5 Tips for Navigating Online Dating in 2018

5 Tips for Navigating Online Dating in 2018
By Michelle Afont, author of The Dang FactorThe Dude Factor, and The Profile Factor
Imagine yourself shopping for your future partner, while sitting in your living room sipping a glass of wine. Sounds pretty amazing, right? This is the reality of finding love in 2018, and it’s all thanks to online dating.
Some of you may be in the small minority who meet the love of your life in the produce aisle of Whole Foods—but I wouldn’t bet your organic bananas on it. Why? Because the odds of meeting your future partner on fate alone are simply not in your favor. We live in a busy society; our lives are chaotic, and our grocery store runs – or trips anywhere for that matter – are often purposeful and hurried. Online dating is here to stay and has evolved into the most widely accepted and practical way to date throughout the world.
But online dating isn’t magic. It is work, and it takes a lot of time and effort. You’re likely going to go on many dates before your match is found. Or you could be one of the few who get to experience potential love in the first week of dating. Who knows? Who cares? As long as you’re out there looking and making yourself actively available, you need to trust the process of finding love.
You know you’re the catch of a lifetime. But how will your future partner know if you do not make your available self known to the world? If you’re ready to log on and get started, here are five ground rules:
Rule 1: You Have to Go Through It to Get Over It 
You, my perfect peach, are not exempt from the agony, effort, and disappointment we all have to go through to find “The One.” You’re going to have bad dates. You’re going to get emails and winks from some creeps.
Do not focus on the bad dates or bad apples. Instead, focus on the potential matches who may just end up being your life partner.
Rule 2: Be Realistic in Your Dating Quest 
Dating will take time and effort on your part. You also need to be realistic instead of holding out for the next Channing Tatum. Look for those with a similar socioeconomic, educational, and life status. Date those whose lives seem like they could mesh with yours. Having unattainable expectations of your future partner is unrealistic and will only serve to limit your dating options to probable non-options.
Rule 3: Respect the Dating Roles 
Allow traditional roles to come to life during the initial dating process. Either of you can make the first move to make a connection. The initial online contact is highly encouraged from either side. However, once initial contact information and a first date have transpired, let tradition prevail.
Once someone has your number, they know how to get in touch with you. And if you get no answer, well, that’s your answer. Being too available and (gasp!) too needy is strictly forbidden.  
Rule 4: Share a Mutual Interest with Any Potential Partner 
Mutual interests keep you connected as a couple and allow you to explore life as a tag team. It’s like being married to your best friend, with the bonus of sex! If you spend months or years trying to convert your potential mate to have the same hobbies as you, that is precious time that could be spent with someone who instinctively shares your interests.
Rule 5: Give It Time 
Finally, avoid putting a timeline on finding love. There are no shortcuts or free passes to love. Keep your profile active, and maintain a positive dating attitude. Most importantly, never let a few bad dates detour you from finding the love you so richly deserve.
Finding love has never been easier! With a new year upon us, now is the time to charge your laptop and venture into the world of online dating.
Michelle Afont has been a divorce attorney for over twenty years. In addition to her work in the legal field, she has also served as a life advisor, helping others to take the necessary steps to live their best lives. In addition to The Dang Factor, Afont is also the author of The Dude Factor and The Profile Factor, and is an available speaker.
Learn more about Michelle at www.thedangfactor.com and connect on Instagram (@michelleafont). 
The Dang Factor is available for preorder on Amazon and will be released on March 15, 2018.