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Date With Intention

SMARTStart Dating

Once you’re up and rolling…

So, you’ve set up your profile and are ready to get going… and then anxiety sets in again. How does one strike up a conversation with a complete stranger? I’ve got a few tips, with my greatest one being that practice makes perfect.

  • Pay someone a genuine complement
  • Ask a question related to one of their photos or profile remarks that truly interests you
  • Comment on something the two of you may have in common, and then ask a follow up question
  • Look for something obscure in photos to ask about
  • Funny is fun… but sometimes humor doesn’t translate all that clearly on a screen. Make sure it makes sense before you click send!
  • Before you send, repeat your message out loud to assure you are communicating properly – but don’t obsess over it
  • Once you have a dialogue going, make sure you keep the tone in line with your dating intention.
  • Don’t overshare! Save some topics for when you meet

Remember, its OK if you send a message or extend a complement that goes without response. You can’t help where anyone else is in his or her life. The more you send, the easier it gets!

Why Online?

Placeholder ImageAt this point, I would have to ask, “Why not online?” How many friends do you know who have had successful online dating experiences? I have countless, and many great experiences myself.

 

Recent nationwide research, conducted by Pew, finds that 50% of American adults are single, and there has been a tremendous increase in the number of those who have used online dating sites in the past two years. Most age groups have seen a double, and even triple number increase in participation, in the past 24 months! Only 5% of study participants report that their current relationship started online, however approximately 50% state that they know at least one person in a successful relationship that was initiated online. In my opinion, this difference continues to support the negative stigma related to online dating.

 

We are all on a limited time budget. The US Department of Labor reports that the average employed American only has 41 minutes per day to devote to social interaction! That little amount of time you have to spend with your friends & family, should be spend being present with them, as opposed to being on the hunt for a partner in any & all social situations. With Internet and mobile device communication, conversations may be initiated & maintained at your convenience. This allows for you to be more productive in your life outside of dating – think of the time, effort & money that could have been saved over the years had you net been holding down bar stools, only to leave without meeting any potential suitors. With online dating, you have a giant pool of other singles ready and wanting to connect.

 

If you’re here reading this, your goal is likely to meet & build a “real relationship” as opposed to just chatting online. The opportunity to present yourself properly, and to meet others with similar interests is actually incredibly efficient! There are endless negative stereotypes related to dating on the internet, but just as many about meeting in a bar or nightclub. No matter what the setting, you are responsible for your presentation & actions. With you being in control of your profile, you truly can be in charge of your first impressions. If you are representing yourself genuinely, I feel that there is no reason to be ashamed or uneasy about dating online.

 

Now, just because its efficient or convenient doesn’t mean that it is ‘easy’ to date online. There are many struggles to face when beginning to date online, such as being technologically inexperienced, overcoming insecurities with profile creation or striking up conversation, and overall distrust in the cyber-world. These are all completely valid concerns, and we will get through each of them in the future. For now, my goal is simply to get you comfortable with the idea of dating online. The numbers are pretty astonishing – 2.2 billion dollars were spent on online dating in 2014, and its only increasing! It’s certainly not going away anytime soon, so ya may as well get comfortable with it. Luckily, I can help!

You’ve Gotta Play to Win

“Its time.”

I had heard a lot o f this a few years ago. My response was always, “I’m happy. I have my routine, my space, my running buddies, my work.”

I honestly did not even know how to get back out there. I went on a few ‘set-ups.’ You know, with the one weirdo single friend that each of your married friends have. The one that comes with family-sized pressure to ‘give it a chance.’ Those always made for some awkward BBQs down the line…

I also tried getting out with my party girls. I’m still in shock that my stellar dance moves and sweat-soaked dresses never landed me in a happily-ever-after relationship.

It took a significant push, along with a significant amount of wine, one New Year’s Eve for me to allow friends to set me up on an online dating site. After we had completed my dissertation explaining why I was such an enormous looser and had to search for love online, we went live. I lasted less than 36 hours until my insecurities & anxiety got the best of me.

I resided in my anti-dating dungeon for another few months. As time passed, I realized that I ALMOST had the life I wanted. I deeply missed having companionship and physical contact. After I was certain that I had left no self-help book unread, and with the encouragement of a few very compassionate friends, I decided to give the online world another go. This time I was in charge. I left all of what I considered to be ‘my garbage’ behind. My profile showed no sign of my past life. My anchor had been cut free.

I don’t mean to imply that I had easily transformed into another person. I absolutely appreciate my failed marriage, and the broken spirit that followed – as it led me into this amazingly introspective period of my life. But I could no longer let that fiasco define me. There was something about not seeing it attached to me in my profile, that allowed me let it go. It was also refreshing to socialize with others without each of them knowing all of ‘my garbage.’ Overall, online dating was, and continues to be, extremely positive for me. I have met some amazing people. I’ve had two very positive relationships, gained many friends, and even made some professional connections in the past few years.

It’s not all roses, of course. I’ve made some mistakes. I’ve learned some lessons. I’ve heard crickets chirp in response to my perfectly executed one-liners. But that’s OK! It has continued to help me grow and be energized. It has also allowed me to help others in their online journeys. I hadn’t even realized that helping my friends and family with dating had become ‘a thing,’ until a few months ago.

Perhaps I am a hopeless romantic. Or, perhaps I am just such an extrovert that I believe that everyone wants to have more social connections. I come from a gigantic family and work in healthcare, so I am constantly surrounded by people. In many cases, I have only a few moments to gain trust as well as to size someone up. This certainly comes in handy in a sea of selfies, edited photos, scripted bios, and pick-up lines.

My mission for SMARTStart Dating is to help both men & women overcome their barriers and have a positive experience with online dating. My approach is very simple – it is largely focused on you, and then dating will come together. All programs & profiles are individually created, during our one-on-one session. I will guide you with list-making & goal-setting, which makes the search for potential suitors extremely straightforward. Having intention with your dating places you in control. My method is extremely successful – and incredibly rewarding for me to see my friends, family, and clients gain confidence and be successful in their love lives.

I know firsthand how many reasons there are for you to not join in, but I know that there are so many more to do so. Think of who is missing out on meeting you! Remember, no one wins if you don’t play…

 

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