There’s something to be said about independence.  Making your own money to spend however you please. Taking a plane out of the country on a whim. Tired of sharing your world with just yourself and your career!

Until you want to answer to someone.

Until you want to be able to pick up the phone, in the middle of the night, and tell a special someone all about your day, because you secretly wished they were in it.

Until you start thinking that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have the advice of a trusted partner when making a big personal decision. 

Until you can’t help but know that your life could serve an even greater purpose as part of a duo.

When you’re looking for a potential mate, or simply just a date, the Internet opens up possibilities for partnership that were never available before.   No longer are men and women confined to locale when looking for love.

Online dating is a trend that is making matches and bringing couples to the alter all over the globe.

There are people all over the planet in every stage of singlehood.  Some are recently divorced, many are never married, and a few are widowed from the one they love the most.

Some will swear off dating for years following a breakup, many will jump right in again, searching for a connection that will bring them the wholeness that they are looking for.

Whether or not you’re ready for the world of dating is a reflection of where you are in life, and where you want to be.

Face it; you’re not the same person you were last year, last month, or even yesterday.  If you’re thinking about dating, it’s a good idea to take an honest look at your past, and your history in previous relationships.

Have you taken care of any unfinished business that would prevent you from fully committing to a new partnership?

 Are you free from old patterns of behavior that would stand in the way of approaching a new partner with openness and generosity?

 Can you honestly say that you know what you want in a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner(spouse), and that your wants reflect your values and vision for the future?

If so, and you’re ready to tackle the dating scene, then having a world of choices and opportunities can be both intriguing and daunting.

 

How do you navigate virtual dating? 

How do you know that the person hidden behind a computer screen is who and what they say they are?  How do you establish a real connection with someone who may literally be on the other side of the planet?

  • Choose a dating site – The first step to take when you want to expand your dating options online is to find a reliable forum.  Websites likes Phish, Match,  eHarmony, and Christian Mingle are some of the most popular online dating sites and the drill is pretty much the same on these, as well as others.  You’ll probably find that the atmosphere is different on each of these sites, so when selecting one, hold a clear thought of what you are after and what your wants are.
  • Set up a search – Don’t be too restrictive in what you’re looking for.  If you only want responses from people with specific religions, cultural customs, or backgrounds, you may seriously limit the outcome of your search.
  • Write a Profile – After you’ve figured out which online dating site resonates with your personality, create a personal profile that will be your “auto-biography,” so to speak.  Each online dating service will ask for some basic information and have you create a username.  Don’t give your real name, if you don’t feel comfortable.  If you make a meaningful connection, you can address the issue  then.   You’ll be encouraged to tell your life’s story in an “About Me” paragraph.  Sell your most engaging attributes and characteristics, and give viewers a “snapshot” of what you’re like as a person.  What do you love?  What’s the first thing someone would notice about you?  Where is your favorite place to be in the world?  Most online dating experts agree that using proper grammar, and being apparently open and flexible are the keys to attracting the most prospects.
  • Display your photo – Make your photograph clear and accurate, depicting you in your best light.  Sure this means you’ll want to choose a picture of yourself that you find attractive, but most of all, your photo should show off your charisma, charm, and temperament.  If you’re gentle soul, choose a snapshot of you strolling through a garden.  Adventurous types may want to be photographed scaling a cliff or hiking a mountain.  Use your photo to tell more of your story.
  • Beware of scams – Having an entire world of prospects to date is fascinating, but most of us know from email and text experiences that sometimes emotions get lost in digital translation.  Things that are REALLY important, like tone and temperament are often misconstrued and intangible.  If you feel that someone who you’ve reached out to, or has found you, is vague, difficult to understand, or wants too much information about you but is reluctant to share in return, you may want to call it quits and keep searching. Trust your instincts. Sometimes their photo may look too good to be true.  Often, messages change in language style, from one to the next; making it difficult to know if the same person is even sending them.  If any of these situations come up, it’s best to pursue other possible matches.
  • Further your connection – It can be exhilarating to begin an online conversation with someone for the first time.  When you think it’s time to progress from chat to something more real, your next step is to set up a time to talk on the phone.   Spend at least 20 minutes talking about whatever is important to you.  Gauge their responses.  Are they a good listener?  Do they ask you questions?  Do you feel comfortable?  If all the answers to your inquiries come back as “yes,” and you feel safe to proceed to meeting in person, choose a public place for your first “date.”

The most important thing to remember in searching for match online is that this system is merely an extension of “normal” dating.  You have a wellspring of opportunity, but what becomes of it is up to you.  You need to be clear about your intentions.  You need to know what you want for your future.  You need to know that you are in a place where you can bring ALL of yourself to a new partnership, and create a relationship where you both can thrive.

A personal assessment is a great place to begin, to get feedback on what you truly seek in your life. Have you taken the Myers Briggs Assessment (Your Personality Type) which will shed light on who you are and what other Types or persons that you would most likely attract and possibly be successful when dating.

Save your energy and get focused as this is probably one of the most important  decision you will make for the rest of your life especially if this is your first, second, or third time around. It is more than looks!

 

How would you truly like to describe yourself, attractive or attracting? Which one has more energy?

 Learn how to make that first step by communicating your authentic language.  Leave your travel portfolio out of this and your past.

 Project your true self and let the other person so connect with you naturally.

 Phish around if you have to but start from the beginning by getting a thorough relationship coaching assessment.  

What are you doing differently so that you can get a different result with all your searches that’s successful for you this time around?

 We can discuss what you envision for you as you seek to find and attract that special person in your life for the first time or the next “go around”.

Curt Canada is the founder and personal coach at Adapting2Change in Washington DC where he works with clients seeking results and success in all phases of their relationship. Visit Adapting2Change on the web to read more about the services provided his clients. Curt has earned his Master’s in Social Work and Teacher Education with additional training in leadership and personal development. Adapting2Change is a Member of the DC Chamber of Commerce.