Jumping into the Pond.
Dating sites. I haven’t decided whether they are a good thing or a bad thing. I guess the continued research will tell.
CharisOnLife as you know does relationship coaching which includes dating. It’s scary stuff for most people, never mind trying to navigate the garbage that is happening out there in the dating world. With the clients I coach, I hear many of the same stories, and in the end, the frustration is paramount.
Let’s be serious for a second or two. What is it that you are doing on these websites? Are you seriously looking for a partner? Or just a hook up. If you’re just in this for a hook up, I don’t have much to say on this, it doesn’t interest me personally. I’m interested in the men and woman on dating sites that are truly and seriously looking to find someone to be in a serious relationship with.
Fake pictures, bad pictures, HORRIBLE selfies, pictures with fish, pictures with dead animals (hunters) pictures with motorcycles, car pictures, flowers and scenery, dogs and the best, other men or women, oh … don’t forget the kid pictures. (Not that kids are bad, they are fantastic, it’s just they just shouldn’t be included on these sites. Once you get to know someone, then share but not until then) I could go on. This is by far the BIGGEST faux pas of anyone on any dating site, not paying attention to the image that you are throwing out there to prospects. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but what you portray is exactly the kind of feedback that you are going to get. Here’s some free advice:
1. When examining a picture full of women or men, you sit there trying to figure out which is the right person, then you start comparing them all. Not only that, are you friends cool with the fact that they too are now on a dating site? Do they know you’ve included them in your quest for LOVE?
2. Scenery, flowers are pretty, but what the hell does it have to do with dating? Travel destinations perhaps? Magazine photos? Completely irrelevant. It’s nice you enjoy those things, but unless you are actually in those pictures, get rid of them. If you want to share interests at a later date, then do so via email.
3. SELFIES. Seriously, if you cannot afford to go and get professional pictures done (which I am advising that you do) then get someone else to take the photos. The bathroom selfies are the most ridiculous. Wait, not true, the skimpy clothes, or for guys, the posed pictures with no shirt, they might top the list. No shirt pictures are fine if you’re actively doing something in the picture other than standing in front of your mirror. And gals, boob shots? Seriously? Have you not learnt anything in the last thousand years? If you want guys to only be interested in your boobs, then by all means, post more boob shots. Can’t see anything fabulous coming out of those connections.
4. Car shots: if anyone is choosing you because of the vehicle you drive or if you think that posting yourself in a certain type of car is going to get you more dates, that is totally superficial. You post superficial, you will get superficial.
5. The fish and dead animal photos. Guys, seriously. It’s great that you like to be a man’s man but you are more than the fish you catch and the animals that you kill. Truthfully, you are narrowing your market share by posting these, not a ton of women are turned on by either, if they are more power to you and them. If this is a means of weeding out, then I imagine its working.
6. Old girlfriend, boyfriend, ex’s or just friends of the opposite sex. My faves are the ones that cut out the other half. OMG in this day and age, you can take a new photo in 3 milliseconds, there is no excuse for this. All it is telling those looking at your photo is that it’s an old photo and you think that you probably look better than you do now.
7. Fake pictures. If you don’t like how you look and are not projecting a positive self-image, your chances of having a serious relationship that is lasting is going to be slim to none. Here’s the old truth, you have to love yourself before you can love someone else. If this is your category, I would say start working on yourself, like yourself, no, love yourself and the rest will come naturally. Besides, when you hook someone into meeting you using a fake photo, what do you really expect is going to happen when your blind date meets the real thing?
8. Old photos. Be real. Again, in lying about your age or your current looks, what do you think will come of that in the end. The person you meet is going to be not only pissed off that you lied, but will write you off in terms of any sort of serious relationship. Is it worth it? Be yourself.
9. I don’t mind the pet pictures; just make sure that all your photos are not of your cat or dog only and that least have you in the photos with them.
10. Last but not least. NO PICTURES. If you haven’t figured this out yet, any of these dating sites and the people on them are instantly rated on their photos, that’s the basis of it. It’s the nature of the beast, if you don’t like it, then you shouldn’t be on these sites. Here’s what having no picture makes the fishermen or women think:
a. You’re hiding something
b. You don’t want people to know you’re on a dating site
c. You’re unattractive in every way shape or form
d. You’re married or in a relationship, trying to cheat
e. You are not secure in who you are and how you look
f. All RED FLAGS. None of these things might be true, but it's what people think. Truth. Put it out there.
11. Get a decent set of photos posted. In nice clothes, in casual clothes, posed, action, athletic. MORE THAN ONE.
I will tell anyone that I coach, your pictures are your BILLBOARD! Increase your chances of success instead of sabotaging them in one glance. Let me reiterate that this does NOT mean that you have to look like Ryan Reynolds, Brad Pitt or Sean Connery on the men’s side or Scarlett Johannson, Sandra Bullock or Catherine Zeta-Jones on the women’s side … but it does mean that you have to make yourself look and present confidently and professionally. You do want people to be attracted to you, don’t you?
I will tell you the same thing that I tell my other dating client but career clients as well, your image is what gets you in the door. A professional and tasteful series of photos, in decent clothes … this is the most important interview and recruiting session of your life, ESPECIALLY if you are looking for a life partner. So why aren’t the fishermen and fisherwomen putting their best foot forward? Is dating that easy that it really is like shooting fish in a pond? I think not. Competition for the good ones that are left is FIERCE.
Daters should be thinking about first who they are and before they post online, know what they are looking for, know what you want and what they are looking for in their life. Write it down. Focus. There should be a few key points that you need to look at carefully.
