Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, Match. You’ve heard all the names before, and maybe you’ve even dipped your toes in the proverbial “pond” (get it? Plenty of Fish¦.pond? Okay, moving on¦) Delving into the unknown world of online dating can be a scary, scary experience but, believe it or not, it can also be a learning one as well. With more than 25% of the Canadian population now frequenting online dating sites as a way to possibly meet their perfect match, 29Secrets.com has put its own online dating skills to the test and taken away some very important lessons we’ve learned along the way. Some good, some bad, some, well, just plain weird. Read on…
1. Everyone is doing it
While some of the stigma of online dating has slowly started to lift, many people still have a hard time adjusting to the idea of it, and logging on for the first time can be a very intimidating experience. That is until you suddenly start to notice some familiar faces¦that cute guy who went to your high school all those years ago (message him!) and the super creepy guy who works down the hall from you in finance (do NOT message him!).
2. Some people are just VERY photogenic
Don’t be disappointed if you show up to your date and he’s not quite as handsome as he looks in his photos. Remember, people are going to put up their best photos for the world to see. Unless his profile photo shows him as a 6’1, ripped, Gosling-look-alike and he turns up standing at 5’9 with a beer gut and less hair than Howie Mandel, we say give the guy a shot. Chances are you probably don’t look as good as your (cough¦un-photoshopped) photos either.
3. Some people are just liars
Yes, there really are people online who are the Mr. Mandel-wannabe I mentioned above. Some people, for some unknown reason, think that it is smart to lie on their online profiles. Sure, adding an inch to your height or shaving a few pounds off your athletic frame is essentially harmless, but be warned that there are people out there who will create entire fantasy beings who have the perfect job, the perfect interests, the perfect family, and the perfect physique to go along with it all. And then feign shock when you don’t recognize them when they sit down across from you in a dark bar. Again, realism is a blessing when online dating. If they seem too good to be true, they probably are.
4. Superficial people are lame
If his profile includes pictures of him a) topless and posing in front of a mirror, iPhone in hand, or b) leaning against his wheels, arms crossed, shades on, lips pursed, then you should probably just x that boy right now. Personally we fail to think of a woman who wouldn’t enjoy chatting about how good The Cheesecake Factory is and laughing about what colour your car used to be before the rust shade took over, instead of talking about his seven-hour gym regime and his sick leather interior. Ugh.
5. Sometimes what you thought was your type, actually isn’t
¦And sometimes the person you thought you’d never date, is actually the person you should. Sometimes it can be tempting to just brush off someone who sends you a message but doesn’t quite meet your standards when you take a peek at their profile. One rule of thumb: always read their message. If it is a standard hey, how’s it goin? feel free to delete but sometimes you can be pleasantly surprised by how quickly someone’s honesty, compassion, or sense of humor can grip you in one simple email. If he makes you smile and/or laugh at least once, he deserves a response.
6. Email chemistry does not equal face-to-face chemistry
Now, contrary to above, another little catch of online dating is that, just because you click via emails, doesn’t mean you are going to click in real life. Don’t assume that because your palms get a little sweaty and your heart races a little faster whenever you’ve got mail, means that will happen when the two of you are standing face-to-face. This is why moving from email #1 to date #1 fairly swiftly is always a good idea.
7. Sometimes online daters really are just weird
There is no denying that there is still a whole world of reclusive, slightly odd people out there who tend to continue to hide behind their computer screens. Some of them WILL turn up on dates with you. You win some, you lose some. Deal with it.