Now, I can't claim to be an expert, as obviously, I am here and single like everyone else! LOL.
I guess someone who had done it, met someone, and been married for several years might be better, or would that be more relationship skills?
But anywho, I have successfully met and dated several women from the internet over the last few years, and thought I would share some thoughts on the subject...
1.) This is a marketing type activity, and like many sales type activity, it seems to be a funnel effect. You start with a wide scheme and then narrow it down to the one that you want to be serious with.
2.) Everyone is not a match.
3.) Just because you are attracted to them does not infer that they will be attracted to you. And conversely, just because they are attracted to you doesn't mean that you will be attracted to them.
4.) No Response is a Response in Itself... Now on some systems with low stability, it might be a technology reason that your message may not have reached it's intended recepiant, so you might want to resend or try again. But for the most part, if you don't hear back from them, that is their response. Don't keep writing, and certainly, don't send them a rude letter berating them for not responding... You might think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread, but opinions may vary!
5.) Initial contact... I have read several people's comments with a "pet peeve" of winks. Sorry that you feel that way, but if you are going to get so emotional about such a simple thing and let that get in the way of finding WHO you are looking for, then I have to thank you in advance for narrowing down my search. I am a winker! I start with a number of winks to potential dates, and then see what happens. A response wink means that they too have an initial attraction.
6.) Followup: Work the list... In response to your return winks, followup with an email. Now that they have expressed initial interest, you can pour your heart and soul into an email with lesser fears that they will simply look at your picture and then read or delete your email based on that.
7.) Go for the Gold... This is where it gets tricky. I am looking for someone to get face to face with and have a real relationship. I have found that many people are just looking for online buddies. This is where you start to distinguish who is who.
A good normal progression would be wink, email, phone and meet.
The depth of online dating experience, shyness factors, previous dating experiences of someone will determine someone's comfort level in actually meeting face to face, if that is there goal.
Sometimes you might email/phone for weeks or months before you can get a face to face meeting. Push for what you want, but don't be too pushy.
I have had women that we corresponded for weeks before meeting, and I have had women that we email twice, trade phone numbers, talk and meet. And on the extreme side, I have had a couple women that we met totally blind. Email a couple times, and just meet for coffee/drinks.
8.) Well, that didn't work...
Hopefully working through your list of return winks finds you someone compatible with to date. Sometimes that is not the case. :o( So next, go back to your list of initial winks (I am assuming that you winked because you were interested in the first place), and write emails. When you first winked, hopefully they looked at your profile, so now when you follow up with an email, you kinda look familiar.
9.) Go for the Gold with the email responses that you get, as explained in step #7...
10.) That didn't work either. :o(
Well, now you have attempted to contact and get the ball rolling with the ones that you were interested in, perhaps you might have better luck with the ones that are interested in you!
Work the list of anyone that has winked or emailed you initially. While this is step #10 in the list, hopefully, you have been doing good follow up on that list anyway!
Other sources of leads are: People who have browsed your profile and people who you enjoy reading their posts in the forums/blogs.
One thing to keep in mind is that many, many more people actually read the forums/blogs than actually post in them. Consider it advertising!!! Also keep in mind, when you play silly little blog/forum games, the impression that leaves with potential dates may have an effect.
11.) Notes on after the initial meeting. Sometimes it seems like the hardest part is getting that first face to face meeting. I have found in my experience that is only half the battle won! I think many people are just curious about this internet dating thing, so they might meet once just out of curiousity...
When you are actually there face to face and having conversation, you should get a good feel if there is any chemistry or not. If there is, then close the deal for the next meeting before you part ways!
You can get a feel for their feelings of potential chemistry by there response. A definite response of "yes, I would love to get together again, how about Friday" should be taken as a good sign, while a wishy washy response of "yeah, that would be cool, give me a call sometime" should probably be taken as a bad sign.
I have read that it takes a man about 8-10 minutes to decide if they want to see someone again, and a woman (as in foreplay) takes a bit longer, with 20+ minutes being required to get to the decision point. If you have been face to face, do not underestimate that such a decision has already been made. Getting them to honestly communicate that to you is the hard part. But you will know soon enough, when you follow up the next day with a phone call, or at the very least an email... Again, no response is a response in itself.
That is one of the discouraging parts of this. It is hard to go from emailing and talking on the phone for an extended period of time everyday, and then SILENCE...
This is one of the reasons that I tend to like to get face to face as quickly as possible. The chemistry is either there or it isn't. No use expending tons of energy for something that just isn't gonna happen...
Good Hunting All!!!
Certainly, no one with any experience with internet dating would deny that it is odd. But I ponder if it is really internet dating itself that is odd, or if the oddness stems from other sources or perhaps a combination of sources.
Being mid life and divorced, dating in general seems odd to me. Not approachable in the same light as in my 20's when I was single before. Certainly one would like to "love like they have never been hurt" but experience/baggage hinders that. Or does it make for a wiser consumer?
Technology I think is working against relationships too. It is too easy to call on the cell phone, or pop up the IM or send an email. But with this great increase in delivery, have we really learned to communicate any better? Or are we just filling dead airspace with words?
We had lots of classes in school about history, english, math and science, but did we get the classes on interpersonal relationships and communication that we needed? Have we sought that knowledge on our own?
These times are quite different. Is it just odd dating in this new century? Look at the effects of media on culture and the base stereotypes of people. This is quite a different world than anyone else ever tried to survive in. The rules do seem to be ever changing.
Internet dating is both a blessing and a curse, or perhaps in a more taoist perspective, it is neither but simply is what it is and what we perceive of it is what we make it. LOL
Certainly there are many people here looking for many different things. Some are happy with online friendships, some looking for lifelong soulmates and some just looking for interaction, no matter how odd it might be. The problem is determining what you truly want, and finding someone of like mindset...