78 and counting…online match-making, Part 2

Notre Dame at Christmas time, Paris 2017
Merry Christmas to All

As I was saying….

If you have read Part One of this subject on my previous blog – about online matchmaking – welcome back! If you are interested in this information but have not read that first blog, please go back and read Part One because you need that basic information to make sense of what this second part says.

Tis the season for festive decorating and celebrations! With the pandemic requirements, only narrowly defined small parties are recommended, but in the interim until we can all get vaccinated, there is groundwork that can still be laid. Relationships can be formed and defined and even enjoyed in online dating website socialization. The basics were discussed in Part One of this blog and I hope you all had your curiosity teased into further investigations. The process of getting started is fun and fascinating and yet sometimes rather tricky. With this second blog I will carefully explain the nuances of what to watch out for, certainly not to scare you, but so that you have a head start over the inexperienced first-time user of these online social dating services. In the general dating game, you already have an advantage when you sign up for one of these sites because, by comparison, if you happen to actually meet a random person who looks interesting at a party, or a bar, hiking, or even just walking down the street you know next to nothing about him/her. You are flying so very blind…you have nothing to go on and you must start from scratch, ground zero, in your “getting to know you” routine. It is always better to have a foundation of information with which to start. So we begin someplace between caution and adventure, hoping that we find a comfortable balance for you.

Online information provides you with a wealth of information right off the bat. The applicants’ profiles reveal a great deal of good nitty-gritty stuff and if you are intuitive enough to even read between the lines you are especially fortunate. For instance, chances are you will be able to read Mr/Ms Profile’s education level, religious beliefs, where he/she lives, what he/she does for a living, what he/she’s likes and dislikes are, what his or her ‘s favorite past times, hobbies, musical preferences are , what he/she likes to eat and where, can he/she dance, does he/she travel, does he/she prefer art galleries or football games or both.. and the beat goes on. Additionally it is at least partially written in the Profiler’s own words, and that means that perhaps his/her sense of humor shows through the words. Her/his choice of words might also reveal a tendency to be positive about life or a bit melancholy. On some sites you might have access to that psychological profile test that I mentioned in Part One, which would be fascinating. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to know if he/she is structured and organized rather than unorganized and messy? It would also be great to know if the person you are considering is an extroverted party animal or a more introverted intellectual loner. There is much to be learned from a profile, and of course your own profile must be carefully written as well. Fill it out when you are in a good mood!

As I said before in Part One, the pictures you post as part of your profile page are an extremely important component of assembling the information about yourself. People who do not choose to post a picture are at a very basic disadvantage in the competition for your attention. It reveals that they are not a confident person about their appearance, or they are not technically savvy enough to know how to upload a picture. Everyone is capable of having a flattering picture taken – and people are surprisingly happy to see you in a casual, unplanned photo opportunity like when you are outdoors on a hike or having fun with friends. It is not a great idea to post a picture of yourself with a bunch of friends who most definitely do not want their pictures posted on a well-traveled internet social dating website, because that is an invasion of their privacy. So make your picture a single picture of you – you can crop out all the other people if you know how to do that. Some dating websites allow you to post a gallery of several pictures and that is a fantastic idea. Show your true self! Show everyone that you get around and have an active life. Just be authentic and have fun with it.

I have seen a wide variety of ridiculous attempts at almost, or sort of posting a picture. A person will wear a big hat and stand in the shade. A person will post a picture of his or her shadow. A person will photograph him/her self from only the neck down, or only from his nose up. Another person who claims to be a senior citizen will post one picture of him/herself from at least 20 years ago. I saw a guy once who posted a picture of the area just below his belt region in a pair of very tight jeans. Come on you guys! Do this picture thing the correct way or not at all and stop wasting space on a match-making site when you are not serious enough to give it a dignified chance. Don’t be a creep, and ladies who turn themselves into pin-up queens in their senior years might not get the responses they are hoping for.

Other characteristics that might be volunteered on a social website profile without the writer consciously realizing what he/she has revealed are sometimes quite obvious to the person reading the profile. A person might inadvertently reveal he/she has been married 5 times…. red flag. A person might actually reveal that he/she lives in another country…red flag. A person might reveal that he/she is actually writing for a friend who just cannot bring him/herself to complete the profile or post a picture or reveal his/her actual authentic name because of shyness…red flag. I ran across a control freak one time who posted no picture and when I requested one he answered me with, “Meet me for a drink and you can take all the damn pictures you want!” Control freaks usually reveal themselves. Another guy, in his profile, stated that he would like to be called on his phone so that he could explain in detail exactly what he expected of a woman in a relationship with him, because he has made a list. Red flag.

One final warning would be to never become involved in any relationship, no matter how wonderful it seems, if money is requested by the other person. You are begging for trouble if that happens. If you ever watch the crime shows on TV such as “48 Hours” I do not have to explain further. Do not ever put yourself in the position of being an obvious, unsuspecting, air- headed fool of a sitting duck. Be cautious and be smart.

The vast majority of people on dating websites are nice folks and sincerely would like to find a compatible partner. Look for someone who lives close, at least within 25 miles of you, (unless you would seriously consider moving) and is reasonably flexible about how it would work if you decide to meet for coffee. I recommend coffee rather than cocktails for that first in-person meeting. Never invite a brand new acquaintance into your home or reveal exactly where you live. Specific info like that is better saved for much later in the relationship. You can split the check or offer to pay it yourself or allow that other person to pay – it is fine to handle it however you would like.

I imagine you might have about a million more questions, not answered here. If a Part Three is warranted, we will talk about all of this and more, again. In the meantime, take heart, a new day is about to dawn and there is a way out of this involuntary imprisonment. It is always better to know a person mentally before you know them physically. It will be a joyful awakening to some day become more 3Dimensional again!

Jo Ann Brown-Scott

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