Walking toward the restaurant, I saw him: bald, short, needed to lose 20 pounds. Smiling, he called me by name. “Rhonda! It’s me, Mark! – from Jdate.com. Wow, you look EXACTLY like your profile picture! Much more beautiful dare I say!!” He was giddy like a teenager seeing a female for the first time.

“Thank you,” I replied. “And you look nothing like yours!”

It’s a love/hate relationship we all have with online dating.  There’s this awful stigma associated with logging on to meet someone new. Well, Hogwash I say!  The online world is a fabulous venue for meeting people you want in your life—if you play your cards right.

So here’s my advice.

How To Be An Online Dating Pro

Post an up-to-date photo.

Don’t go through your high school year book. (The 80’s were not kind anyway.) Have your friend snap shots of you – the way you really look. I collect cowboy hats so I always post at least one pic wearing my hat! Don’t post ‘selfies’.  Leave that to Instagram, not online dating sites.

Be honest.

If you’re fit, say it.  If you are a smoker, say it. If you hate dogs, say it! You don’t want to start a potential friendship/relationship by being dishonest. If you stay true to yourself and others, you are allowing honest relationships to form.

Get on many sites.

There are too many to list, including Match.com, e-harmony, Jdate, Plenty of Fish. So make the internet work for you. It’s around-the-clock advertising. Remember to edit your profile every other week so it will return to the top where new members can see it.

No connection yet? Don’t write him off.

Hey, he may be perfect for your single girlfriends. Your friends will love you for looking out for them.

Don’t get caught in the texting/sexting game.

This tip should really be #1. Limit texting/emailing to five before meeting. He will seem ‘perfect’ over a screen but maybe not up close.

Don’t get picked up at home.

Always meet at a neutral, public spot. Tell a friend your whereabouts and set up check-ins to confirm all is well in case you need a ‘911’ (911 = OMG, I would rather be set on fire than spend another minute on this date. I’ve used plenty of these!).

Now it’s your turn to share your online experiences with me. What’s your favourtie online site?  Did you meet your current relationship online?  Did you get married from meeting online?

photo credit: Don Hankins via photopin cc

About the author

Rhonda Binstock

Born and raised in Montreal, Qc. Defected to Toronto in 1998 (before a 5 year stint in Vancouver, B.C.) Happily divorced since 2007. Sorry, no drama between my ex-husband and I. Single working mom of two wonderful, amazing, cute-as-a button children. Knows a thing or two (ok, really a gazillion) about being single in your 40s and being called a Cougar (love or yuk when you hear that word?) Keep reading to find out.

Get Brazen In Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our daily or weekly newsletter.