You’ve gone on 14 first meets and you’re done. You’ve had it. This
online dating thing isn’t working. It isn’t working and you’re fine with that.
You’ve got a life – a great life. Friends, grown kids, grandkids; you love
hanging out with them. You love the garden, your work, the occasional weekend
You don’t need a man.
Of course, a man would be nice. But. He has to be the right man.
You’ve tried. The result? Meh.
Your daughter’s favorite word, as if meh describes a person. You met 14 men, and got one second date.
Yup, Number Ten called and you went out with him again, so it counts as a Real
But he didn’t call for a third date.
And now you’re done with online dating.
“It’s enough to make you wonder if there’s something wrong
with you,” says Jill Whitney, a licensed marriage and family
therapist. She reminds her clients they have strengths and positive
Whitney suggests that if you tend to forget your good points, make
a list. Take a piece of paper and write down everything you’re good at, and all
the ways you’re a good person.
If that’s hard for you, ask friends for suggestions. Once you get
going, it’ll get easier. Keep the list to review at times you’re feeling
discouraged about dating.
“It’s okay to take a pause from online dating at times,”
says Whitney. “It takes stamina to keep putting yourself out there, which
means you’ll need chances to rest and restore yourself. Give yourself
permission to step back.”
She suggests to do fun things with friends, clean out your closets,
do jigsaw puzzles, go to the movies. Then, when you start to feel like getting
back out there, you’ll have more energy and bring your best, happy self to the
Use online dating as a back-up to meeting someone new in real life,
rather than concentrating all your energy on a dating site.
No matter where you go, chat with people. Sure, you’d rather meet
someone at Home Depot or in the supermarket. Or at that cute place downtown
where they have a band on a Friday or Saturday night. Or at a Meetup.
Or maybe your friends Carol and Danny will introduce you to… a
friend of Danny’s? (They met online and they’ve only been married three years,
so who knows? Danny may have a single buddy.)
Friends are a valuable and mostly untapped resource.
Don’t let your break-up or divorce get in your way.
Whitney explains that some people feel they’re “doomed” in relationships because their previous marriage didn’t work out. “There’s just no truth to that,” Whitney says, because marriages end for all sorts of reasons.
Take a deep look at what went wrong in your previous
relationships, including whatever role you played in the problems. Learn from
that. Bring that hard-earned knowledge into this next stage of your life, where
it can help you build a better relationship this time around.
Be positive. It can happen to you.
He could be right around the corner.
If you never give up.
In my novel, my main character does a lot of online dating, and
her best friend, an experienced dater, tells her how tough it is out there.
“Get a helmet,” she says. “Strap it on.”
Do you need a helmet? In a way, yes, a metaphorical one.
You need to believe in yourself, that you are worthy of love, and
have the self-confidence and life experience to prevail. You’ll want to try
online dating when you’re feeling strong and resilient. Don’t try it if you’re
going through difficult times or have serious health challenges.
Here are 10 concrete ways to up your
chances of connecting with a guy who gets you.
Find New People
Write one new candidate 4-6 times a week. Get a rhythm going so
you’re writing almost as regularly as you brush your teeth. If you limit
yourself to one or two emails (at the most) it won’t be such a chore.
Experiment with Photos
Post a new photo. Get your friends to take pictures of you riding
your bike. Cooking in your cute kitchen. Playing with your spaniel. Or your pet
lizard. (OK, I’m kidding.)
You get the idea. Yes, put makeup on for your photo. Wear a hot
pink top that makes you think “Hot men will soon be checking me out.”
What’s wrong with a little fantasy?
Know Your Best Qualities
Get your friends to tell you what they most enjoy about you. Write
down what they say and use it in your profile. Make them go for specifics –
none of that, Suzy is a fun person.
You need more like, “My friends say I can make a meal from
dry toast and parsnips,” or “My friends tell me I’m the one they want
with them when the elevator stops on the 29th floor, and we’re there all
night.” I’m not kidding. These comments are gold.
No Generic Emails
When you’re writing Mr. Cute, personalize your email. Just do it.
Yes, it takes more time, but it’s worth it. No one really goes for those
generic, ho hum emails.
Learn More About Their Hobbies
Connect to an activity or a passion he mentions in his profile. If
there is nothing, why are you writing him?
No Fear of the Online World
Many women fear online dating. Don’t. Tell yourself, “The Internet
is my friend.” Mean it, even though it’s corny.
Go for Authenticity
Don’t create a profile of an ideal version of you that simply
doesn’t exist. Let the real you shine through – you’re beautiful just the way
If you come to the profile of a guy you like, write him. Don’t wait around to be contacted.
Here’s an idea. Suggest a walk in your favorite park. Seriously.
Write Mr. Cute and be sure to pinpoint the exact corner where you’ll meet. Get
a breath of fresh air – so much better than sitting across the table from a
Keep an Open Mind
Be open-minded. You don’t think he’s your type? He looks dopey in
his photo? He’s into Lee Child novels and you’re not? Open your mind, you’ll
never know until… well, read number ten, below.
Nothing counts. Except The Meet. Nothing. Emailing is a start, but
that’s all it is.
Please share your adventures in online dating. Did you wear your
metaphorical helmet? What worked for you? We’d love to hear your story.
Let’s Have a Conversation!