you need to stay in the game.
Highlights of My Interview on Online Dating Tips
Sandy: 1,000 dates is a lot! How did you stay positive throughout the dating process?
Michelle: Dating can feel tedious, but to stay positive, make your dates into activities that you want to do, regardless of whether you were on a date or not. You might as well have company doing something you enjoy doing. Focus on the positives during the date and after the date.
People put so much pressure on, is he/she the one? Look at dating as a networking opportunity. You’re meeting someone new. That might lead to a business opportunity, a best friend, who knows? Without putting the focus on whether or not he’s your husband, there is no pressure, which is the best way to date.
Sandy: Should a woman help plan the date?
Michelle: In general, men prefer to plan the date, but there’s nothing wrong with making a suggestion, such as going to a museum. Let him make the final plans. Your job is to show up and be the best date you can be. It’s important that your date thinks you’re a good person, whether or not you continue to date him/her.
Sandy: What are your best online dating tips?
Michelle: Be careful and purposeful in marketing yourself as to how you want to be perceived. Your profile and photos give a an impression of who you are. Your image is really important.
Photos are everything. You won’t get a chance to talk to someone if you don’t lure them in with your good photos. Get new photos every other year, either by a friend or a professional photographer. They should not be posed in a studio. Look your best. Your background can be trees, a brick wall, anything that makes you stand out and look interesting. DON’T: post 16 photos, a photo of a sunset, or of your cat or dog without you in the picture. DO: Post 5 or 6 great photos. All photos should be consistent. A person viewing your photos online will find the worst photo and assume that’s what you really look like. Post around 3 really good photos. One full length. Don’t crop people out; take photos of you alone. Any photos with people cropped out can lead to assumptions.
Sandy: How do you feel about people having a list of what they want in a mate?
Michelle: Open your mind and throw out the list. You’re being exposed to so many people you wouldn’t meet in your everyday life, so keep an open mind. Maintain your parameters. Religious belief and values are important. Daily lifestyle is not as important. My husband is a vegetarian. I never thought I’d end up with one. He’s also a marathon runner and goes to the gym daily. I’m lucky if I go to the gym twice a week. Be open minded about things like that. I love my husband, and he wouldn’t have been on my list!
Sandy: How do you create a great profile/marketing piece?
Michelle: Keep the profile short and to the point. Between 6-10 sentences, punchy, playful, positive, no negativity. Own that you’re dating online! And maintain some mystery. People don’t want to know everything about you. Make it unique. Choose something about yourself that’s irrelevant but different and stands out. For example, your apartment is the one that always has the aroma of baking. Illustrate your personality. Adventurous? Say you went on an African safari.
Keep it 100% real. So many people lie about something in their profile; age, height, weight. If you’re looking for someone of a certain age and you’ve lied, they’ll wonder what else you lied to them about.
Your user name. Don’t use the numbers given to you when you signed up for the stie. Use words that describe who you are and what you’re looking for. If you’re serious about finding love, it can be something like WomanForKeeps.
Sandy: What should you NOT DO online?
Michelle: Don’t lie, like I just said. Don’t get addicted to online dating. This is a real problem for some people. They don’t make enough effort to get to know their dates because there’s always someone better, another date to go on. If you’re looking for a serious relationship, be mindful to not get addicted. Stay present to the person you’re getting to know. Otherwise, you won’t reach your end goal, which is to get offline.
Sandy: How do you effectively correspond and get to that first date?
Michelle: Be mindful that you don’t want to become someone’s penpal. You’re online to potentially meet someone to date. How can you achieve that? When corresponding, be specific about something you read in their profile. Let it be personal. Be aware of spelling and grammar. Not lots of smiley faces. No winks or IMs; that’s very passive. If you’re interested, write an email. IMs can be intrusive. You can write ‘no winking’ in your profile by skipping a line, putting an asterisk, and writing, ‘please don’t wink, but I look forward to your email’.
Sandy: You got asked out on a date – now what?
Michelle: The most important thing is to be smart. There is no screening mechanism as to who’s posted a profile online. The majority of people online are good people. Women should always go to a public place, and let someone know where you’ll be. Never let a man pick you up or bring you back to your home.
Sandy: What should people talk about on a date?
Michelle: When you meet this person for the first time, you shouldn’t be talking about really intimate topics. Past relationships are an inappropriate topic for the first or second date. You can say, ‘I am an open book, and would be happy to share about that a few weeks down the road’. Again, stay positive, don’t criticize them, but change the topic to something less intimate for a first or second date.
The first date is the pre-date, to decide if you want to go on a second date, not whether this is your potential future partner. Ask yourself, ‘Am I having fun? Am I laughing? Enjoying myself?’ If they don’t give you the heeby jeebies, go on a second date.
Sandy: How do you choose the right dating site?
The biggest and most popular site is Match.com.
How about we is a site for finding people who like doing the same activities. “How about we go kayaking. Or bowling. Or hiking”. You choose the activity you like, and you’re matched with someone who likes the same activity. It has a smaller membership, but you may find someone great on that site.
Eharmony, a scientifically based matching system, makes you jump through hoops to get through all the stages of meeting someone, but people on this site are serious.
Okcupid and plenty of fish are the top two free sites. They are heavily linked to geography, and while they may be more successful in New York, they are less successful in places like the midwest. They are also more successful in the younger age bracket, 20’s – 40’s.
People should join two sites.
Sandy: Any parting words, Michelle?
Michelle: Lots of clients come to me for matchmaking, and I still make them go online. As a marketer, I know it’s the most efficient way to date. While you’re sleeping, at the gym, or at work, you’re marketing yourself. You won’t be exposed to so many people through any other dating service.
Click here for my full interview with Michelle.
For more midlife dating advice and a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” click here.