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Online Dating Experience 18
Filtering Dating Matches

45 year old female from Texas

I've been a member of an online dating service for about a year. In the beginning, as I was fresh chum thrown into shark-infested waters, I was flooded with emails. Talk about email management problems!

After a while, things settled down and many of the men fell off in their pursuit, for whatever reasons.

At first, I had a whole consideration process for the profiles, and it was very fair and gave everyone a chance and blah blah blah. Didn't work. Too time consuming and led me to dumping a whole bunch of time into online conversations with men online that were never going to work out offline. My consideration process now is this: Look at their primary photo. Assume it is their best photo, since they chose it to be primary. No photo? Reject profile. Now, looking at the photo, consider this. If you go out with this man more than once, at some point he will expect you to kiss him. Is this a man you would want to kiss? If the answer is no, reject profile. If the answer is yes or maybe, go to next consideration. Is he looking to date women from age 18 to 99? Playa. Reject profile. Much too young or much too old? Reject profile. Child status okay with you, whether childless, wants, doesn't want, has? No? Better reject profile. Check height and geography. Reject if necessary. If, at this point, the man and his profile are still under consideration, I look at what he writes. I bear in mind that writing is not everyone's forte. I just look to see if there are any big red flags, and if he has something interesting to say.

First meetings....I tend to meet men who (1) pass my filter process above, (2) have an intelligence level at least approximating my own, (3) a good sense of humor, and (4) nice manners. I set off for the first meeting with the intention of having some good conversation and an enjoyable evening, and I am rarely disappointed. Most of the time I don't want to see the man again in a dating situation, but many of the men I've met remain friends. Some of them I've gone on to date for a good length of time. There've been a few I wanted to see again but that did not want to see me again. In those cases, I'm a little disappointed, but I just recognize that I am not The Person for everyone, and respect their decision.

For me, online dating is supplemental to "offline" dating. Online, I meet some men I would never meet offline, and vice versa. I like that both give me access to different men, and it increases the odds I will meet the right man for me. Each experience I have, be it positive or negative, I use to develop myself as a person and to better prepare myself for the next date.

Dating is difficult, no matter if you are getting dates online or in person. But what other (acceptable) choice do we have?

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