Both in and out of the church, online dating has moved from the “extreme” to “mainstream” today. The advantages of online dating include convenience, the high quantity of possible love interests, and a physical safety/security. However, there are many common complaints about online dating as well, including there being scammers, liars, con artists, and people otherwise misrepresenting themselves. So how can you be successful in your online dating effort? Simple (but not easy). Pick better. Don’t meet with anyone until you do a thorough screening process. This will give yourself the best possible odds to find a winner. In this article, a few ideas will be given to help you successfully find and pick a person possessing quality relationship potential.
Also, you may wish to later read my other articles on online dating:
Online Dating Filters:
Step 1: Give a close examination of the pictures and written profile. First, look at their pictures. Does this person seem physically attractive enough to you? Are there enough clear pictures there for you to make this determination? Next, look through their written profile. Does this person describe themselves and their life/lifestyle in a clear and attractive fashion? What are they looking for and what do they have to offer? What is their geographic location, career, family composition, and other important traits? From what you learn of them, do they seem to practically align with what you are looking for? If you are decently impressed by what you see and read, move on to the next step. If not, pass. Your initial impressions will most likely be accurate. Please trust your initial judgement.
Step 2: Engage in a written message conversation with them. Initiate a conversation with anyone that captures your interest from the last step. Do not wait for them to contact you or you can miss out on a good opportunity. If you snooze, you lose! And please do not send a hi, a heart, or wink, or a flirt. That gives the impression of either being lazy or too scared to put yourself out there. Unattractive. Initiate a conversation and see if they will respond back and forth. Introduce yourself, let them know something your found impressive or attractive about their profile, and ask them about themselves. If they respond, are kind, civil, and respectful, and most importantly, put as much effort into the conversation as you, this person may be a keeper. Do they answer your questions with some real thought and effort? Do they also ask about you as well (versus just talk about themselves)? Do they seem nice? Are they not jumping to sexual conversations? Most importantly, do you have a good feeling of the flow, vibe, and experience of talking with them? If so, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Video Chat: Take your written chat to the next level. Ask to talk on video chat. You may need to schedule a time to talk when you will both be available and ready. During the video chat, notice: do they look like their profile pictures? Do they still look attractive to you? How does the live conversation flow? Is it also comfortable, flowing, and positive like the written talk? How much focus and interest do they take in you? Do they ask about you and listen to you at least as much as you ask/listen to them? If it goes well, exchange phone numbers and real/full names. And if you have a good general feeling about your video chat, move on to step 4.
Step 4: Cyberstalking: Many people have their social media accounts open for the public, even if you are not yet their formal friend on the platform. If so, take their full name and look up their entire Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. How to they present themselves there? What things do they post, how do they talk to their friends there, what kinds of pictures do you see there, and what is the general vibe there? Are the posts and conversations positive? Upbeat? Reasonably wholesome? Do they present themselves as someone attempting to uphold gospel standards? Also, consider doing an online background check of public records. If they have a criminal background, you need to know this and decide about them accordingly. Two services I am aware of that allow background checks for a low fee are www.checkmate.com and www.peoplesearch.com. If you still basically feel good about/towards this person after this private research, move on to the next step.
Step 5: Meet for a live date: Arrange to meet together at a time and place you feel comfortable with. Choose an environment that will allow you both to get to know each other and to have some fun in the process. When meeting together, do you feel the same positive sparks that you did in the written and video chats? Are there butterflies and sparks? Do you feel a good, genuine connection? If so, continue to meet and see where it goes!
If you put some extra effort into your filtering people you get to know online, your odds and chances of finding a successful new relationship will go up dramatically. I recommend to everyone I talk to—male or female—to be the picker with online dating, rather than waiting to be picked by someone else. Think about it—if you are in a restaurant, are you more likely to enjoy the food if you order for yourself or if another person that barely knows you orders for you? Be the picker, go through these five steps, and have greater success. Only physically meet when you already feel good and solid about the other person. You will minimize your stress, frustration, and disappointment that way. You will also save time and money. Approach your online dating smartly and you will be well on your way to better and more efficient results. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).