From Lauren Levine. Email her at lauren[AT]borderstan.com.
While the percentage of people who meet their spouse in college has been on the decline for a while now, it sure isn’t getting any easier to meet that special someone. Even Harry met Sally in college. And though it worked out for Ben Stone and Alison Scott, most 20-somethings no longer meet someone special at a bar — at least someone who is special for more than one night.
If you’re single and looking, it’s time to take a page from Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly: Go online.
I’m Not That Desperate Yet…
As I sit and listen to my friends complain about their love lives — the men who didn’t call back, the women who won’t give them the time of day, or that someone who just moved to 3,000 miles for law school — I always suggest they go ahead and make an online dating profile. Yet I am often met with surprising resistance. “It’s so awkward.” “I don’t have time for that.” “I’m not desperate enough to need an online boyfriend/girlfriend.”
People: you found your apartment on Craigslist. You do all your banking virtually. Your only form of communication with 90% of every friend you’ve ever had is on Facebook.
You are not better than online dating. It’s okay to admit that it is very hard to meet new people these days who have the potential to be your spouse.
Where Do I Start?
Find a site! There are so many to choose from.
- OKCupid is free and great for 20-somethings unwilling to dish out cash to supplement a not-yet-totally-desperate love life.
- Match.com is a little more serious, since you have to pay. As a result, the average age is slightly older. I recommend it for 30/40-somethings.
- Niche websites — whether it’s JDate or ChristianMingle, or perhaps more importantly in this town, RedStateDate or BlueStateDate — might help you find someone without as much screening for that trait you need in your #1.
- Start-up sites like DC’s own Hinge, “it’s all about the date itself” HowAboutWe, strength in numbers via Grouper, or let’s GPS this date using Tinder, can be really fun if nothing else.
It’s Not Working
Here’s a few things you could do to revamp, or as I like to say, optimize, your online dating profile:
- Have a friend read your bio. You didn’t send your college admissions essay off without at least one second opinion. This is being judged far more harshly.
- Headshot? Try full body. The sad truth is that people want to see the full package. You are who you are and they’re going to find out sooner or later.
- Go on one new date a week. People tend to go overboard and line up three to five dates in a single week (especially those who like to make their date pay — but that’s a different story). People fall into the online dating fallacy of thinking that there’s infinite fish in the digital sea. There’s not. Give each date some respect. Similarly, if you’re only doing one date a month, you could probably be a little more aggressive.