With increasingly hectic schedules and technology driven social lives, meeting a special someone online is becoming more and more common. I will outline five rules I learned through personal experience to help you along your way.
1. First Encounters
One of the first things to consider is where you are going to start looking. There are many sites designed specifically for dating but generally have fees associated or are saturated with false profiles. The best place to start is on the social networks you currently belong to such as Facebook. It may seem strange but being friendly and honest is always the key. Another site that I always had great experience with is MeetMe.com. With many streamlined methods of randomly running into new faces you are guaranteed to hit off a few new conversations. As long as you stay genuine odds are more in your favor.
2. Conversation Pointers
In conversations it is good to be the momentum and the flow. I have always had the best luck when I am not only engaging with what the other person says but trying to continue on to new topics such as favorite music or food. Often there is a nervous tension associated with new online conversations and the best way to overcome that is to find areas where you can relate. However, if you have been trying to start something for too long and there is still no interest, sometimes the most advantageous move is to continue to another person.
3. Extended Network to Local Network
Now if you have successfully hit it off with someone for a decent amount of time it MAY be appropriate to try and move the conversation up to a slightly more personal level by exchanging phone numbers. The timing on this must be carefully done and judged by the other persons apparent comfort level. I have found that if i try to make it more convenient to talk to someone too fast they shy away. Generally this means I did not succeed at overcoming the slight nervous tension and stigma associate with meeting online. Remember not to be hasty, just go with the flow.
4. Do Not Be Overbearing
Once you have exchanged numbers, it is slightly more personal and convenient to talk to one another, but there is still some caution to be learned during this phase. Do not mistake convenience as a need to constantly be in contact. It is extremely easy to bother someone at this point if you go over the conversation comfort zone. Try to let the other person initiate talking; this way you can be sure that they are interested.
5. Meeting In Person
This is quite possibly the most difficult part of online dating. There are so many things running through each persons head depending on the level of contact they had previously. I would like to share a few things that always helped ease this, as well as one thing that is EXTREMELY important. In order to help yourself and the other person feel more secure about the meeting it is a great idea to use Skype or another form of web video chat to have a first encounter. If this can’t be arranged verbal talking on the phone rather than text helps slightly as well. It is also important to have a plan that both of you are aware of whether it be having a dinner together or shopping at the mall and often is great to be accompanied by other friends. Which brings me to my last point that can not be emphasized enough: ALWAYS meet in public. No matter how safe it feels there is always a potential for something to go slightly wrong. Safety first.
I hope with these few bits of knowledge I acquired along the way you are able to be successful in finding someone. I used online dating through MeetMe.com for seven years and met with several people during that time. I can happily say that I’ve been in a relationship for over four years and have 6-month-old daughter with one person who I met using online dating. Best of luck!