I recently snuck a peek into a friend’s dating profile on a secular website. More specifically, I was looking into how she set her search parameters. She had narrowed her search down to Jewish men whose height fell in the range of 5’11”-6’4”. In the words of Ms. Patti Stanger, host of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, “You’re looking for a Chupacabra.”
Chances are those results would yield about five men, two of whom she probably already knew. I think it’s fairly obvious that those two parameters alone were severely limiting. I asked her reasoning behind the exclusively and she told me it’s because people typically lie, so she compensated. Nice try, girl. While this may be true in some cases, it should not be a general rule of thumb to follow when looking for love online!
Look, online dating is fun. Period. Rifling through hundreds of profiles and making instant judgment calls with the click of a mouse is an empowering feeling. It’s easy to limit yourself based on superficial qualities, especially in the case of your search parameters. If you don’t see it, then it doesn’t exist. However, you’re choosing to only see the people you perceive to be your “type.” But let’s be real; if you’re still dating, maybe you’re picking the wrong people on and offline. If your search parameters keep bringing up the same kind of matches, then you need to follow one of these five “search strategies!”
1. Get Perspective
When setting your match parameters, it’s important to narrow things down, but to a point. Often times the person we think we need or want, isn’t right. It’s called perspective, and it’s a hard thing to have with yourself when it comes to dating. Finding love is a vulnerable experience, and opening yourself up to the unknown can be incredibly frightening. Easier to stick with what you know, right?
2. Phone a Friend
If you find yourself being a little more exclusive than inclusive, it’s a good idea to bring in a trusted friend who knows you very well to decide where you should draw the line — and where to leave it fuzzy. It’s important to define your non-negotiables, but understand that not everything needs to be black and white. Is it religion, age, or location? A good friend will help you prioritize your wants and needs with an outside perspective. Maybe you think you need someone older, but your friend has noticed that you only flirt with people who are younger.
3. Loosen Up
Be honest with yourself about what you can tolerate, and what you can be more open-minded about. Just remember that broadening your searches isn’t a commitment, it’s just giving you a greater pool from which to choose. There is no harm in adding a few more years to the age parameters. What if you’re missing out on your soul mate because he or she is one year outside your specified range?!
4. Do Your Homework
After reevaluating your search parameters, it’s important to take a look at your own profile. Make sure your answers reflect the search parameters. Did you just tack on a few more years to the age category? Do the same for your profile. You don’t want to risk deterring a great match from messaging you because you specified that he or she didn’t fit your type.
5. Take Risks
Bottom Line: Be open. There is no damage in broadening your parameters both in your searches, and in who you’re looking for on your own profile. Online dating doesn’t need to happen in secret. Invite a friend or two over to help rebuild your profile and expand your parameters to more accurately reflect a perfect match. You never know where your Beshert may finally appear!