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Got attitude?

If you are single and looking for a partner, you probably have attitude, but what is it? Are you positive, optimistic, and sure of a good result? Or are you jaded or self-protective? Frightened? Is “scared to death” too strong?

What you want, a plan to get there, and an attitude to match is vital for partnering success. Think about it: if you are sure that what you are doing won’t work, chances are very good that you will be right.

It’s like planning a trip to where you really don’t want to go, but it is the only route you know. Who wants to spend their vacation in the city dump? That’s just what you are deciding to do if you are saying things to yourself like “There are no good men out there,” or “Women are just looking for a fat wallet,” or “It’s not going to work, so why try?” You can be sure with those kinds of attitudes, you won’t find any good men, or will just find gold-digging women, or you won’t get anywhere at all.

Do you know how, when you suddenly become interested in something, you start noticing it everywhere? A few months ago, I got a sudden inspiration that I wanted a white convertible, right out of the blue. And then I started noticing convertibles. Never knew that there were so many of them around, but then again, I hadn’t been looking before. It’s the same way with those PT Cruisers — I think they are as cute as a button, and I notice them. I do not notice Cadillac’s or Chevrolets or BMW’s.

That’s the way it works with attitude and dating. You get a “destination” in your mind, where you are heading, and then, both consciously and unconsciously, you notice things and make choices that get you there. So it is very important, if you want success, to have success as your destination.

I am convinced, that for everyone who wants one, there is a perfect mate Out There. And, if you are looking, it is crucial for you to believe that too.

The question is where this person is, finding him or her, and how long it will take. Those are the real questions.

So can you believe? Can you adopt an attitude of bemused curiosity? Of wondering who your sweetheart will be and when and where he or she will manifest themselves? Of readying your life to accommodate sharing with another? Of hopeful expectancy? Of an opening to possibility and an acceptance of what is to come?

Just try your own Attitude Adjustment and see what happens.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Kathryn B. Lord c. 2003 All Rights Reserved

Don’t Tell Me Who You Are, Tell Me What You Do!

Read the first 150 pages or so of Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice, and you’ll discover two things. You’ll learn that Darcy is proud and Elizabeth Bennet is prejudiced.

Jane Austen didn’t need 150 pages to tell us that. She could have done it in a sentence: “Darcy is proud and Elizabeth Bennet is prejudiced.” But that would have told us nothing. We’d have wondered what Darcy was proud of, what Elizabeth Bennet was prejudiced about. And every reader would have had a different idea of how that pride and prejudice would have affected their behavior.

That’s why Jane Austen shows us Darcy being sniffy at the ball and describes how Elizabeth behaves in his company.

It’s only by seeing people in action and understanding what they do — and like to do — that we can understand who they are.

What does this have to do with online dating?

The most common mistake that online singles make is to try to describe their personality. If it took Jane Austen 150-odd pages to describe the personalities of her characters, what makes you think you can do it in 150 words?

Instead of using the usual list of adjectives to try to summarize who you are (“I’m passionate, loyal and adventurous, etc…”) describe what you like to do.

If you say that you spent last weekend base-jumping, we’ll know you’re adventurous. If you say that you’re the type of person who’s prepared to pick up a friend from the airport at 3am in a snow storm, we’ll know you’re loyal. And if you say that you never miss a Cardinals game, we’ll know you’re passionate… and what you’re passionate about.

No adjective that you use to describe your personality can ever say who you are. Everyone uses the same terms on their profile even though everyone is different and everyone reads those descriptions differently.

But when you say exactly what you like to do, fill it with detail and say what  you get out of it, we’ll get to see your personality. And more importantly, we’ll get to see what life with you will be like.

And that’s the real goal of your profile.

Is Your Profile All It Could Be? Find Out With A Profile Review

Online dating profile, before and after example

Online dating profile, before and after example

Writing an effective dating site profile isn’t easy. It’s no small thing to blow your own trumpet without hitting a bum note that puts off potential partners.

That’s why at LookBetterOnline, we offer a Profile Review service.

A professional profile writer will look at your profile, tell you what works, what doesn’t… and give you some practical tips to make improvements.

