“The heart wants what the heart wants.” Sure it may be a Woody Allen quote, and a “somewhat” known song lyric, but perhaps no truer words have been spoken! With our economic climate squeezing our wallets and disposable incomes, more Americans than ever are turning to online dating as a means by which to find that special someone. Millions of people everyday are using these websites to connect with potential love interests and dating partners… but do you really know who’s behind the other computer screen?
What happens when you meet someone in person say at a bar, social event, party, or even the grocery store? Immediately your instinctual interpersonal communication skills are called into action. Subconsciously you’re assessing their personal appearance, body language, voice inflections or mannerisms. More importantly you’re getting “a vibe” from that person. Instinctually you are processing how you feel about interacting with this person. Psychologists may attribute this natural response to our sympathetic nervous systems or “fight or flight responses.” Without even realizing it, you’re determining the level of danger this person represents.
When meeting people online, instinctive human mechanisms are rendered almost useless! Those animalistic mating behaviors that all creatures possess are eliminated from the equation… thanks to our computer screens!!
Here’s the dilemma… how do you duplicate the same screening process when meeting people and dating online? The answer isn’t all that simple unfortunately. With an estimated 100 million singles using nearly 2,000 different online dating sites in varying degrees it’s safe to say that there are plenty of fish in the sea. Weeding through all the crazies may take time. Here’s a couple fool proof tips to make sure you’re thinking with your head as well as your heart.
- Approach profiles like resumes. Instead of playing the role of screening for a potential mate, imagine you were interviewing this candidate for a job. Be objective when browsing their profile pictures, headlines, and descriptions. Does everything seem to add up?
- Liar, liar pants on fire! One of the most popular online dating websites recently published results of a blind study they conducted and the vast majority of people online embellish their profiles. Height is one of the top 3 things men tend to lie about on their profiles, while women are more likely to lie about their weight and build. Is it a deal breaker if someone is actually 3 years older than they tell you online?
- When in doubt… check them out! Think you’ve found Mr. or Mrs. Right?! For about the cost of a really cheap dinner ($15-$35) you can actually run a complete dating background check on your new found love!
Sure the heart wants what the heart wants. Just make sure you’re not leaving your better judgment out of the equation! When it comes down to it the best tool you may have in your arsenal of tools is your own common sense!