Dear Annie: I’m 29 and single. I’m proud to have worked my butt off since college and am now seeing the fruits of my labor. I’ve got the dream job that I’m passionate about, am making good money and have the most amazing group of loved ones and mentors. The cherry on top of it all would be a man I can enjoy all of this with. Since I have a hectic schedule and travel for work, I figured getting back into online dating (in addition to good “old-fashioned” meeting people) would offer some solid ROI. It’s been more baggage than not, though, and I don’t know how to make it work or whether I should just skip it altogether.
“Adam” and I had delicious witty banter over text for a week and a half. By his pictures, he was the perfect combination of sexy and cute. When we finally met, I knew pretty quickly there wasn’t a long-term connection. “Jeff” and I talked incessantly for about a week, and then he ghosted.
I don’t expect the first – or even the 10th – guy I match with to be “the one.” I’m willing to try them on till one fits just right, but I can’t stand my time and energy being wasted! What’s your advice on how to get quality experiences out of online dating? – Frustrated With Swiping
Dear Frustrated: If the internet widened the dating pool, it also muddied the waters. The best approach in such environs is a streamlined one: If you think you have a connection with someone you’ve matched with online, invite him for a phone call to see if you two hit it off before scheduling a date. This gives you the chance to gauge your chemistry, and it prevents you from endlessly instant messaging with a guy whom you’ll never end up meeting. After all, if he can’t be bothered to hop on a quick phone call with you, don’t bother with him.
Be upfront about what you’re looking for: a relationship, not a hookup. If he’s intimidated by your directness, has different priorities or thinks that’s “too much,” then why would you want to date him anyway?
And lastly, a note to anyone dipping his or her toe in the online-dating waters, remember to always opt for a public meeting place and let a friend know where you’ll be.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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