Category Archives: Dating tips

Dating Resolutions for ’09

Ah, the New Years Eve! Perhaps the most pressured evening to couple up (with notable exception of Valentine’s day, of course.) Probably because I’ve been single for most New Years (and V-days) of my adult life – my relationships seem to be sprinkled in between traditionally romantic holidays – I am perfectly serene about my singlehood this time of year (or is in it denial?) However, both in talking to friends and reading the latest dating industry statistics, it’s obvious that I am in the minority.

Apparently, desire for love and relationships strikes singles most during the holiday season (and tough economic times). Dating websites like Match.com, Plentyoffish.com,Craig’s List, e-Harmony and others are reporting record sign-ups. The holiday season, paired with recession, apparently pushes us to seek companionship, support and encouragement, a sense of safety in the world. According to the dating industry, the week after New Years generally sees the highest number of new subscribers. With sign-ups already skyrocketing, I wonder what 2009 will bring!

So knowing that you might be writing your own personals ad soon, I propose the following dating resolutions to get the maximum results with the minimum rolled eyes from your dating efforts.

Resolution #1 – Don’t apologize, justify or act too-cool-for school!

For god’s sakes, don’t say things like “I can’t believe I am doing this” or “I don’t have any trouble meeting people in person” or “My dog made me sign up”. You are both there for the same exact purpose – you’re single and looking. It’s better to sound like an interesting person with a lot of interests and thus prove your confidence than to insert a dozen disclaimers that only prove that you DO have trouble meeting people in the “real world”!

Resolution #2 – Avoid beginning with a physical description

Please please don’t begin with a physical self-description (unless you’re posting to Craig’s List and then please DO). If you’re on one of the other sites, you’re probably also inserting a picture or generic description they prompt you for. If you ignore this resolution, a natural assumption of the reader is that you’re boring and have nothing interesting to say about yourself!

Resolution #3 – Post a recent, clear, solo picture of yourself

This goes for both genders – if you’re going to share a picture, please make it clear and recent. It’s nice that you were in great shape two years ago but what do you look like now? Most daters surveyed perceive inaccurate pictures as a deception that’s unforgivable. Why set yourself up? Oh and why post a picture with a hot member of the opposite sex (even if you try to crop them out of the picture we can tell!) I mean really, I can’t believe I have to even mention this common sense photo etiquette.

Resolution #4 – Avoid cliches

Before you post your ad, you might want to read some others posted in your gender and age category. Notice how many people “work hard and play hard”, “are just as comfortable in a pair of jeans as dressing up for a romantic evening out” or look for a “partner in crime” (last one ok if your name happens to be Bonnie or Clyde!) Please spare us.

Resolution #5 – Describe the person you’re looking for

And I don’t mean their bra or bicep size (unless you’re looking for a person who hopes to be found based on that particular attribute). It’s great to be open minded about whom you’d like to meet but not including any substantive desired qualities creates a perception that 1) you haven’t really given it much thought, or worse 2) you don’t know yourself well or what you’re looking for.

Resolution #6 – Don’t say you’re funny, BE funny!

Any idea how many people describe themselves as funny – how many do you think actually are? Right! SO rather than saying “I am a 30-year-old white funny wo/men looking for a wo/men to date” actually say something humorous (without offending them!) Incidentally, please spell woman / man with with an A unless you are actually a group looking for multiple partners . I know, some of you want to date multiple people but remember, it’s ONE person reading it and they are your “buyer” for the moment. Most don’t want to be lumped with 100 other people you’re emailing.

Resolution #7 – Keep the small violin and negativity to yourself

You may be recently out of a relationship, or lonely or bored or any other human condition you’re absolutely entitled to. You may feel that you’re the only good catch on the web. You may truly despise rainy days. Cool, no problem! But as soon as you start venting about it in your ad, the small print becomes “I am a whiny, negative person with a lousy attitude – can you imagine spending your life with me?” Of course, if you’re trying to attract a person displaying these characteristics, go right ahead.

