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The 49th Challenge!
Standing on the Edge of Maybe
There’s nothing quite like jumping into an outdoor swimming pool at 8am… if you enjoy feeling the stab of the cold. When I was in high school and spent summers teaching swimming to five-year-olds, I had no choice but to jump into that cold water. I remember the dread I would feel standing at the edge of the pool before jumping, fully knowing that I would shiver in silence until warmed up by the afternoon sun. I always wondered why the Parks and Recreation Department didn’t start classes at noon.
Fast forward many years, my wondering turned to a different kind of pool. If you think about it, standing at the edge of the dating pool contemplating a jump is really no different than a swimming pool. Both offer equal potential of danger or delight. You might drown, or you might just find the right lifeguard. You might get out of the pool feeling invigorated, or you’ll simply exit feeling all wet and frustrated that you can’t find your towel.
Taking a leap is risky, but we can control one important thing- jumping in at the right time.
The biggest mistake many newly singles make is jumping into the deep end of the dating pool before they’re truly ready to experience the water. Not taking the time to really process the end of their last relationship before putting themselves into a potential new one is a mistake. This is why taking the time to think, evolve and reinvent before jumping in is key to a successful dating experience. Presenting the best you is one that’s ready to start a new chapter, not a you that’s stuck in the painful past.
We need to remember that dating isn’t about meeting new people and trying new restaurants. Dating is about presenting the best you with the intention of finding the best someone else with which to build a relationship.
Maybe it’s time to put yourself out there. Maybe it’s time to take a chance on a new love. If you’ve successfully processed the past, maybe it’s time to begin forging a future with someone new. Maybe it’s time for a little push into new waters. After all, when your head comes back to the surface, the breath of fresh air might just be the beginning of a new chapter.
Deciding to turn that “maybe” into a “yes” is a major leap of faith. Like all divers, you need to be aware of proper form as you execute the perfect dive. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin your new adventure in the dating world:
Think like a farmer and cultivate some dates: Putting yourself in situations that foster introductions to appropriate dates is the first step. There are four easy ways to plant the seeds that will provide a bumper crop of dating options:
Put the word on the street that you’re ready to date. Telling friends and family that you’re ready to pursue a new relationship will give you both support and a potential portal for meeting new people. Granted, some of their ideas of potential dates may not appeal to you. A simple, “…I really don’t think that’s going to be a match… but thanks!” works every time. Remember that it’s ok to say no just as much as it’s ok to specifically ask about a connection of theirs that you find datable.
Put yourself in social situations where you can meet new people. Of course, there’s the tried and true lounge or bar, and it’s always good to give those a go. Try to think outside of the box and try something different. Think back to after your breakup and how you pursued your own interests. You may very well meet someone at the same place who enjoys the same pastime. There are a lot of singles that go to a church or temple- consider attending a singles mixer there. It doesn’t matter where you go, be the gym or the grocery store; just be sure your phone is in your pocket, your eyes are open and you’re ready to pull the trigger on your killer smile.
Put an investment into a professional matchmaker. You might think you have to live in a metropolitan area to find one, but chances are you can find a variety of matchmakers that are on the ready to find you a suitable partner. Granted, it’s an investment but if you can find one that’s both affordable and with whom you feel a trusting simpatico, it could be a solid one.
Put up a profile on an online dating website or app. There are lots of pros and cons to online dating, but like all dating sources it’s truly a numbers game. For example, out of ten hot potentials three may be emotionally ready to date, two may be married, three may be geographically undesirable, and two may be fraudulent. When you choose this option, you need to remember the overall numbers game and not allow negative dating experiences discourage or deter you from the mission.
Entering into the online dating scene with a well-thought arsenal is essential to success. Many singles are excited about setting up their online profile, as they should be. However, excitement isn’t an excuse to overlook details. Being ready to get instant responses isn’t a good enough reason not to really take the time to brand yourself accurately.
It’s best to think of yourself as a “product”.
Think of toaster ovens. When you last went shopping for one, do you remember the packaging? Do you remember what visuals appealed the most, and the ones that left you feeling rather blah? Did the features and benefits match your needs? Was this particular toaster oven something you could see bringing positives into your kitchen’s life? If you want to bring positives into someone else’s kitchen, let alone all the rooms, you need to market yourself in a way that jumps off the shelf and into their shopping bag.
Here are some actions to consider when creating the perfect online dating profile:
Never stretch the truth regarding your statistics on your online dating profile. Your age is your age, your height is your height and your weight is your weight. Setting up your date to expect a man standing at 6 foot and the reality is 5’7”, you’ve disappointed your date without saying one word, not to mention leaving your date questioning how truthful you are on other topics. Honesty is always the best policy, and someone out there will be interested in you just the way you are.
Make thoughtful choices when you post pictures. Your senior high school portrait may be amazing, but keep it in your photo album. Choose pictures that are current and represent who you are at this moment in time. Pick a few that show you in different situations, showing your flexibility. Casual looks, corporate looks, and pictures with your pet are the way to go.
If a picture’s worth a thousand words, then what’s in the background is worth millions. Online daters are sometimes a bit download-happy on the Selfie postings. Sure, you may think you look great, but you need to let your eye take in the surroundings before you post that picture. A Selfie in a cluttered bedroom or a bathroom that needs a deep cleaning isn’t sexy.
Putting up a smokescreen may put out the fire. Be honest about your habits, especially if you smoke. Your habits may range from a love for tobacco products or a disdain for meat. Whatever habits you possess, own them with pride. You might just be your date’s next habit too, but only if you’re upfront and honest about yours.
Debby Boone over Debbie Downer wins every time. When you write your online profile, the copy should have the vibe of light, fun and flirty. Of course this doesn’t mean to sugar coat anything, but it does mean you shouldn’t start out of the gate sharing tales of woe. We all have imperfect situations in our lives, but they don’t need to take center stage on your profile.
Keep the copy short, sweet and about you. There’s no need to write a novel- write just enough to give an entertaining peek at what you’re about. You don’t want to make the mistake of telling the reader what you want out of a potential partner. You want the reader’s take-away to be what a great potential partner you might be,
The goal of an online dating profile is to attract enough attention to make the reader want to learn more. From copy to photos, make good choices and you’re sure to jump off the screen as someone’s top choice to contact. Always remember… there are a lot of toaster ovens out there, and you want yours to be shiny, new and chockfull of benefits.