Online Dating Tips!

I once had a dream where I'd gone to school happy as a clam only to look down and see that I'd completely forgotten to put clothes on. Although no one seemed to be bothered by my nudity, I felt this extreme sense of nervousness and 100% out of my element. Add in a few finger pointers, some laughs and overall awkwardness and you have a direct comparison to how the online dating scene makes me and millions of other singles out there feel. Okay, I'm over exaggerating on this one but let's admit that dating is a sink or swim, walk the plank, hang on tight for the ride sort of predicament.   You're either going to find someone or you're not.

In a world where you can date out of a digital cocoon, have potential matches delivered right to your inbox, selectively sort through them, come to a quick judgement and delete them at the click of a button- why on earth have millions of people decided to partake in this vulnerable battlefield we call online dating?

A couple years ago I may have referred to the online dating scene with words along the lines of 'reject central' or 'loserville', yet now that I'm 28, single and actively looking, I find myself in a position where I'm convincing my parents that online dating is the norm and that everyone's doing it. For a woman like myself: a self-proclaimed workaholic who doesn’t aspire to spend her weekends frolicking the club scene, is this what it's boiled down to, or should I take it upon myself to picket the local grocery store and meet the man of my dreams the 'traditional way'?

Don't get me wrong, there are times where I think to myself that online dating isn't so bad even for the sheer entertainment value it brings to my life. My friends also seem to appreciate a good afternoon chuckle after I re-enact my dating horror stories. But, at the end of the day, if you're like me - hopeless romantic, believer of love, fight 'till the death then you may be willing to sift through a few duds to find the one.   Here's a glimpse at some of the gems from my online world and some useful tips that I’ve picked up on:

Bad Chris- We've all been there. The guy who’s clearly bad news for you; your friends are sick of hearing you complain and have told you to give him the boot but you keep putting it off. TIP: If you can’t see him in your life for the rest of your life, then do yourself a favour and move on. Drama is not worth your precious energy.

Mean Martin- This is the guy that you wish you’d never given your number to and for some reason, you caved and now he’s starting to become creepy. TIP: use caution when handing out your number to online potentials unless you plan on changing it in the very near future. Exchanging email addresses is always a better start.   Also, never lend mean Martin any of your DVDs because you’ll never see them again.

Mr. No Personality- I’ve always been attracted to the loud assertive guy, so you can imagine how awkward it is when I’m stuck with someone who’s asked me how my day was for the 3rd time in a row. TIP: Chemistry is a must but sometimes first dates can be nerve racking, so give the guy a chance. Unless he is completely lacking in the personality department in which case I’d classify him as “vanilla” and say arrivederci!

Aaron Airport- This one was not an online find, but a great story nonetheless. While waiting for a flight, two parents approached me in the waiting lounge claiming that I would be the perfect match for their single son. Being the romantic that I am, I figured, why not? Before I knew it, the mother had already pulled out a photo album filled with pictures of her endearing angel.   One thing led to another and come Monday morning we'd started to exchange emails. Upon setting our first date, he'd proceeded to tell me that his parents did not like his girlfriend and that they’d been trying to break them up for quite some time. He then proceeded to ask me if we could still go out on dates as friends; as a result, I never spoke to him again. TIP: It’s a tough world out there, but you should always stick with your instinct. It’s always a good idea to do some investigating prior to meeting someone; asking whether they have a girlfriend is always a great starting point.

Online dating can leave you feeling slightly exposed, but with so many unique characters out there, it is a learning experience and a great way to groom your dating etiquette. There are two standard rules through trial and error that I’ve always committed to in search for the one:

1)   He’s just not that into you: when a man wants something he will do what it takes to get it. If the guy you’re interested in is not making the calls, sending you the messages or making an effort to set the next date, then it’s safe to assume that he is just not that into you. Save yourself the time and heartache. Move on.

2) Never settle for anything less than butterflies: Butterflies are essential! I truly believe that chemistry is what paves the way for a long term, loving relationship but that's just me.

Good luck out there and have fun!