You’ll still have to make the changes yourself but you’ll end up with a profile that’s improved, effective… and all you.

Ask for a Profile Review here.

Trick or treat – Is this Make-Believe or real thing?

“I’ll call you this week”. “Yes, I’d love to see you again”. “I had a great time”. “I’m not interested in dating anyone else”. “I think I’m falling in love with you.”

These are a few of the phrases passed between singles as they move through the stages of meeting and dating. At the time, they are uttered with what feels like true emotion and honesty. No wonder the person they are directed to is so confused when the call never comes, the person becomes unavailable, or it soon becomes evident that the speaker is dating or deeply involved with someone else. Can we ever believe what we see or hear? How can we be sure?

Dating is a process of getting to know someone. It begins with an attraction, which is formed by that first impression. Often, this first meeting occurs by chance at a social gathering, at work or in the course of one’s daily life. More and more, it happens through a response to a personal ad and the emailing and phone calls that follow. Both in-person and email or voice contact give us a sense of the other individual- but this is only a brief snapshot of who they may be. It takes real time together to create a larger and clearer picture of this other person and their rightness or wrongness for us. During this time we assess for friendship, attraction, shared interests and values, and a willingness and ability on the part of both individuals to move forward in a relationship.

Given that this is a process, it has stages. A first date helps the couple to learn more. It is a fact-finding experience, which involves not only the information the other provides, but our feelings and reactions to it and to them as a potential partner. We show our best selves and attempt to make an appropriate connection with someone we find desirable. In the best scenario, everything clicks for both people and conversation is natural and easy. More often, there may be questions, doubts, and/or mixed feelings. Seeing each other again is often suggested by one or both people and is a good way to learn more about each other and resolve any questions. But the doubts and negative feelings go unstated in a desire to either give the other person a chance or to let them down easily. It’s also an easy way out for someone who is uncomfortable with this level of emotional honesty.

So, how do we know what the other person is truly feeling? You have several options for getting this information.

  • You take them at their word and wait to see if they follow through with what they have said they would do. Nothing speaks louder than behavior. This option is the most common choice and can leave you in that all too familiar holding and wondering pattern.
  • You attempt to address the situation openly and candidly. This one requires a bit of courage and an ability to be vulnerable. State how you are feeling in a thoughtful but honest way. Ask them to do the same for you. Let them know that you want to hear their honest thoughts about how the date went and if they would like to get together again.
  • The third option should be used regardless of what you do with the other two. Pay attention to their non-verbal communication. How do they look at you? What quiet responses do you get after you have shared something about yourself? What do you see in their facial reaction, posture and eyes? Do you FEEL interest or just politeness? Are they really WITH you, or somewhere else? If you learn to listen to the non-verbal language, you will HEAR much more than what their words have to say.

Listening to the whole person applies throughout the stages of dating and relationships. It is also important during this time to pay attention to their behavior and note inconsistencies or mixed messages. Too often people don’t and are stunned when a relationship “suddenly” ends or they find out they are seeing someone who was not the person they thought they were. Trust your instincts and listen “with a third ear”.

Remember also that the responsibility for honesty is also on you. Don’t say what you think the other person wants to hear because you don’t want to be impolite or hurt their feelings. If you really think about it, it is more hurtful and in poor taste to be dishonest with someone who has a true interest and is trying to learn yours.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Tips for becoming fluent in the non-verbal language of dating

We are all too familiar with the term “body language”. There have been books, workshops and endless discussions spawned by it. But do you really KNOW how to interpret the non-verbal messages that other people broadcast on a continual basis in their interactions with you? There are two levels of communication that occur in any interaction:

  • content
  • process

Content refers to what we SAY. Process refers to EVERYTHING ELSE that occurs.

Interactions can be wrought with mixed signals- saying one thing and non-verbally communicating another.

No wonder so many singles report confusion regarding what their date was really thinking or feeling. On the surface, understanding this language can seem very difficult, if not impossible. Not so, if you learn to speak the non-verbal language of process.

The following tips will be presented using examples of naturally (and commonly) reported dating scenarios experienced by singles.

