Searching for love
For many people on the North Shore, dating and ﬁnding that special someone has become a serious ﬁnancial and emotional investment.
Gone are the days of introductions at church and through marriage bureaus and for singles of all ages — now, dating websites are proving a popular and successful way of tapping into a market of available and like-minded individuals, who are also ﬁnding it difﬁcult to meet the right person.
For North Shore single Michelle, who is in her 50s and has just come out of a long marriage, taking the plunge and dating online has had some pleasant and surprising results. She has also been involved in 'life and dating coaching’ with Stephanie Chan, who runs seminars and courses on the North Shore.
"Dating later in life is deﬁnitely different from someone who is in their 20s or 30s," she tells North Shore Living.
"The beneﬁt of online dating is the ability to meet a large variety of people and gain some understanding of common interests and attraction before meeting in person.
"I don't think it should be the ’only way' to meet people but it’s a great addition to getting out there and joining groups or going out for a night on the town. With online dating, you can exchange emails or talk on the phone to determine whether there is a mutual interest before even meeting for a coffee," she says.
According to Ms Chan, who has been using her skills to help singles navigate through the joys and pitfalls of dating, many older successful people need to treat dating like their business decisions - with less emotion and more strategy.
"Many women and men know how to succeed in the business and professional world but simply do not know how to present themselves when looking for love - especially with online dating," she confirms."They really need to understand that dating is a sales-based process and they must go beyond any perceived stigma of it and not be afraid to put themselves out there, in an honest and engaging way." Ms Chan‘s top tips for daters (both women and men) are:
- Choose the right dating site. Ones that require payment will weed out a lot of time wasters. More importantly, choose one that allows the man or woman to email you directly, because that initial email will tell you a lot about them straight away.
- Get a clear idea of what you want in a partner. Have your requirements set in advance and don’t waste time chatting to anyone who does not meet those, just because you are looking.
- Set a filter. Weed out the people playing the numbers game by including a question they have to answer at the end of your profile. If they don‘t answer the question in their opening email to you, they have not read your profile. The question can also be something that clarifies whether they have the quality you want. Another North Shore single, 30-year-old Laura says she's been on dating sites for the past four years. “I'm looking for different things now to what I was at 26," she says “I'm looking for someone I can truly share my life with - I‘ve got a career and I'm ﬁnancially stable.
“l don't tend to budge on standards and I tend to date people who fit the criteria more." she adds. “Online dating is also a great way to widen your circle of friends - it's not the only tool in the arsenal.”