Horror stories about online dating abound on the internet, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you date smart, you shouldn’t find online dating to be any more difficult than dating offline–if you date smart. Laurie Davis, founder of eFLIRT expert, an online dating consultancy, has written Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating to help date online successfully.
Davis cover a lot of ground in Love @ First Click. The book really is the ultimate guide to dating online. In a little less than 200 pages, Davis discusses how to choose a dating site, how to design your profile (and choose pictures) to maximize the amount of interest you receive, dating multiple people at the same time, texting and, perhaps most importantly for newbies to online dating, the danger signs to watch out for.
Some of what Ms. Davis, who boasts to have worked with over a thousand online dating clients one-on-one, has to say falls into the category of common sense. However, you all know the saying “common sense isn’t so common.” You should also know that it’s easy to be discouraged when you don’t immediately meet Mr. or Ms. Charming and start a relationship in 3 months or less. But knowing all this we all still make rookie mistakes, we all get discouraged, and we all sometimes follow our emotions instead of following the logic. Therefore, right in the introduction, Davis asks you to vow to “not get discouraged by the riffraff” and to “not get emotionally involved until we meet beyond the broadband.”
Bottom line: You can meet an asshole online or offline. The trick is to eliminate the a-holes from your purview as soon as possible, whether you meet them on or offline. And don’t get emotionally involved with people who you haven’t met yet.
Remember: You are not the first person to using online dating to meet you match. Davis writes regarding getting involved emotionally with someone you haven’t met:
Getting wrapped up in an email string before meeting will earn you a case of the maybes. You know you have the maybes when you start fantasizing about what could be rather than what actually is. Reserve excitement for when you’re face-to-face with your dates so you’re positive that your reality matches theirs. Staying in the moment on-and offline will keep your emotions in check.
Later Laurie writes, “Take things beyond the broadband and meet up after six messages total. After you’ve written 3 emails to your match, it’s time to get offline–any more, and you risk creating an entirely Web-based relationship.”
Davis gives the OK for women to do the asking. It’s fine if women make first contact with someone they find appealing. If he replies, then you start communicating and eventually, when it gets the point where you move things offline, you decide how traditional or non-traditional you want dynamic between the two of you to be. Amy Webb, author of Data, A Love Story: How I Gamed Online Dating to Meet My Match, made first contact with the man whom she eventually married.
The parts of the book that explain how to construct a perfect profile and how to take pictures for your profile are a goldmine. There truly is an art to creating a profile that will get the men you are interested in to click on your page and send you an email. Pictures taken from certain angles, certain poses, and particular locations, really help you get more attention than the next e-cutie who may be just as eager to meet someone special. Updating your profile and the pictures also helps to keep your profile fresh and maintain the level of views your page receives.
Don’t be surprised that there are scam artists in the online dating world. Catfish, anyone? Davis advises you to be on the lookout for the following when chatting it up with potential matches: flowery language, confusing language, disappearing acts, emergencies that require borrowing money, etc. If it sounds to good to be true or something feels wrong but you can’t quite put your finger on it, trust your instincts! At least try to clear up any confusions, subtly at first, but if you need to push the issue then push it. If you’ve been dating someone who has two jobs but can’t afford to buy a phone to speak with you or worse, he asks you to borrow money and you’ve never met, then you might want to consider getting the heck out of dodge!
And finally, Love @ First Click tells you when it might be time to take your profile down because you’ve met the guy who you think could be The One.
Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating lives up to it’s name. This is the one book (at least) that everyone new to online dating should pick up and read in its entirety before paying for the 3 month subscription to Match.com