All About Connecting: Five rules for online dating

Be realistic, have a plan and know who you are and what you want

By Nancy Plummer, Columnist, The Times

NancyPlummerLogoLadies, it’s that time of year again. It’s the season of cocktail parties, mistletoe, and Victoria Secret underwear hot enough to warm up anyone, even on the coldest of nights. It’s also that time of year when after a few drinks, friends and strangers begin begging me to divulge my best-kept dating secrets. Although normally no amount of coaxing will convince me to reveal my most sought after strategies, since it is the season of giving, I thought I would share All About Connecting’s First Five Rules to Online Dating.

  1. Be honest with yourself about what you bring to the relationship. Ladies, if you are not shapely and sexy, this is not the time to start expecting your Mr. Right to look anything like Chris Hemsworth. Frankly it’s ridiculous how many women, who haven’t seen the gym for a few months, claim to be insulted by the type of men who write them. My first rule is to be realistic about who your perfect match would be, based on your own dating CV. If you aren’t happy about what you bring to the table, whether it’s your education, income level, sex appeal, or sense of humor; do something about it. My clients do it all the time – they hit the gym, lose weight, take courses, read up on current events, or apply for a new job.
  1. Don’t fall in love with a profile – it’s really just an ad. I frown upon any woman who reads an online dating profile, and starts telling themselves (and the world) that this man is her perfect match. Believe me, it happens more often than you would think possible. Let’s face it girls, these online profiles are just a sales pitch, the same way we upload perfect selfies and let the world think we woke up looking like this. Of course I do advise anyone using online dating websites to create the most professional looking online profile they can; both with photos and content. Remember, if you’re posting your most gorgeous pictures, so is everyone else.
  1. Don’t become Pen Pals – initiate communication immediately and meet in person. Studies have shown that the longer it takes for two people to meet in person, the higher the expectations, and the higher the disappointment. The anticipation tends to build up the other person in our minds, so when we finally do meet them, the reality falls far short.
  1. Make sure your date meets your “non-negotiable” list (refer to our website) before accepting a second date. Perhaps your three top “non-negotiables” are non-smoking, college degree, and looking to get married. If your date confides in you over your second glass of wine that he is actually not interested in ever getting married again after his ugly divorce, then do not accept a second date. This happens a lot with my female clients. Although people think it will be awkward, it can actually be very empowering. Just inform your date that it would be a waste of both of your time to see each other again, if you’re definitely looking to date someone who is interested in getting married.
  1. If you like the guy, don’t leave the first date without securing the second date. If your date meets your top “non-negotiables,” lock in a time and place for your next date before the check arrives. Most men’s continual complaint about online dating is the challenge of making the next date. So make it easy for him. After you’ve found common ground and shared a laugh, tell him you’d love to see him again, and you can both figure out a fun second date. I always advise that the second date be a bit more active than just sharing a drink or bite to eat. Try going out for a hike, movie or outdoor concert together. Just remember that if your plans are weather dependent, you should make an indoor (fallback) plan as well. Also, communicate who is going to take care of making the plans, and be sure to both confirm.


Now that you’ve learned our first five rules to online dating, put them into practice and you’ll start seeing incredible results. Enjoy the mistletoe!

Nancy Plummer is the President and Founder of All About Connecting – a Personal Dating, Matchmaker and Relationship Coaching service.

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