Arguably, one of the most frustrating aspects of online dating is creating your personal profile. It’s one thing to have a conversation with someone and tell them a bit about yourself, but trying to sum up all of your wonderful qualities, shortcomings, quirks, aspirations and life history into a couple of short paragraphs is a daunting prospect for most people. Add to that task trying to sound witty and engaging in your narrative as well...and there goes your weekend.
It’s no surprise that many singles never get past the partially completed profile phase of online dating, but help is available if you are struggling to write a dating profile. In addition to struggling to create your own dating profile, there’s also wading through the abundant profiles of prospective dates and trying to assuage your fears that the guys you meet won't live up to what they portray themselves to be. The numbers game of individually meeting up with and assessing all of these potential partners may make you feel like the investment of time required in online dating is just too much. After all, you'd perhaps have to go out every night of the week for a month just to find maybe one likable match. And realistically, what single mom has that kind of availability?
I’ve never experienced online dating...it hadn’t become a “thing” yet when I was still single. In all honesty, though, when the practice first started becoming mainstream, I thought that it seemed like a really fun thing to do -- picking and choosing from a bunch of interested and (allegedly) single people, then going out on “getting to know you” dates with no strings attached? Count me in!
Clearly, however, by the many stories I’ve heard from friends who've actually tried online dating, it’s nowhere close to being as simple as that. From the misrepresentations to the outright lies and the aforementioned time commitment, it’s basically a big crap-shoot and not at all like the easy-peasy happy hook-up scenario that online dating services like Match are fond of portraying.
Bringing the Fun to Online Dating
So, how can single moms, who have limited time -- and patience -- make online dating fun and worth the effort? By enlisting the help of other single moms who are in the same boat!
It’s a simple idea, really. One of those things that you might hear and say “How cool...why didn’t I think of that?!”
In a conversation (or, more accurately, a griping session) about the frustrations of online dating on the popular Q&A website Quora, Myra Scott offered this genius suggestion for making online dating worth the effort: Use Match or your dating site of choice to find women.
No, she wasn’t suggesting that you switch sides on the dating aisle.
Instead, she advises women to band together to make those initial meeting dates into more of a cocktail party, rather than an awkward one-on-one encounter. Here’s Myra’s basic template for putting the fun into the online date game:
Create a list of 20 to 30 women who are registered on your dating site. Choose women in the same age range, with the same interests and in the same local region. Send them all a message. Here’s Myra’s message:
“ONLINE DATING SUCKS! How about a girls’ night out? Let me know if you are interested. Getting a group together at Jake’s to hang out next Saturday.”
Show up at the meet and greet and prepare to make some new BFF’s! According to Myra, she and the ladies that were invited had a blast and bonded over all of their horrible dating experiences.
Get the ladies to make a list of guys from the dating site that they may be interested in meeting. Make sure that everybody weeds out what they consider to be “undesirables.” Send a customized message to all of these guys. Here’s Myra’s message:
“YOU’VE BEEN SELECTED! A select group of ladies here on Match are getting together at Jake’s on the back deck on Saturday at 9PM. One (or more) of them submitted your name as a guy she would like to get to know. So come down to Jake’s for a meet and greet!”
Show up and mingle!
Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What if more than one girl is interested in the same guy, or vice-versa?”
Well, as in Myra’s group experience, there may be a little drama, but I think the benefits of doing a group screening, making new friends and having a fun night out far outweigh the little squabbles that might come up. Myra and her new friends held these Meet and Greets a few more times until they ran out of people to invite and, admittedly, there was a little drama from time to time. However, there were also some couples that hooked up as a result of the group's meetings.
The bottom line is that even if you don’t make a love-match, the overall "big picture" outcome makes this clever little online dating plan a win-win for all parties involved.