DATING Series: Online Dating

Online dating has evolved in the last couple of years. In fact, dating is not the same as it used to be even from a year ago. However, there are plenty of success stories when it comes to online dating, mine included. The crazy thing is we both were reluctant to do it, especially on the particular site we met on. For one, I envisioned meeting my husband in church. I would be busy serving and he would notice me and the rest would be history. However, God has a way of altering our plans. I think He even has a sense of humor.  Despite what seemed unconventional, even felt a little desperate and against everything I have been taught as a woman (don’t go looking for love, love will find you), everything turned out better than imagined. We’ve been together seven years and married for five. I’ve learned from experience to not be caught up in the how or where and be open to trying something new.

Here are some tips my married friends who met online and I used.

    1. Be honest: If a long-term relationship is something you desire with intent to marry, state that in your profile. If you are simply looking for a good time, say that.  Bottom line, don’t be afraid to be honest about what you want. You want to scare off the ones who don’t have the same ambition and goals as you. Also, always put current pictures on your profile.
    2. Don’t go by the profile only: Ask questions. People lie, especially online. Even if he stated in his profile, he wants children, ask him again. Get to know one another outside of the profile. Also, don’t believe the profile over the facts. If a person wrote they don’t smoke, but they smell like a smokers lounge when you meet them, believe the evidence.
    3. Don’t meet up too soon: A lot of people make the mistake of meeting up after one conversation. My advice, talk to the person for at least three weeks before going on the first date. And when I say talk, I don’t mean text and email only.  Talk on the phone/Facetime. My husband and I emailed for a week, talk on the phone for two weeks and then met in person at a PUBLIC place.
    4. Wait before you get physical- (this includes kissing): Some feel they must be physically compatible before continuing with the relationship. *insert side eye here*  Yes, sex is an important part of marriage, but great sex is not going to keep your marriage together, it is not going to keep your lights on, it does not mean someone will be a great parent. Physical should be a plus to everything else in your relationship, not a determining factor.
    5. Trust your instincts: If you feel something isn’t right, believe it and don’t stick around to find out why.
    6. Don’t be afraid to correspond with more than one person: I had a limit of three people to go back and forth on email with. However, once I started talking on the phone, the number decreased. Once we started dating, it was just one person at a time.
    7. Know what you want: Before you start dating, you should have an idea of what you want. Now, if you made a list and it is the perfect man/woman, you may need to adjust your expectation. Most importantly, know your deal breakers.  A dealbreaker for me was someone who wasn’t a Christian.
    8. Don’t require something you don’t live up to: I am annoyed when someone says they want someone that makes a lot of money and they can’t even hold a job. Another one, you want someone with a six pack and 3% body fat and you haven’t seen your own abs since high school. Another one, you don’t want to date someone with kids, but you have three…
    9. Don’t be afraid to say no: If your uninterest, don’t go on a date. Do not waste each others time.
    10. Don’t be afraid to say yes: If you are unsure if you are interested or not, it does not hurt to continue to talk to the person to see where it goes. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to someone, who isn’t “your type” More times than not, people marry the person that wasn’t “their type” and it works out. However, once you realize it is not going anywhere, end it.
    11. Have fun: Dating can be stressful especially when you keep meeting duds. However, there is beauty in getting to know someone and building on it.
    12. Be safe: There are crazy people out there, whether you meet them at the grocery store or online. Don’t give out your personal information, don’t meet up at each other’s house on date two. Let someone close to you know where you will be at all times. My friends and I would give the first and last name and take a picture of his license plate. We did not play about safety.

This list is merely a guide and you can tweak to your standards.  Do you have tips to add? Leave them in the comments.

 

-Ebby LeBlanc

 

 

 

 

 

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