Navigating online dating successfully can be akin to navigating a minefield.
You see, the main advantage of online dating is that practically everyone is on there.
And the main disadvantage of online dating is that practically everyone is on there – in particular, problematic, toxic and manipulative people.
Online dating and social media is the sociopath’s favourite hunting ground. Instant, quick access to lots of vulnerable, desperately seeking love and eager to hand over precious information about themselves and/or their lives, it’s like being a kid in a candy store!
And in this modern age of fast food, fast fashion and fast dating, online dating can be particularly disheartening for those who are serious about building a sincere connection.
Do not think that the Catholic dating sites are immune to the influx of predators and sociopaths either.
Some of the most problematic, predatory and sociopathic people I have heard of, via friends, family etc, are so-called ‘Catholic’ or ‘Christian’ men who used social media and Catholic or Christian dating sites to hunt their prey.
They know that Christian dating sites will have wholesome and trusting women that they feel they can easily dupe, manipulate and use.
Remember: evil loves to corrupt, degrade and destroy good.
However, when looking for love, it makes sense to go where the fish is plentiful, right?
You do not have to swear off online dating forever.
Like all other areas of life, wisdom, patience and discernment are needed to separate the wheat from the chaff.
So here are my tips to ensure your online dating is a safe and fruitful experience.
TO INITIATE CONTACT OR NOT TO INITIATE CONTACT:
If you are in search of a traditional relationship, where you are adored and properly courted, then initiating contact is a No-no.
In fact, when you initiate contact, a vast majority of men will see that as a sign that you are:
- easy to manipulate and use
- naive and stupid
- someone that they can mooch off.
And please, do not buy into the nonsense that he must be shy or introverted, and that is why he is not initiating contact. A guy that is interested in you will pursue. Period.
So what then is the online version of “dropping a hanky”?
It really depends on the dating site. Some sites will show when someone has visited your profile. In this case, visiting his profile is adequate. He would see that you visited his profile and in return, would visit yours. If he likes you, he would initiate contact.
If not, keep it moving. Don’t make excuses for why he hasn’t contacted. He is just not that into you.
On other sites, you have the option of swiping right or adding the person to your “likes” or “favourites”. In this case, this is enough to show interest.
The same as above applies. He visits your profile and if he likes you, he initiates.
Sending a message, a wink, an emoticon and so on is initiating contact – DO NOT DO IT!!
You want a man that would take the lead, not a man that you have to chase and eventually be his Mommy.
So, he has contacted you first! Woo-hoo! What next?!
Well. The next hurdle is to determine if he is truly interested in you or if he is simply a perv or a predator who likes chatting online, getting you emotionally invested in him and so on, with no intention whatsoever of meeting you.
Perhaps, he wants to keep chatting with you while he is simultaneously juggling other women at the same time.
Once again, if a guy is into you, he would not hesitate to move things further ie arranging a call and a date.
So how do you handle this stage? Be vague and be scarce.
- Keep your responses to him vague, slightly elusive and scarce.
- Do not go into personal details about yourself or your life. Not only is this dangerous, but it would make a lot of men lose interest very quickly. If he wants to get to know more about you, he should arrange a date.
- Being vague and scarce makes a man more likely to chase after you, as he would find your elusive and that would intrigue him. Remember, if you want a man to chase you, you’ve got to be chase-able.
- Do not respond to messages immediately. Give it 2-3 days between responses. A man who is interested would be very eager to hear back from you and if he is truly genuine and interested, he would want to take things to the next level. Scarcity increases desire.
- Keep it short and sweet. For example, if he writes a 3-sentence message, respond with 1-sentence.
- After your 4-6th response to him, if he has not asked for your number to call you and arrange a date, stop responding to any more messages from him. Only when he sends a message, asking to call you and arrange a date, do you then respond to him.
- If he asks you on a date and asks you to meet him before speaking on the phone, just say something like “That sounds really lovely, but I’m afraid I prefer to speak first on the phone before meeting a guy to see if we have a connection.”
The above method is how you quickly filter out time-wasters, predators, sociopaths, liars, disingenuous and generally, dangerous people.
At this stage, immediately ignore and pass off on any guy who:
- Asks you for more pictures
- Asks for suggestive pictures.
- Makes any form of suggestive remarks.
- Displays any two or more of THESE RED FLAGS.
The next stage in online dating will be the phone-call stage and that is a blog post for another day.
However, here are a few other things to be mindful of at this stage of online dating:
- It is his job to suggest a date and/or ask you on a date. DO NOT SUGGEST A DATE! Doing so instantly devalues you and makes it more likely for him to take advantage of you. Desperation is not cute!
- If using a dating app, switch the notifications so you are not automatically jumping to respond when someone sends you a message.
- Spend no more than 30-45 minutes online and set aside a time of the day to do so. You do want to appear desperate if it seems that you are always online.
- Do not go online or sign into the dating site over the weekend ie from Friday evening to Sunday night. You will come across as having no life and no mates, and this will make you easy prey for predators. Your weekends are busy with your hobbies, friends, family and self-care.
- If he asks you to suggest a date, simply say in a care-free manner, “Oh, I am sure that whatever you suggest would be fine”
By doing this, you fuel his masculinity, as you are now giving him the opportunity to lead the relationship and you become more endearing to him, as he would perceive as a carefree, down-to-earth, breezy woman.
A light and breezy, feminine woman is very attractive to men. Moreso, in today’s society full of angry, aggressive, and pushy women.
Hope these tips help and look out for the next installation in these series.
Maria, Sedes Sapientiae, ora pro nobis.
Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
ad Jesum per Mariam