1. Good eye contact/ poor eye contact

When you are sitting and talking with your date, do you notice how they look at you, when you or they are speaking? When their eye contact is good, this is a sign that they feel comfortable and interested in you. They are really involved in the interaction and want to be there. It also communicates honesty and sincerity. Conversely, when your date has difficulty making eye contact, this communicates discomfort; lack of interest or it could be extreme shyness. The last would be easy to know if they are a shy person in general.

2. Restlessness

Have you ever experienced the restless date? You know the one. He moves around in his chair, she looks at her watch, and his mind seems somewhere else. He may or may not offer an explanation. What appears to be going on is that her mind IS somewhere else. This behavior communicates a lack of interest or a preoccupation with someone or somewhere else.

3. Looking around at others a lot and not at you

Have you ever had the unpleasant experience of being out with someone who watches the crowd the whole time? Perhaps, they just glance furtively (and frequently) around the room? This, of course, signals lack of interest, possible discomfort and a desire to avoid interaction with you. It can also be a general sign of someone who is not trustworthy, or at the very least, hasn’t been completely honest/ candid with you.

4. Is noticeably quiet

Oh, how deafening is silence. It can speak volumes.

If your date has little to say to you what does this mean?

Maybe they are just not very interested in you.

Perhaps they don’t think you would care to hear what they have to say.

Maybe they think you wouldn’t appreciate hearing what they are really thinking.

Perhaps they are in an off or sour mood.

Only you can interpret this. Be careful not to quickly write it off to something you want it to be, as opposed to what it really is.

5. Stiffening or closed-in body posture

You know what YOU do in uncomfortable situations.

You fold your arms tightly across your chest.

You stiffen your spine.

You tightly cross your legs.

You turn your body at an angle away from the person you are facing.

You lean away from the person you are with.

Of course, the reverse is true when the interaction feels good.

You lean forward.

Your arms are relaxed or laying open to the person.

You face the other person directly.

Your posture is relaxed and at ease.

It’s fairly easy to interpret the closed-in posture.

The other person feels uncomfortable.

They aren’t open to the interaction with you.

They would rather not be there.

If this is a first date, it will probably be the last.

6. Physical Contact

Perhaps the easiest communication to read correctly is that of touch. If your date avoids taking your hand or putting his arm around you he may be uncomfortable or unsure. He may also be shy, but you would already know that.

If someone you have been dating for a while begins to exhibit changes in their level of eye contact, body posture, attention to you, availability and/or becomes restless or less communicative, pay attention. Their feelings have shifted. Be careful not to be too quick to explain it away. More than one occurrence should set off your silent alarm. Make sure that what they say matches what they don’t say.

Other (non-verbal) expressions that you should listen to that can suddenly occur during the course of a dating relationship are:

  • Calling less or not calling
  • Change in voice tone
  • Becoming busy and not having time to get together
  • Lateness
  • Missing dates without calling or having a plausible excuse
  • Moodiness- irritation/impatience/anger outbursts

If your date or boyfriend/girlfriend sends you any of the above (negative) signals, the best way to handle it is to comment in a direct (and gentle) way about it. Then watch for what he/she DOES while you listen to their response. This will give you all the information you need.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Online Dating is for freaks and wierdos

Once I began e-dating a friend of mine became a bit curious, and I suspect, concerned. She had her own preconceived notions about Internet dating. While I usually kept details of my dates to myself, this time I printed off the profile of someone I was going to meet that night and showed it to her. She read it and said, “This guy looks fun… oh look, you both like to do the same things… this guy would be great for you… and he’s cute…” She looked at me, “This guy seems perfectly normal” as if it surprised her.

Everyone knows there are nothing but freaks and weirdoes online, right? If you stop and think about it, the people that are online looking for a mate are regular, busy people who just haven’t bumped into Mr. or Mrs. Right yet. And if you can meet your mate at church or in a grocery store, why can’t you meet them on-line? I’ll tell you from personal experience that my husband and I found that we had hung out at the same places for years, and yet it took the World Wide Web for us to finally meet.

I maneuvered around the online dating world for approximately six months. I met a lot of wonderful, sweet, nice guys. In fact, I was very surprised at the number of great guys out there looking for the same things in life I was. None of us could believe we were doing online dating, and yet now that we’ve done it, we know it’s a great way to meet people and date successfully.

