In VTV’s latest installment of “Talk Dirty to Me with Sara Starkman…” our relationship expert discusses how you can date online the smart way.
I remember, back in the day, when online dating was just a baby in a sea of other dating options; most ubiquitous at the time for me being: “Sara, call your aunt’s yoga teacher’s son, Shmuel. He’s a lawyer and has all of his hair!” Clearly, being able to see your options and choose selectively from the privacy of your own bedroom was a much more comforting prospect for many and, thus, online dating came to rule the jungle that is the dating world.
On the flip side of things, online dating gets less safe and snug when it comes to actually meeting the other person. Unlike Shmuel, your aunt’s yoga teacher’s son, you have no idea who this person you’ll attempt a date with truly is. We’ve seen the “Match.com murderer movies” (at least I have because my parents made me and nearly turned me into a nun) and we’ve heard the “her picture was from 6 years ago” horror stories time and time again, but somehow a lot of us just keep going back – blinders on, willy-nilly, or, alternatively, we delete every profile and continue to pray for Mr. or Ms. Perfect to appear around that next corner. Fortunately, there is a happy medium, and that’s to date online the smart way…
Some people argue you don’t know who you’re going on a date with when you first meet someone at, say, a coffee shop, or on a subway car, or anywhere else completely arbitrary. (No one else has been picked up on a subway car? Just me?) While that’s true, when you meet someone in that offline realm we call the real world and you jive with them well enough to agree to go on a date you’re typically able to get a sense of that person that’s a bit more well-informed than what you garner from a handful of photographs and a paragraph on their favourite pastimes, foods and what they’re looking for in a significant other in an online profile. Instead, you’ve seen their body language, heard their voice, smelled their cologne and potentially found out some genuine information about them.
I suggest you start online dating by being open to more than just ‘your type’. Being selective is good, of course, but nitpicking about physical attributes or certain hobbies that may not jive with your own is pretty well cutting off your nose to spite your face. This person could have an incredible charisma, amazing laugh, a wonderful family, or a lot of other qualities that trump blonde hair and no freckles. Remember as well, in some cases opposites attract and open their partner’s minds to new experiences that they never imagined they’d partake in. That right there is the beauty of finding a good mate.
The next step is to email back and forth a couple of times. Be patient, and try to dig a bit deeper than someone’s favourite colours. Search their names on other forms of social media to see what friends you have in common. Call those said friends and harass them for details (but make them swear not to tell the object of your online objectification so you don’t come off as an obsessive psycho).
Eventually, graduate to the phone. I know a number of you just moaned at the old fashioned thought of phoning someone, but get over it because it’s important. Jumping from a couple of texts to an in-person rapport can be awkward and not always prepare you for what lies ahead. Texts can also be cause for massive miscommunication and a lot of “Why hasn’t he texted me back?! I wrote him three… Oh! Ha! He just wrote me. He was in a movie…” scenarios. Hear the person’s voice, see if you have things to talk about or if you make each other laugh. This will satisfy your craving for a proper flirt session.
Once you’ve done your research, talked until the wee hours of the morning, and realized you can’t wait to see this person in the flesh – as opposed to being terrified with mace in your pocket and your best friend clocked in to call approximately ten minutes into your date in case you need an out – you will know you have mastered the online dating mysticism. Now, isn’t that better?
If you have any online dating tips let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.