The Grown Woman’s Guide to Online Dating

Not long ago, online dating wasn't widely accepted. It was seen as the internet version of wandering singles bars, hoping to bump into a match. Thankfully, more people have come to realize that genuine and passionate romances can blossom online. The numbers speak for themselves: an estimated 30% of marrying couples met online. An additional 15% of Americans have dipped their toes into the world of dating sites and apps.

Running into each other at a party and feeling an instant spark might be a nice ideal, but when it comes to convenience and effectiveness, it's outmatched by technology. It's easier to find someone now than at any other point in history. The benefits might be even more pronounced if you're older. Research has found that people looking for a lover online are likely to have a good education and full time jobs. How do you nab yourself one of these guys? Read on.

Make Your Profile Stylish

A proven strategy is to make three quarters of your profile about you, and the fourth about what you want in a match. Remember to be specific in both parts. You want the person reading your profile to get a clear picture of who you are. Likewise, you want don't want to leave any doubts about the traits you want in a partner.

After structure, focus on style. A profile description like "My ideal match loves family, is well-read and can switch gears from a fun party on a Friday night to sitting together on a mellow Saturday." Let your personality shine through.

Capture Your Good Side

While a corporate headshot is a great idea for your LinkedIn, it doesn't have much use on dating sites and apps. What you want to go for instead is a picture that makes you look more inviting. Another type of picture to avoid is the mirror selfie; it can make you come off ass vain. There's a rule to good profile pictures and it can be summed up into three Cs: color, context and character. The color part is about having pictures with lively shades. Red usually does the trick.

The context aspect involves having pictures that show show your hobbies. The last C, character, is about pictures that show a quirky or funny side to you. Maybe a picture of you at a convention or in the costume you wore last Halloween. Put these together and you'll have a three-picture combo that's both welcoming and bustling with personality.

Take Initiative

Algorithms used by dating apps have gotten highly advanced but they're long way off from reading your mind. If you find someone you like, message him. If the dating site or app has a "like" feature, don't be shy to use it on everyone you think might have potential. With many sites, being active bumps your profile to the top, making you more visible to prospects.

When you message, try not to be too generic. Your personality should be on full display just as it was when making your profile. Send a message commenting on something in his profile. You can even add a question to make the conversation natural. Let's say for example that his profile says he likes chocolate. You can start the conversation off by saying "Nothing beats chocolate :). What's your favorite?" Giving your messages a personal touch goes a long way.

Take Your Time

When you meet a match and he's everything you dreamed and more, you might feel a little tempted to be forward. The best thing to do, however, is to maintain a natural pace. Let things progress organically. Try not to focus too much on turning the conversation into a meetup. Instead, chat and have fun. Ask questions that help you get to know the person and, when the moment arrives, you can slip in a line hinting that you should meet.

He might invite you on a date first after enjoying your wit, humor and personality over text. Whichever way it goes, you'll be glad you spoke for a while on the dating site because the chemistry you built up will make your date go much smoother.

Taking your time also applies to the actual date. Let the conversation flow naturally and focus more on enjoying yourself.

How To Make It Easier To Find a Match

Meet 9 People

According to science, our brains can only handle between five and nine options at a time. Anything more than that and we're going to experience cognitive overload. After that, you'll find yourself nitpicking and searching for reasons to say no. Pick nine people, go on dates with them and then take a short break as you get to know at least one.

Have 3 Deal-Breakers

Having at least three things that will end the deal for you is a good way to make sure that you are reducing your standards for the sake of meeting someone. If there's something you feel that you can't tolerate, you can make that a deal-breaker. This can be anything from smoking to not being able to keep time. While most focus on their wants, it's also important to focus on needs. Wants are things like attractiveness and a sense of humor. Needs are more profound, like good communication and respect for each other.

Go on 3 dates

Even if you feel that it's not a match after the first date, go on a second, then a third. While you might feel that you are searching for chemistry, what you might actually want is someone who meets your needs. While attraction is important, it tends to fade if you're not a long term match. If someone meets your needs you'll find that attraction follows naturally.

Final Thoughts

Online dating can at first seem like navigating a maze with twists and turns. At the heart of it, it's really just about putting yourself out there and letting the best things about you take the spotlight. With this guide, you'll have a much easier time doing that. What that means is you'll have a much better chance to find a match and that passionate romance you've been waiting for.

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