10 Good Reasons to Try Online Dating in 2013

ARE YOU NEW TO ONLINE DATING? 

Have you never tried online dating?  Do you think that the whole concept is embarrassing and awkward? As someone who has done it and started as an older woman, I would certainly admit that online dating can be a confusing and mystifying world to get into at first.

Hopeful Woman - on couchIt definitely takes practice to feel comfortable. What do you say about yourself?  Which pictures do you chose? How to you contact men and what’s the best way to respond to the men who visit your profile? It’s immensely helpful to clarify your goals before you start and write a profile targeted toward the type of man you hope to meet. These are  things you can learn. But, it all begins with a commitment to get started online.

Maybe you life is like mine:  I was more than willing to try meeting a man online because I had limited opportunities in my day-to-day life for  meeting by chance. This is not to say that good fortune couldn’t strike in line at the post office or in the cheese department at my local grocery store, but my chances were much better ONLINE than IN LINE simple because that’s where there are more available men.  Plus….meeting new people and creating new possibilities for happiness is fun!

If you’re ready to try something new, here are 10 good reasons why you should learn to master the process of online dating.

REASON #1:  YOU’RE WORKING AND YOUR FREE TIME IS LIMITED

One of the best features of meeting men on the Internet is that you can do it at your convenience, at any time of the day.  Still in your pajamas?  No problem!  Unlike going to a party, it doesn’t matter what you wear.  In fact, you can probably write most of your profile in less time than it takes to shop for a new dress and shoes and do your hair for an important party.

Too tired to go out?  Browse online!  You can spend entertaining hours reading profiles or just dip in for a quick five-minute review.

Online dating lets you proceed at your own pace.  You have control.

REASON #2:  YOU’RE OLDER AND FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE BEING OUT IN PUBLIC LOOKING FOR A MAN

420-online-dating-laptop.imgcache.rev1310669764872 copy

The over-fifty age group is one of the fastest growing segments online.  I’m older myself, and don’t feel comfortable going out to bars or singles’ parties. Online, you have complete privacy. You can share your activities with friends and family if you chose – and I suggest that you do – but it you’re a bit shy about starting a dating effort, what you chose to reveal is up to you.  Again, you have control.

REASON #3:  YOU CAN PRESENT YOURSELF IN THE BEST LIGHT

Your profile is a handpicked selection of photographs and statements.  It’s like building a window display for a store – with you as the designer.  You can present what you like best and think will be most likely to attract a like-minded man.  Online profiles are like curated collections that you handpick to showcase yourself.

This means, of course, that your choices reveal a lot about you.

This is exactly why you should learn how to create an appealing online profile that stands out from the crowd.

REASON #4:  YOU’RE ON A LIMITED BUDGET.  GOING OUT COSTS MONEY.  ACCESS TO MEN ONLINE IS A BARGAIN IN COMPARISON

Two of the largest and most well-managed dating sites are completely free to use: OKCupid.com and PlentyofFish.com.

You can sign up for these sites without contracts or monthly fees.  Presumably, your budget ready includes daily access to the Internet.  After that, you would just need to prepare a good photograph.  While I recommend having a professional quality photo or at least professional guidance preparing a photo created specifically for your profile picture, you could do this for free with your cell phone.

Until you actually go out to meet a man, you don’t have to spend an extra dime for dozens of entertaining hours with online encounters.  Even if you sign up for Match.com or another site with a monthly fee, it’s still a bargain compared to going out for the evening to a bar or an event.

REASON #5:  INFORMATION IS AT YOUR FINGERTIPS.  CHECK OUT A MAN ANONYMOUSLY AND DECIDE WHETHER YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE

A woman's hands on a computer keyboard

Profiles and photographs are enormously revealing.  And, if you contact a man, his response will give you even more information. You can still maintain your privacy if you choose to not proceed.

Once you have his name, the entire Internet is open to you for research.  I strongly suggest that you learn as much about him as you can.  It’s entirely normal these days to check out someone you meet online.  The Hopeful Woman’s 10 Step Guide will give you resources you can use for social background checks.

