I've been asked many times where I met my husband and so I decided to write about it here along with 10 tips for successful online dating. Online dating and I go a long way back to be honest. I talked to a few until I met my husband halfway through 2011. We were engaged and married the next year. It was, you could say, a whirlwind romance but you will know and feel when the relationship is for keeps.
I know many of you will frown or raise eyebrows but this article is meant for those who are seriously looking to find their soulmate online. I've tried the old school dating scenario as well so I've tried the best and worst of both worlds so to speak.
So if you'd like to meet someone online to bring to your real world, here are 10 tips for successfully snagging your match (trust me, it does not involve rocket science):
01. CREATE A WELL-THOUGHT-OUT PROFILE
Write and rewrite what you will include in your profile. Sleep over it. Your profile should be well-thought-out and should contain a catchy headline, your picture and biographical information about yourself. Your profile is your one and only chance to make a good impression. Be detailed to a point but don't write a story. Keep it short and simple and positive and don't forget to spell check.
Extra Tip: Instead of writing about your personality, let your personality shine in the words that you will use in your profile.
02. PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS
For the profile picture, if you have one with minimal make-up then use it - the more natural looking the better. Suffice it to say, do not submit a picture with you and your family and your whole throng of friends. Your profile is yours and the picture should be just you. Oh and yes, ditch the sunglasses.
03. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
But you have to learn to create a curiosity gap. You don't have to spill all the beans. You just have to make sure that everything you write in your profile is the truth - zero lies. You also need to be honest when you exchange emails. Never fabricate information to appear cool. Be yourself!
Extra Tip: You need to be honest to yourself too. Know what you want (preference) and stick to it.
04. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE (just another cliché)
Do not get discouraged when you can't seem to find an interesting person or at the very least a decent profile. Remember, nothing worth having comes easy. I created my profile in 2007 and I only started talking to my husband four years after. Four years is like forever in the online dating world so to speak.
When you finally find the "one", be patient as well. Don't rush it! Just let the relationship blossom into the next phase. Getting too attached too soon could hurt you really bad in the end.
05. DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ
Ask questions. Learn to read between the lines. Take down notes. Google the person's name and see if you can find any information about him or her. When I say don't believe everything you read I simply mean that you should not be gullible and just believe that you just found the inventor of post-it notes in the dating site you signed up for. Oh and yeah don't easily fall for sweet talkers too.
06. COLLECT AND SELECT
Yes you read it right! You have to collect - talk to different individuals and rate them and based on your own rating system you can then select. Do not settle for the first one that will come your way. Of course, keep your options open. Take advantage of the opportunity to choose - it's a numbers game after all.
07. DO THE MOVE
Don't just wait and sit. Do the first move if you feel like doing it. No one will judge you.
08. ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS
If you signed up in the dating site to look for someone to date and build a relationship with, you have to learn how to adjust your expectations. Do not expect for a fantasy to happen. Be realistic and don't start to imagine about the other person being the "perfect" person because again no one is perfect. We all have flaws.
09. BE OPEN TO MEETING YOUR MATCH
C'mon! Forever will not wait for you. Two weeks of exchanging messages back and forth is I guess the perfect timing as in my experience with my husband. We spent at least 4 hours everyday talking (even if we were living in different time zones) and getting to know each other. After two weeks he decided to book a flight to the Philippines to meet me and the rest they say is history. So yeah, when there's a chance to meet up, go ahead and show up.
10. SAFETY IS PRIORITY
While exchanging messages, don't give out too much information about you. Don't divulge your social security number or passwords. You can never be 100% sure about the other person until you two finally meet. Meeting may even not assure you that the other person is genuine so don't give out your trust in a silver platter. Take calculated risks.
When you do decide to meet up, tell a friend or family member where you are going. When I first met my husband, I tagged a friend along which he really didn't mind. We had dinner, watched a movie and got home safe.
Please note that these are just tips and not in any way the only things that you need to do or not do in order to have a successful online romance. Look at online dating as a means to an end and not the end all be all. At the end of the day, you have to learn how to love yourself first before anyone can and will love you.
Have you used an online dating service? How was your experience? Share your stories - I would love to know.