Q: Dear April,
I always thought that online dating was for people who couldn't find romance any other way, but now it seems like everyone I know is doing it—even my really good-looking friends. So, I think I'm ready to go for it, too. But before I do, can you tell what I need to know. Is it really right for everyone? Do you think it's better than "regular" dating? And do you have any suggestions for how to find—and make—the best profile?
A: Dear Cyber-Curious,
Internet dating—once considered a refuge for the socially inept and sadly desperate—is fast becoming a way of life for single adults of all persuasions, levels of attractiveness, and financial status. In other words, just about every single out there is logging on to find love.
Why people are logging on (the three As)
- Access–It's immediate and it's 24/7, and while in real-time dating you could never date 30 people in one night—with online dating, you can.
- Affordability—Gone are the days of laying out tons of cash to learn the basics about your potential date. For less than $25 a month you can meet hundreds (if not thousands) of potential dates. In fact, most sites offer either a free trial membership to test out their services or are totally free.
- Anonymity—Cyber connecting feels safe because you're behind a computer screen and it is largely nameless, allowing you to be as honest—or as dishonest—as you like.
Who's logging on
Nope, there's no longer any one type of person who's logging on…we all are. But with all of the thousands of people clicking their way to love it's become tougher—and more important—than ever to really know how to navigate your way through all the profiles out there…and how to make your own stand out above the rest. (http://www.askapril.com/for_everyone.php)
When looking at profiles:
1. Find the sites that are right for you—There are so many sites out there targeted to specific interests and wants—from religion to politics, financial status to hobbies. Do a little investigation and find a handful that seem tailor made for you and go with those over the more generic sites.
2. Have a clear idea in your mind about what you want—Unlike meeting someone in person, dating online allows you total freedom to pick exactly what qualities you do and do not want. So you'd better know what they are…and take advantage of the chance to weed away anyone who doesn't fit the bill. (http://www.askapril.com/soulsearching.php)
3. It's all in the details—Once you've narrowed the playing field and have ten to fifteen profiles you like, it's time to pay closer attention to the finer details. Did he/she answer all the questions that were asked of them? Are there lots of misspelled words? Do they use sarcasm to avoid giving honest answers? Any of these are signs that they aren't taking the process very seriously. Consider yourself warned!
4. Don't settle for one—Date or picture, that is. Make sure you don't focus all of your energies on one person, and also make sure that you always ask to see more than one picture.
When making your own profile:
1. Give it time—Once you make the decision to put your profile up, you'll likely be eager to get it online. But I suggest applying a two-day rule. That means, spend as much time as you need writing your profile until you love it, then spend two days showing it to your most trusted friends and advisors to see what they think before it goes live.
2. Be a risk-taker—Sure, you want your profile to be smart and witty, but you've also got to do something to stand out from all the others. Be creative with it—write an outrageous headline, put up provocative photo, or make them an offer they can't refuse. Be bold!
3. Put your best photo forward—Just like I always advise making sure to see more than one photo, I also always tell people to post more than one, as well. Get a great head-shot taken (black and white is classic and always helps you look your best) and use that as your main picture. Then be sure to include full body shots and some spontaneous photos that show you doing something you love, or just being silly. In some cases, photos will speak more about you than any words you can write.
4. Help for hire—If you're still a little unsure about what to do with your profile, there are professionals out there just waiting to help you. And don't worry about it being misleading if they're writing your profile for you. Really, they're just helping you be you…but better!
For even more straightforward suggestions and creative tips to help your own profile stand out from the competition, visit http://www.AskApril.com where you can sign up for my seminar all about online dating, called Modern Mating http://www.askapril.com/for_everyone.php. In this information-packed workshop, you'll discover:
- How to write a winning profile—what gets attention, provokes responses
- Why there should be no more than five emails before meeting in person
- How to create cyber sex appeal and flirt online
- And so much more!
Ready for even more bold, brutally honest, and always helpful dating advice? Visit my Web site, www.Ask April.com There, you'll find informative articles, expert columnists, interactive quizzes, and free giveaways! And don't forget to also check out my workshops, designed to help you find you real "soul mate"!
© 2005 April Masini
Nicknamed "the new millennium's Dear Abby" by the media, April Masini writes 'AskApril.com,' the hot, provocative dating and relationship online magazine, the critically acclaimed 'Ask April' advice column and is the author of the best-selling book, Date Out Of Your League (TurnKey Press, 0-9746763-0-6) as well as the newly released, Think & Date Like A Man (iUniverse, 0-595-37466-2). Interviewed for over 2,100 national and international articles and opinion pieces, radio and televions shows, including those on CBS, FOX, ABC, CNN, MSN, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Daily News, Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Cosmopolitan, Maxim, Wired, AOL, WebMD, and Yahoo! -- "April writes what Dear Abby will never print, and what your shrink doesn't have the guts to tell you!"
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