Cyber Dating Monday – Tips For Making This Holiday Season Merry & Bright Online
Today is Cyber Monday and all online retailers have a frenzy of deals and gimmicks all designed to entice you to buy their goods this holiday season. There is also another type of cyber frenzy that starts up about now; online dating. While Cyber Monday is not the busiest day for new online dating accounts, it does mark the beginning of the hustle and bustle of finding someone to spend the holidays with. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, you will also find gimmicks, not-so-great ‘deals’, and those wanting to sell you a bill of goods. So today seemed like a good day to discuss having a successful and safe online dating experience this holiday.
In the dating world; fall and winter is defined as the cuffing season. Simply put, it is the time where even singles who typically enjoy their freedom, tend to want to settle down and be ‘cuffed’, or tied into a relationship for these colder months. The idea is to have someone to snuggle up with while waiting for spring. The shorter days mean more indoor activities, and holiday festivities are all around us. Many just want to avoid another round of questionnaires and the shaking of heads on why they showed up, again, single for the office Christmas party. Now, truthfully, these reasons in themselves, are not the signs of someone looking for a real relationship, and that is why it is important to be realistic in your expectations and wise in your decisions as you shop the virtual halls of dating profiles.
(In a strange, yet true, opposite statistic, the holiday season will also find a spike of new relationships ending. Many who start a relationship in late summer or early fall and are not quite ‘feeling’ it, will make the break now. Theory is that they want to avoid spending money on presents and parties and/or not mislead their new partner during the most romantic time of the year.)
So, what should one do with these tidbits of information? Well, my Hopefuls, I suggest you take a few steps to protect and enhance your online dating experience during the holidays. Here is how:
1. Update Your Pictures – Studies show that wearing the color red makes one appear more attractive. This is the perfect time to update your profile picture with that red dress, shirt, scarf or sweater. This goes for guys as well (sans the dress). You could also include a picture with a tacky Christmas sweater. Why??? Do you ask? Because it is a conversation starter! It can be challenging to know what to say in that first message. Having an ice-breaker type photo is a great, light-hearted way to start.
2. Be Creative In Your Headline/Profile – Show a little holiday spirit. Be festive and merry, and above all positive! Negative headlines are huge red flags! Borrow a few lines from a Christmas song or poem. Be original and you will stand out among those who put in little or no thought and effort. And note to self, don’t spend too much time talking to anyone with a bare profile. If they do not think it is important to invest energy into a good profile, they probably won’t invest much in you either.
3. Honesty Is The Best Policy – From the pictures you post, to your hobbies and goals, it is always in your best interest to be upfront and truthful. The biggest fib women tell is about their weight/body type and men bend the truth about their height. Age is another thing both genders fudge a little on. The problem here is that all of these (except maybe the age) can be determined at the first meet, so what is the point? If you show up looking different than your pictures and/or description you are starting things off with dishonesty and there is really no where else to go from there.
4. Learn To Read Between The Lines - Over the years, online profilers have gotten savvy when it comes to writing their profile. There are some distinct phrases that sound good, but you should proceed with caution. “Looking For Fun” does not always mean going bowling or out dancing. It can often just be of a sexual nature. “Open-Minded” also sounds good, but, again, usually leans towards a sexual encounter. “Friendship First” tends to be someone who has been hurt and wants to move very slowly. There is nothing wrong with that, just understand their viewpoint. Be very cautious about anyone who has limited information on their profile. They are either not truly available or have no real interest in finding anyone of quality. It is just as important to understand that they are not saying, as what they are. Genuine people have no problem being genuine.
5. Determine Their Motive – This brings us back to the cuffing season. While it is perfectly ok for someone to decide ‘now’ is the time to pursue a relationship, be careful that you are not just someone’s short term plan to survive the winter blues. You are not a hibernation buddy. I do not advise having long term commitment talks during the first conversation, or even first date; but listen to what they are telling you. If they have a pattern or history of short term partnerships, be on the look out for why. And most importantly, if they tell you they are not looking for a long-term commitment, believe them! Do not try to change their mind or re-route their heart.
Being single during the holidays is not a punishment or a curse. It can be a grand opportunity to meet new people and explore experiences on your own terms. This can be a time of starting new traditions or reconnecting with family and friends through existing ones. The point is to embrace your place. Own your spot in this world and be fabulous in it! Whether you choose to tackle Cyber Dating Monday, or curl up instead with your own cuffing season tied to a cup of cocoa and a great book/movie; pursue what makes you happy and feeling festive!
In this season that represents my life’s passion…it is my goal to remind you to always….
Hope With Abandon