Q: Dear Jenny. I’ve never been good with the ladies. I’m awkward, introverted, and get very nervous around women. As I’ve gotten older, I find it more and more difficult to even meet women for friendship or otherwise. I have one female friend who has recently convinced me to try online dating. She’s helping me write a profile and choose photos. I find it very overwhelming and keep changing my mind about the whole thing. I know it doesn’t have the same stigma as “personal ads” once did, but I just can’t wrap my head around the whole thing. What can I do or what would help me conquer my online dating fear? And, is it worth it? -Brad
A: Hi Brad. We were all there once, Brad. And dating, internet or the old-fashioned variety, has some built-in anxiety that even the most confident singles have to deal with. So… you’re definitely not alone.
No matter how confident or suave you are, it does get harder to meet women as you get older. Why? Because your circle of friends has been established, so you’ve often dated what possibilities lie within; you’re often in steady jobs, where office dating is risky; some of you work from home, where you don’t meet anyone; the school setting of rotating classes and love possibilities is usually over; and the pool isn’t as deep with many ladies having married young. I could go on, but it’s starting to depress me a little.
It took me a long time to think about online dating before I jumped in. And I also had a friend who helped me get going. Someone with experience will save you a lot of headaches, not just in filling out your profile, but deciphering what means what.
Tips to alleviate online dating anxiety:
1. Take your time writing your profile. Tinker away with it until you feel comfortable with how it reads. Browse around the site you’re using. Get to know the various functions they offer.
2. Be selective when responding to messages. Some poor souls who initially join, think they have to answer everyone, but your time is precious and know that you will get some weirdos.
3. Develop a thick skin. Negative or rude messages happen (more so to women), so you have to let these roll off your back and not discourage you.
4. Send lots of messages (no cut and paste though, they must be unique to the individual). Sitting around waiting to hear from one woman of your dreams is foolish and only sets yourself up for a more hurtful rejection
5. Have no expectations. You can be optimistic, but building up to much expectation when you begin messaging back and forth can be dangerous. I also advise meeting gals sooner than later.
These tips should help you get started. After a few dates, you’ll find it much easier.
Readers: any other tips you can offer to someone new to online dating?
Hookup Help is a Q & A series. If you want advice or a female’s perspective on hooking up, online dating, relationships, or sex… we want to hear from you. SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION HERE, and who knows, you may appear in the next Hookupland newsletter. -xo Jenny