When I started Internet dating I was a marketing director for a large firm and I worked long hours. I had the kind of job that consumed me. Looking back, that was one of the reasons I had not yet met someone. Despite the fact that I loved what I did, I really did not have much of a personal life. Sure, I had friends, lots of them, but I also spent many evenings when I came home and was totally alone. I’ve always been very independent, but I realized it would be nice to have someone to talk to at the end of the day, to share my triumphs and my sorrows, and to one day start a family with. I realized that I wanted a relationship.

I had no false illusions of what having a relationship would mean. To the friend that told me a man would not make me happy I wanted to say, well no kidding. I was in my mid 30s and had a great life; of course I didn’t need a man in order to be happy. I had spent a lot of time on my own and it showed me I could do anything I wanted in life. I was a complete person before I started looking for a mate. And I think this is very important.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love my husband and getting married has transformed my life is so many wonderful ways I actually wake up each day and thank God for this gift. It’s better than I ever thought it could be. But before I met my husband, I took every opportunity to do exactly what I always wanted to do in life. I started working on a book of poetry; I went to college for the first time; I spent time with friends; I read; I painted. I had a strong faith. I never wanted to be one of those people that got married because they felt as if they were missing out on some part of their single life. I enjoyed my single life immensely. My husband and I both did exactly what we wanted when we were single, and we were both complete people when we met. Now, we are both independent, creative people who make the ultimate team. We are truly partners, friends, and lovers. My husband and I talk a lot about meeting the right person at the right time. He’s never met anyone he wanted to marry before me, and if someone would have told either one of us that we would meet our ideal person and marry just one year later, we would have probably laughed in their face. I never believed in the sappy stuff people talked about. I thought it was just an extension of pillow talk. When couples would tell me they “just knew” when they met the right person, I always rolled my eyes and thought they were crazy. But it’s true, I knew with him in a way I never knew with anyone else. He says the same thing; with me it was just different from the beginning.

Now I don’t tell you all this so you’ll think I’m just a sap who wants everyone in the world to get married. Au contraire. I firmly believe there are many people that have no business being married yet, let alone in a relationship. Be a complete person all on your own first. Be brave enough to spend some time by yourself to figure out exactly what you what. Don’t jump from relationship to relationship, and don’t be afraid to walk away from someone if it isn’t totally right. And for goodness sake don’t stay with someone because they are okay “for now.” If you stay in a relationship that isn’t quite right it is only keeping you from the one that is right. Wish them the best, mean it, and move on. Don’t stay with someone that isn’t right just because you think it will magically transform and turn around one day or because you are simply afraid to be alone. Look at it this way, the time you spend alone will help you figure out exactly what type of person would be great for you. And then when that person is finally right in front of you, you’ll know it. You deserve to be happy, not just “okay for now.”

With all that said you’re probably wondering if my e-dating adventure was all fun and games. Well… yes and no. Granted, I met more sweet and wonderful guys than I ever thought existed in the world. But I also met some real goofs. But hey – doesn’t that happen in the “normal” dating world as well?

Look at it this way, the more you date, and the more likely you will meet not only great people but also some not-so-great ones. Several years ago I met a guy (in a bar) that I went out on what I thought would be a fun date. We had planned lunch and then a ride on his boat, but when he picked me up he asked if I’d mind stopping by his house for a quick minute. He said he’d forgotten his jacket. Sure, I said. We walked in, not to his house (as he’d originally said) but to his parent’s house. Then he introduced me as, “This is the girl I told you about,” to his parents. After hearing the “oh, she’s lovely” comments from his parents I realized this guy was reading more into this date than I was. Thankfully we left and had lunch. Then we met up with two of his friends that were also dating. The four of us went out on his boat for a quick spin, and while my date was showing me the sites we could hear the sounds of his two friends madly making out behind us. I tried to give him my best “don’t even think about it” look, when suddenly my date said, “Uh oh.” It turns out the boat had run out of gas. We had to start rowing ourselves back towards the shore, until mercifully a rescue boat came to tow us in. When we got to shore my date acted as if this was the most normal thing ever, so when we docked and he asked me what I wanted to do next, I told him I wanted to go home. On the long drive back to my house he chatted non-stop about his life, and suddenly I heard a beeping sound coming from the car. He continued yakking away until I finally had to ask him what that sound was. He laughed sheepishly, then told me that was the warning sound because the car was about to run out of gas. That would make twice, on the same date. And this was someone I met all on my own.

