Q: Dear Holly. I’ve been using a dating site to meet women (or at least try to) for almost a year. I’ve sent a lot of messages, talked with a handful of women, and been on two dates. I’m getting frustrated by the mixed messages I think women send. If you’re on a dating site, don’t you want to meet men? I think I’m a decent looking guy with some brains, and I’m honest and well educated. I just can’t believe I get so few replies. Also, one woman I had a date with was so fun. We hung out for almost five hours talking about everything under the sun. I was sure I’d see her again, but the next day she texted to say she didn’t think we had the right chemistry and wished me good luck meeting the right match. Argh. I’m wondering if online dating is the best way to go. Help! – Wade
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A: Hi Wade. You’re going to feel a lot of ups and downs when it comes to online dating, especially in the first couple years. I call it the online growing pains. You learn through your mistakes and experience (dates) that it’s a process, and to keep your expectations low. The truth is, you do need to send a lot of messages, but really thoughtful first messages that will stand out, not just an intro remark like “Hi, how’s it going?”
Before sending any messages, be sure to read a woman’s profile thoroughly so you can include something personal about her that you like, but also to check for red flags that indicate you aren’t a match. It’s unreasonable to think women will reply unless they feel there is potential. Just as you send a lot of messages that don’t get replies, women receive lots that are bad, creepy, and off-putting.
In regards to your first date that ended there, I’ve been that woman. You don’t have to think you’re a match to have a good time with someone. I’ve become great friends with a man I met online. Remember, some people need to feel a physical chemistry right away, while others are willing to see what grows over time.
Everyone I know has some bad online dating stories that they now are able to laugh about. Is online dating the best way to go? I don’t know if it’s the best, but it definitely helps open up your possibilities to meeting more women. Don’t invest all your time and energy into it. Keep your profile up, go on when you’re feeling positive and confident, and be patient. You never know when you’ll meet someone special.
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