First, let’s get something out of the way. Dating and dating websites should not be drudgery. If you’re putting too much pressure on yourself to see every person that comes into your life as “The One”, then you risk having both your profile and your communications to others tainted by a distinct aura of desperation.
Instead, it’s much better to enjoy the ride, as it were. There are tons of exciting people to meet on a site like match.com. Although not everyone is going to be THE one, it really is a lot of fun to build your social circle and—yes—even learn from the inevitable mistake or two along the way. After all, having a few extra stories to tell can come in handy someday.
With that said, here’s something that I trust will encourage you. I met my wife Emily here on match.com. She’s the most amazing woman I’ve ever known—beautiful inside and out. It’s as if I sent a request to God detailing exactly who I wanted for a mate, and He sent me Emily.
Six years later our relationship is still going strong. In fact, for the last five or so we’ve dedicated our time as professional dating coaches to enabling others all over the world find the kind of happiness we found.
So how did we do it? Let me give you five objective tips that will maximise both your ability and your readiness to meet a great lifelong partner on match.com:
1) Be One Half Of A Great Relationship
We continue to be shocked by the central message of most mainstream dating advice, which seems to talk mostly about “getting what you want” in a mate. Although that’s important, you’ve just got to put the horse before the cart. You’ve got to deserve what you want.
That means that you’ve got to think first about what YOU bring to a relationship. Do you truly represent what your perfect partner wants? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not that hard to figure out. Feeling safe and comfortable around someone we’re attracted to is all-important, and that’s underscored long-term by having strong character.
Are you the best version of your authentic self that you know how to be? Or are you still listing items in your profile that your future mate had better be able to check off?
2) Remain Positive
Let’s just spell it out. People who complain a lot and generally expect the worst can bring you down.
With that in mind, avoid the temptation to write lines into your profile such as, “I don’t know why I’m here”, “I’m not sure this is going to work”, “This seems hopeless, but…”
Keep your profile and your messages light and upbeat, and watch others literally queue up for a chance to join in on the fun of being a part of your reality.
3) Stand Out From The Crowd
I call them, “comma chameleons”. They’re the ones whose profiles contain little more than a comma-delimited list of adjectives describing “who they are and who they’re looking for”. But when you get right down to it, just about anyone could say they’re, “funny, smart, interesting and adventurous”. And just about everyone says that they want those sort of things in someone else.
Indeed, we were all taught back in school to “follow directions” when writing essays, right? So when it comes time to compose our match.com narrative we simply answer the question. However, this doesn’t always make for the most interesting read. A well written profile which conveys your personality will make you stand out to your perfect match.
Not sure where to start? Try this. Take all of those adjectives that describe you best and write them down on a piece of paper. Put an equal sign (“=”) next to each respective one. Then, come up with a quick statement or description that you believe characterises that adjective. You can also list the adjectives that describe who you’d like to meet and continue the exercise in a similar pattern.
Then, crumple up the paper and throw it aside. Say exactly what you remember into a voice recorder. Most smartphones have one built in, or you can get free software for your computer that will let you do this. Simply transcribe what you’ve said and voila…you have a unique and intriguing profile narrative in your own voice.
4) Think In Terms Of “First Meetings” Rather Than “First Dates”
Many of us are naturally “serial daters”. That means we feel most comfortable dating one person at a time and seeing where it eventually leads before continuing on to someone else. However, spending weeks, months or even years with someone only to ultimately realise that the two of you are all wrong for each other can be frustrating.
One of the most valuable aspects of online dating is that it allows you to evaluate potential dates quickly. If someone’s profile and/or e-mail message intrigues you, and you’ve spent some time using the tools on the site to get to know them, it may be time to speak over the phone. If the call goes well, why not arrange a time to meet for coffee after work or a quick lunch? Any casual, inexpensive scenario with a fixed timeline is fine.
With this strategy, you can meet several people within a timeframe that suits you. The added benefit—not to be underestimated—is that you also get an outstanding idea of what you’re really looking for in a partner.
Importantly, these “first meetings” needn’t feel as pressurised as formal dates can sometimes seem. If and when you find you have chemistry with someone you meet, then it’s time to think about planning to meet again—this time knowing that sparks are bound to fly.
5) Stay Level-Headed
Once you meet someone on match.com who really floats your proverbial boat, it’s understandably tempting to be REALLY excited. But remember, the very first person you meet online might not be the BEST match for you. It’s important to realise that if you’ve attracted one person who you find attractive in return, you’ll very likely meet others.
Keep your options open for a while, especially at the beginning. Enjoy the fun of filling your social calendar and meeting new people. Make sure sure you know what you want in a mate and that you’re sure you’re ready to end your dating journey for the time being.
Above all, take special care to avoid getting roped into what I call “dating online”, which is not to be confused with “online dating”. Remember, match.com is meant to be a tool designed to actually get you in front of interesting people—in person.
Resist the thought of searching for the “perfect” mate hundreds or even thousands of miles away, particularly if you live in a decent sized area. In order to gauge true compatibility, you must first get to know the real person. Then, you’ve got to spend a LOT of time together.
Emily and I lived about 20 minutes from each other, and knew almost immediately that we were likely meant for each other. But that didn’t stop us from spending a tremendous amount of time together for nearly a full year before tying the knot.
So there you have it. Much of what I’ve just outlined may seem like common sense. But all too often “common” sense turns out not to be all that “common” when it comes to affairs of the heart, right?
Be excited about your time on match.com and enjoy every minute of it. Not every person you encounter will be right for you, but doesn’t that really make the moment when you really do click with someone all the more amazing?
by Scot McKay