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Holladay Journal

Tips for finding your next Valentine through online dating

Feb 08, 2021 10:48AM ● By Sona Schmidt Harris

What will be written in your Book of Love? (Photo courtesy Pixaby Photos)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

Valentine’s Day is near again. For some, it is “Singles Awareness Day,” for others a time to celebrate the love they enjoy.

If you are looking to find that special someone online (like the serious special someone), here are some tips:

Think about what you really want in a partner

To most of us, it seems that what we want in a partner is clear, but to actually write it down can sometimes be enlightening.  Also helpful is to write down non-negotiable qualities you want in a mate.

If something is important to you, like an ivy-league education or a specific religion, don’t be afraid to utilize dating sites dedicated to these things

We all have biases. This is especially true when it comes to finding a mate. Be honest with yourself. Could you spend the rest of your life with someone of a different religion? With someone who wants or doesn’t want children? With someone who has a different education level than you?

While there is a certain snobbery and exclusivity within some of these dating sites, they do serve a purpose, and that purpose is to help you find more specifically what you want in a partner.

Use a profile picture with good lighting, but use a recent photo

We all want to look our best and bemoan the loss of some of our looks or the gain of unwanted pounds. However, posting a photo from 20 years ago when you looked better will only disappoint your prospective partner when he or she meets you. It also evokes distrust, and questions as to whether or not you will be honest with him/her in the future.

Set specific parameters on your profile

Use the tools the dating site provides such as the body types you are willing to date, education level, religion and activities in which you are interested.

Be prepared for a decrease in flirts or interest from others when you set more specific parameters

The more specific you are on your profile, the more likely it is that you will receive a decrease in interest from others. Don’t take it personally. Remember, you are trying to find a good match for you—not date a lot of people.

If you don’t find someone of serious interest within 20 miles of where you live, increase the parameters to within 50 miles 

Though it will be more expensive and time-consuming, dating someone farther away from where you live increases your chance of meeting that special someone.  

A middle-aged man relayed the story (on Valentine’s Day) of how he met his current wife. He lived in Miami. When he would go on dating websites, he kept seeing people’s profiles indicating that they liked “international travel,” “yachting,” “fine dining,” etc. Some of them did not list activities that were inexpensive like walking on the beach. To him, it seemed that these candidates were clearly looking for someone with a lot of money. Not only did he not have a lot of money, he was not interested in these candidates because he felt that they were shallow.

When he couldn’t find his match in Miami, he began to incrementally increase the mileage he was willing to travel to meet a possible match. His mileage parameters only kept growing.

He played the French horn in a symphony. It was important to him to be with someone who appreciated and performed classical music. His profile picture showed him playing the French horn. A woman in Salt Lake City also played the French horn. She had done the same as he and increased her mileage parameters incrementally until she saw this gentleman from Miami on a dating site. She couldn’t believe it. Not only did she meet someone she saw as suitable and played in a symphony like herself, he also played the French horn.

The romance blossomed, and he eventually moved to Salt Lake City to begin a life with her.

What is so wonderful about this middle-aged love story is that it includes both a romantic and practical approach to finding a partner.

Be honest

There is no need to reveal everything about yourself right up front. These things, especially the difficult ones, can be revealed slowly. However, don’t lie about your age or exaggerate your income. They will eventually be revealed anyway.

Use humor

Nothing makes you look more approachable than humor. For instance, you could say something like, “I admit freely that the picture I posted here is a glamour shot. It has great lighting, and I don’t normally look this good, but why don’t you come and see for yourself!”

Don’t date too many people at one time – it will only muddy the waters

While dating a lot of people at one time can be fun and undoubtedly ego-boosting, dating too many people at one time when you are trying to find “the one” is counterproductive.

Hide your profile if you are dating five or more people

Dating five people at once is a lot if you’re really looking for a great match. Most dating sites allow you to hide your profile instead of taking it down completely. This is a great option while you are trying to sort things out.

Reward honesty in others

If someone actually has the courage to tell you either that they are interested and would like to move forward, or they don’t think the two of you are a match, thank him/her. You know where you stand.

Keep an open mind

There is a reason you are single. Perhaps you have been choosing the same type over and over again, and it is not working. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Maybe try someone older than you normally date or someone with children, which you had never considered doing before.

Remember, if you’re looking for perfection, you’re never going to find it

You’re not perfect, so why do you expect someone else to be?

Realize that sometimes there is nothing you can do to grab someone’s interest; you might as well know it now

If a woman is looking for a man 6 feet or taller, and you’re 5-foot-10, there is nothing you can do. Don’t waste time worrying why someone isn’t interested.  

Don’t expect ‘no drama’ from your prospective match when you have plenty of drama in your own life

This is unfair and unreasonable. Instead, see if you can both work through each of your respective “drama.”

Be prepared to be dumped without warning or explanation during the initial correspondence phase of the relationship 

You have met someone with whom you believe there is promise. However, you have not yet met. This is a phase wherein people often “dump” each other without explanation. Don’t take it too personally. Their old flame might have returned, and they are trying to figure things out.  You simply don’t know.

If finding “the one”  is your goal, good luck and good love. But if romance is not in the cards this Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate love in all its forms?  

Happy Valentine’s Day!