Karin Anderson and Beth Roberts know a thing or two about online dating, to say the least. They are Los Angeles-based, online dating coaches and founders of Finding Your Mate Online!, an online coaching service, as well as authors of Finding Your Mate Online: No Fear, No Embarrassment, Just Love! The duo also both met their Mr. Rights online. They share their refreshing, insightful and upbeat approach to dating online.
Anderson: Whether you post your own ad on a dating web site or look through the ads posted by others, you’ll want to make sure you carefully review and screen before responding or reaching out to anyone. We created the Secret Screener, a helpful tool that allows our clients simply and easily to increase their chances of finding the right one. It helps you compose your first email in a subtle way to get answers to the top-five questions—your deal breakers—before you spend more time on a potential match. This isn’t the time to think about minor details like hair color or type of car. Focus on hot-button issues such as whether someone is divorced, whether they have or want kids; whether they’re religious, and if so, what religion; how they handle their finances; or their level of education.
We also recommend attaching a recent photo of yourself to your Secret Screener email, showing you doing an activity that you’re passionate about, and requesting a similar photo back. In addition to getting more information about your potential mate, this will ensure you have at least one recent photo to review. Don’t worry about coming up with something clever to say each time you send a first email. With the Secret Screener, it‘s fine to use the same basic reply, provided you tweak it as necessary.
Roberts: People always ask us, “how’d you find such great men online?” To be honest, the reason we had such success meeting great mates right in our own backyards was because of our wish lists. For beginning online daters, the first assignment we give is to create three wish lists:
Wish List #1: About the Ads
Go to an online dating site—most will give you either a free introductory period or a limited free search of ads on their site. Spend some time checking them out. Don’t limit yourself either to the women’s ads or the men’s ads—visit both. Look at and take notes on key words, tone, pictures and key phrases that you think are representative of what you’d like to put in your own ad.
Wish List #2: About Me
After you take some time thinking about how you want your ad to sound, you need to think about what you want your ad to say. From your About-the-Ads Wish List you’ve got the tone, some key words, some idea of what you like and what you don’t like… Now, think about what best describes you and what do you have to offer?
Wish List #3: About My Future Mate
In addition to examining your past patterns and what you have to offer to someone else, you need to think about what you want someone to offer you. This requires you to spend some time thinking about what you want, what’s worked in the past, what has failed in the past and what you want in the future.
Wish lists help you prepare to create your ad and make you focus so that you provide honest answers about what you are looking for in a mate and—just as important—about what you have to offer to a partner.
Roberts: Follow these five safety tips:
Roberts: Approach online dating the same way you would approach searching for a new job. Think back to your last job search. First you thought about what kind of job you were looking for, then you thought about what experience you had that made you a qualified candidate for that job. You targeted specific employers, and either created a resume or updated your existing resume to make yourself most attractive to those potential employers. You showed your resume to friends and asked their opinions or suggestions. Then you sent out your job applications, and followed up with phone calls while you waited to hear back. If you got rejections, you took a beat, sat down, and went through the whole process again until you got that job offer for your perfect job. That’s exactly the way to approach online dating. Take it seriously, work hard at it and persevere. Remember, all good things are worth waiting for.
Anderson: When you find yourself getting discouraged, take a breath. You may choose to step back for a day, a month or a year but you’ll come back to your original task with a new outlook. After a horrible break-up, I decided to “take a break” from all dating at age 36 and spend a year on self-improvement and just having fun. You should feel no pressure to find a mate. At age 37, I discovered online dating and knew it was exactly what I was looking for.
Anderson: My father taught me “the successful people are willing to do what the unsuccessful are unwilling to do.” That phrase constantly pops into my head as an entrepreneur, landlord, adventurer and successful online dater.
Roberts: Change will change. Sometimes change can be very exciting, and sometimes it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I force myself to see past the immediate and try to get perspective. With that balance, I can either make other decisions to institute more change for whatever is currently not working, or enjoy the moment when it is.
Anderson: …viewing it through the rear-view mirror. When I look back at my life, my greatest achievements—meeting my husband, embarking on my sailing adventures, following my career passions, etc.—involved a lot of uncomfortable and unsettling change. Change requires minor discomfort for maximum pleasure.
Roberts: …it provides opportunities you might otherwise not have. My father changed jobs several times as I was growing up—he was promoted, he was transferred and even downsized. I found that having lived through so much change when I was younger taught me to appreciate, and look forward to change and the opportunities and learning it brings.
Anderson: Without a doubt, creating a plan to find love rather than waiting around for it to find me.
Roberts: I agree with Karin. More than nine years ago I had just turned 40. I worked hard establishing my new career in entertainment. (I’d been a New York real-estate attorney right out of law school.) I no longer went to clubs or bars to meet men. My friends were all married and their single male friends had been heavily picked over. As I watched my dating opportunities become virtually nonexistent, I embraced change, and went online to find my mate. That decision to be proactive changed my life. My husband, Warren, and I will celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary on New Year’s Day.
For more information on Karin Anderson and Beth Roberts, visit www.findingyourmateonline.com.
An easy and fun guidebook, a visual 'how-to' for online dating, written by two women who both found their husbands online. ...