1. The first point to consider in this self-analysis … is this, are you really ready to date? Have you done all you can do to be completely happy with yourself and your own life? Finding a partner should not be about filling a hole, but enhancing your already great life. Many people skip this step and just keep bouncing from one person to the next because they aren’t FULFILLED, or they aren’t HAPPY and so it goes. Truth is you should be happy and fulfilled PRIOR to bringing another person into your life. Other people cannot do those things for you; you have to do that all on your own. A new partner can add happiness and fulfillment into your life in that they add to fabulousness of your already great life. YOU have to do the dirty work and get your life in order, YOURSELF in order BEFORE getting into another relationship. If you are one of those people that believes everyone else is to blame for the dysfunctional relationships in your life, here’s a new flash, you will continue to have dysfunctional relationships because you are not taking into consideration your own accountability in the failings of your previous relationships. Own it, fix it. To blunt? It’s better than letting you go through another disastrous relationship. So figure out your next steps.
2. What do I want? Write down all the traits that you are looking for in a partner. EVERYTHING, don’t leave anything out. This is important to go back to when you start compromising your wants and needs just to get someone in your life. Include in this, what you want out of the next years of your life as well, this will determine what kind of person can fit into those plans.
3. Where do I plan to go from here? What are you future plans and how do you want this new person to fit into those plans.
4. How do I do this? Be authentic. Leave all the bullshit, lies and innuendo behind. Let’s face it, what if you actually do meet the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with online? Do you really think starting it off this way is going to end well? Anything that starts in a lie will always be a lie. Any relationship needs to start on a basis of trust, without that, you have nothing. If you don’t want people to know where you work, how much you make or where you live initially, then just say so.
5. Be honest with yourself. Both about who you are and what kind of person you can expect to date. Don’t set yourself up for failure, disappointment or humiliation. Maybe I will be able to help some of you bypass those awful feelings and find that someone amazing. Is that what you are looking for?
Yes? Was your answer yes? Then put the elbow grease and invest into this process and quit being a cop out.
So … I’m going to test the waters out. Both for the blog, CharisOnLife clients and perhaps myself. Yes, the M.O.B. has decided that she might actually consider dating.
Anyhow, we will throw a profile up on all of the dating sites and let the fishing begin. The thing I want to accomplish the most, is to help both men and women put their best foot forward on these sites, help them improve their chances of hooking that special fish. We will see how serious they really are about finding a relationship. They might not be receptive at all, but I am curious to find out. Just call me The Dating Doc … lol.
I started off with a profile on POF, Plenty of Fish for those that don’t know the term, didn’t add any information and NO photos. Still had 10 messages in my inbox within an hour. That just makes me laugh. These guys are connecting with me without knowing a thing at all about me. What does that tell me? New blood? Desperation? Not sure. One guy already asked me to cough up my name. No dice buddy. I will add my profile to the other sites and see what kind of things happen on there as well. I will keep you posted.
I will document and blog as the process wears on and hope that I gather some serious clients that want to change their profiles, and therefore their chances of landing one. It will be entertainment value if nothing else, for all of us. I have been on a dating site two other times in my life and the experiences were similar and short lived. The first time I was inundated with interest, every mammal on two feet it seemed. I think a lot of people just throw crap up on the wall to see what actually sticks. It was ridiculous. I thought at the time, for those 3 days I was on the site, that it was a nice thing to reply personally to all interest, whether it was a polite yes or no. I won’t do that again. First of all, I physically could not keep up. Secondly, no matter how nice I was, the rejected ones were still awful and abusive. However, two great things did come from this experience. The first (and only date I went on with this fellow) was this really nice guy, as we drank our glass of wine I kept thinking that he was actually a great match for one of my friends. Long story short, they started dating 4 months later and married the next year. They are still happily married and I love them both dearly, they are both lifelong friends. The second date was a bust; the pictures were of this nice looking athletic fellow and what turned up for lunch was this hot mess in a shirt that had never been ironed. He complained about his ex the entire lunch. The third date was a success and I ended up in a relationship with a very nice man with a nice family and we happily dated for several years.
The second time I tried this process was a couple of years for about one month. Then … I got the hell out of dodge. I met one very nice guy that I have remained friends with over the years and over the border. I guess that’s the thing to remember, not everyone is going to be your soul mate, but it sure doesn’t mean that you can’t be great friends. The rest, it was worse than before when it came to the BS that was floating around online, ages were blown out of proportion, body shapes, pictures were old and even though there was a five year difference in fishing online, some of same people were on there. I remembered them because they were seemingly off or rude the first time around. One fella showed up and he was about 75, my dad’s age, he said that he was 55. Yup, not joking. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? That perhaps I wouldn’t figure it out when I met him?
The stories go on and on, my clients have many an entertaining online dating story which is how this all began.
I’m here to tell you that I can help you or your friends that you know online, increase their chances on getting noticed. It is really part career coaching, part style coaching and part marketing/branding. If you have no intention of helping yourself and investing in the process of finding a mate, then by all means don’t connect. However, if you seriously want to find a decent prospect, then let me help you along the process and present the best you possible.
Some other free advice, use your sense of humour, which will gain you more mileage than your bathroom chest shot. Be creative, there’s a lot of fish in the pond, make yourself stand out over and above the others. Put in some effort. And last but definitely not least, be truthful, be yourself, the right person will love you for exactly that, take a chance that the one you’re trying to find might be out there.
PS. Since I started writing this, I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. There were many nice looking fellas on the sites, with not bad profiles and decent photographs, many still need my help, but some are well on their way. The inbox was crazy. Funny thing, all I did was post pictures, nothing in my profile at all. I will fill that in when I have time. Exchanged messages with some really nice guys so for the first couple of hours on the online dating thing, I give it a 8 out of 10. We'll see how that progresses. I gotta work, real work, so I have to sign out. A fishing we will go.
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Let me not be judged by what I have and have not accomplished but by the remarkable children I have raised. Mother, Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, Designer, Artist.
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