Friday, April 10, 2009


For all those who are newly single, novice computer users, or those not getting any results from present online efforts.
  1. MOTIVE: Decide if you are serious about finding a mate or just dating for specific events or just intimate encounters.
  2. PREPARE (PART ONE): Make a list of what you are looking for in a date/mate. Use this list to compose a short description to have ready to copy and paste into your profile. It should be a paragraph or two, no more. Spell check please!
  3. PREPARE (PART TWO): Make a list of what makes you unique and what you offer a date/mate. If you cannot create at least a paragraph about yourself, ask family or friends to describe you and what you have to offer. This is a sales pitch, so make it short and to the point. Spell check please!
  4. DATING SITE: Choose a dating site online. This can be done by using a search engine and typing in "dating online" or "free dating online" to offer you options of not having to pay for your membership. There are sites for all kinds of dating, from religious-based to interracial to alternate lifestyles to just hooking up for a one-night-stand. DO NOT SIGN UP YET! Bookmark the site(s) and come back when you are prepared.
  5. VISUAL BAIT: Once you have chosen your site (or sites <- more on this later), get a good digital CURRENT picture of you, SMILING. This should be a head shot - your head, face, and shoulders should fill most of the picture frame, even if you have to crop the picture. (Cropping the picture means choosing just you and getting rid of all the other image information/background.) NO sunglasses! NO hats! NO disguises! They want to see your face, close up, with a pleasant look or smile to show how friendly you are! You should not look like you are in the witness protection program or on the 10 most wanted list. SMILE!
  6. SIGN UP: Once you have gathered your descriptions and picture(s) to upload and credit card to join, if necessary. Type your descriptions (which you should have done already so you can copy and paste) and make sure your pictures are accessible on your computer (or on a CD). If your grammar and punctuation is weak, have someone better at it proofread your descriptions before you upload, and SPELLCHECK! Give yourself and hour or two to sign up and you can always edit later.
  7. FOLLOW UP!: Log in regularly. Once a day for the first week and then every other day, or at least once a week (preferably Sunday or Monday so you could possibly have a date the next weekend!). Matches are usually sent to your email daily or however frequently you set up in your preferences. Review profiles you have been matched with and answer any emails you have received, even if not interested. It's common courtesy. (Winks and expressions of interest need not be acknowledged unless you are interested.) It's like applying for a job! You do not want to do this all on Friday.
  8. RESPOND/INITIATE: If there is a contact you are interested in, respond/initiate with a short note that you are interested in getting to know them better. Ask a question, give a little more information, or say what interested you about them. This will spark a reply, maybe. Do not be disappointed or feel rejected if there is no response. Keep trying until you make a connection with one of your matches.
  9. CONNECTION: You have made a connection; exchanged emails, instant messaged each other, and spoke on the phone. These are essential steps to knowing for sure that you want to meet each other. The first meeting should be short (plan for 30 mins to an hour) and no pressure. In most cases, one or both of you will decide in the first 10 minutes if there's a chance there is chemistry. You are adults and can decide how to proceed but if you are looking for a long term relationship, you should part wanting more. Make a real date for the soonest weekend and make it clear who is going to call whom first and when.
  10. FIRST DATE (OF MANY?): If the first date has been made around an event (party, work-related, family/friend birthday) then you should have talked to each other several times before the event to make sure everything is understood. If it's just a first date, then plan something that both will enjoy or surprise yourselves with something neither of you has done before. Discovering new things together can be a great bonding experience. Do not expect sex on the first date, unless you both have discussed it and that's all you want out of the date. Be honest and communicate!
This is just the beginning, or it could be the end, for you as a couple. Brief encounters can be fun as long as neither of you expects anything long term. In my opinion, they are the dessert, not the main course or soul (pun intended) diet. Think of what shape you would be in only eating dessert. Some of you will become friends, some will remain strangers, but with 6 billion people in the world, what are the chances you will find the perfect soul mate if you don't keep trying?

I will be expanding on these points in the future. And I welcome any comments or experiences that you've had that might help me or my other readers. Thanks and happy dating!

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