To moving your dating life forward

I’ve continued forward on my online dating adventure. And, here’s my best assessment of my experience so far: I’m learning! After all I’m new to this journey so of course I need to expect a learning curve.

I recently took stock of my progress and asked myself: “Based on my online dating behaviors so far, what can I do now to become more successful at online dating?” Perhaps you’re in a similar spot. You don’t have to go on a date yet if you don’t want to, but let’s make some progress.

One simple secret for moving things ahead is to be more consistent. One thing I noticed I was doing since beginning this adventure was letting life get in the way. Yes, I can list all the reasons I have been inconsistent. It doesn’t matter. I can give you a list of how full my life is, because it is. Too full, probably – I am usually over-scheduled, but my wise self at this stage of my life is guiding me to slow down, put less on the calendar and simplify. It’s indeed been one of my favorite mantras this year.

So without turning critical, instead I noted that the following successful system has risen organically:

• I keep a window open on my computer for the dating site I am using. That way as I am on my computer doing the variety of things I do, I usually run across the logo which itself reminds me to check in.

• While on the dating site, I make sure to move my interaction forward a little each time I’m there, by focusing my efforts. I make my actions purposeful. I work to do something that moves me closer to connecting with another person. It wouldn’t be enough, for example, for me to look at a profile and move on. I like to make a decision “yes” or “no” on the spot as to whether I am going to reach out (versus “check back later”). If this person responds, I continue the online conversation, moving slowly and surely forward.

• Other examples of “moving it forward” could mean asking clarifying questions about statements made in a profile, commenting on a photo, blocking or hiding someone who lives too far or seems too different, or just communicating without any specific agenda. All of these help me gain a greater sense what this other person is like, especially how I feel when talking with her, paying very close attention to the reactions I have.

• To support that simplifying goal I mentioned above, I continue to do things like weeding out general email subscriptions I don’t read regularly and putting less on my non-work calendar, so I am freer to feel the energy and good mood needed for me to want to get on the dating site. It’s no fun “dating” when I am tired or rushing. I believe this negativity could come across to those I am attempting to make connections with while on the site so what then is the point?

I’ve already tried putting on my calendar “spend ten minutes on dating site” every other day. However, this didn’t seem to work for me. It seemed to clutter the calendar and I just kept erasing it each day without doing it, perhaps because I prefer to approach dating with a casual bent right now. I guess I don’t need more structure in my life than I do already! But that’s just me. If I were you I would experiment with this idea. Maybe doing so will work for you.

Stay tuned for more online dating tips. And, most of all, enjoy the process!

Barb Elgin, MSW, is a Certified Singles Coach who has been coaching and counseling single, dating, and coupled lesbians for over 25 years. If you’re interested in connecting with other women-who-love-women in healthy social and travel environments that combine fun and learning, join Barb’s complimentary email list here: