Confessions of an Online Dater

Posted by    |    November 26th, 2011 at 6:00 am

Photo courtesy of fallenscoop.com

Despite what your adorable Southern mother might say about there being “plenty of fish in the sea,” we all know that the here in Dallas the dating “sea” is more like a lake.

Online dating seems to be the way to go for many singles, and Lucy* is no exception.

The petite 28-year-old dental student created her first online profile in 2009. After three years of using sites like Match.com and eHarmony, this bubbly blonde has met her fair share of guys.

I was curious to know, as I’m sure most of you are, about the online dating world. So, I asked Lucy to share with me some helpful hints and funny experiences she had during her online dating experience.

Why did you decide to try online dating? 

Several of my girlfriends had tried a particular website and I really like the guys they had met. I was surprised to find that online dating had become less taboo, and more geared to my friends, all of us who were in our mid-20s at the time and myself. Meeting several great new boyfriends of several of my friends was the most motivating factor for me to try it myself!

What was your experience like with online dating?

My experiences were, for the most part great! I met men who I ended up having serious relationships with, as well as got to go on dates with guys who I might not have met otherwise.  Just dating different people is something I think everyone should experience at some point during their 20s.

I’ve always wondered if the sites really do as good of a job of matching people up as they say they do. Did you feel like most of your dates you had chemistry with, or were some people completely opposite when you met in person?

I definitely had great chemistry with a few, and those few usually ended up being much more than one date. I don’t think I met anyone who was truly my opposite, just a few men who were clearly still searching for their identity. Its difficult to tell if you even could have chemistry with a person who had not yet established who they are, what they want in life and from another person, as well as professional and personal goals.

So we always hear crazy stories about people portraying themselves one way online, but in person they are the

Photo courtesy of finestdatingservices.com

total opposite. Do you think that after meeting your dates in person they were truthful to their online profile?

Unfortunately, there were some men who represented themselves one way online, and then did not seem to posses these qualities in person. Example: One guy’s profile said he was 5’3″. At the time I thought “okay, so he’s my height? No big deal. I have met several guys who are that height, but still seem very masculine. Everything else about him seems great, let’s give this a try!” When we met he was borderline midge, probably 4’9″ and with the body shape of a “little person”. His photos did not make him seem this way at all. I’m guessing that he “Photoshopped” them in some way.

Apparently I’m interested the risky side of the online world judging by these last two questions, but what are some safety tips you can give to those meeting someone in person for the first time?Some common sense safety tips I always put in place included; texting several friends to let them know where I’d be at what time, and the name of the person I’d be meeting. I’d also sometimes call a friend to let them know I was home safely, especially if it was the first time I allowed a guy to come over to my place and/or pick me up for our date. For the first several dates with someone, always meet in a public place with good options for parking. Drink responsibly, and use your manners.

Say I was interested in online dating. What is some advice you’d give me for creating a successful profile?Keep it short. If someone is worth your time in the future, they can enjoy getting to know you during the dating process. Only post photos you’d be happy to show to your grandmother. Post a variety of photos of you doing things in places that you enjoy the most. Be honest in your portrayal of yourself.

Any final words of wisdom you’d like to share?

Be truthful to yourself when assessing if you’re ready to try online dating. If you’ve just been through a breakup, now is not the best time! Know who you are and where you stand. Don’t worry and trust your gut. Be confident in your decisions and follow them through. Try as best you can to let go of certain expectations and just enjoy the ride!

Lucy is currently enjoying life as a single women in Dallas. Although she has no active profiles right now, she isn’t ruling out giving it another go in the future.

* Name has been changed for the purpose of this article

Samantha Cangelosi is a Guest Writer for local media company YouPlusDallas. She is a Senior at Southern Methodist University studying Journalism and History. Follow her on Twitter at @samanthacang.

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