So you see, you can meet odd people anywhere. The Internet isn’t exclusive to them. I should tell you that despite how awful my date with this man had turned out I was glad I went. At the time I had an on-again, off-again relationship and was seriously wondering if I could date someone else. I realized that despite how this date had went, there were plenty of people in the world looking for the right person, and I owed it to myself to move on from something that wasn’t a healthy situation.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Hooking up vs lasting love – It’s your choice

“hooking up”

“friends with benefits”

“booty call”

These terms have become all too familiar in today’s dating world. Are they words that you can relate to? Have you lived them in some way? If so, how have you felt about the experience(s) both during and after? Chances are that you have mixed feelings at best. Depending on your age and sex, you may give a somewhat different response to this question. Whatever your answer, a close look at this “dating experience” that impacts so many singles in so many ways may be useful to you as you think about what your long-term relationship goals are and what you REALLY want from a relationship.

So what exactly do these terms mean?

“Hooking up” is getting together for sex. There is generally no formal “date” involved.

“Friends with benefits” usually refers to two people who are “friends” who also have sex together. Again, there’s a distinction between what they share and “dating.”

“Booty call” usually describes the act of a man (woman) calling up another person to come over for sex. The sex doesn’t follow dinner, a movie or other “quality” time together, getting to really know each other. It’s physical.

Do you define this activity (even loosely) as dating? Has this become a new intimacy for some or many of you? If so, it’s important to look at how/if it meets your needs and if it aligns with your basic values and relationship wants and goals.

Begin by asking yourself some core questions, such as:

  • Am I comfortable with intimacy?
  • Am I comfortable with a purely physical relationship?
  • Am I able to be physically involved with someone while remaining emotionally detached?
  • How do I feel about myself when I engage in this behavior?
  • Am I doing this to please someone or win his or her affection?
  • Is monogamy and marriage my goal?

If your answers reflect discordance between how you feel and what you do, it would be helpful to understand the reasons behind your behavior. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • “It’s convenient”
  • “It’s easy”
  • “It’s safe”
  • “It requires no commitment on my part”

In addition to these explanations, some singles express a belief that “everyone does it” or “it’s expected.” Therefore, they often report engaging in it, but not feeling really ok or satisfied afterwards. Others use it as a substitute for real intimacy, referencing their difficulties in meeting and dating in general.

Then there are the people who have sex hoping it will lead to love. This too is a desire for intimacy that can lead to sadness and disappointment and the possibility of contacting a dangerous and life-altering infection. It reminds me of the line in a song, “if I can love you good enough on the outside to make you feel it on the inside, then maybe you will stay…”

Once you have determined what you really want from a relationship you can begin to make clear, thought out choices that will open the path that points in the direction you wish to go. Until you do so, you face the possibility of more disappointing and short-lived encounters that leave you feeling more alone and less hopeful about the possibility for lasting happy love.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

How to Find Love During a Dateless Weekend

It’s easy to rationalize being single. When you have to hold down a full-time job, who has time to go out on dates? When you’re seeing the same friends every week — and you already know their friends — how can you meet someone new? When you have children, how can you fit evenings in clubs and afternoons at barbeques around PTA meetings and soccer games?

Those are the sorts of questions you ask yourself as you settle into another Saturday night with your old friends instead of your new best friend.

But if you spent your last weekend without a date, you can use that experience to make sure your next weekend doesn’t go to waste.

A date-free weekend is the best time to start an online relationship.

You can send winks. You can write emails. And you can even chat online with other singles who also happen to find themselves dining partner-challenged on a Saturday night.

But try dividing the weekend into two. Spend Saturday sending out your messages but use a do-nothing Friday night to spruce up your profile so that those messages get results. Check your description to make sure that it says not just who you are but what you do. Add wit and personality so that readers will understand what a chat with you will be like. And ask questions to make it easy for interested people to write back.

