Oh, the world of online dating…it seems every time we turn on the TV, there’s a Match.com advertisement. Click here to find true love and happiness!”
Yet, when (heaven-forbid) some of us try the online dating experience to meet someone new, it doesn’t seem to always end in butterflies and rainbows like we think it might. In fact, sometimes it ends in some ridiculously creepy story that you’ll always have as a go-to “OMG do you want to hear a crazy story?” story.
We all know the type of dates I’m talking about - those ones out of the Twilight Zone that make you cringe… those ones that make you never want to try online dating again.
I feel you, and I’m here to help you avoid such moments with some personal tips on the online dating front from someone who randomly and successfully met their ultimate match on Match (Yes, I’m one of those 3/5).
And while there are a million things to talk about in regards to this subject, I’ll start with perhaps my BIGGEST tip:
This includes the entire way you present yourself - from those oh, so imperative pictures to the words you choose to paint the picture of YOU. Be honest when you answer the profile questions. Take some time to reflect about your responses. We have reached an age where we can almost handpick our partners like we are doing some serious online shopping. Why not be real about what you want and who you are?
Question for you to ponder: Do you really think you’re going to get away with a 30 pound differential between the “you” in your pictures and the “you” on the real-life date? I’m pretty sure, with the exception of someone who is actually legally blind, that you’ll be busted, and it will end awkwardly. Why start off a relationship like that?
While we may have changed since five or ten years ago, and we may prefer those older pictures, it is mandatory to choose pictures that accurately reflect who you are in the present moment. You want someone to love you for who you are right? You, of course, want to pick photogenic pictures of yourself. I also suggest getting your friends’ opinions before putting them up on an online dating site! They can provide another point of view about what is valuable in a photo.
Lastly, pick the pictures that visually tell your story, so that your potential matches can compare the words of your profile to your photos. In other words, get pictures of you living your life out loud. If you are a free spirit and love traveling, socializing, animals, yoga, and are passionate about giving back (I may or may not be talking about myself here), choose pictures that show you doing these things: pictures of you doing yoga, traveling, attending a personal development event, hanging out with your friends, volunteering at an animal shelter, etc.
As humans, we are very visual creatures, so storytelling through photographs is a great way to help someone judge you more correctly. Let’s face it…we are going to be judged…so we want to put our best and most strategic foot forward.
Through being genuine online, and really assessing the truthfulness in others online, you can really increase your chances of success on an online dating site (and avoid those creepy moments!) if you are honest. So be YOU so that others can see YOU and value YOU.
As a dating coach, sometimes I get the question from women, “Is it okay for me to approach a man?” And while some people believe that a woman should steer clear from approaching a man simply because it may insult his masculinity, I tell my clients, “It is the year 2012 for God/ Allah/ Buddha’s sake! Of course it is okay for you to go for it!”
Think about it this way: if a hot, confident girl goes up to a guy to introduce herself, do you think he is going to mind? I don’t think so. Sure, some guys enjoy the challenge, but at the same time, many might be quite relieved to skip out on the hard work/potential rejection of going up to a cute girl.
There are exceptions, though, and sometimes you do need to evaluate the situation before you make your move. For example, if you’re eyeing a male supermodel, who looks just like Brad Pitt or David Beckham, you might want to reconsider the go-get-em approach. Guys who are that pretty are probably a little too used to being hit on, and you might be better off playing hard to get.
Alas, there is an easier way to gauge mutual interest before going full steam ahead…and women can usually do it quite well. If you’re nervous about walking right up to a guy, one trick that works really well is to make eye contact with the man you are checking out. It’s natural, simple and allows you to avoid the potentially painful rejection face-to-face.
How is it best done? Scan the room for a guy you’re attracted to. Once your ideal target is identified, find a place to settle yourself and confidently do your thing (talking with a girlfriend, ordering a drink at the bar--you know the drill) and then give a few quick, flirty glances at the cutie.
If you are conscientiously making an effort to glance over at him--and can sneak in a smile--99% of guys will get the hint that you are interested. At which point, this gentleman will come over to start a conversation if he is A) straight, B) interested and C) not in a relationship because he will assume that YOU are A) straight, B) interested and C) not in a relationship. Done and done.
If he doesn’t come over, it is best to assume that he is either gay, taken or “just not that into you” as the 2009 star-studded movie has educated us. Or that he has NO game or social skills whatsoever--in which case, you might have just dodged a big bullet!
Ultimately though, it is best to treat each encounter separately and play it by ear. Usually your gut feeling tells you everything you need to know.
Do what feels right to you. If you’re shy, try the eye contact game. If you’re feeling ballsy, go for the direct approach. All power to you ladies.
I write this article having just completed a nutritional cleanse. If you’re confused about what on earth a nutritional cleanse is, I can completely relate. Up until two years ago, I had absolutely no idea either, but then a friend introduced me to it and it was all uphill from there. I’ve been doing cleanses ever since. Yes, that’s right… I voluntarily give up my favorite foods for days at a time.
