Fail to Fab: How Long Have You Been Online Dating?

By: Jess Downey, Copy Cutie

credit: eflon (Flickr)As a singleton, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with getting to know someone new. And all too often I’m asked certain things about my dating past time and time again. Because it’s easy to perceive those inquiries as foe rather than friend, here’s a special Fail to Fab series on how to prepare yourself should these common crop of questions come up.

Fail: Once upon a time, a girl dated a guy from the interwebs. At one point during their rendezvous, he asked how long she’d been online dating. She calmly answered, “About a year or so,” and they moved on to another topic. After dating for several months, they decided they were better off as friends.

Fast-forward a decade to present day. The girl once again goes out with someone from the Internet and he too asks how long she’s been online dating. After breaking into a cold sweat, the girl takes a big gulp and says, “Almost a decade,” then immediately launches into a self-justifying spiel on her answer, including all the answers to who, what, where, when and why. Though the guy is very confused, he steers the convo and talks about a trip he’s recently been on. They end the evening early and go their separate ways, never to see each other again.

Fab: Everyone fails in this example. While it’s OK to be curious, asking someone how long he or she has been dating online on the first date is a big no-no. Save it for date three or four.

But if questions like this come up, don’t make a beeline for the bathroom so you can hyperventilate in private. Before getting too dramatic, keep in mind that things often seem worse to you than they do to others. Truth be told, your date probably doesn’t care how long you’ve been dating online — he or she just wants to learn more about you.

Before jumping to conclusions, be sure to read your date. Look at his or her body language and facial expressions. And don’t feel like you have to fill the silence. Instead, give your date the opportunity to respond. If he or she moves on to another subject, it’s likely they’re fine with your answer. Don’t convince yourself that more explanation is necessary by over analyzing things. Listing 101 reasons about your past will only raise red flags. Just enjoy the rest of your time together and let conversation flow. Remain your calm, cool and collected self! 

And if your date has questions about your answer, that’s OK, too. Don’t always assume they’re thinking of you poorly. Instead of jumping to the defense, encourage dialog and curiosity about the issue while keeping things light and flirty.

Remember: Dating is all about getting to know someone new, which often means exploring cringe-worthy subjects. But instead of becoming defensive, answer as honestly as you comfortably can — after all, the right match won’t care what your answer is.