Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve? Maybe even a date? No? That’s okay. I’ve been there. After my divorce, I had no clue where to meet men, and with the holiday’s looming over, it was enough to send me into a deep depression. Being single over the holidays blows.
Sorry, I’m not trying to depress you, but I remember, all too well, the gloomy feeling of being single and lonely at Christmas time.
It’s the worst.
Do you have a dating plan for 2018? If you want something bad enough, you have to make a plan to get it. If you want to meet someone in 2018, so you’re not alone again for Christmas next year, you need a plan! When I write about dating and relationships, I often suggest dating at least three men at once. Now the question is, how do I meet these men? Where are they?
That is a very good question. I have some answers for you.
Due to the fact that I had two kiddos, and was a single mom, I didn’t have a lot of free time. Most of us don’t have a lot of free time these days. So, I had to get creative and look online! Funny thing, I didn’t actually end up marrying someone I met online. I would do it all over again, however. Why? The dating experiences I got out of it, were invaluable! Online dating was a strategy that I used to keep three men in the rotation. It was also really great for my self-esteem, once I had dates lined up.
Let’s get strategic about dating in 2018.
I practiced dating through the help of online dating, and I learned a lot about myself in the process. I learned how to be comfortable meeting new people, and how to be comfortable in my own skin. I also learned a lot about what I wanted in a partner, and a ton about what I didn’t want. I also started to enjoy simply meeting different kinds of people. Yep, some were crazy. Some were just okay, and some were a lot of fun for a while.
I practiced dating, and by the time my husband came along, I was ready!
Online dating is basically how I kept my roster full, so to speak, and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. It’s really hard to meet people, especially in the internet era. Everyone walks around with their head down looking at their phones. Ironically, they’re looking on dating sites while they are out and about. It’s ridiculous, but it’s our reality.
I tried a few different dating sites. More importantly, I learned how to get the most out of these sites so that I wasn’t wasting my money, or my time. Below is an overview of each dating site that I tried, (knowing there are others out there). Please feel free to comment or email me about other dating sites you’ve tried. Would love the feedback to share!
In my opinion, match.com is your best bet if you’re just getting out there again. I’ve heard lots of success stories of couple who met on match.com and later married. I won’t spend time explaining what Match.com is because, unless you live under a rock, you know about it. (I’ve added some strategy towards the end of this post, on how to date on match.com as well)
Plentyoffish is free and a good place to get your feet wet; however, it was not my favorite. There are lots of guys off the oil rigs and mechanics on this site. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but I had a hard time on this site. Oil rig guys aren’t around for that long, so it’s hard to keep something going. It also seemed like a bunch of people trying to hook up, and I received a lot of inappropriate advances. Keep it clean guys! I looked around on it for a while, contacted one person, but eventually moved on. It wasn’t for me.
Do you want to find your soul mate, or hook up? I’m not saying it’s impossible to find your soul mate here, but highly unlikely. Go to Tinder, if you just got out of a relationship, and you want to sow your oats. Or, if you are a serial monogamist and you need to break the cycle. Give it a go. You will get tired of it like everyone else and move on, eventually. Sorry, but looking through photos of people whilst sitting on the porcelain goddess doesn’t really do it for me. Swipe.
This site is more expensive, but you can find people. I especially like the personality profile they provide. It was really interesting, and I did meet some nice guys on there. If anything, it’s worth it just for the personality profile to learn a bit about yourself. Personally, I think you are just as well to do match.com. Either one should suffice, so it just depends on your budget.
Professional Matchmaker or Match-Making Agency
I hired “It’s Just Lunch.” It was a great experience. I didn’t meet my husband there, but I met a lot of quality men. You have to cough up some money, but if you can do it, I recommend it. It was perfect for me because, they matched us up, coordinated our schedules, made the reservation, and we met. As my career took off, I didn’t really have time to devote to searching through profiles on match.com, so this worked very nicely for me. The agency was very professional and they were nice people. I highly recommend the agency. If you sign up for an agency, however, just be sure to do your homework and make sure they are legit and have good reviews. There are some stinkers out there.
I also found a link that lists the Top 10 Dating Sites. Boy are there a lot of new ones, which is great news! You can definitely apply what you read here to all of them, however.
Set-Up Your Profile on a Dating Site
Dating sites basically all ask for the same information, but I utilized match.com the most, so I am going to make suggestions for it. I suggest loading about 5-7 photos. Any more and it’s too much, in my opinion. You also need to post current photos. A couple of head shots, and a few full body shots will do. Post current photos! Do not post photos that are 5-10 years old. It was so annoying when I met up with some guy, and he looked ten years older than his photos. Come on! I am going to see you in person ya know? I’m not shallow, but you’ve already started off the date with dishonesty for God sakes! There is nothing wrong with looking your age.
Also, ladies, if you’ve gained some weight, that’s okay. If you are a full-figured woman, take some full body pics and post with pride! I will tell you right now, if you only post head shots, then most guys will not meet up with you. It’s sad but true, but they want to know what all of you looks like. Ladies if you are over-weight, that’s okay! There are men who prefer a full-figured woman out there. I promise.
I was carrying around extra baby weight when I started and I had to suck it up! I also met enough men and I now know, that they don’t all want the cross fit queen. (no offense to cross fit people, by the way, you are bad-ass) It’s just simply not a pre-requisite for everyone. Beauty is skin deep.
Keep it real.
Okay, so you have at least five current photos uploaded, now what?
