Looking for love?

Damona HoffmanIf you are single and looking for love, you won’t want to miss a word of DolceDolce’s interview with top dating coach Damona Hoffman. She is the expert advisor at DearMrsD.com as well as the author of the must-have guide to online dating, Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating. She is also a regular contributor for The Huffington Post and host of the radio show, Dates & Mates with Dear MrsD.
Here are some of Damona’s tips for shining online:
DD: What should you consider when writing your online dating profile? Are there dos and don’ts?
DH: To have success in online dating, one must have a stellar profile but it’s hard to write about yourself. That’s why so many people come to professionals like me for help. Tell your story rather than giving a laundry list of what you like. So instead of saying, “I’m a fun, sporty girl who feels just as comfortable in sweats as I do in heels,” talk about how you went on an impromptu hike in three-inch heels and crushed the course. Of course, tell this story if it’s true. You get the idea. A woman who can hike in heels shows she’s spontaneous, resourceful, tough, and fun – all in one sentence.
Definitely don’t bash your ex, complain about life, or talk only about what you don’t want. DO showcase your humor, do post fun photos of yourself (up to five, TOPS), and do keep it to minimum. No need to tell your life story. Keep it short, around three paragraphs, and have fun with it. It’s not a resume; it’s who you are!
DD: How can you choose the right online dating site?
DH: Finding the right site starts with your absolute deal-breakers and marriage makers. If religion is important to you, go to a niche site like JDate or ChristianMingle. If you want another person to ski the slopes or surf some waves, find an outdoorsy-type site, such as fitness-singles.com. If you want, choose from a larger pool of people and hit the top three sites: Match, OKCupid and eHarmony. And, as I always tell all my clients, it’s better to be on two sites than one. So join a pay site and a free site. It’s like being in two bars at once, widening your potential matches and increasing your chance for success.
DD: How do you weed out the losers, the crazies, the married, and other undesirables?
DH: While Catfishing is on the rise with an influx of fake profiles and people who never intend on meeting up in person, online dating is still quite safe. Once you make a match with someone after a few exchanges online, get offline as soon as possible. This helps weed out the crazies as well as helps pinpoint who is real, who is fake, and who is not going to maintain your interest. I recommend a phone call of at least 10 minutes before going on that first date. Your gut will let you know if this person is worth your time.
DD: What is it with men and texting? How do you move a relationship past texting and emailing? And once you are dating, how do you keep him from texting all the time instead of calling or actually meeting?
 DH: I personally am not a fan of texting in courting, but it doesn’t stop men from using it to avoid face-to-face rejection. So be honest with him and tell him you’d love to hear his voice on the phone. I had a client who was asked out on a first date via text and she basically told him to shove it. He responded with a phone call essentially begging for another chance. She decided to give it a shot and ended up in long-term relationship with him. Now, while I don’t condone being rude, her honesty really attracted him to her. You have to be willing to let the idea of a guy go. If he doesn’t want to meet you in person, he’s probably not the real deal, so you have to move on.
DD: Do you have a list of dos and don’ts for a first date?
DH:First dates are not meant to be longer than an hour and half, TOPS. Skip dinner and just do drinks. Tea, coffee, cocktail – whatever. But know your limit and watch your drink. Listen, laugh, smile, and ask questions, but don’t give away too much. The idea is to figure out if you want to see him ever again, not what color your bridesmaids dresses will be. Get in and get out so you leave him wanting more.
DD: Is there an acceptable way to leave a really bad date?
DH: If you are in an uncomfortable situation or feeling awkward on a date, it’s always best to leave as quickly as you can. If you feel that your date is a whack-job and might be volatile, tell him you’re not feeling well and need to leave immediately. Always bring cash for a cab and ask the restaurant staff for help if you feel that you might be in danger. If your date is just a run-of-the-mill boring, jabber jaw, and you know you want out, simply tell him that you appreciate his time and wish him the best of luck in his quest for love, but the two of you aren’t a match.
DD: What type(s) of photos should you use on your dating profile?
DH: In my book Spin Your Web: How to Brand Yourself for Successful Online Dating I break down the must-have photos for your profile, but to sum it up, never more than five photos tops, and only of you. Not your car or surfboard or garden, but of YOU! The three most important shots are an action shot for instance, you on that surfboard, then one of you quietly reading a book, and a good UP-TO-DATE shot of your face. Photo editing is recommended, but only to crop, lighten, and remove red-eye, not to give you blue eyes or slimmer legs. Be honest with who you are and showcase your best assets. Choose pictures that speak a thousand words