Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Chrysalis: Computer Love - Is That Your Face I See, On My Computer Screen?

Computer Love: Is that your face I see on my computer screen?

Dating in the technology age. Part 1: Creating a dating profile.

So at age 34 I found myself single for the first time in my adult life. I was encouraged by some to get out there as soon as possible and meet someone new. I was even told that the quickest way to get over one man was to get under another. WHAT?? How was that supposed to alleviate me of the pain of a breakup of a 17 year relationship? Luckily, I had other friends (one in particular) who guided me to my faith and encouraged my healing in a healthy way. So after over a year of introspection, prayer, healing, and working on myself and the finalization of my divorce, I decided to try dating. I have experienced some mind boggling, surreal, and ridiculously hilarious people and situations. I have also met quite nice people and made some friends along the way.

Seeing as the majority of my friends were married, I really didn’t know any single people (aside from the ones I met in DivorceCare). I needed someplace where I could meet a wide range of people. Hello internet! I signed up for the typical dating pay sites (you’ve seen them advertised), and found them too expensive for the results I was getting. Really, I was being matched with people I already knew. I don’t need to pay for that. Also, they were all redundant. Like me, everybody was on every site. I cancelled all pay subscriptions and turned my attentions to the free sites and that is where the fun began. Now, I know that some people have the stigma of internet dating is for freaks and serial killers. Not so. But Laura! What about that whole Craigslist Killer horror? Easy. Don’t look for dates on Craigslist! Really people! Over that last 2-3 years I have tweaked my profile and get great feedback. Yes, I am still single. I’m a very busy single mother. I activate and deactivate my profile as my life dictates. Sometimes I don’t have the time to cultivate a possible new relationship. Oh well.

First off be single! No fianc├ęs or spouses. If you are separated, wait until your divorce is final. Separated people have at the very least, legal issues. Legal issues, cause emotional issues. Emotional issues cause bad relationships. Save yourself the pain. Be single!

Step 1: Sign up for the dating website of your choice. For pay sites, if there is a way to opt out of the automatic renewal, do that. Nothing like forgetting to cancel before they charge you again.

Step 2: Upload some photos. Now this is very, very important. If you refuse to have your picture on your profile, you will get little to no interest. My theory is that if you don’t have a picture, then someone is monitoring you. Someone like your WIFE! Ain’t nobody got time for that.

You need three pictures minimum. 1. A nice face shot. Smile in your pictures. If you have nice teeth, or eyes, or dimples, or whatever, potential dates want to see your face without a hat on. 2. A full body shot, and not from 50 yards away. A profile with all face shots puts forth that you are not comfortable in your own body. Size, height, missing limbs, whatever. Put it out there. 3. A photo doing something you love. If you love riding bikes, walking your dog, dancing, tight rope walking, or reading, show something.

Picture Don’ts: 1) Now when I say put it out there, I do not mean your cleavage or other provocative photos. This is for men as well as women. Keep your clothes on. If you want it to show that you are athletic, show some biceps. Show yourself doing something athletic. 2) Pictures with the opposite gender, no one can tell if that is your sister or cousin or whomever. 3) Pictures with someone obviously cropped out (we can still see that badly photoshopped arm around you). For real? The only good picture you have of yourself is with your ex? Next! 4) Pictures with children. I know your kids are gorgeous. Or are those your nieces? Either way, it’s the internet. Don’t post pics of your kids. 5) Pictures of things that are not you. Unless you are a decepticon, I don’t believe that beamer is actually you. Neither is that dog or that sunset on the beach. Stop it.

Step 3: Fill out the profile questions. Either be truthful or outrageously dishonest (for humor). Just remember humor in the basic profile questions doesn’t always play well. Fill out the “about me” section. This is where things can go very wrong. You want to keep this area, short, sweet, and to the point. Remember sweet. That means not angry. DO NOT WRITE A PROFILE IN ALL CAPS. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE YELLING AND VERY ANGRY. IT IS ALSO A PAIN TO THE EYEBALLS!

Spell check and punctuation people! It is vry herd gto reed sumting that is spelld horbly wong Did u evn tayk da tym to reed this mess urself U R also a full grown adult Y R U riting like dis… NEXT!!!!!!!

Don’t fill your profile with the things you don’t want. Three paragraphs maximum. What do you like to do on your free time? Etc. Keep it positive and light and welcoming. Keep the poetry for a later date. Have a friend proofread it. I’ll proofread it! You are done, now it is time to post it.

But that’s not all!!! The truth about internet dating responses:

1. For every message the average male gets, the average female gets approximately 10. If she has a great profile then her numbers go up. What this means is that there will be a lot of no replies for you guys. Do not take it personally. It is not a sign of bad social graces. She just did not choose you at this time and it is unrealistic to send a rejection notice to everyone who sends a message. If a person doesn’t answer, then either they are not interested, not online, or reserving you for future reference. Keep it moving.

2. Men get less messages as well because women want men to make the first move. So she may favorite your profile or send a flirt or wink. If you get any of those notices, it’s your move buddy.

3. There is a sequence of events: Some messaging on line. Then exchange of numbers. Then phone talking/texting. Then meeting. If on your first message you send your number and say call me, that most likely won’t happen. Not enough input to risk having to put someone on your block call list.

Let me know your internet dating woes or triumphs. Send your stories to me at Enter The Chrysalis.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Keeping it cool and level-headed on the internet.



Laura Hernandez

About the author:

Laura Hernandez is an energetic, divorced mother of twins. She is a hypnotist, motivational speaker, life coach and unintentional comedienne. Through sharing her life story of tragedy, struggle and overcoming against the odds, she strives to encourage every person she comes in contact with to transform their lives and live in hope, love, happiness and wholeness.

Follow her @ Twitter | Facebook| Website

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