Most importantly, ask yourself whether your picture shows you as you would look if you were heading out for a date… or planning an evening in front of the television. If it doesn’t show you at your best, take the effort to replace it before you spend an hour or two on Saturday making your moves.

Getting all of that right can be a little tricky, so it’s worth looking at how our packages can get your profile ready for some online dating. From just $197, you could have a set of great pictures or a perfectly written profile that could help to make sure that your next weekend is a little more interesting than your last one.

Looking for love?

The complaint is well known: women meet men who want to have sex right away, even on the first date. How can a woman get a man to wait until she knows him better?

There are a few ways that this issue can be addressed, so I will be making two points: one will pertain to how a woman presents herself and behaves on a date, which is addressed specifically to women. In the second point I will address the sex and dating issue directly, which will be of benefit to women as well as men.

When I hear women complain that the only thing that men are interested in is sex, I try to get them to look at themselves first before casting all of the blame on men. For example, if you are dating online, what is the message that your profile conveys about you? Let’s start with your pictures: do you look smartly attractive in a variety of poses, or do your pictures instead exude sex with a “come hither” look? In your profile, how do you describe yourself, the men who interest you, and your ideal date? If it contains too many references to romance, this can be confused with wanting sex.

Before - After

Before – After

So be sure that your profile makes you sound appealing while simultaneously showing you as a woman of substance who is looking for a solid guy.

How do you behave while on the first date? It’s important that you act in a friendly, but not too flirtatious manner. Make sure that you are wearing attractive (but not too sexy) clothes and that your shade of lipstick doesn’t shout out “kiss me!” A man will respond to your lead if you start to touch him, so make sure that your gestures are meant to be friendly, not ones that would convey an interest in being grabbed and hotly pursued.

Even if a woman passes her own assessment of the cues and clues that she communicates, it’s important to remember just how powerful sex hormones can be. Since there is a natural biological basis to chemistry and attraction, it will call out to be gratified. Instead of going for instant gratification, I suggest that singles channel their experience of chemistry to concentrate on learning more about their dating partner-to determine if you share a similar life path, and see if s/he has the necessary enduring qualities essential for a creating a committed relationship. This kind of learning is best accomplished when you spend your time together asking questions, listening to answers, and paying attention to behaviors.

But what happens if you and your dating partner end up in “lip lock” and are headed towards the bedroom? Sure, you might “learn” a lot about each other, but not with the same objectivity had you kept your clothes on. So it’s important that you and your dating partner have the same answer to this question– what are you looking for in a relationship? Are you looking for love, or are you looking for sex?

If you are a man or a woman honestly searching for a life partner relationship, then this should not be a difficult question to answer. Many psychological and sociological studies have found that when people experience instant chemistry, and then act on it quickly by engaging in sex, there is a higher chance that the relationship will “crash & burn,” instead of becoming a lasting and loving partnership.

Relationships that last might have a strong chemical component in the beginning, and this can be a good thing! However, it’s not necessarily the only essential ingredient for creating a long-term relationship. Growing together has to “take root” in something more than chemistry since attraction, being biochemically based, can wax and wane. And experiencing chemistry with someone does not guarantee anything whatsoever in the future. Look instead to develop a friendship based in similar interests, values, priorities and life goals. These are the qualities that will contribute to creating a loving relationship that lasts.

“I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Looking for love in too many faces. Searching their eyes, looking for traces of what I’m dreaming of. Hoping to find a friend and a lover, I’ll bless the day I discover another heart, looking for love.” “Looking for Love,” song lyrics by Johnny Lee.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

Flexibility — The Key To A Working Relationship

If you think that finding the love of your life online has its challenges, wait until you’ve found it.

You still have to turn that success into a lifelong relationship — the sort that gets warmer as the years roll on.

The key to making that relationship work is flexibility: understanding when and how to compromise so that in addition to being two individuals, you also act as one united, relatively trouble-free couple.

The art of compromise starts with understanding your red lines. You need to know where you can never compromise — and recognize that everything else is up for negotiation.

