First steps in online dating

I’ve been running into women who have misgivings about using online dating, so let’s talk a little about good “first steps” in online dating.

I’m guessing you’ve already decided to take the plunge (or you probably wouldn’t have found this blog) – so congratulations!

One of the best ways to make sure you’ll have an enjoyable experience is to trust your instincts. You may find yourself saying, “Instincts, what instincts? I don’t think I have any instincts in this area of my life.”

Perhaps you’re in touch with instincts in other areas of your life, but are thinking you need a little guidance in the dating area?

A good way to organize your thoughts around this is to come up with a list of questions for potential dates to answer. It’s easy to create this list by using the information in your profile.

Everyone has their list of “non-negotiable,” “must haves,” and “not a match” items in their life. It’s important to be mindful  of these when you meet potential matches, whether it be through email, on the phone, or in person.  Then you’ll be prepared for lively conversation and you’ll be better able to confirm whether the other person is enough of a match to spend more time with them.

Some examples of questions you could ask your potential match:

  • How do you feel about him having children?
  • How do you feel about introducing him to your children?
  • Do you care if he smokes or drinks, and how much?
  • How important are manners to you?
  • What lifestyle choices are and aren’t attractive to you?
  • How much time does he spend working?
  • How much time does he spend traveling?
  • How does he spend his time off?
  • Is his education level a concern for you?
  • Is his income level important to you?
  • What is your boundary regarding his geographic location?

The items on this list should be the “hot buttons” – the items you can’t live with (or without). At this point, I’m not talking about the negotiable items (ones about which you have flexible feelings).

One last thing. It’s important to always ask these questions with the intention of being inquisitive (not confrontational). For example – “Your job sounds really interesting… tell me more about it.” Later you can ask, “I’m curious about how many hours a week you work?” Keeping an attitude of curiosity helps the other person feel comfortable talking with you and also gives them an opportunity to expand on their answer (you may find a more complete answer makes them more of a match than you originally thought).

Bottom line, using a “hot button” list like this is an honest way to treat yourself and your potential match. You’ll each know you’re spending your valuable phone and in-person time with people whose company you will enjoy.

~ Christine
Dating and Relationship Expert

Goal Setting + Purposeful Dating = Satisfying Relationships

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