Yes, we all wish there was a better way but this is what we’ve got. The ideal of meeting someone in a picturesque in-person way is simply against the odds in Maine, in part due to our lack of populace and in bigger part due to our tendency to look away from people as they walk towards us. At this point, online dating is a relatively refined sport. Basically everyone ends up online at some point and usually at multiple points. I was featured on the ‘necessary evil’ websites after each of my divorces and then again after a number of the break-ups from my post-divorce ramblings. Hell, my ex was on there about 15 minutes after I asked for a divorce. Take away #1: Online dating is super convenient! Here are some facts and three simple tips that make it a more palatable experience.
Just the Facts, Ma’am
There are four major online dating sites in play. I have chronicled the cost, number of unique visitors per month (across the country!) and the split of female to men on the sites. Visit this site for more info: http://dating-websites.findthedata.com/
Match.com $19.99/mo 4.29 mil unique visitors/mo 51% female/49% male
Plenty of Fish $12.75/mo 2.54 mil unique visitors/mo 45% female/55% male
Zoosk $12.49/mo 1.82 mil unique visitors/mo 66% female/34% male
OkCupid $9.95/mo 2.88 mil unique visitors/mo 44% female/56% male
Where are the men?
Clients ask me whether I think there are intelligent, attractive men out there for them. (My men clients are more assured of the availability of women.) I believe there are, however, I also caution that we do happen to live in Maine where there are simply fewer people. It will surely take patience and time to find a good man or woman. It took me 8 years and one delusional rebound marriage.
Looking on Match.com this morning, this is who I found. Now, I searched without logging on and had to catch the numbers before a pop-up popped-up trying to get me to sign up, so correct these numbers if I mis-read them.
Within 20 miles of 04101, there were the following number of men and women (who had photos):
Age 35 to 45 287 men 235 women
Age 45 to 55 215 men 215 women
Age 55 to 65 127 men 156 women
Age 65 to 75 46 men 47 women
Some Tantalizing Tips
It takes 10 to get 1. If you are willing to accept most anyone, you can find a date tonight, easy. If you are looking for substance, it is a numbers game. You have to be willing to meet a good number of people to find someone you want to see a second or third time around. Perhaps if you go in with realistic expectations, you will end up pleasantly surprised rather than frustrated.
Put your best foot forward. Your picture is where it’s at. For better or worse, we are all visual creatures. We are all picky (it’s not just you!). Your picture is the most important part of your profile. Make it one with a good look at your smiling face (emphasis on the smile!). Men told us they don’t need to see pictures of animals or sunsets; they just want to see you. If you aren’t getting much response to one photo, try another one and see how that works.
Manage your experience. Online dating can be hurtful if you don’t realize how it all works. More people will ignore you than pay you the favor of a reply. People will cancel your date an hour before you step into the restaurant because their date last night went well. Most people are dating multiple people at the same time until they narrow in on one. This is not a place to build your self-esteem. It is more of a place to steel yourself, get ready and dive in. Treat people how you want to be treated (men were so thankful when I emailed them to say ‘no, thank you’) but don’t be surprised with the rude online culture.
Good luck on your search. Contact me with additional questions on online dating at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See other blogs on online dating here.
Authored by Erin Oldham, Ph.D.
Erin is a researcher, relationship & divorce coach, and mediator. Erin works with people as they navigate getting into, sustaining and getting out of relationships. She also works with people as they negotiate divorce and the post-divorce world. Erin has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has been researching child wellbeing and the formation of healthy relationships among children and adults for 20 years. She is approachable, pragmatic, empathic and effective. She facilitates intriguing, engaging workshops on these topics as well. Contact her now at email@example.com or 207-200-3970. More information here. localflamesmaine.com