Christmas is almost here and it is not long before we get to the New Year. The time has come for New Years resolutions. Have you made yours yet? It was just a few years ago that one of my resolutions was to start looking for a soul mate. The idea of dating online certainly appealed to my sense of adventure but also scared me. Will it be a steep learning curve and what did my friends mean when they said you need to learn to play the dating game?
For me the first stage was to find a few local UK dating sites that were free. A quick Google search found two and I cautiously started exploring. After a while I found a woman’s profile that sounded great and we had some things in common so I signed up. The registration process was pretty straight forward. Just fill in some personal details and confirm your email through the link. Then I started looking around the websites and began thinking on who i would like to contact first. One thing surprised me and that was there didn’t seem to be anyone online. Later I found out that there are plenty of people online or at the very least picking up their messages.
I started with a simple search and found a page of results. Some seemed very light… limited information and no picture. Later on I discovered a lot of them were fake or fraudsters. When I eventually found a nice match and viewed their profile. It was easy to see some of their personality. Well the personality they wanted you to see.
The next stage was to actually sending a message. OMG! Now that is easier said than done! They seem so nice but what can you say? If you say ‘Hi’ they may think that is too little. If you tell them about your life they may think your boring and you have already said too much. The opening line can be one of the hardest times. Most people end up mentioning something like your really handsome or pretty. Some even mention something in the profile and try to connect your interest in the same thing. All this is done with the knowledge that they may not reply. What if they do reply? Your new to dating and they are so experienced. Should you tell them? How can you possible play the dating game if you don’t know the rules.
In truth there is no right or wrong way to start communicating. The fact that you made the effort means your already in the game. If they respond in a positive way you might wonder if you have done the right thing. If they respond in a negative way then you must have broken a rule. Then the worst of all…. no response at all. You thought there was a connection but a few days have gone by and there is no message in your inbox.
All of this is quite taxing which gives you a better understanding of why dating online is not really that easy. In real life you can walk up to someone and ask them about their day or offer to buy them a coffee. A simple yes no situation and rejection is not quite so difficult to accept. Online is completely different as the person your contacting may have 100 replies.
So how did I meet my wife online and what worked for us. In truth it was really just fate. I had been dating on about 5 websites and had several dates. For her she was not able to go on dates as lived with her employer and their family. She was a Domestic Helper which in European terms would be a housekeeper/nanny/maid. Three jobs in one.
My wife to be found my profile and sent a basic “Hello, how are you?” message. My response was pretty lame… something like “fine, and how are you?”. My wife admits she thought I was a scammer from that answer. Anyway we continued sending short messages to each other for a day then started to be a bit more open.
Francisco Bangoy International Airport
Both of us were under no illusion that online dating is not real life so we were able to speak freely knowing that if things went well one day we would actually meet in real life. For me that moment happened in Davao airport and it was a amazing time.
I did notice a number of pitfalls along the online dating path. The main one was apathy. If you are popular then your inbox never seems to be empty and you can feel the weight of not missing your ideal match. If you have no responses you can start to feel desperate and will consider making things up to at least get a response. That is when it is best to take a break from online dating and just get on with your life. You can always go back to it in a few months time.