Feel as if you’re not using your time online as productively as possible? Discover some simple tips on how to spend less time searching and more time dating. From Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating.
1. Put it all down. We all have a list of criteria for what we’re looking for in a match. Whether it’s a mental note in the back of your mind or written in a spiral-bound notebook hidden under your mattress, you know you have the likes and dislikes of your next love stashed away somewhere. So what are you looking for in a match? If you haven’t already written this down, it’s time to put pen to paper. Keep this private; sharing means judgment and editing. This exercise should be a safe space for you to uncover your desires. It will also clarify your intention: are you looking for love, a fling, or something in between? Let your list be your guide.
2. Mate traits. Now that you’ve put it all out there, it’s time to prioritize. Choose your three most important qualities in a match, and focus on them as you move forward. Remove relationship essentials that any good match should have because they’re qualities of a successful partnership, like “honesty” and “trustworthiness.” Instead, focus on attributes that would specifically appeal to you, such as “thrill seeker” or “laid-back.”
3. Define your boundaries. Knowing your deal breakers is also important. Nearly everyone I meet has a few absolute conditions. For example, a marathon runner who values health said he could never date a smoker. Depending on your criteria, you can often filter your dating site searches so that matches who fall within a certain category don’t cross your computer screen. This will allow you to be a more efficient online dater. Just be sure not to limit yourself too much; deal breakers are absolute conditions that you could never fit into your lifestyle, not things you’d just prefer to live without.
4. Remain open-minded. No one’s perfect, so know that your match will differ from your expectations. But this does not mean you’re settling; in the best cases, your matches will exceed everything you thought you wanted. Online dating allows you the opportunity to search outside the inbox and see what else exists. Don’t feel that you’re confined by your list—it’s simply a jumping-off point so you know what to avoid and what’s most important to you.