Online Dating Part 1: The System

What is an online dating post doing on a blog about learning? Simple, life is an ocean and each ebb and flow of our lives is a learning experience. Online dating is just another part of life. I was sitting with a great friend having a drink and we were laughing over, the at times the hilarious but brutal reality of online dating. She said, “Ceit, you need to write about it!” She went on to say all of these antidotal stories are important to women, not just woman, but to all woman. Certainly, men can benefit from my handy dandy system. Oh come on, I am an Instructional Designer, so I do have a system.

Of course, this system didn’t come easy, as with anything worth learning, there were ups and downs. The biggest hurdle of online dating is not getting a clear picture of who you are talking to. So part of my system is to identify who you are talking to. That might seem easy because dating sites and meet-up sites have pictures of people and beautiful, and some not, written profiles. It’s not, why, people lie, apparently a lot, especially online, and especially men.

The System!

  1. Really look at the profile and picture. Some sites don’t let you get to the full profile, while other sites let you. For instance, look at the age, does the age match the photo, yes there are some people that don’t look their age, I am one of them. I get that. But use common sense.
    1. Is the picture recent? Many times men post pictures of their “best” manly look, that might be from years ago.
    2. Does the profile summary match the text language? Yes, sometimes people let others write their profile information. This can be annoying. It’s always good to ask questions about their profile. If they don’t answer directly, it’s time to move on.
    3. Look for red flags or even good flags. For instances if you always wanted to date and be in a relationship with a fellow Treker, well see what their likes are, if they say I hate sci-fi, that might be an indicator of not a good match for you.
    4. Make sure that your lifestyle and their lifestyle is compatible. For instance, I pretty much lead a childfree life, so if I was looking at a profile and he says that he is a single father of 3 children under the age of 13. I know that I don’t want to be a stepmom. I love kids but it doesn’t make any sense to me to even approach him.
    5. To good to be true:
      1. Do the pictures look it was taken by a professional – The guy looks like he just walked off the cover of GQ or they look like advertisement pictures.
      2. Does the profile say he is a millionaire or well off, usually, people with money don’t advertise it.
      3. The picture is of a man dressed in Military uniform or Gear. This is a red flag. Not saying military personnel don’t go on dating sites, they just don’t do it in uniform. If the uniform is Navy, and the guy says he is a Military Man, you know, to run, ( I willl be talking about Scammers in a later blog post. But I can’t tell you how many generals I have wanting just me. LOL
  2. Say Hello!
    1. Say hello and say something about their profile, this really does help start a communication. Don’t wait until they text you.
  3. Engage:
    1. Ask questions.
      1. If the profile says they are from a city or town next door, ask them if they been to a place you know. If they say, well they are actually living overseas and haven’t been home in a long time, then you know to move on.
    2. Ask him/her to meet.
      1. The purpose of online dating is to bring it to an offline public setting
        1. Safety first:
          1. bright open places
          2. Have a Wing person. Give a friend the name of the place that you are meeting someone. Text your friend at different times through the date and tell the person you are meeting that you are doing this.
        2. If they can’t meet, but wish only to communicate online or through an outside program like, Skype, kik, email, or any other messenger service that should send up red flags.
      2. Have Fun!
        1. There might have been chemistry during the texting and phone phase but let’s face it, you will only know until you meet them.
        2. It’s okay not to have chemistry.
        3. Try different places to meet. Something that you both might like.
        4. It’s okay if you or the other person don’t like each other, it’s a date!
      3. Be TRUE to You.
        1. Don’t settle.

These are simple steps or they should be. I left a lot of things out and I will cover more things along the way. The simple fact is that you need to be a bit of an investigator because many times people lie about almost everything online.  There are many reasons.

I did leave an important part. it’s a standalone piece. It’s the rules of engagement and is part of the lifestyle part of it as well. Here is a list:

  1. Can they meet you tomorrow: This isn’t about, no I can’t because I have plans, but rather, it’s to see if they are real and not a scammer or other dubious reason. If they can meet great if they can’t you might want to investigate.
  2. Are they employed? Now before you say, but… Hear me out. If it isn’t important to you, it’s fine. But dating someone who cannot afford to do things, is not fun. It’s a drain on you. I am not saying don’t give someone a chance because they aren’t employed, but it could be a red flag.How are they supporting themselves, are they looking for a free meal?
  3. Do they have a car? If this isn’t a lifestyle choice. Meaning they live in an area that affords them not to have one, or they want to reduce their carbon footprint, or because they have a disability – But can get around, without your car. It’s pretty difficult to date someone who can’t come to you or meet you half way. Transportation is a must. For instance a person I started talking to lived only about a 15 minute car ride, when we started talking about meeting he told me that he didn’t have a car, and would have come by bus (which would take an hour). I said no because I didn’t want to be responsible for him missing a bus, and I really didn’t want to drive a stranger home.

 

This is my system. It’s not infallible, but it’s a start. My next post is about Scammers, how to spot, block and report!

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