We often hear from our clients that the dating scene in Atlanta can be a challenge. As a result, many people seem to be turning to online dating to meet people, initiate a relationship, or find a spouse. While we do not necessarily promote internet dating at GROW, we do think certain guidelines can be helpful if you choose this route in initiating a relationship. I will be doing a two part series tackling seven tips for online dating. Let’s start with some things to think about as you initiate the journey.
1. Think about what you want.
Do you want a long-term relationship or a short-term dating relationship? Do you want to meet someone with a similar value system to yours? How important is physical attraction to you? These are some questions that should help you determine what dating site(s) you want to join and how you want to portray yourself. Not all dating sites are created equally. Do your research and decide which site seems to emphasize the things you are looking for in a relationship and that enable you to highlight what you want to highlight in yourself.
2. A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Whether you meet someone on the internet or in person, your appearance is the first thing people take note of. And with internet dating you obviously get to choose which pictures you post. As a result, people are not just looking at your appearance, but what you are wearing in your pictures, where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing. For example, if you don’t want to be thought of as a party boy/girl, then don’t solely post pics of yourself in bars or with beverages in your hands. Your photos don’t have to be taken by a professional, but post clear pictures with good lighting. You want to look your best in your pictures, but you also want to look like yourself. Just as I am sure you don’t want to meet someone who looks different in person, you probably don’t want someone to be taken a-back by how different you look in person.
3. Say it.
People don’t know what you don’t tell them… especially when it comes to dating on the internet. This is not the time for you to assume that people will “be able to tell” that you are a quality and well-rounded person because of how sweet and fun you think you look in your photos. It might feel weird for you to talk about yourself in this way, but it’s important for you to make your qualities, values, and hobbies known on your profile.
I’ll be posting more tips next week. In the meantime, you can check out one of our other therapist’s blogs to help you assess if online dating is a route you want to pursue.
Mary Overstreet, LAMFT