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3 Online Dating “Do’s” to Keep You Happily Meeting Men

Bobbi Palmer
Love + Sex
November 26, 2012

You can meet the spectacular, special man who is going to be your life partner using online dating. I met the love of my life on www.match.com, so of course I recommend it to all my friends, coaching clients, in my workshops…really to anyone who will listen!

Here are three things I recommend you keep in mind as you travel on your journey meeting men using online dating. (Yep…it is a journey and, yes, you meet men online…you really don't date them there.)

#1. Be the Boss

No, I don't mean be bossy. I mean be in control of your experience. Online dating opens you up to thousands more possibilities, and it's a completely new way of meeting people.

Make some decisions and set some personal guidelines about how you want to integrate it into your life. How many hours will you spend each day? (Warning: this can get addictive!) What things can you do to ensure your physical and emotional well-being as you talk to and meet people? What can you learn or change to be a successful dater?

Intuition and special situations will create forks in the road. And as time goes on, you'll likely tweak some of these decisions. Considering some things up front, however, gives you a tentative roadmap and, more importantly, an expanded awareness. It gives you something to refer back to when you get a little off track.

I want you to have fun, be open to new things, and enjoy the experience; just do it consciously and like the grownup woman who you are.

Remember those jerks you met in bars 30 years ago? Well, a few are still out there; they just have gray hair now. (That's my husband, Larry's, line.) You need to be able to deal with all men in a classy, direct manner, and the best way to do that is to have a good sense of what you want and who you want to "be" out in the dating world.

#2. Have fun while you practice.

Every meeting and date is practice that brings you closer to Mr. I Love You. Statistically, your meet-date won't turn out to be him. So what?

Enjoy the time and be open to what comes up. Don't come in with an agenda, and don't let it ruin your time if, in the first 10 minutes, he doesn't appear to be your man. Just relax and let yourself enjoy. You never know; you may just let yourself relax into a very nice feeling.

You can also use this as a time to help boost the man's self-esteem. (Yes, men are as nervous and insecure as we are.) He was nice enough to "pick you" and make the effort of meeting you. (Remember, as we get older the men have way more choices than we do.)

Unless he's a real creep (which very, very few men are), help him feel good about himself by giving him some compliments and thanking him graciously. Try to learn about him and find what's unique and interesting. You can learn and gain something from just about anyone.

#3. Pace Yourself

Slow and steady wins the race - and the right guy. My advice is to date as many guys as you can without losing your mind. Don't suspend your Match.com account just because your heart is going pitter-patter over someone you've gone out with a few times.

Keep answering the "likes" and emails that appeal to you. Try to keep yourself open to all men until you have an exclusive relationship. You've waited this long for your Mr. Right, so don't waste six months on a guy who wants to see you once a week. (Even though you want him all the time.) Maybe it will turn into more, but in the meantime please keep your options open. Don't ignore all those guys in your inbox looking for attention. They've picked you already…you're more than 50% there!

If you go "all-in" too soon, you'll likely go down the crazy woman's path of dashed hopes and disappointments and burn yourself out. Keep your head and wits about you, stay open, and remember that regardless of what a man who doesn't know you thinks, you are a special, lovely woman who deserves love.

Stay in it…and it will come. I know. It did for me and (literally) millions of other women.

And Finally…

Ultimately, I learned that the only way to find a lasting and loving relationship is to become a smart, confident, and complete woman who merits the love of a good man.

A large part of that journey is being open to learning and having the courage to do new things, even when they're difficult or scary. Personally, I finally realized that the real scary thing was being single forever. So I hopped online the RIGHT WAY and found the love of my life.

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