This is good motivation for you to Google yourself and fix anything that could be embarrassing (clean up that Facebook page!) or finally put up the LinkedIn profile that you’ve been putting off.

REASON #6:  YOU HAVE CHILDREN AND WANT TO PROTECT THEM

I’m a mother and completely understand the need to protect children from the confusion of seeing mommy with different men.  Only you can decide when it’s appropriate to tell your children that you are dating, and, of course, only you can decide that all-important moment when your children are introduced to a new man.

In my opinion, nothing is more important than keeping your children safe.

3217691-woman-outdoors-with-two-young-children-walking-on-path-holding-hands-and-smiling-selective-focus

As a parent, I personally felt safer with the online dating process than I did meeting men in other impersonal settings because I could research them before we met.  Some of us are lucky to have friends or workplaces where we can meet men whose backgrounds are known. For the rest of us, we have to make our own way.  Finding men over the Internet was fun and productive for me as a mother with responsibilities at home.  I felt hopeful and enthusiastic about my social life while working actively to protect my children.

I committed to meeting a man face-to-face only after I had done my homework:  his background had been researched and a lot was known about him.  It is my hope that you make this commitment, too.

REASON #7:  YOU LIVE IN THE SUBURBS

Commuting to a singles’ event takes time, commitment and money for fuel.  Moving your dating efforts forward while in the comfort of your own home is more efficient than driving around.

You can get discouraged very fast after getting dressed, driving thirty or more minutes to a gathering, paying to park the car and then standing around with no tangible results in meeting a promising man.

You’re probably like me:  generally, the effort I put into an activity defines my expectations of the results:  Big Effort equals Big Expected Results.  Making a big effort then coming away empty-handed was disheartening.

The worst for me was the lonely drive home.

More often than not, to avoid that lonely drive, I would go to the destination with a girlfriend. It was comforting to have a companion at my side to walk through the door into a room full of strangers, but it also meant that we could choose to spend our time chatting with each other and not spend our time mingling around the room freely. I’m not a world-class mingler. Nor am I a stunningly attractive woman who can just stand there while the men queue up for my attention.  To meet people in a crowd, I need to take the initiative.

If you, too, feel a little shy about talking to a new man in person, you will love the comfort and convenience of online dating.  It can be easier to take the initiative and introduce yourself online than going up to a stranger and putting out your hand.

REASON #8:  YOU LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN AND ARE WORRIED THAT THE CHOICE OF LOCAL MEN IS SO LIMITED

This is a really legitimate concern, especially if your small town is somewhat isolated.  Let’s define “isolated” as driving for an hour without reaching a major population center.

If you are a long way from a lot of people and are prepared to travel to meet a new man, then online dating is the most efficient and effective way to learn about your prospects.

You might be surprised to learn that there are available men in other small towns near yours. You may or may not know people in the next county, but these days, those isolated men are just as frustrated with their few local prospects as you are.

They are online.  Looking for you.

REASON #9:  YOU’RE SHY AND FEEL AWKWARD AT PARTIES.  YOU’RE MUCH BETTER WITH ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATION.

This is the VERY BEST part about online dating:  all your conversations are one-on-one.

Do you love to “hold forth” at parties and perform for a crowd?  Most of us can’t do that.  I am best with quiet conversation with someone who is listening carefully. I listen carefully.

With online dating, you can be quiet and careful about selecting your prospects and thoughtful about responding with the distractions of being in a crowd.

REASON #10:  YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’D LIKE YOUR FUTURE TO BE

Targeting your efforts to men who share your values and goals is easier and more efficient online.

You can write a profile with a positive tone that will eliminate inappropriate men, or at least most of them.

It’s a mistake to think that you have to appeal to the broadest possible audience.  If you are athletic, do you seriously wan a man who is out of shape? If you are religiious, would falling in love with an atheist be awkward for you? What if you don’t want children or you love living in the city and don’t want to move?

Online profiles can positively describe your lifestyle and your goals without being negative about what you don’t want.  Being clear about the lifestyle you would like to live will help focus your writing.  You will save time and improve your odds of attracting the type of man you’d like to meet.

Retired Couple on Beach