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Making contact

Avoiding the scatter-gun approach

How do you make online dating work for you? There’s one method you should definitely avoid - even though people often seem to want to try it, and that’s the scatter-gun approach. Instead of casting your net indiscriminately, take a close look at yourself and at your prospective dates.

The scatter-gun approach

Is it really me they’re interested in?

If you’re at a party or in a bar and someone talks to you, you can be pretty sure that they think there is something interesting about you … your smile, your voice, your clothes, or something you’ve just said. Whether it leads to a conversation, a bit of flirtation, a friendship, or a lifelong relationship, you can know for sure that someone had some kind of interest in you. Likewise, if you decide to talk to someone, you’re doing so because there was something about them that caught your attention. And it’s not just because you might know that he or she is also on the lookout for a relationship. The initial interest is in that person, and that might develop into a friendship or a relationship. The same should apply when you are on PARSHIP - and the great advantage is that you will come across many more potential partners online than you would in even the largest bar.

Make it personal
When you make contact with people on PARSHIP, you need to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible. In other words, don’t feel obliged to try every possible avenue in your search for a relationship. Instead, keep an eye out for someone whose little idiosyncrasies intrigue you, or whose little flaws somehow appeal to you - and who could feel the same about you. Your future partner doesn’t have to be to anyone’s taste but yours! When you send a contact request, you should say what attracted you to the other person’s profile and what made you want to write to them. Don’t make the mistake, whether through over-confidence or lack of confidence, of just saying “Tell me some more about you”, or “We have a lot in common”. You shouldn’t assume that sending as many contact requests as possible, to all and sundry, will produce a positive result more quickly. Of course, you should follow a number of leads to start with, but always with a bit of thought behind each one.

The relationship imperative
As you get to know each other, ask yourself, whether, if your contact came to end, you would miss the other person’s witty ripostes, or the way they brush their hair away from their face - or would you just be sorry that you’ve been denied the prospect of a relationship? If, in the course of your contact, you get the impression that the other person sees you purely as a relationship option, then take things carefully. Make sure you are convinced that the other person is really interested in you as a person. And, for your part, don’t just ‘settle for’ someone, no matter how ‘suitable’ - or in love with you - he or she seems to be.

Change your perspective
You set the tone with your PARSHIP profile. Some people’s profiles seem to suggest that they are simply interested in the idea of a relationship rather than in finding the right person. They seem to want to stick to general niceties on their ‘About me’ page, give very little away about themselves and don’t say anything in the least provocative. And every time a contact request doesn’t lead anywhere they take it as a personal defeat, even though they never had the opportunity to get to know the person in question. Bear this in mind when you are preparing or revising your profile. Make sure that it’s really about you. If you write the same things as everyone else, what is going to stimulate someone else’s interest in you? What makes you special? It might well be aspects of you that won’t appeal to everybody.

Louise (51), a former PARSHIP member, has this to say: “I was determined not to copy any phrases I’d seen on other people’s ‘About me’ pages, no matter how good they sounded. I wanted to express my desires, my goals and my peculiarities in my own way. The result was a very individual profile that wouldn’t have appealed to everyone.” That being said, it definitely did appeal to one other PARSHIP member, Frank (55), who is now Louise’s husband.

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The PARSHIP principle

The PARSHIP principle

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