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!