Here’s tips that a guy from POF sent me through an email:
by H. N. C.
We now live in an age whereby so much activity is done via the Internet. The technology of the Internet has led to an explosion of online dating and matchmaking services. Once upon a time, the only way to meet romantic partners was through existing social connections. That was a long time ago! As we have expanded our thinking about men, women and relationships, our ways of connecting have also expanded. In the last few decades of the twentieth century, we created all sorts of ways for singles to meet. There are the singles Church groups, happy hours, dating and matchmaking services, and even the personal ads. Now, we have the technology to search for other singles, view profiles and photographs, decide who we wish to contact, and respond to others' contacts, all without ever leaving our homes!
More and more Internet Dating Services are coming online each week. Because this way of meeting potential partners is so new, there is much confusion. Some of these online services charge for their services while others are free. There is much variety in what each service does provide. Some even do criminal background and financial checks on those seeking membership. Whatever the service might be--many women are somewhat skeptical/cautious/unsure about being contacted by guys from the Internet. Finding a “suitable/compatible” partner/relationship is becoming harder and harder to find. Research has shown that the best place to discover potential relationships is in a Church related activity and the worst place is to find someone in the bar scene. In this type of activity there is some common denomination of being religious or a Christian. The majority of us want a spiritual person. Our lives are so busy, that often we have difficulty finding someone to "connect" with. Many people have had negative experiences, when it comes to relationships and we have heard the “horror stories” of those women being stalked and injured and even killed from men on the net. Very seldom do we ever hear about the success stories and the marriages that have come from making contact with someone from the Internet. You and I both know that starting and developing/sustaining a relationship is tough! The great thing about being on the NET, or any other matching service, and particularly for women, is that you are in COMPLETE CONTROL, of what goes on.
This may seem like a magical solution to the dilemma of finding a SOULmate , but in fact, it is not. There are no magic pills to swallow to give you a lifetime love. The work is the same as before, you simply have a few more tools at your disposal. Remember and keep in mind these basic ideas as suggested by Nina Atwood a leading singles counselor and speaker out of Dallas, Texas:
"Online dating" is a misnomer; you meet people online; dating is when you go out together on dates and spend time together in person. The Internet, like the personal ads, like social events, and every other thing we have done in the past, is simply another way to meet people. A picture and a written description of a person is not the same as the real person; you must meet someone face-to-face and spend lots of time together in order to discover the true potential of the relationship. Being good at writing letters is not the same as being good at connecting in a
relationship. Falling in love through email letters can lead to massive disappointment when the real person does not measure up to your fantasies. Keeping in mind the basics, there are levels you can take to maximize your fun and minimize the potential for disaster”
I feel there are basically 5 levels of involvement, which you will go through, in discovering your possible SOULmate.
Level I, is where the initial contact is made--before you even talk to the guy, you are able to look over a guy's profile and discover the information; you feel is necessary, for YOUR ideals/desires/wants to begin a relationship. You are able to discover in 5-10 minutes of reading, more than you would discover about a person in 3-4 months of actual dating. [Assuming the guy is being honest with you. I feel those guys that are really serious about a relationship—will be honest in what they put in their profile. Why lie to a woman and then be found out later? If a man does—he probably will not get another chance with the woman] You then decide, if you like how and what the person communicates, via their writing style and spelling. These are BIG determiners of good communication skills. I recommend that you do not stay in this level for more than one week of chatting. Too often you can chat and chat and you begin to start developing expectations of the guy you are chatting with and then when the meeting does take place—the reality of whom you were chatting with does not fit with your image. The basic intent of making contact is to eventually meet—right?
Level II is when you have chatted and chatted about many topics of interest and are ready to make phone [a putting of the voice with what you “think” the person might be like.] By this time you have been watching very carefully the line of thinking and mood/tone of his writing—you are ready to exchange phone numbers. This level needs to be no more than a week.
Level III is the level you have been hoping will happen—the great opportunity to finally meet in person. It is after talking for a few days you both determine where you are going to meet. The place ought to be left up to you—he may make some suggestions—but you make the final decision. Good places to meet are coffee shops and book stores. You want to meet in a place whereby both of you can be nice in your first encounter. If you or he feels that it just is not there—and I am not making reference to “chemistry”—that is something else which I will address later. Just think about it, CONTROL and SAFETY is what your looking for. This is a new experience---you have never done anything like this before. You can not throw caution-to-the- wind.” Your safety is being jeopardized if you do. Again do not let this level go beyond a week as the other two levels were. As I mentioned earlier—one’s expectations after chatting and talking on the phone can begin to grow and then when you do meet one or both of you might be disappointed. It is so easy to like the great chats you have and the nice voice---but
“the proof is the putting” when you are able to meet finally in person. You both decide---after your time together at this first meeting--if you want to continue on with your friendship and see what happens or just chalk it up to another experience of life. Remember: "God wants us to meet a few wrong people, before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift." Yes,--you will find those guys that love to play games with a woman’s heart and head. In some ways you have to be a bit understanding of this “game planning.” Remember most guys have played “games” all their life—i.e. little league baseball, basketball, football soccer, etc. “Game playing” is what they are good at. For many guys they just do not have or never did have good role models in their life---they do not know anything about relationships—especially about developing one with you. It takes a lot of patience on your part and lots of honest one-on-one communication of what you both desire for your relationship to begin the process of starting a relationship. Most guys would appreciate help in learning how to relate to you—be patient with him. Yet it is true; there are some guys, that do not know the truth about being honest or nor would they know it, if "truth" looked them right in the face. So take your time in Level III and share many experiences with each other. Do fun things away from situations that you could possibly get involved in an intimate relationship too soon. Planning activities that do not lend themselves for intimate settings are best at the beginning of your friendship. Take in ball games—museums—garage sales—music festivals—grocery shopping, etc. will help you see each other in various social settings.
Level IV is when you two decide to see each other on regular bases and begin the foundation work for a growing a healthy relationship. This is the level where you two become serious about your relationship. A word of caution! DO NOT RUSH even talk about marriage until you have gone through the “Four Season Rule”. What is the Four Season rule you probably are asking? It is the time you both take to experience the Four Seasons of the year—with each season filled with dates to celebrate. You must discover how each other deal with the varied events of the year. Let me begin by stating a few examples: “How do you/he celebrate New Year’s Eve? Do you/he get drunk on your butt? How do you/he celebrate Valentine’s Day? Are both of you romantic? Do you/he give flowers or candy and cards? Do you/he celebrate Holy Week and Easter? [If you are a spiritual person.] How do you/he celebrate holidays: i.e. Memorial Day—Fourth of July—Labor Day. What do you/he do for one’s birthday? How do you/he spend your leisure time? What do you do? I.e. sit on the couch and become a couch potato? How do you/he spend Thanksgiving? Is it always to be at your/his house? How do you spend Christmas? Is it always to be at your/his house? These are very important issues you must take into consideration! Remember you might be marrying into a family that does not have your same celebrations. When you marry someone—you do not marry just that person—you marry into the “family traditions.”
Level V is when you both decide to remove your name from any Personals/Online Dating Services and you two “are a couple. To get to this level it is going to take time—do not rush it. Enjoy each others company---have FUN! By this time and all the experiences you have had together---you will know if you have a healthy relationship or not. Good luck!!
May God continue to guide and direct you in your search/quest/ adventure/journey to discover your SOULmate.
*I wrote this essay for a girl “friend” of mine that was so worried about going online to meet guys. She did go online and has been very happy with the guys she has met---she WAS in CONTROL from the beginning and all the way through her relationships. It CAN be safe IF you follow my suggestions.