Children, for example, will always come first. If you’re raising a child, anyone you consider dating will have to understand that your child is your priority. You won’t be able to shoot off for a romantic weekend at a moment’s notice. Weekends are as likely to involve trips to the zoo as often as strolls through museums and even a quiet night in with a DVD could start with three’s a crowd.

Children aren’t negotiable. But lifestyles are. If a guy has to see his favorite football team every weekend, that’s not a reason to fight. It’s an opportunity for his partner to get together with her girlfriends, go shopping or hit the gym.

If one partner is a vegetarian and the other serious about steak, that’s not a reason to say you’re incompatible. It just means you’ll be making eyes at each other over different plates.

And if one partner enjoys camping in the woods while the other prefers camping it up in a nightclub, that doesn’t mean you’ve got nothing in common. It just means you have to be open to new experiences, look for something you enjoy in an activity you wouldn’t normally do… and look forward to the payback.

But that doesn’t mean you should be keeping score. Negotiation in a relationship isn’t about calculating what you’re getting; it’s about both partners competing to give the most.

If that’s the attitude used by both partners in the relationship, you’ll find that the negotiating comes easily — and the relationship lasts forever.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!

So you want them to see your inner beauty?

I detest having my picture taken so when it came time to put a picture on my profile I used two that I already had scanned in. This way, I reasoned, I didn’t have to pose for a new one. One of the pictures was my black and white health club ID (taken from a table top camera ? the angle of which made my nose look huge) and the other one was of me in a baseball hat taken from quite a distance away (so you really couldn’t see my face) and so small that there was no way you could blow it up and get a good look at me. When I showed my mom the two pictures she stared at them for a minute and then said, “So you want these guys to see your INNER beauty?”

Profiles with pictures get read and reviewed many more times than profiles without them. It may seem like a superficial thing at first, but most times you will scan through pictures to see which ones you are attracted to before you even read their profile. Pictures give you a sense of who the person is, and not just what they look like. With a picture you can get a “vibe” about the person, get a feel for if they are silly or serious, if they are a neat dresser or an outright slob.

Posting a picture on your profile is an important step, so don’t skip it. I would also recommend waiting until your picture is physically posted on the site before you start emailing people yourself. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, if you’re new to the online dating scene, you will immediately become more comfortable when you see pictures of others who are using the site as well. It gives you a sense that you are not alone in wanting to e-date. You’ll also get an idea of what types of people are out there to meet. While a picture is just a first step, an initial scan of potential dates should immediately put you at ease. You will likely find that the pictures on the site are of regular, seemingly nice, normal people ? like yourself. The first time one of my friends sent me a link to an online dating site I was struck by how many of the guys seemed like people I might meet anywhere. While this is exactly the case, the first time you are using the Internet to date it might seem odd that there are actual regular people behind those smiling photos.

Now, I’m in no way suggesting that you judge a person by his photo alone. My reason for bringing up the picture part of the process is that if seeing the photos of potential dates will put you at ease then that same line of thinking will apply to someone viewing your photo. Imagine reading a profile of someone that seems great, but has no photo. Doesn’t it put you off a bit? Doesn’t it make you feel as if that person is trying to hide something? Of course, that same thing will apply to your profile. Don’t think that someone is going to ask you out by picture alone, but give them the best presentation of yourself by including something they can visualize as they read about you.

Now, having said that, of course it goes without saying that you can’t judge someone by picture alone. But I’ll say this anyway. Use the pictures on someone’s profile as yet another method of finding out about them. They’ll help you get a feel for the person, and in Internet dating this is very important.

One of the emails I received was from a guy that seemed to have a great personality with his emails, but his pictures were not of someone I immediately found attractive. His hair looked fuzzy, he didn’t smile very wide, and he looked much older than his 30 years. Still, he looked like a regular, sweet guy, and he was very polite and funny via email. When we finally exchanged phone numbers he always called exactly when he said he would.

