Today's question is a big one. How can I make internet dating work for me?
It is a difficult question because the answer may be different for each and every person who requests it.
You need to start by asking yourself what you really want to achieve from your internet dating experiences. There are many different people that sign up to internet dating sites and each will have their own idea of what they are trying to achieve. Some may just want a casual encounter or multiple casual encounters. Some may want an entirely online, non-physical relationship or relationships. If this applies to you then my advice would be that you have a clearly defined parameter and you should make this known in your profile to ensure that you only connect with other like-minded individuals.
I would hazard a guess that that the vast majority, irrespective of their initial reasons for joining an internet dating site, harbor a desire for a stable, long-term physical relationship. It is this area that I will now discuss.
So, is there a magic bullet or step by step guide to making sure that you achieve your dating goals? The simple answer to this is no. After what some people may say, there is no one surefire way to ensure that you get a date that you hold on to them (if that is your wish). You have to remember that we are dealing with other human beings here and not machines. Human beings are multi layered complex creatures and there is no, 'one size fits all' way of dealing with them.
What you need to do after clearing your goals is to communicate them honestly through your profile. This is one of the great strengths of internet dating. You can define likes, dislikes, wants, needs … etc., upfront via your profile and reasonably expect only to be matched to those seeking the same thing or having the same needs. You are sorting the wheat from the chaff.
You will usually find that a well worded profile together with a good recent photograph will indeed serve to narrow down a pool of suitable matches.
Once you have your potential matches it is then up to you. This is the part where you really take over and where you have to have a little courage. If you like a person's profile you really should not think twice about making a move. All internet dating sites have a 'wink' type facility and do not hesitate to use this if you like what you see. Remember that the individual that you are winking at has signed up for internet dating to achieves goals similar to yourself. Now is not the time to be shy. Brace yourself for some rejections, you will have them but also expect to receive a larger proportion of replies.
The rest is up to you, but I say be bold, be honest and most of all be happy.