Successful Internet Dating



with Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW,

Therapist & Relationship Coach

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When it comes to internet dating there appears to be two main camps.  This includes those who are well versed in the process and have dived in full force, as well as those who are terrified to even contemplate the notion of using a public forum to enhance something as serious as their love life.  Internet dating services are here to stay.  They are simply a virtual vehicle for people to meet other people for romance, love and companionship.  Some of the pitfalls of this dating process were humorously depicted in the movie titled Must Love Dogs.  People were not as they had appeared in their pictures, people misrepresented themselves in their descriptions and it was glaringly apparent that people can want very different things when it comes to love and romance.  In order to set yourself up for better success in the internet dating process there are several things you should consider that include: getting your expectations in check, using common sense when it comes to safety and being very clear on what you are looking for in a relationship.

Unmet expectations equate to disappointment in most areas of life and the dating arena is no exception.  Over time many of my clients have relayed their experiences with dating in the new millennium.  “I finally tried the internet, but it didn’t work out” is what I often hear, despite this person having gone out with only two or three different people.  The way to avoid this type of disappointment is to view this process for what it is, a way to connect.  Drop the expectations of finding “Mr. Right”.  You are simply meeting for lunch or coffee, while being given the opportunity to hone your screening skills in general.  This is what you must focus on rather than on “getting picked”.  Pay attention to the conversation.  Does it flow smoothly, is it coming equally from both of you and are you genuinely interested in learning more.  If so, then perhaps another date is warranted.  The odds simply don’t support meeting “the one” on only two or three dates.  The expectations you decide to place on the whole process in general will have a great impact on your level of overall satisfaction with this experience.  Internet dating is all about helping people meet and it does a good job in accomplishing that, as you have hundreds of choices.  However, safety always needs to be a consideration.

Fear of meeting “weirdo’s”, “freaks” or other conjured up images of unsavory characters has kept many a soul from jumping on to the internet dating bandwagon.  Unfortunately, reality has shown that not everyone is honest in representing themselves, yet this is in the minority rather than the norm.  However, common sense needs to be applied to the process when it comes to your safety and well-being.   Don’t give out your home address or home phone number before you have met each other.  Reverse look-up is very thorough with landlines.  Meet in a public place with plenty of other people around.  It takes a while to get to know someone else.  You don’t need to turn into a cynical being, but you should try to navigate the world without total naiveté.  Lastly, I suggest meeting for coffee on a weekend day.  It lends itself to a more casual, relaxed feel with a lot less pressure.  It’s a chance to see each other in a more informal, natural light.

Lastly, all of the above tips are pretty well inconsequential if you are not yet fully clear on what it is you are looking for in a person.  Identifying this and being able to verbalize it with complete clarity is the primary goal for those individuals who come to my office for Relationship Coaching.  This involves a thorough assessment of that which you are as a person, as well as your individual experiences thus far which will dictate your specific “needs”.  These are needs that will have to be met in order to feel fulfilled and satisfied in a relationship.  When you can clearly state your needs and wants, you can expedite the dating process by not sticking around when it becomes clear that this person is not going to provide them.


Christine Kniffen, LCSW is a Relationship coach and Therapist practicing in St. Louis.  For a free consultation call 314-374-8396.


If you’re ready to meet someone, but are hesitant to jump into internet dating

or you are not feeling successful with previous attempts, then this workshop will help.

Learn what type of attachment style you have and how it dictates your potential

for success in the choices you make.  Identify what types of things should be included

in a good profile to attract more interest and what should not.

Find out what you need to be looking for on that first date.

This workshop will give you the right attitude and the right confidence to be successful in meeting and recognizing the right person for you.  $20……Saturday April 21st

from 10:00am to 12:00pm at 231 W. Lockwood, Suite 200-Webster Groves, MO 63119.  Please send an e-mail to TheArtofRelating@hotmail.com to reserve a space.