Everything, if you're lonely, missing out on companionship and relationships because you just don't know where to look or how to find that "someone". If your answer lies with Online Dating, read on and consider some tips:

My thoughts about online dating's wide popularity is due to the lack of interest in meeting people in bars, dance clubs, fitness centers, or super grocery stores. Online dating is like a catalog full of potentials, no different from a room full of people, but those listed online have already stated their intentions ("just friends", "networking", "dating", "serious relationship") and generally have provided a profile of likes and dislikes, good or bad habits, and more information to help choose from the throngs of others. We have so much less time these days in our over-worked society to spend on our personal lives. Lighten the often difficult process of dating in an environment where you are still allowed personal choices, making it easier to have beginning grounds for enhanced communication and the pursuit of a new person in your life.


Online chats and email could be good ways to get to know someone and allow a little bit more relaxed conversation to start with. There are advantages to online dating, such as the ability to be able to chat back and forth before taking the leap of meeting in person. There is also the added benefit of getting to see what someone looks like, through shared pictures on the Internet. No longer does someone have to be shocked when the blind date shows up.

Most of my clients involved in online dating have made the decision to date only someone who has posted or shared a picture. Though this might seem superficial at first, consider this; how many individuals would walk up to a person in a bar if they were not attracted to some extent physically?


Many warn away online daters about meeting people through this method, admonishing that "an Axe murderer" or pedophile or something of the sort, will be the resulting connection. While imaginations may run wild, it's important to remember that this is not a problem unique to the Internet! Anyone can be deceitful, even the seemingly wonderful person sitting at the counter at the local cafe. Care does need to be taken of course when venturing out in the dating world. Caution is certainly important, as it would be in any sort of first encounter. Don't leave it all up to chat / email only; Talk to your date by phone as well, even if you wind up using a blocked number or pay phone at first so that Caller ID is not part of your privacy issue. Watch out for your email address too, and consider a free account email with an address that uses a Screen name or User ID that isn't your real name, giving away your privacy sooner than you are ready.

Get a sense of their voice patterns, inflections, sense of humor, patience, and consistency in their "story line"--do they tell you some personal things about themselves and then wind up changing the details at another time? Could be they're inventing this as they go. Line up the first meeting in a public place, tell others, especially family and friends, of your meeting including the specifics of place and time, arrive in separate cars, and be sure to LEAVE that way!


Be sincere, be honest--though with caution initially, but above all, BE YOU. As I watched a recent comedy that depicted various aspects of online dating, between giggles I realized that the personas of online daters COULD get downright ridiculous. Don't abuse others by presenting a wild variety of "the Other You" and project every fantasy you can come up with to gain attention. If you want real people, you have to be one yourself. Don't send in that old high school picture of yourself when in fact you're 40something, and don't make up exotic careers and fascinating lifestyles. You want someone to like you for yourself and you won't have that if you start out "re-inventing yourself". Trust your own innate charm. It may be rusty or it may just not have come to maturity yet, but if you relax and get real, the other person can relax and be truthful as well. Online dating is not
a substitute for "real relating". The goal, after all, IS to get to know each other IN PERSON. Online dating is merely a way to start that process.

Pamela Smale Williams LPC, LMFT, AAMFT practices in Plano, Texas

January 18, 2007 Copyright 2008

Author's Bio: 

Pamela Smale Williams LPC, LMFT, AAMFT is a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a licensed professional counselor with a Masters degree in Psychology, specialized in Marriage and Family therapy. She is a Clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, working with both couples and individuals over 30 years in private practice. She received both degrees in Psychology from SMU in Dallas Texas and from TWU in Denton Texas, respectively. Pamela also attended additional graduate classes at UNT in Denton Texas.
Pamela specializes in counseling couples as well as anxiety, anger, depression, and relationship therapy. Her latest workshop involves training Couples and Pre-Marital counseling in Texas which is a favorite focus of Pamela’s. “With the overwhelming statistics on divorce, I hope to contribute to better outcomes for the marriages and families of our future.” In addition, she is now offering an affordable GROUP THERAPY for Couples beginning in Sept. 2008 for 6 sessions. Pamela has been a guest speaker at the offices of internationally known career counselor, Dr. Helen Harkness, President, founder and counselor of “Career Design” in Texas. She has written articles appearing in McKinney Woman magazine and 4therapy.com, as well as writing articles for her own website. Her licensing specializes her in the state of Texas for marriage and family counseling, and along with her training and many years in practice, Pamela is an excellent “go-to person” for relationship help!
To visit Pamela’s website, pamelasmalewilliams.com
What is Pamela's approach?
Cognitive therapy (WHAT IS COGNITIVE THERAPY or CBT?), short term Behavioral therapy, and an intelligent blend of Psychological approaches customized to each individual seen;
What this means to you:
"Pamela's gentle, non-threatening manner makes her easily approachable and creates a warm and trusting environment where you may feel safe to discuss your concerns immediately, yet effectively. Her ways of analyzing situations and posing important and insightful questions for you that guide you to immediate areas of focus for Change, are what makes her style a No-nonsense, sensitive, and creatively effective approach to helping others. With that all said, she may also use humor
lightly to re-frame a situation or allow you to look at yourself less critically, sometimes a tough job for many of us."
Pamela's 30 years of experience have helped her to create an intelligent blend utilizing many different psychological skills and constructs in her approach with each client. Officed from a Garden like environment with views of two separate gardens, relaxation is an essential key to much of her therapy.
You may expect to have "homework" that is designed specifically for you and will effectively allow you to make use of the time in between sessions as well and not only the time in office sessions. This homework of course is not designed to be over challenging, nor is it "graded" in the traditional sense so there is no worry over performance with regard to typical ideas of school homework! Count on a variety of ideas to create a plan that will best suit your needs in tackling the areas that create concerns or problems for You.