Resolution #8 -Have fun with it!

I know quite a few people – ahem, self included – who have occasionally allowed the on-line dating process to get them down. You email someone you like and you never hear back. Or you go out with them and think you’ve met your soul mate and s/he disappears. Or you keep going out with duds and start thinking, “maybe there’s something wrong with ME.” Cyber-dating can be a weird experience so the only way to thrive in it is to blog… I mean decide to have fun with it! Go in with a healthy mix of optimism and realism and know that whatever “they” dish out, is about THEM and not you! Maintain a sense of humor about the whole thing and you’re sure to have fun, whatever happens.

So, what ARE your resolutions or intentions for the year? It’s important to put your vision out there – without getting married to it, no pun intended – and see what evolves. Whatever you desire personally or professionally, I hope 2009 exceeds even your wildest hopes, dreams and aspirations!!!

P.S. Oh and speaking of resolutions, this woman in New York is creating a marketing buzz (literally – she is a professional!) by launching a website devoted to getting married by next New Years.  I say – both personally and professionally – you go girl!

P.P.S. I really liked this article about dating New Years Resolutions too!

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Dear John (no pun intended)

I just went on a date with John. Whereas I might normally try to protect his identity with a made up name, it would be with something like “John” anyway. No offense to anyone named John because it really is a great name, but with so many of them around… Although if he sounds like your match, I’d be thrilled to introduce you. He is still very single and at least one of my friends loves it when I – what SHE calls – recycle my former dates. I am into being a good friend AND environmentally friendly!

Anyway, John is one of those super nice, CUTE, considerate, thoughtful, well-traveled, educated, generous, smart guys that you WISH you were into but you’re just not. At least I was not. He was obviously nervous and asked quite obvious questions (and not even that many of those). I just want an inquisitive man who asks soul searching questions and tries to unravel the mystery of who I am. YES, on the first date! At least I need to see a glimmer of hope that he has the “unraveling” potential! I could tell he was kinda into me because he frequently exclamed “Wow, you’re really interesting!” or “Amazing how much we have in common!”. I can see how “on paper” we’d SEEM perfectly compatible, I knew there wouldn’t be a date 2.

I believe in being perfectly clear with people, particularly when I have no intention of dating them. Why keep them in suspense or worse yet, wait until they send you a glowing email enumerating everything you had in common and how wonderful they think you are. I mean the last part is not so bad, but SO awkward and unnecessary. I try to do all I can to help them save face and maintain a sense of dignity as I “let them down gently”. In fact, I must confess, I feel this incredible responsiblity – umm, potentially bordering on unhealthy – to protect their self esteem / ego. To this end, my “I am not interested, but you’re fabulous” email to John (let’s call it “form letter A”) read:

“Dear John (no pun intended)

It was great meeting you last night. You’re one of the most thoughtful, considerate people I’ve ever met. Thank you so much for dinner! I definitely sensed more of a friend vibe so should you ever want a museum buddy, just let me know – I’d love to be friends. Have a great week!”

I was perfectly satisfied with my Form Letter A. I had clearly stated my intentions, I was nice AND I gave him an “out” ! I certainly was not expecting the reply:

“I am confused. Did you get the friend vibe from ME? Because I am definitely interested…” It went on downhill from there. Sigh! I don’t get it! Dude, I throw you a rope – grab on and play along! Why set yourself up for further awkwardness or a blunt(er) rejection? Embarrassing and oh SO uncomfortable for both of us!

I was so confused, I had to run this by my friends. Almost unanimously women agreed that I was nice, clear and he SHOULD have let it go (apparently, most women have a version of Form Letter A and sometimes get the same response I did.) I was shocked that several male friends told me I was too subtle and left a “door open” in my email. HA?

I don’t know. What do you think? Was I unclear / too subtle? Did I leave an “open door”? What does your “form letter A” say and have you had better luck with it? What would you like to hear / read post date 1 if someone’s not interested? Would LOVE to hear your feedback and experiences!