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Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Tips For Online Dating
RELATIONSHIP PSYCHOLOGIST - SUSAN QUILLIAM
'Dating online can be a challenge. It's a new way of looking for love, so we're all still learning how to work it' – Susan Quilliam, who takes part in the programme.
1. Be ready to date. If you're not over a previous relationship or anxious and demotivated about going online, you'll self-sabotage. Wait until you're emotionally available, confident in yourself, ready to put in time and energy.
2. Decide what you want first. The site you use, your profile and photo all need to be chosen to suit the partner and partnership you're looking for. So before you ever go online, think carefully through your wants, needs, deal breakers.
3. Ignore the numbers. No site – however huge their database – will bring you results if the site users aren't your kind of people. Plus, the ones with big memberships can overwhelm you with numbers. Instead, trawl sites to find one you personally identify with.
4. Don't sell – invite. Writing your profile shouldn't be a marketing exercise. In fact, research suggests the more you major on "I", the more you'll actively put people off. Instead, welcome in prospective partners by writing warmly about the relationship you'd love to have with them.
5. Choose a welcoming photo not a mug shot. Get a friend or a professional photographer to take hundreds of photos of you smiling and laughing. Then choose the ones where you look the most relaxed and approachable.
6. Don't go shopping. Studies suggest that, when faced with too much choice in partners, we make decisions on irrelevant criteria, such as whether someone wears glasses. Instead, decide who to approach based on whether their profile lets you imagine having a good relationship with them.
7. Get real – and get real early. Don't fall for the spell of email and text - feeling close online says nothing about whether you're compatible in real life. So talk on the phone and meet up as soon as you possibly can.
8. Tell the truth. Most folk on dating sites are genuinely looking for love – if they're not, they go to 'hook-up' or 'married' sites. But many people are also insecure, so tweak age, height or weight to make a good impression. It works best to be truthful – anything else creates a false start to love.
9. Don't expect instant success. In everyday life you may meet hundreds of people at work, socially or by chance before you find someone to date. The same's true online – it can take months of regular searching before you find a match.
10. Ignore bad behaviour. Because online dating's so new, we haven't worked out the courtesies: for example, many people don't respond to approaches made to them. So if you get snubbed, rejected or dumped, ignore it; not your fault.
11. Get support. Find a dating buddy, someone to help you through the tricky stages, support you through disappointment, celebrate your success.
About Susan Quilliam Susan Quilliam's work in this field spans coaching, writing, broadcasting, training and consulting. Her background is in psychology and counselling.