I keep no secrets- I met my husband on eHarmony. After a bad breakup from a long term relationship, and on encouragement from a good friend, I gave it a shot one Friday evening over a heap of nerves and a glass of wine. I was skeptical about trying online dating again since I had tried it before and had more bad dates than good ones. I barely used the site at all. Then, on the evening of my 31st birthday, and after asking God to make something magical happen in my life, I received a note from eHarmony saying, "Hassan can't stop smiling." I checked out his profile and thought I'd give him a chance. We chatted through the site for days until I decided to give him the digits. Our first conversation lasted 4 hours and into the wee hours of the morning and the rest they say is history.
Now I know how our story ended up, but I am fully aware of the stigma and sometime-horrors of online dating. Here's a few tips from someone that it worked for:
1) Be honest: The worst thing you can do when setting up your profile is crystallize who you are. What good does it do to say that you love dogs when you know your ass has allergies? Don't lie about big things, especially. If you know you don't want children or don't want to date a man who has been married before, say that. You'd be amazed how quickly those little lies pop up and the jig will be ALL the way up at that point.
2) Post real photos: If you used to be a size 2 and now you are a size 16, which "you" will be going on the first date? Show THAT girl, not the girl you used to be. Remember, if there is going to be attraction, there will be. Don't expose your insecurities so soon! In one of my photos a stretch mark on my arm was fully showing and I didn't care one bit...apparently neither did Hassan...
3) Listen to your gut: The first guy I went out with from eHarmony flew his freak flag high and I knew it from day one. Something about the muscle t-shirt and questionable jean shorts let me know that I would have a problem with him. Funnily enough, he fell off the planet and stopped responding to my text messages. I guess his gut told him I also had a freak flag....ah well!
4) Embrace the awkwardness: Let's face it - meeting someone online is not natural. It's weird. Allow it to be that. During our first date we spent about 30 minutes laughing about how we came to the site and all the "interesting" people we'd met there. We didn't run from the oddities, we made them a part of the conversation. I'll put it this way - if you have nothing else in common, at least you have that.
5) Do a background check: This one speaks for itself. Catfishing is a thing. I ran one on Hassan. No dead bodies, no crazy ex-wives, no felonies. Sold!
6) Don't be judgmental: It's easy to say, "why is he online? Something must be wrong with him." As if there is nothing wrong with the serial killer who you meet in the hummus section at the grocery store... Remember, YOU are also online, so what does that say about you? Just let it be a data point and move on.
7) Be realistic: So many ladies think they should cast a wide net to find their guy so they open it up to out of town options. If that works for you - great. But if you are sure you aren't willing to leave your city and the person you are matched with is not definitively open to moving, then why start behind the 8-ball?
Have you ever online dated? Share your experiences in the comments.
For more tips, check this out.