FINDING MS. RIGHT

A fine gentleman reader pointed out to me that while the site is great (thank you *blush*), it is thin on advice for guys. He then proceeded to write out a very lengthy submission which was originally intended for publication with the June updates. But because it comes from a guy, and because it's quality stuff, I asked him if he would mind if it became a regular, special part of the site. So, what follows is "Finding Ms. Right!" - a submission from a male visitor to this site.

"I liked your website. You have lots of good advice for women... but the site is thin on advice for guys.

I think that people need to understand the risks and costs of maintaining an online relationship. The further away she is from you, the more money youíll be shelling out in the end. While this is meant for the guys, a lot of this will apply to the women out there.

There are some basic rules of thumb that should apply when using the online personals to meet people ≠ much of it culled from personal experience over the past year that Iíve been single.

FINDING MS. RIGHT

  1. Donít bother with the chat-rooms. You want someone who lives nearby. To me, someone living 2,000 miles away and looking to date me raises some serious red flags. It only makes it easier to deceive you since she knows you wonít be meeting her next weekend.
  2. Limit your search to no more than a 45 minutes drive from your home ≠ anything further will make for a long drive in bad weather or after a bad date. Forget about starting a long distance relationship on the internet. Will the $500+ plane ticket (plus hotel, rental car, etcÖ) to meet your online love be worth it if there isnít any chemistry after all? What if she bails out on you at the last minute because her grandfather died for the fifth time and youíre stuck with a non-refundable ticket? Itís going to be a pretty crappy extended weekend getaway to Wichita, Kansas by yourself. If itís not that far, then driving home for 3-4 hours with a big question mark over your head after getting mixed signals from your date isnít any fun either.
  3. Find a good online match making service. Put up a good personal. Be honest (the truth will be told sooner or later ≠ and no one likes to be deceived), post a clear and recent picture, and have something interesting to say about yourself and state what youíre looking for in a match. Most women arenít interested in how much you can bench press or how much horsepower is under the hood of your car. Also, ask yourself, are you really ready to date? Are you still carrying baggage from a past relationship? Do you have what will attract a woman to you (good job, future ambitions, mental/emotional security, your own place to live, etc?).
  4. Itís also helpful that you let people looking at your personal know what you are not looking for ≠ let your ad act as a gatekeeper. The idea is not to get as many responses as possible ≠ many of which youíll reject after reading the first few sentences anyway ≠ but to get as few GOOD matches as possible. There are plenty of unemployed single mothers who chain-smoke and need to go out partying 5 nights a week. If youíre working days, do you really want to date someone who works nights (notice there are plenty of single nurses out there ≠ 2/3írds of them work evenings/nights and youíll be lucky to see them more than once a week). Since you donít want these women to begin with, why be bothered wasting your valuable time reading e-mail that youíre gonna toss out anyway?
  5. Many matchmaking services allow you to specify what range your income falls under. Itís none of her damn business! Answer only ďprefer not to answerĒ or similar. You want someone to like you for you ≠ and not how much you make. Keep your occupation generic ≠ most people will get the idea if youíre pulling minimum wage or a decent salary by what you do.
  6. When responding to a womanís personal (especially if she put a picture up and is reasonably attractive), expect that sheíll probably get more responses than she could ever want or have the time to reply to. Chances are unless youíre Superman she wonít bother with you because she has so many to choose from. Iíve always done well by just placing a good personal and letting it do the work for me. If youíre ďmarketableĒ ≠ they will come to you.
  7. After exchanging a couple of introductory e-mails with someone agreeable to you, keep the online/telephone getting to know you better relationship limited to a week or two before meeting. Why spend all that time and money falling for someone you have yet to meet ≠ only to end up meeting and the chemistry isnít there after all? There are better things to do with your time and money (the 10-15 cents per minute AT&T, Sprint or MCI charges for long distance calls you will add up quickly).
  8. Ask permission via e-mail before Instant Messaging someone (particularly AOL users ≠ as their AOL name is also their IM name). Some people find that IM is a nuisance and donít care to have the world know when theyíre online or not, and are happy just exchanging e-mail.
  9. Donít be afraid to ask questions, and keep them tasteful. Better to know now, than after a month of dating someone, only to find out that sheís not for you.
  10. Donít forget that there are plenty of single women out there. Donít ever settle for less than what you want. Be patient and make sure the person youíre going to meet, or currently dating is, someone that youíll still want around five years from now.
  11. Trust your gut. If you have any doubts about someone, then keep looking. Remember that if itís true good to be true, then it probably is.

THE FIRST DATE

  1. Make plans the first date simple (and cheap) ≠ meet up for coffee or lunch at an ideal halfway point for the both of you. Generally speaking, a guy is expected to pay for at least half the dinner/bar tab, but more often than not youíll be forking out the cash for the entire thing ≠ so choose a place thatís nice, but not ridiculously expensive. After a series of first dates where youíre being a great guy and paying for it all at the finest restaurants (and finding out the chemistry isnít there each time)Ö the credit card bill will add up quickly.
  2. Look presentable. Show up on time. Be yourself. Be honest.
  3. Alcohol on a first date should be a no-no! It will make you drop your inhibitions and after a few drinks, beer goggles kick in, youíll be flirtier than usual and you may end up misleading someone (or engaging in something else) that you probably wouldnít have much interest in the first place. Then once you and her go home, the next day you wonít be feeling so chipper about each other. Chemistry should happen on itís own, and not with some help from Bud or Jack.
  4. Donít make other plans for the eveningÖ keep it open. Having to leave after an hour or two because of other plans is just plain rude and tells her youíre not interested. On the other hand, if the date lasts only an hour or two because she has to go then donít put all your eggs in her basket either ≠ itís likely sheís not interested.
  5. Read her body language. Is she looking at you or looking everywhere but at you? Are there too many uncomfortable moments of silence? Canít think of anything to talk about? Chances are sheís not interestedÖ probably a good time to bail.
  6. Leave the cell phone in the car. Itís rude to have it with you. Youíre on a date with her, not the rest of the world. Your buddies (or other girls you may be talking to at the time) can wait.
  7. How did the date end? Was it a rushed ďgotta goĒ (bad sign) or a nice friendly hug and perhaps a kiss with a promise to meet again (good sign).
  8. Trust your gut. If you think that the first date will also be the last and only date with this person, regardless of how well it went, then chances are itís right.

DATING

  1. Give things time to develop. Donít smother the other person to death with 50 phone calls, e-mails and instant messages a day. The other person has a life too (work, friends, family, time to clean her apartment, recreational activities, and downtime for herself).
  2. Donít lose sight of the fact that youíre in a probationary period with this person, as she is with you. If things are meant to be, theyíll fall into place naturally. If not, youíll sense it.
  3. Are you finding yourself doing most of the calling, paying for dates, buying gifts/flowers, etc.? Chances are youíre going to be broke, frustrated and disappointed soon. A relationship is a 50/50 endeavor and if youíre carrying the weight of it all now, youíll be doing it as long as you are involved with this person.
  4. Donít push the sex issue. Be a gentleman! These things will happen naturally if there is enough of a mutual attraction and desire for each other.
  5. Trust your gut. If you sense the end is near, chances are it is.
  6. Remember this when it doesnít work out ≠ when itís over, itís over. Donít lose your dignity by pleading for someone to take you back. Her mind is made up and the decision is final.


Well, there you have it! Remember, this is a guy's point of view. I welcome submissions like this and I think this is a great article! Thanks LN for sending it!