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Getting Started with Online Dating

Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

It is always best to approach unfamiliar territory with caution. You need to plan before you actually go out there and start dealing your cards. Be sure about yourself and be sure about what you want. Just because anyone and everyone can type out whatever they want in a chat room doesn’t mean that we have to do the same.

The Internet has a wonderful quality of being accessible to every one. But this same quality attracts all kinds of people into it. But just because a lot of people who enter a chat room have only dirt on their minds, it doesn’t mean that everyone is like that. If you stick to the class that you have and maintain your poise, you can indeed get the right kind of response.

There are a lot of nice people using the Internet, but it all depends on what you do. Do onto others what you want them to do to you is the golden rule that applies here. There are no rules for the game. All are players out there. But just because others are ruffians, it doesn’t mean that you have to be one too. Your approach is the only thing that can get you the kind of response that you want.

I don’t think that it is very sensible to decide all of the sudden that you would like to use the Internet to get a date. By just entering a chat room and saying “I’m available” you are merely putting yourself up for sale, and will most likely not get the results you desire.

One point that all of us have to understand is that in a chat room, all are equal. Do not go by the misconception that entering a chat room is like sauntering into a ball room dressed in your best. Then everyone turns to stare at you and the most eligible person (read that as the sexiest person of the opposite sex) catches your eye and makes his or her way towards you.

That kind of thing happens only on James Bond movies and we all know that James Bond never goes in for a serious relationship. It’s all fun and games for him.

Where Do You Start?

The first tip we would like to give you is NOT to go straight away into a singles’ chat room and try to find somebody who would interest you. All of us know that most of such chat rooms are virtually flooded with people who have only one thing on their mind – sex. So, no matter what you ask for, it always ends up in that and the purpose is defeated. You will never get the kind of person who kind of matches your interests and tastes.

Sometimes it can really get quite infuriating. Everything starts off well. You are having a nice conversation with a person and warming up when all of the sudden, the topic moves towards the three letter word. The you let out a sigh and either have to bar messages from that person and risk the person bad mouthing you in a public chat room. Usually you have to leave the chat room all together.

In other words, it is the easiest thing to get someone to sleep with you but if you are looking for something more enduring, like a partner for life, then you are going to have to be a little more patient. The pick of the litter is not easy to find. But you do find it; it is going to be worth the effort.

So instead of going into a singles’ chat room, what you could do is, you could try the whole thing out from a different angle. You could try working backwards.

More Than Looks

Sit for a minute or two and try and think about the things that interest you and things that you would find interesting in a person.

By ‘things’ over here I am not referring to physical attributes. I am not referring to something that might interest you in a person’s physical appearance. Again the distinction has to be drawn between a serious relationship and a casual relationship. In a casual relationship, the importance is always for the physical attributes. We are more concerned with what the person looks like and what the person has been endowed with.

On the other hand, if we have a serious relationship, then the physical qualities are not so important. Compatibility is probably the most important factor over here. Along with that there are certain qualities that obviously we will be looking out for. We are talking about qualities of the mind. After all, beauty is only skin deep!

This idea might sound strange, but it is actually true. The idea is that it is possible to grow to like the looks of a person. Once you find the character of the person agreeable you will start liking the person as a whole. It is entirely possible to fall in love with a person if the person does not look like a movie star. That is one of the tricks that nature plays.

There are many people who insist on taking a look at the other person’s picture before actually committing to a relationship. They might have their reasons of course, but I, for one, feel that such a decision based largely on looks is more suitable for a casual relationship. It is bound to sizzle off after some time. After all, how long can you keep staring at a person? And what happens if the person doesn’t stare back at you?

Or even worse, what happens if you find the person staring at another person? Looks may be important, but they certainly are not the most important thing and should never be used as the deciding factor if you are thinking about a serious relationship.

Common Interests

A human being is not like a piece of glass though which you can look and see the other side. A human being is more like a diamond, which when held against light reflects and deflects light so that a myriad of colors are seen. We’re complex.

We have a lot of interest and the interests of one person need not match with the interests of another. But thankfully the interests are not as numerous as human beings. So we are bound to find a lot of people who share our interests. And if we can find someone like that, then our search should end there. So, what are your interests? That is something for you to find out.

Mind you, you might have to do some serious thinking before you level down you preferences. There might be a lot of things that you enjoy doing but about which you have given a second thought.

Your interests could be something like sports or outdoor activities. Or you could think of interests like social work or cross-words or religious interests. Keep the ball rolling; please understand that the words I have listed here are mere suggestions.

Your tastes and interests could be very different. So let them be. And once you have decided on what your interests are then half the story is done.

What Interests You In A Person?

This is probably the more important part of the story. Each one of us has to sit and think about what we would like in another person. Having the same interests doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get along with a person.

For example, if you a person who likes to talk a lot, it doesn’t mean that you could like another person who likes to talk a lot as well. If two people try to keep talking at the same time then obviously, there cannot be any dialogue.