To sum it up, a nutritional cleanse is a health regime we can do for ourselves to help us feel better and foster long-term healthy habits. It’s taking a plan of action to rid the body of harmful toxins, while also giving it a huge dose of nutrition to leave you with a refreshed and renewed body, mind and spirit.
The program combines exercise, drinking a lot of water, eating an organic healthy diet of fruits, vegetables and lean protein, and supplementing diet with an array of vitamins and minerals the human body craves.
You might be thinking, “Well this sounds like what a normal healthy person should be doing anyway. What makes this a nutritional cleanse?”
The missing link is that there’s an extra piece of the equation that really kicks it up a notch. In addition to exercise and healthy eating, one or two days during the month of my cleansing regime, I eat no solid food, but instead drink lots of water as well as a cleansing beverage throughout the day.
As a quick side note, a cleanse is not to be mistaken for a fast. They are two very different things! A fast equals no eating, while a cleanse means not eating heavy foods, but still consuming vitamins and minerals, thus providing your body with ample nourishment.
Back to the cleansing beverage… this juice-like drink is full of natural, homeopathic ingredients that have been proven to help detoxify the body. There are different companies who create cleansing supplements like this, but by far the one I’ve found to be the best is a brand called Isagenix.
If you want to use a pre-made cleansing drink like these, do some evaluation before choosing the product for you, as there are many cleanse fads out there. For example, have you heard of the “Master Cleanse?”
What sounds better to you? Maple syrup, lemonade, and cayenne pepper cleanse or a cleansing beverage of Vitamin B6, aloe vera leaf gel, ashwagandha, burdock root extract, fennel seed extract, yellow dock root extract, peppermint leaf extract, turmeric root extract, blueberry extract, raspberry extract, and more?
I know giving up your tasty, but fatty In-&-Out burger may sound too difficult. But by flooding the body with these nutrient-dense ingredients while giving your liver and vital organs a break from the digestive process, your body will feel much stronger.
Cleansing has also been known to help people reduce cravings for undesirable foods, clear up skin, help people lose weight/ lean out the body and gain increased energy and better sleeping habits.
Lastly, it makes you very appreciative of food and can be a time of reflection to evaluate your health choices and your own steps moving forward. This regimen is not for everyone and you should research cleansing extensively before you take the plunge. But for me, I appreciate this time of purposeful, healthy living and I think you will, too.
To a happy and healthy you!
PS—For more information on Isagenix, feel free to check out my profile on the site or message me for more information/ discounted prices on products.
Ever since I was old enough to want a boyfriend, I didn’t really want a boy. I wanted a man. Not that I was 18 wanting to date 40-year-old men; I just admired guys who were at least a few years older.
Why, you ask? Well, guys who were older than me always seemed to have a lot more to offer. For instance, when I was in high school I went out with an older guy and he was able to take us to the movies in his truck. That sure beat us having to load into my mom’s bright blue mini-van and get dropped off. Perk? I think so.
When I was 19, I dated someone who was 23. Although the age difference isn’t that large, he had already graduated college and wasn’t nearly as wild and immature as the 19-year-old frat boys screaming “SHOTS!” while running around without their shirts on. The lack of embarrassment was yet another perk.
Now at age 23, I’m engaged to an older man. He is confident, has a good head on his shoulders, and is secure with who he is, what he wants out of life, and how I fit into the equation. In his younger days he may not have been ready for this kind of relationship, but at this point in his life he is.
Throughout my adult life, I’ve always seen value in dating someone who is one step ahead of the game. In my opinion, guys who have lived a few more years than guys my age have gone through more life lessons and have more insights to share with a younger woman. These years usually add up to men with more maturity, experience, and wisdom. An older boyfriend can not only be a loving partner; he can also serve as a mentor, role model and protector. And while not all women seek this type of relationship, many women do.
An older guy is usually more in-tune with what he wants, both professionally and personally. If a long-term relationship is what you’re looking for, older men are much more inclined to be on the same page. Guys usually need at least a few years of freedom before they are ready to “settle down,” and guys who are a little older tend to have gotten most of this out of their system. With time, men reach a point where they start to really value the idea of a relationship and having someone special to spend time with. It’s much more healthy to date someone who is ready to date!
It’s also nice to date someone who has worked out a lot of kinks already! In my experience, an older guy knows how to better treat and please a lady. They have more experience dealing with women and hopefully have learned from mistakes they’ve made in the past. Of course, there’s exceptions to this rule: there are plenty of young/mature and older/immature guys out there. But in general, wisdom and maturity do come with age.
I’m by no means saying that dating an older guy is the key to happiness in relationships for everyone. We all look for different qualities in a partner, and each individual is their own person. But for me, dating a few steps above my age range has worked out really well.
Have you had any experience dating outside your age group? Share with us in the comments; we’d love to know your thoughts!