Linda Miller’s cyber searches have yielded over 400 first dates, but no soulmate yet. Undaunted, she realized that mistakes are a terrible thing to waste, so she documented her quest in a book, In Search of My Last 1st Date. Many of Linda’s “love” connections remain friends and Miller uses their stories (in their words) as a prism though which we see cyber dating from the male perspective.
Her “ground rules” make online dating easier and you’re less likely to get burned and more likely to be successful. Sort of like skiing; with the right gear, you can ski better and stay on the slopes longer. Here are some of her best:
1) Use your brain before engaging other body parts. This helps recognize potentials who will (or won’t) work for you.
2) For every 5 potentials you email, 3 (or so) will respond. Don’t take it personally. It’s not necessary for you to respond to everyone either. If you’re not interested, now is the time to delete.
3) Limit pre-1st date involvement to just enough communication to decide if you want to meet in person. Fantasy builds in direct proportion to the time spent pre-1st date, and you risk creating a relationship that doesn’t exist.
4) Proceed with caution for 90 days. Ninety percent of all relationships don’t last 90 days. If you’re alert, you can discover 95% of what you need to know about someone during this time.
5) Be a baggage sniffer. “Inattentional blindness” is the phenomenon of being unable to see things that are actually there. Don’t let the lure of the pleasures of new love (or lust) obscure red flags.
6) Actions speak louder than words. Characters and lives are defined but by what we do, not what we say. Don’t be seduced by superficial impressions.
7) Don’t fall in love with someone’s potential. How they were then and how they are now are similar versions to how they will be in the future.
Keep your eyes (and mind) open. Dating requires the willingness to experiment. Like chemistry, the right formula can create magic and the wrong one can set the house on fire. If you don’t try, you’ll never know what could have been.