So also, if you are the silent reserved type and the other person too is the silent reserved type, the there will hardly be any dialogue at all! The word over here is “compatible.” The interests of partners should complement each other and not clash.

Key Word Searches

So now that you have decided what is it that interests you in a person and what your interests and tastes are, try such key word searches on a search engine like Google.

The idea over here is not to advertise yourself as a person who is in search of a life partner. No matter how well you put it, it looses that touch of subtlety once you are in a singles’ chat room. So don’t do it that way. You remember how we spoke about working backwards; this is how it is done.

We will tell you how to project yourself best in a later chapter but for now let us talk about finding Mr. Right or Ms. Right. An interesting thing to be noted here is that it is not difficult to fall in love with a person or to make a choice. The difficult part is to make the right choice and to fall in love with the right person.

Likes Versus Dislikes

The second thing that you could do is chalk out a list of qualities that you genuinely dislike in a person. Yes I am not joking! Dislikes are just as important, or even more important than likes. We all have to make compromises here and there, but if we start away by condoning things which we genuinely dislike, it is going to tell on the relationship at sometime or the other.

I would like to give a word of caution over here. A lot of people make a mistake when they are courting. They put up their best behavior which is very good of course, but they try to be very adjusting and accommodating which is NOT very good. A point that they tend to over look is that they are not going to be going on a camping trip with this person that they are trying to impress; they are going to be living the rest of their lives with the person.

So it is best not to be very “oh so very accommodating and adjusting.”

You can afford to stick to things that you are very particular about. And if you have any thoughts that you will be able to mold the person out of his or her offending habits at a later date, forget it.

The moment you start trying to mold or cajole the person out of his or her habits, whatever they may be, the word becomes ‘nagging’ and if at all the person does drop the habit, he or she will love you less for it.

It really doesn’t work that way. So it’s best to have a clear idea about qualities and habits that you genuinely dislike in a person and steer clear of the ‘lesser mortals’ who have those habits.

Once you have a fairly clear idea about your likes and dislikes you are in a better position to make the right choice. And considering the multitude of people out there, you do not have to worry or be over anxious that you just might not find any one at all. He or she is out there, and if you are doing what you are doing right, namely barking up the right tree you will succeed.

There are some people who even believe that every thing is ordained. It has been written down who should marry who and in the end only that which should happen will happen. Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know that dating helps speed up the process.

Another thing that you could do is that you could just let nature take its course. Oh nature has its wonderful ways. There is a lot of chemistry involved in the selection of partner so maybe the best thing we could do is lend nature a helping hand.

Friends First

Try to look at this endeavor not as a prospective husband/wife hunt but as an effort to make a lot of friends, and I mean good friends. Friends that you can laugh aloud with, friends who make you laugh. Not everyone can make us laugh, and when I say laugh, I am not referring to some comedian. We are talking about friends here.

It really does pay to have a lot of friends. It makes ones life richer. The best thing about friends is that you can be yourself with them. And they too can be themselves with you. And that means letting it all out. We must remember that apart from being the dutiful husband or wife, your spouse should be your best friend as well.

That is one mistake that most couples make. They tend to look upon their friends and their spouses as separate. While it is perfectly ok to have your own friends, your best friend should always be your husband or wife.

It should be someone you can share your dreams and fears with, someone who understands, someone who can give your hand a gentle squeeze when things go wrong and someone who can brighten up your darkest day.

All this is a very far cry from sex right? That is why we did mention earlier that looks and sex should be the last criteria in the selection of a life partner. The marriage proposal must come as a natural sequence and it should by no means be the first thing that comes out as soon as you warm up to a person. You cannot very well say something like, “hey, you know what, I think we have the same tastes so let’s get married.”

You can say that of course but it would not be in very good taste. So what do you do if you discover that one of the friends that you made and the one who you were keeping your fingers crossed about is already married?

Do you have a car? Then the answer is simple, just run over that person’s spouse and remove the unwanted element, right? Wrong! It is just not done. You can still be friends with that person and shift your attention towards another direction. Who knows, you might even find a better person. All you have to do is shuffle your cards and deal them out again.

I hope you have got the hang of what we meant by working backwards now? Good. There is another catch involved in this process. There is a chance that one of the friends that you made may have read this book too and maybe the proposal may come from the other end. If it does, then well and good; for it saves you the ritual.

Mr. Right and Ms. Wrong

But then, what if the person who proposes to you wasn’t really what you had in mind? Well, the choice is yours of course; you can take it or leave it. But there is a point worth considering over here. If we can find someone that we love that is good, but if we find some one who loves us, isn’t that better?

But I would also like to add a word over here. Suppose some one does come and propose to you but unfortunately, you are not in the least interested? You have every right to turn the proposal down but please do it gracefully. There is no need to hurt the other person’s ego. This person is obviously a friend of yours, and surely you care deeply for them. However, if you know that you cannot marry this person, a turned-down proposal is better than a divorce. Try to explain your feelings in the gentlest way possible

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