When we finally agreed to meet, I was surprised to find a great looking man in front of me. I was immediately attracted to him. The hair that looked so fuzzy on his picture actually had a nice curl that was shaped in a great cut. In person his smile was sincere and engaging. After spending some time with him I found that his sense of humor was terrific, and that slight smile would often come across as a very cute smirk. In person he looked exactly the age he was, and acted like a gracious and charming guy. We went out for quite a while, and although in the end he wasn’t the right one for me, I wished him the best and think of him fondly. And so it goes, pictures have a certain importance that goes along with the total package you will present to someone.

For the photo you will use on your profile, I would recommend having a friend take a picture of you with the intention of using it especially for your online account. If you don’t have the ability to get a digital picture taken many sites will scan a picture in for you; all you have to do is send it to them. Remember to smile, wear clothes you would normally wear (don’t dress up in an evening gown or a suit if you are normally a tee shirt and jeans person), and make sure the picture is a good likeness. You want to give the viewer a sense of who you are, and also give them a way to easily recognize you if you both decide to meet.

Pictures are an easy way to let someone know exactly what you might be like, so don’t even think about not putting a picture on your profile. I came across some people that wouldn’t put their picture on their profile but gave it “upon request.” This gives the impression that you are too good to put your photo out there, even though you yourself are probably emailing people with photos. I received a couple emails from guys that wanted to know all about me but didn’t have a photo on their profile. I told them that since they could see my pictures (albeit my bad ones) it was only fair that I should see theirs. Someone hiding their photos to me indicates they are hiding from something in general.

Make sure any photo you use is of just you and you alone. I noticed men more than women seemed to have photos with other people in them, and then would say something in the profile like, “I’m the guy in the middle.” One of the guys I corresponded with for a while had a picture with him and his entire family. He pointed out which one he was but I also found my eye wandering to the guy next to him ? his extremely handsome brother. Don’t make a viewer work to figure out which one you are.

Along the same line, do not just take a picture of you and your ex, cut your ex out, and post that as your profile photo. I came across several guys that had a wonderful picture of them happy and smiling and some lovely feminine arm cut out from around them. Tacky. On several cropped photos you could see the remnants of blonde hair from the female that had been cut out of the picture, and outfits that suggested a wedding or other type of special event. One guy even said the picture was of him and an ex but since they were great friends now he thought it was okay to keep the picture of them together in tact. This gave me the impression that if he can’t even separate himself in a photo how can he do that in a relationship. No matter how great you look in all those photos with your ex, don’t use them as your introduction to what could be a potential mate. Have a new picture taken of who you are now, when you’re ready to meet someone new.

Posting your picture with someone else is a bad idea in general, even if the person isn’t someone you used to date. One guy I came across posted a photo with him and three other female friends. This gave me the impression that he had only female friends (and therefore something was wrong with him), he was gay (and hadn’t figured that out yet), he couldn’t get along with guys (and so there was something wrong with him), or that he just couldn’t smile unless surrounded by breasts (and again, something was probably wrong with him.) Internet dating can lend itself to enough questions you might wonder about someone before you meet them, don’t add to it by complicating the present situation if you don’t need to. Keep all friends out of the photo ? no matter who they are.

Some guys I knew put a picture of themselves and a friend’s kid. Another bad idea. Hey, we get that you are trying to show the world how super cool you are and that you love kids, but posing with them just seems too obvious and desperate. Even if you have kids I wouldn’t recommend placing them in the photo with you. There will be plenty of time to have a new flame get acquainted with your children, don’t put them on display in your profile. Even when you’re just proud of your kids and want to show them off – don’t place them in the in the picture with you.

While I don’t have kids yet myself I was very open to dating someone that did. Still, one guy I dated had four very young kids, and while he mentioned this in his emails he did not put them all in the picture. I was glad he didn’t. I could not imagine me scanning through profiles and seeing him and all four kids in one photo. This would have admittedly put me off a bit, and I think I would have been intimidated by even the thought of dating someone with that many young ones. After we dated a while I got a chance to meet all of them, and found them all quite wonderful. He allowed me to get comfortable in our relationship first before even thinking about the prospect of becoming an instant step-mom to such a large brood.

Dating online? The most important thing you need to know…

Having a great photo is the single most important thing you can do when dating online, so visit LookBetterOnline and find out why more than 98% of our customers get better dates, and see how we can help make your online dating experience successful and more fun than you thought possible!