Second hand shopper’s initial thoughts on online dating

Ok, so a week hardly makes me an expert on this topic. What it does make me is a newbie, so I thought I’d share some thoughts and realisations for fellow newbies out in the wider world of online dating…

1) If your freak beacon is on full power in the real world it will be equally powerful in the online dating community. You will still attract the usual oddballs and eccentrics – and yes, anyone who boasts about the fact that other online dating sites threw him out for being “too weird” falls into this category. The positive of online dating is that rather than having to pretend they’re not weirding you out by following you, dodging from tree to lamp-post to bus shelter, you can just hit the “not interested” button and let match do the hard work for you!

2) Hitting that “not interested” button gets less painful each time you do it. Rejecting people quickly becomes guiltless – particularly if you get lots of practice in on the freaks and weirdos!

3) If you’re writing your profile and worried about it being too long, don’t be. The more information about yourself there is, the more people can ask you about, and the easier it is to write that introductory email.

4) Equally, when writing your profile be honest and accessible. Writing in obscure quotations that only your perfect match would understand is going to severely limit your options (and trust me, even if the reader gets all of the quotations, they’ll still think you fall into the aforementioned “freaks and weirdos” category). Don’t write what you think they want to read, write what is true!

5) And on that topic, be your whole self. If someone finds it “a little odd” that you claim to like comedy but also like ballet, they may just be a little too narrow-minded for you. It’s hard work living up to false expectations!

6) If you want to initiate contact, just do it. Send that wink or nudge or whatever your site of choice does, and if they don’t get back to you, don’t stress! Do bear in mind that if you’re looking at that guy’s profile thinking he’s out of your league there’s a decent chance he’s doing the same to yours. Bite that bullet – you’ve come this far afterall!

7) If you’re initiating email contact, you’re much more likely to elicit a response if you ask lots of questions about the person. The emails I’ve replied to fastest are the ones asking me about myself, simply because they’re the easiest to write! Ask them to elaborate on their profile – say their job sounds interesting and ask what it entails, or pick a hobby that intrigues you and find out how they got into it.

8) Have fun!! From my perspective, online dating (like most things online) is proving rather addictive. Every wink or email you get is another little confidence boost – and as long as you don’t let the boosts be outweighed by the rejections, it can provide a great quick hit to your self-esteem!

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