I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m the world’s worst dater.
Especially when it comes to online dating.
Still, I refuse to give up. And it’s not because I’m a glutton for punishment; it’s because I know everything else I’m actually good at in life took practice, patience and hard work.
Though I’d like to leave my dating life to fate – to sit back, relax and let love come to me – as a busy single mom in my thirties who can’t go out every night of the week socializing, I know I can’t be a lazy ass if I really want to find Mr. Right For Me.
And I have been.
Damona Hoffman’s book Spin Your Web: How To Brand Yourself For Successful Online Dating finally opened my eyes to that, and her advice to take online dating as seriously as I take my job really hit home for me.
Sure I set up a kickass profile on OKCupid. I’ve even been on a few dates. And while I get more than my fair share of messages from men online dating, 9 times out of 10 I check out their profile, decide they’re not my type and never respond to them.
After a year of online dating with no luck at making it to a second date, I’d recently contemplated deleting my account and giving up on it completely – but as I began to read Damona’s book this week I had an AHA moment.
Maybe it’s not online dating that sucks, it’s my current approach to it.
What if I actually put time and effort into it online daily like I do my job?
I don’t sit around waiting for amazing opportunities to come to me in regards to my career – I take steps every day to make them happen.
Are you that proactive when it comes to falling in love? Me neither. But we should be!
In Spin Your Web, Damona Hoffman suggests that if we all treat internet dating like a paying job the results will be more lucrative.
The Spin Your Web system to branding yourself for successful online dating is two-fold:
Phase One is Online. This is where Damona teaches you how to pick the best site, create a profile that will attract the right person to you, search for your ideal mate effectively, send messages, set up dates and communicate comfortably online.
I’d already picked OKCupid as my online dating drug of choice, created my profile and recently begun actively searching for Mr. Right instead of waiting for him to come to me, but I’d been bungling first messages – which is pretty ironic since I’ve scoffed at dudes frequently for sending me shitty ones.
Hellllooo, Have you seen this video?
Funk that shit!
During Phase One, Spin Your Web suggests limiting your first message to three sentences and answering three questions to keep things simple and spark a conversation.
Sentence One: What Caught Your Eye About Them.
Sentence Two: What They Should Notice About You.
Sentence Three: Imagine Yourselves Together. Write something that evokes a picture of the two of you.
I’ve followed the above formula for the last two days, and while I haven’t received any replies yet I’m feeling much more comfortable composing first messages to people. That alone is a win for me.
Practice makes perfect!
Phase Two is Offline. This is where Damona gives you an outline to follow for the first eight dates – which includes suggested activities and who should pay for which. She also goes over topics to discuss, stories to tell and questions to ask to keep the conversation flowing on your first few dates despite your nerves.
As luck would have it, I have two dates lined up next week so I’m really looking forward to using some of her tips. I tend to get pretty nervous on first dates if I’m really into someone and hoping it will lead somewhere. Then my nerves come across as being shy and boring – which we know I’m anything but!
I’m love love LOVING Damona’s rule in Phase Two of not having sex until at least date five if you’re looking for a serious relationship. I’ve written many times about rushing into sex with men here and it’s almost always the kiss of death – and when it hasn’t been, it’s left me emotionally attached to men that aren’t right for me.
Maybe it sounds prude to hold off on sex ’til date five when everyone else my age is knockin’ boots on date one or two, but I’m planning to stick to this rule for the time being. Any guy that’s really interested in getting to know the real me will accept it with a smile and be willing to wait for it.
Since my career is in Marketing and I’ve successfully built a brand for myself online with my blog, I felt like the advice in Spin Your Web was made for me. I honestly don’t know why I never thought to use my marketing skills to attract men before.
Instead I’ve been flailing around without a plan, forgetting to showcase my best assets on a date to entice the right man to want to learn more about my story.
Unless you count cleavage. I always flaunt that shit.
In a world where we’re all “products” looking for the “shopper” that wants and needs what we have to offer, Spin Your Web seems like the perfect guide to successfully navigate online dating.