Does Online Dating Work?

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Nina: I have found your books and information very helpful. I am a never married, pretty professional woman. I just turned 50 a few months ago but I look like I am 40. My close friend in her late 40’s just got married. She met her husband on JDate. She said that online dating was the best place for older singles and suggested I try EHarmony again. I have found the whole experience rather discouraging. The matches they have sent me have been far from someone I believe I can build a LTR. I have a wonderful group of friends - men and women from my church - and have a full life, but am having difficulty meeting professional men for romantic relationships. I live in Chicago—-where the demographics are four women to every man. I would appreciate any suggestions as I have not found online dating as wonderful as my friend’s experience. Thank you! – Jane

Dear Jane: Online dating really means online meeting. The internet is a tool, and like any tool it can be used wisely or it can be misused. To get the most success with it, you have to have the right attitude. Here’s how.

There is a difference between a matchmaking site and a dating site. A dating site like lets you explore the eligible men and choose whom you would like to reach out to for dating, or to sit back and let them find you the same way.

EHarmony is a matchmaking site – they decide to whom you should be introduced. Yes, I’ve heard from lots of people that the matches they send are often not good ones. But I also know happily married couples who met on EHarmony. I recommend you try both kinds of sites – dating and matchmaking.

Now for the attitude part. To make it work, you need to view it as a numbers game, one in which you take a long-term view, not unlike wise financial investing. It may take twenty mediocre or even poor introductions for you to get to the golden one – the guy who is right for you. Or it may take 100 introductions. Some people get there in three. There’s no magic number, there is only the process. Get it?

Here’s the thing: you don’t know when that right guy is going to finalize his divorce, or realize enough time has passed since his divorce, or finally be done grieving his wife who passed away. But when the event happens in his life that makes him emotionally available and ready, don’t you want to be in the game?

The great thing about online dating is that you don’t have to put a lot into it to get the return. You can post a good personal profile on a number of sites, then sit back and let the guys line up. As you know, I coach you to start with a couple of emails, move to a phone call, and then to a very short date. If you follow the process wisely, you spend very little time with the wrong guys and you’re available for the right ones.

I encourage you to stay in the game, Jane! Yes, go online and post your well written profile. Meanwhile, continue to be out in the world meeting new people. You never know where you’ll meet that right guy. View all of it as practice in the game of dating – build emotional muscle, and keep good boundaries.

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  • 1. Martin  |  April 28th, 2008 at 3:48 am

    Agree with Nina and would add to get male friends to select a photo of you that is most appealing. You never know this simple step could change a friend into a partner!!!!!

  • 2. Tom73  |  May 14th, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Guy’s look at the picture first, and if there are more women looking for men available, the woman with the ‘better pictures’ get more attention. Don’t display pictures of you with your ex partners arm around you, it do not look good, instead have your friend take a few pictures of you when you are feeling good and you are in a happy mood.

    What is attractive is not necessary the looks of the person, it is more that you are happy with yourself… Don’t wait for a man to come into your life and ‘fix you’ for yourself, do it yourself first and then the man will come into your life :-)…

  • 3. Jane  |  May 20th, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Martian and Tom:

    Thanks for your advice! I remain true to myself and know that
    if I am ment to find Mr Right, I will find him! I am a GREAT CATCH
    so I will just be positive, available and enjoy the process!



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