Last week I joined a dating site. I’m not beautiful. I’m not young. I did not post my most stunning photos. I did not sing praise to how amazingly accomplished I am. I did not list tons of interests and activities I enjoy. And yet, in the few hours that followed, over 500 men had expressed their desire to meet me.
I’ve been out of the dating scene for a long time. I was either in a relationship, or healing from it. I refused to join the internet dating madness. I believed that I will meet the man who belongs in my life without electronic interactions. And I did. But then I moved to a new city and I felt increasingly lonely and longing for a man’s presence in my life. So I decided to try a dating site.
There is much I am noticing about dating online.
The first thing I discovered was that so many men are hungry for woman’s attention, human warmth, intimacy and romance. I was surprised by the amount of men specifying that they are looking for a relationship, and not just dating.
The next shock was that men are interested in women over 40. The myth that there are no men in their 40s and 50s who are available and interested in a woman my age, evaporated within minutes of being on this site.
I also realized how clueless we all are in the art of connection, internet interaction and romance.
Inspired by my online experiences, I’ll share some tips for men:
1. Please introduce yourself when you approach a woman for the first time. Only two men out of the hundreds that contacted me stated their name, signed their note or said a few words about themselves. Women feel safe when you introduce yourself—and safety is important for a woman. Especially in this kind of forum.
2. Writing “hi beautiful” doesn’t work. There is not an easy way to respond to this, much less—to make a conversation out of it.
Meeting on a dating site leaves out the information that all of our senses could provide if we were to meet in person—voice, body language, the way we speak or look at each other, the ease with which we communicate. In other words—the exchange of live energy between us. In the digital dating world, a “hi” simply doesn’t cut it.
3. Make it easy for her to respond. What you want is a response from her. What she wants is a dialogue. Women love conversation. The easiest way to start a conversation is to be interested in her. Women love attention.
Show attention by asking her about something she cares about. This means that you must read her profile and notice a few things you can ask about. She probably left clues all over the place—to make it easy for you to pick up a conversation.
4. Be a good listener. What you call “her laundry list” is a simple way for her to show you what to talk about. She is testing you---to see if you’re paying attention. She doesn’t necessarily expect you to do these things with her. She hopes that you listen and that you are sensitive enough to pick up what matters to her and begin a conversation about it. So if she’s written: “I love yoga”, ask her about that!
She’d be impressed that you went beyond looking at her pictures and actually took the time to read what she says. This tells her that you are interested in who she is. She may conclude that you possess the most valuable skill for a successful relationship—the ability to listen.
She leaves clues for the hunter in you, so pick them up and start following them. Give her a reason to choose you over all men that are after her!
5. Leave a hook. Usually that’s a question that’s easy for her to reply to. Keep the flow going. Your job is to begin. She will follow.
6. Provide safety for her by revealing something about yourself. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this one. The more she gets to know you—the safer she will feel. I know that this might be uncomfortable for most men, but that creates safety for a woman.
She doesn’t know who you are and if she could trust you yet. Just like you don’t know if she’d reject you. You both take a risk: she risks her safety; you risk hearing “no”.
7. First dates. A coffee date seems to be the norm now. It’s sensible—saving money and time by presenting an opportunity to reject each other in the course of 5 minutes. But it’s also boring. There is nothing memorable about it. It’s well known that attraction shows up more easily when you are taken out of your comfort zone and have the adrenaline pumping.
You don’t have to bungee jump in order to create impact, but it’s proven that some of the greatest attraction happens when you share a special experience. Create it.
8. A date doesn’t have to be expensive in order to be memorable. Please use your imagination and offer something you really like doing. Then include her in it. Invite her for a walk, or a bike ride—if you both like that. Meet her on the tennis court if she likes tennis. Show her a museum you like, where you can shine with your knowledge. She’ll be ignited by hearing you talk about something you are knowledgeable or passionate about.
When you choose a place to meet, think of what you like as well, and what would make you feel confident and happy. Meet her in a park. Walk the labyrinth downtown. See a historic building together. Meet at a bookstore if you like books. You’ll discover a lot about her just by observing what she’s drawn to. A book you encounter is a great way to strike a meaningful conversation and to get to know each other in a fun way.
What do you like and would enjoy, even if you aren’t attracted to her?
9. If you want to win with her, help her feel good about herself. If you can help her feel good about herself, chances are she’d reciprocate. A woman feels good when she is seen and heard. To do this—pay continuous attention to her, listen to what she has to say, and be fully present. And as time goes by and your connection deepens, she will trust you, respect you, love you, and choose you over every other man.
10. Don’t get caught in the not enough game. When you meet a woman who excites you, stop looking for more. See what’s good about what you have and start loving it. Enjoy her. Cherish her. Love her. Appreciate her. Call her your own.
Allow yourself to have, not just to search. Know when to stop looking for that illusive perfection. You might be surprised how easy it is to be happy when you say “this is enough”.
Notice when you get caught in the nets of the addiction of fishing for a better fish. Looking for the perfect woman can leave you lonely and unfulfilled. Because the real fulfillment comes from opening up to be understood and allowing yourself to love and to be loved.
When you share yourself with another (imperfect) human being, you will feel more alive, happier and more fulfilled—because you have shared your life, and your Self with another. Let her enter your life and your heart, even if she does not cover all your requirements for perfection.
See the article in The Elephant Journal HERE
See the article in The Good Men Project HERE.