Online dating can sometimes feel soul sucking. A time sink. A crap shoot. It can even feel demoralizing and frustrating….
… and yet, nearly 40% of people (in America) meet their partners online!
You must be thinking – “Well, these people are just lucky. I’m always getting rejected or attracting emotionally unavailable men – there must be something wrong with me!”
Through my coaching (and personal) experience, I’ve found that online dating apps are an excellent way to meet men. Most of my clients have met their partners online, even though they started off resistant to it. It’s a great way to extend your network, go beyond your radius and meet great, stand up guys.
Think about your brothers and your guy friends – aren’t they online as well? Didn’t many of your friends meet their partners online?
Online dating does work and you can meet ‘the one’ – but the key is to make the most out of it, and learn the art of online dating so you can be more savvy and proficient. Online apps are a way that technology enables us to live better lives. It doesn’t replace meeting people in social settings – it’s just another channel for calling in your soulmate.
It’s like looking for a job. What if we put as much intention and energy into our love life as we do finding our next position?
One last thing – I know it’s hard to be grateful for something that potentially has caused you a lot of pain – but remember that many of grandmothers, and even our mothers, didn’t have a chance to meet and date men outside of their limited social settings. We do! You have the opportunity to date and choose a man who’s right for you who you may not have been able to find without these technological advances. So, try to approach online dating with an ‘abundance and gratitude’ mindset.
Here are some tips to make your online dating profile stand out, and to make the most out of your dating process.
1. Use gorgeous, striking pictures of yourself. This is the most important tip. Men are visual creatures (and so are we, by the way!). Remember, you are beautiful, no matter what your shape, size, color or height is. The key is to embrace your goddess self, and share pictures that would even turn you on. Remove photos that are casual, bikini shots, poorly lit, selfies (unless it’s super hot – but don’t use it for the first photo), and photos with other people in it, including cut off body parts like an arm around your waist.
I recommend getting professional photos done, where you are wearing sexy, colorful, elegant dresses and outfits. Have fun at the photo shoot. Even get your hair and makeup done beforehand if you can. If you would like examples, check out these from Smart Dating Academy, which show how photos can make an online profile really pop. Tell your photographer that you would like to have both close ups and full body shots. Remember, this is your chance to have fun, and share your most radiant self with the world! The best part is, once you get these photos done, they can be used for a variety of purposes, like your social media and professional website (and believe me, you will always treasure them).
2. Make your profile humorous, yet authentic, and values-oriented. We all love a little chuckle. Especially in dating! Take the opportunity to use your online profile to bring out your less serious, more fun side. Create a unique username, even if it’s kind of silly – like PuppyWhisperer or YogaBear. Make it related to something you’re passionate about. Add a tagline that’s witty and related (if taglines are supported in the app) – like “Smarter than the average bear!” (for the YogaBear example). In this case, YogaBear is a play on Yogi Bear, and relates to this woman’s interest in yoga.
In your profile, share about your interests and background in a casual and interesting way. Talk about what you value in life and use anecdotes and language that draws in the five senses. You can even be vulnerable and share some of your quirks. Most importantly, try to be light-hearted and flirty, yet sincere. If you do mention your job, make it just one aspect of your profile – remember you are way more than your career! Try not to mention things that you ‘don’t want’ (e.g. “Not looking for a one-night stand”) These can look like red alerts or signal that you still have issues you are working through.
Your profile is a chance for you to stand out from the crowd and share your Unique Essence. What makes you, you, you gorgeous goddess! And honestly, it doesn’t matter if it’s long (as long as the app allows it.) – the longer, the better. I’ve seen men read every single word if they are piqued by a woman. The more you share, the more a man will be able to see if there is resonance with you and also find a hook to connect with you.
3. Communicate with guys online as you would in person.One common issue that so many people face is that the conversation online feels forced and artificial. What if you were to meet a guy in person? How would you speak and communicate? Try to bring that same casual, curious tone when communicating with someone. Ask questions about something he said in his profile, and answer his questions in short, fun ways. Feel free to use emoticons and be flirty. It’ll keep him on his toes!
Also, feel free to reach out to men online. Don’t just wait for men to connect with you. It’s just as powerful to invite a man to connect with you, as to be ‘chased’. Give chances to men whose profile you think are not so great. Sometimes our profiles don’t represent us well, and you may be happily surprised when you actually meet him.
4. Play it safe, and be mindful of your energy. Part of what annoys women is the energetic drain they feel after a bad experience, and the inherent sense of vulnerability of dating. I recommend creating a separate email account for online dating to maintain your privacy. Also, never give out your phone number unless you’ve communicated via the app or email at least once or twice. And never allow the person to add you on social media (unless you want to be friends with him – or you’re getting into a committed relationship).
If a guy says something sexual and inappropriate (and you don’t like it), then cut off the conversation right away. Let him know that it didn’t feel right to you and wish him luck. Lastly, offer to meet up with a guy on a coffee date or walk only after you’ve spoken with him once over the phone (or you get ‘nice guy’ vibes from him).
It may sound obvious, but it’s worth mentioning that you should never feel like you have to sleep with someone just because he wants it – maintain your standards and determine when, and with whom, you want to sleep with. Healthy boundary setting will allow you to maintain both a sense of safety and also create a sense of mystery for a guy. You don’t need to be an open book right away.
Nowadays, online dating can feel like eating fast food – but you can approach it mindfully and slow down the communication and meeting up if that feels better for you.
5. Apply a slow, mindful, joyful approach to online dating.As with anything, I find that creating small, daily habits is more long lasting and powerful than short spurts of high activity. In that spirit, try to allocate a time limit to spending time online – maybe a half an hour a day, max. Make sure you spend that time both responding to men, and reaching out to new ones. Feel free to communicate with several men at the same time, to keep the flow going.
I also recommend being on a maximum of two dating sites at a time. When you’re done with one, you can always switch to another! Take a moment to meditate or practice deep, calm breathing before you go online; and perhaps do the same after you log off. Remember to have an open, fresh mind each time you use your dating app – each day is a new day!
6. Remove artificial filters and criteria – and genuinely be open. I have clients who have met men who are younger, much older, less educated, living in different parts of the country, of different ethnicities and religions, interested in different things… the list goes on! And these men are perfect for them. The reality is, our soulmate is someone who comes in a package quite different than what our ego thinks it needs. So be open to possibilities
7. Work on your mindset, and keep up with the momentum. Dating makes us vulnerable and is a drain on our time and energy. That’s why the most important things while doing online dating are to work on creating a healthy mindset of self-love, compassion and patience, and to not give up! Look at it as a spiritual practice – one of keeping your heart open to possibilities, and a chance for inner reflection, growth and becoming a better person.
I highly recommend working with a dating / love coach or mentor who can support you in staying positive, creating healthy dating habits, making better choices and getting out of your own way – which is perhaps the biggest challenge.
Here’s to healthy, powerful dating, and finding your soulmate!