Dear Annie, I’ve been looking for a good man for over a year. I tried online dating—and it was a disaster! I’m a widow who has been out of the dating scene for decades.
I answered all of the profile questions, but have been reluctant to post a photo, so I posted an old, blurry one in which no one could recognize me. I don’t want my family, friends or colleagues to know that I’m so desperate that I have to use the Internet to try to meet men.
It seemed to work. Dave contacted me a few months ago. We began an email correspondence, which became increasingly romantic. Eventually, we engaged in a series of long phone calls. After about six months, I felt that our relationship was firmly established enough that I felt comfortable to meet him in-person.
Our first—and only—date didn’t go well. Even though I hadn’t seen his photo, I thought that he was nice-enough looking. Dinner felt strained. During dessert, he told me that he didn’t want to see me again. He actually said that if he had known what I look like, he would never have asked me out. I was crushed.
I’m terrified at the thought of putting myself out there again. I would love to remarry, but have no idea how I ever going to meet someone new. Patricia
The way that Dave rejected you was incredibly cruel. While you have every right to be upset, please don’t give his uncouth manners the power to prevent you from finding love with a more simpatico soul.
Online dating is a great way to give yourself the opportunity to meet men who you wouldn’t otherwise encounter. As you learned the hard way, it’s not always a good platform on which to build a relationship. That has to be done in real life.
No one is real until you meet them in person. You can’t tell what someone is like from information gleaned from an online profile. The online dating industry is also well aware that most people have difficulty when it comes to accurately portraying themselves in writing.
If you’re going to use online dating sites to meet men, you need to post several clear, current photos. Post the best shots you can find. Professional photos are ideal - after all, your profile is really an ad. Be sure to post several three-quarter length or full-body shots of yourself.
Don’t worry about who might see your pictures. So many relationships start online that the stigma of the venue has largely vanished over the last few years. Besides, the only people who would see you online are those who are using the site.
Once your profile is live, get online every day for twenty minutes to an hour—no more. Respond to those who contact you. Initiate introductory emails. Keep each message to no more than a paragraph and always include a question.
Your goal is to meet someone in person after a couple of email exchanges. It’s the only way that you’ll know if there is the possibility of starting a relationship with him. Then you can start dating in real life.
On-line dating is a great way to connect with like-minded men who are seeking romance and relationship.