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Dating and Being Visible

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Mar 4th 2016

It's important that you let the right people know that you are interested in dating. Failing to make your intentions known may result in lost opportunities. Try not to hesitate too long in communicating your interest if you meet someone who you are interested in. Also, consider letting your friends know you are looking and enlist their aid in locating someone appropriate.

An additional step one can take to increase their dating visibility is to advertise themselves with one or more 'personals' services. In the past there was social stigma associated with personal advertisements, with the idea being that only outcasts and misfits would need to advertise themselves. This stigma is rapidly fading if in fact it is not already entirely gone. Modern personals websites attract literally millions of singles from every walk of life and offer a highly efficient, relatively inexpensive means of quickly finding many dating partners. Large websites (e.g., "match.com") attract the widest variety of people, but there are also numerous specialty websites catering to particular religious or interest groups. Because dating is a numbers game, more opportunities to date equals more opportunities to find someone right for you.

Matchmaking websites allow you to to post a profile containing information about yourself on the website. Your profile is identified by a nickname so that your real name is kept confidential. Fill out your profile honestly and with a "less is more" approach in mind (Overly specific descriptions of what you are like or what you are looking for in another might frighten people away). You'll want to communicate attributes you are proud of and other things that make you a special or unique person.

Many sites now allow you to upload and attach a digital photograph of yourself to your profile. It's a good idea to do this if you have the option, as profiles with photographs tend to get more attention than those that don't. Use an attractive, natural and recent photograph that looks like you look. People tend not to like it when they meet you and you look different than advertised.

In addition to allowing members to describe themselves in words and pictures, some websites are now encouraging their members to take personality tests. The results of these tests are then used to match individuals on subtle compatibility traits that wouldn't be obvious from profile descriptions. If the personals website you choose has such a test available, consider filling it out so as to take advantage of the improved compatibility matching possibilities such a test can offer.

People will search your profile to see if they like your characteristics and what you have to say. You are able to search through other people's profiles (matched to characteristics you specify) so as to locate someone you might be interested in. You are able to send confidential email to people you're interested in meeting, and they are able to send confidential messages to you. If you both like each other's profiles, you can then set up a face-to-face date. As men are traditionally expected to take the initiative when asking for dates, women's profiles will typically attract more messages than will mens.

In addition to matchmaking websites, there are also matchmaking and singles services in most cities of any size. These businesses will generally have fewer people within their pool than do online services, but they may offer more personalized service or better screening. In addition to setting up singles parties and providing one-on-one matchmaking, some of these businesses coordinate dinner parties for six or eight eligible singles, with the idea that this approach is less pressuring than a conventional date. Whatever their form, these services tend to be more expensive to join than matchmaking websites.

Though there is no magic formula that guarantees success, approaching the dating process with a confident, positive, and proactive mindset, and making efforts to become visible to prospective partners should serve you well.

 

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