Lately I have been nibbling at my fingernails, watching all of my single friends flail about with initiating the online dating process. The dreaded online dating profile writing snarling from their laptops is loud and frightening.
I am no love guru or relationship expert, but I know all about social media, personal branding, and presenting your best self. So, let me help make this easy and fun with just three steps!
You do You
Really. This is the first step. You probably have this down, but in the event you were off the market a while, you might want to brush up.
I will tell you why: because I know what happens if you don’t. If you do not know much of my personal story, I am glad to share that not only was I a complete loser at picking someone that was a great fit for me, but I was also really (reads, really really really really) bad at keeping the wrong kind of person around. Thank God that changed! But, before it changed one of the really bad picks left a texas-sized crater in my life…and it was all for one very small reason. Oh, you already guessed it *chuckles sarcastically*? Yes. Because I did not know, value, or love myself. Until you get this straight, the underlying issue will act as a vacuum to suck people into your life to teach you that nobody will love you until you love yourself.
So, do not pass go. Do not collect $200 before you do this.
Start by knowing YOU. Personality testing really helped me get to know myself better. I thought I knew myself, but this really helped peel the layers back on my motivations. And, this is SO key for choosing the right someone for you.
I really think the Enneagram personality testing is the best version of this. It allows a 360 degree view of you, Boo. Try this one. it is a little long, but because there are a few items that overlap with different personalities, parsing those specifics helps – a lot. After a determination is made, google it…it is enlightening. Thank me later.
Now that you are done with that, if you have not yet done so, find your love language. Listen, I know this sounds like a lot, but dating yourself first is KEY to having a good relationship with anyone else. Love you. Hang out with you. Like you. Keep good company with you. Wanna know how to best romance yourself? You can find your love language here.
Still feel like I am jazzing you up about this love language business? Once upon a time, I was in a relationship for a long time, and even got married to that person. He was a lot of the things that I wanted, and vice versa. What we were not, was a good match for love language – but I am so old they did not even have “love languages yet,” so pardon me on this one. My love language is quality time. His love language was gifts. He bought me things that made other women jealous, from the beginning. It was flattering for a long time, but I still felt unloved – because I just wanted his time. Sadly, he thought that was needy and recoiled, and ultimately felt stifled by my desire for his undivided attention. Likewise, because I did not regularly buy things for him, he was put off. You can see how this could be an issue, right?
Conversely, my current husband and I share quality time as a love language. Yes, he buys me gifts too, but they are typically gifts of time, adventures we can take together, or things that take time to make (or put together). I love to just be with him and sit together chatting after the day. When we make time for each other, it reaffirms our love and strengthens our relationship. See the difference? Sharing a love language, makes life infinitely more fun.
Begin With the End in Mind
Before you begin online dating, get a really good idea of what you want – BIG PICTURE! This will be a guide, to allow all the small pieces to fall into place. Then, lettttt gooooo of the small pieces. Here, this will help:
- Do you want to eventually get married? Co-Habitate? Date, forever-and-ever-amen?
- What does companionship look like?
- What are your non-negotiables?
- Still want to make babies? Fine with just practicing?
Get super clear, and do yourself a favor by being really honest with yourself. How would it feel to be with this person? – spend some time around that (think about it, meditate on it, write about it, sing a song about it. Whatever.); knowing how it feels to be with the right one, will help weed out the duds.
Once you are clear with this, you will be able to write a more clear profile about yourself and your wants in a great ride-or-die. This will serve as a litmus test for the special one that was made just for you.
A word of caution, if you just heard any of the following, STOP and reframe:
- But, there are no more good guys/girls out there.
Reframe: Are you the kind of person that your soul mate would want to date? If not, take more time to be your best self. If you go into a fresh relationship with a bag dull of self loathing, self doubt, or lots of insecurities, you will invariably find someone with whom those things fit. All of which, I promise, you will not be thrilled with.
- But, all the good ones are married.
Reframe: Are you married? Are you a good one? Are you telling me, every great partner is already taken? Every. Single. One.??
- But, if I stick to my guns about what I need in a partner, I will never find anyone.
Reframe: If you want to see your relationship needs met, you will have to weed through a few great guys/gals who are just not good fits for you. It will be sad, it will sharpen your senses, you will learn more about yourself – all of which you will need to have under your belt to appreciate the right one.
- I am lonely and just want company; they just need to be Mr. Right Now/ Miss Right Now.
Reframe: Get a dog. Partners are not there to fulfill you – that is what God is for. Partners are there to make life more enjoyable and share your (already-wonderful, even with the challenges) life. Partners are there to encourage growth, and remind you of your humanity. Also, spend time with your friends (sometimes a great date will be a friend of someone already in your circle), you do not have to be a martyr for the cause, but you should be able to be alone.
Use all of your senses
Now you know you, and you know what you want…now what?
Collect yourself. Well, collect pictures of yourself – good, clear, ones. There is totally a strategy to good pics too (you knew I would not let you down on this!!).
Find these four images:
- A headshot – clear and shoulders up only. This should be an image with good eye contact…and a natural This should be your main profile picture.
- A full body shot. Nobody likes surprises. Not proud of your body? Get proud. If you cannot be honest about all of you, go back to square one. I bet you are a hot hunk of love!
- A shot of you with a group of your friends or family. If you have kids (please be up-front about having children), please do not post those – same goes for cats or dogs. We know you love them, but this is about you.
- A shot of you doing something you love (fishing, hiking, shopping, reading – again, be honest)
All of these images should be high resolution – not taken with a mobile device (especially your main profile picture). It makes all the difference and really makes a difference in getting the kind of attention you want to bring to your profile.
Smell, Taste, Sound and Touch
Well, you do not want to invite someone to smell or touch you (yet) but you will want to write your profile with your senses.
- What do you want to feel like, what does that feeling sound like? (use tactile words like brush, swish, chatter, tick)?
- What are the tastes you love (I have always heard that the way a person orders food says a lot about them, or their favorite dining spot)? Include your taste in clothes or literature!
- What are the smells you love (the beach, the freshly cut grass during your morning run, Cinnabon in the mall while people watching, early morning coffee brewing while you read the paper)?
Write a vibrant profile that will be as interesting as you are; one that will be attractive to the kind of person you want to attract (keep them in mind). Allow someone to peek at you and what you love about your life to see if they share that interest. You have taken time to create a life you love and you are looking for someone with whom that can be shared.
Most of all, be true to who you are when writing about yourself – honest enough to pass the best friend test. While passing the best friend test, have her or him take a look at it and see how it feels to them. Most of all, have fun – because, at the end of the day, that is what the dating process (and your relationship) should be!
With love and laughs,