Showcase Who You Are
Write an introduction about yourself but don’t make it ten million words please! Seriously, if it’s too long, two things will happen. First, most people will not read the entire thing and they will move onto a shorter profile. Second, they will think you are impressed with yourself. Keep it simple and direct. I remember seeing extremely long profiles and thinking, “Dude, get over yourself. Now, I don’t have to go out on a date with you, because you’ve told me everything I need to know on your profile. I already know I don’t like you.” (I joke, but seriously, this is your first impression, so make it good!)
I also suggest writing a little bit about who you are, what you believe, what you enjoy doing, and also characteristics in a partner that you find attractive. Tell them what you are looking for in a partner and those characteristics that are important to you.
Oh, and keep it positive! Please do not write about all of the things you will not tolerate, and what you absolutely do not want. You can tell immediately on these sights who just got dumped, or “screwed over,” and who has a chip on their shoulder. Don’t be one of those people. Remember when they read your profile, they will associate a feeling with you immediately. If everything is negative, then they will associate a negative feeling with you and then…swipe! You’re out of there!
These sites can be brutal, I know. Just remember to be your authentic self. If you pretend to be someone you’re not, then you won’t meet anyone that is a good match for you. Okay, so you have filled out your profile and you’ve picked your religious requirements, hobbies, etc. You hopefully have not requested a certain height or hair color. Please, don’t be shallow. Remember, I’m a stickler for not having a physical attribute’s checklist if you’re looking for your soul mate. (Read more about that here).
Start Searching! Have Fun!
You will receive daily matches as well via email, but be careful. They send you so many daily matches, you will find yourself waiting for the next day’s matches, and then the next day’s matches, and before you know it, three months have gone by and you haven’t met a single person!
Be proactive. Don’t keep waiting for a better one to come along.
To Wink or Not to Wink?
Ladies, if you like a guy, you can wink. I know I say not to initiate or pursue, but match.com is so flooded, it’s almost impossible to stand out if you don’t. Wink and add a message. Please don’t just say “Hi” either, by the way. That doesn’t work and you may as well throw your money into a paper shredder. Then, its out of your hands and up to him to respond. If he doesn’t, find another one!
You need to know how to utilize the site. People are really bad about actually making contact on this site. They see it as some sort of commitment when it’s actually not. Simply signing up and looking at pictures will get you nowhere, as will emailing back and forth forever. Find at least five profiles you like, read their profile, and ask them a question about it. Show them that you took the time to actually read about them, and you didn’t just look at their pictures.
Keep up the banter, but not for too long.
If they keep chatting with you and never want to meet, its super annoying. Tell them, I’ve enjoyed chatting and I think it would be fun to meet. Besides, if we don’t meet, we won’t know if there is any chemistry. No pressure, and totally fine it you don’t want to meet, but I don’t really see a point in sending tons of emails back and forth. No offense, but I’m not looking for a pen pal, and I doubt you are as well.
Also, if a guy keeps sending you messages, and you do kind of like his profile, but you’re not hot for him, please respond! Remember what I say about the physical checklist. Get rid of it. As long as he doesn’t seem creepy or repulsive to you, give him a shot. Send a message. Exchange a few emails and meet up. You’re just meeting up, you’re not getting married.
(Be safe of course. Always let a friend know where you are going, who you are meeting, and tell them you will check in with them once you are done. If they don’t hear back from you, you have NOT met the love of your life and are off getting married. You are trapped in the trunk of their car and need help. Not trying to scare you, but remember the day and age we live in and be safe).
Where to Meet and for How Long?
Meet up briefly for coffee or drinks. Don’t make it dinner, in case you’re not feeling it once you meet. Keep it somewhat brief (one hour max if its going well but preferably about 30 minutes), and if you like them, simply say, “I’ve got to get going now, but I had fun. Should we do this again?” Don’t stay too long, it’s just the first meeting. You are a busy person with places to go, and people to see. You didn’t plan for a long date, but would love to hang out again. Keep is casual. If you really like this guy, keep it short and don’t wait around for him to end the date. You are a woman in demand, and he needs to schedule another date if he wants to spend more time with you. Make sure to smile, keep it positive and light. If you don’t hear back from him afterwards, get back online, and line up another one!
I mean it. Practice dating. It’s like anything else, if you keep practicing you will get better. You will feel more comfortable and most importantly, you will be completely comfortable with meeting new people by the time “the one” shows up. By the time he shows up, you will have this dating thing down, and you will be a pro at meeting new people. If anything, practice dating so that you are in good shape when your guy finally shows up!
If you are entering the dating world again, this is so important. You are rusty, so get out there and practice dating. Go out with guys you wouldn’t normally go out with so you can practice. You are not using them, you are meeting new people and putting yourself out there again. It’s okay. Practice on the guys that give you less pressure. That way you feel more secure when you do actually like a guy. You will be used to the pressure, and will be better equipped to handle a little more pressure when you’re really feeling it for a guy!
Oh, and here’s a thought. Instead of trying to impress them and make sure they like you, make sure you like them. Sometimes we put so much emphasis on impressing people that we forget to see if they actually impress us!
One more thing….would you like to know my personal favorite place to meet people? Are you ready for it?
Go anywhere and get the “F” off your phone! Look up and smile! 🙂 The best part about that, it’s absolutely free.
For now, I want you to start building your roster! Get online, hire an agency, start making plans! Get a life, and start living it. Do things that you enjoy and create a life for yourself. Be proactive with dating and make your 2018 dating plan.
Happy Holidays to you and your family. Keep your chin up, if you’re feeling a bit lonely. Take what you’ve read and put it into action. If you do, this time next year, you will be a woman in demand. I promise.
If you run into any problems or have any questions please email me! I love dating strategy sessions.
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