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Modern Buffalove: Digital dating

I love discussing, analyzing and sharing suggestions with friends to improve their love lives. I have a real passion for bridging the gap between Mars and Venus.

One of the most popular and effective ways for meeting new people these days is through online dating sites. I’ve used Match.com and the Tinder app to navigate the local dating scene. I’ve met successful, attractive and interesting men through these sites here in Buffalo.

I disagree when people say there aren’t enough quality single men available. I’m happy to tell you they do exist. Even more, they want to meet you! Luckily, like me, many of these men did not take themselves too seriously and logged in. I encourage you to do the same.

My goal is to remove the fear and stigma of dating apps, increase your chances of success, and encourage you to step outside your comfort zone if you’re looking for companionship.

Believe me, I’ve learned a few lessons the hard way in my online journey, but I’m here to shorten your learning curve. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Have no shame in your game

I have friends who are shy about putting themselves out there or worried about professional or social backlash from being on any of these sites.

I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when I became single again four years ago, and spent the extra money to be “incognito” on Match.com. This upgrade only allowed men to see me in a search if I granted them access.

What I learned is yes, you will spot people you know or recognize on Match and Tinder. But you soon realize we are all on for the same reason. It’s a great thing to be seeking a quality companion! Especially post-divorce.

Be honest

For example, Match.com asks how often you drink. I selected option D, “regularly.” My ideal mate would enjoy having a drink after work so I want to be clear about my preferences so I’ll attract the same. If I selected “occasionally” because it sounds better, I may be leaving myself thirsty on our first date.

Same rule applies when setting up filters to search your ideal mate. I was very clear with who I was seeking...must live within 20 miles, have children, doesn’t want any more, comparable income, divorced or widowed. So that’s exactly who I found — how efficient!

I encourage you to take a deep breath and admit exactly who you are and what you want. No one is judging! Think of it like online shopping.

Let your pics describe yourself

Photos of me are at Bills games, soccer with my son, and out with friends and family. I don’t need a long bio to describe myself as being a fun-loving, single mom who likes sports and spends a lot of time with friends and family. I say it with pictures. This is especially important on Tinder.

The only description I wrote about myself is that I am left-handed and I am tall. The “left-handed” says I’m not taking this too seriously, and the “I’m tall” is because the first thing every man says to me on a blind date is, “Wow, you are tall.” So I’ll save them that comment going forward.

Pictures showing atmosphere are also good ice-breaking topics for an initial message, like: “Still a Bills fan after that game on Sunday?” This allows you (and them) to find some common ground.
Find your favorite (recent) pictures of things you enjoy doing and share them!

Also be wary of profiles with no or very few pics. Find someone more interesting to chat with or simply ask for more photos. If all you’re getting is selfies and a reluctance to share — there is a reason. Move on!

Finally, remember that these sites are what you make of them. If you want a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you can find someone looking for the same. If it’s a fling or a friend you are looking for, you can ask for that. Or if you’re simply bored or curious and just looking for some flirty banter over text — ding! ding! ding! — you’ve got that at your fingertips, too.

Good luck!

Reach Maureen at 716lovelife@gmail.com.

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