5 Online Dating Resolutions

Want to zoom along the path to romantic success? Then vow to follow this advice in 2013.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

e all make online resolutions to lose weight or get in shape. But what about our love lives? Couldn’t we use a little improvement in our chances for romances? Odds are, the answer is yes.

A lot of people start dating online at the beginning of the year. Take advantage of the
Don’t wait to be winked at!
increase in volume (more potential soul mates), and resolve to give online dating a try. Here are five resolutions to help you get started.

Resolution #1: Put yourself out there
“If you are feeling a little tentative about dating in general, online dating is a good place to start,” says Carole Brody Fleet, author of Widows Wear Stilettos: A Practical and Emotional Guide for the Young Widow. “You are far less vulnerable on a dating web site than you are sitting on a barstool on a Friday night, which is not the most desirable way to meet people anyway. With online dating, you possess far more control of the people with whom you wish to communicate. The site itself acts as a buffer, affording you a ‘comfort zone’ between yourself and prospective dates.”

Resolution #2: Promote yourself
“If you are unsure how to promote yourself, the first thing to do is to remember what makes you so wonderful and why someone would be lucky to have you,” notes Yvonne Thomas, a Los Angeles-based psychologist. Think of all the nice compliments you’ve ever gotten and accept them as the truth. This helps you begin to visualize your best self. “Don’t feel embarrassed for wanting to admit what wonderful things you have to offer,” she says. “Describe all your fabulous qualities, while remembering to not sound too intimidating. The more accurate and open you are about who you are and what you are looking for, the better your chances are that you will meet the right types of suitors.”

Resolution #3: Make your move
“Be proactive,” suggests Judith Silverstein, co-author of Online Dating For Dummies. “Select potential dates of interest and contact them directly. Try to have this be your main method of contact rather than waiting to see who responds to your posting. This gives you the control over the quality and success of your online dating experience.”

Resolution #4: Update your social techniques
“Online dating is an opportunity to tune up your relationship skills, find new friends and potential partners, and become more
Even if the person isn’t your type, give ’em a chance and chat.
comfortable with the process of getting to know someone,” says Susanne Alexander, author of Can We Dance? Learning the Steps for a Fulfilling Relationship. “If you have lived with a previous partner for a long time, you may have forgotten the important questions to ask as you build a relationship. If you are older, you and any potential partners will also have histories and children, which can shift the dynamics of relationship exploration.” Use dates as a way to gain information about yourself, the people you meet and the dating process. Even if you meet someone who isn’t your type, chat him or her up—practice will make you more adept at date-night conversation.

Resolution #5: Be focused and stay motivated
“Online dating (and dating in general) can get frustrating at times,” says Amanda Cook, co-founder of How Not to be Dreadful, a lifestyle blog. “At the beginning of the year, write down the reasons you are making the resolution. During those moments of doubt and frustration, return to the list and reinvigorate your resolve. Confide in your good friends about your dating goals. They can be your best cheerleaders.”

The trick to making successful resolutions is taking baby steps. You don’t have to do all of these things from the get-go. “You can’t change everything at once,” Cook advises. “And acknowledge that change is scary, especially when positive results aren’t immediately noticed. Remember, resolutions are all about a new way of living. Give yourself time to adapt, incorporate them into your life, and eventually they’ll become second nature.” And when that happens, you’re bound to notice that your romantic life has changed for the better.

In 2003, North Carolina-based freelance writer Margot Carmichael Lester vowed to meet her match online. It worked. She and he are now married.
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