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The Daternet for Women and The Daternet for WomenThe Sexy, Unbridled, Definitive Guide to Internet Dating
By Courtney Lauren Kanner Jeremy Stephen Howard
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2009 Courtney Kanner
All right reserved.
Chapter OneHas it Really Come to This?
My story probably isn't all that different from most of you out there. When I look back at all the dating experiences I have had over the years - all the men who have rejected me and all the men who I myself have rejected - I still find it surprising that I became someone who looked to the Internet to potentially find "the one."
I asked the same questions that I'm sure you're asking yourself right now. Do I really expect to find the man of my dreams online? Am I seriously considering meeting strange men from the Internet? Has it really come to this?
My dating life truly began in high school when I was that girl who always craved having a boyfriend. When I would find one, I would practically act like I was married - at the age of 16. But I was a mature 16 so I was READY just like all of us were. Right, Ladies? Whenever I had a boyfriend, we would do everything together. Our identities would become meshed - duplicate images of one another.
I felt compelled to grow up as fast as possible! I was that girl who lost her virginity before all of her friends. Yeah, we allknow those girls ... well that was ME! Looking back, it seems so funny that I was the girl who experienced all these firsts FIRST - considering how awkward I was both physically and mentally - from my extremely flat chest to my quirky outlook on life and relationships. But regardless, I still found that boys, for whatever reason, still pursued me.
Then college! I had the time of my life my freshman year - a feeling of a loss of inhibition - the first time in my life that I didn't feel trapped and tied down to one person. I kissed more boys that first semester than I have ever kissed in my life! I was what I like to think of as a "Kissing Slut," especially hilarious considering I had braces throughout college! Yes, I actually began my college experience with a mouthful of silver after having broken my jaw in a car accident - and let me tell you, it was NOT a pretty picture. I remember rushing a sorority and one of the active girls of the house kept saying to me, "When are you getting those hideous things off? Men won't find you attractive at all! Don't you want a boyfriend?"
Needless to say, I hated having them ... yet despite what should have been a hindrance to my ability to date, I still was able to become the "Kissing Slut" as men, for whatever reason, still made advances towards me.
Just like many of you, thus far, I had the experience of pretending like I knew everything in high school, and then later growing up and finding my sexual awareness and experience in college.
When I swapped dates at a fraternity party and met Alex later in college, I had my first taste of a REAL committed relationship. For two years, we did almost everything together. I really thought Alex was my soul mate. Everyone saw how strong our love was for each other - except for his parents, who despised me and wouldn't let me set foot in their house - stemmed from an Anti-Semitic belief as we came from different religious backgrounds. They hated the very thought of me and they forbade Alex from continuing to see me once they realized how serious things were getting between us.
Unfortunately, Alex chose to side with his parents.
The man I was in love with, who supposedly was returning my love with impenetrable feelings of his own, ultimately betrayed our relationship. The strength between us that I thought we had really wasn't there after all.
During puberty, I felt like I knew everything and controlled the world! Then during my late teens, I realized I knew nothing and decided to experiment with many different boys. My early 20's showed the extreme high of a serious committed relationship and the bitter lows of a devastating break-up with the first feeling of betrayal by a man.
For many months after the break-up, I was scared to even get close to a guy. I didn't date for a long time because I needed that break in order to heal. I was so fearful of getting hurt again that I completely avoided guys all together. But deep down I knew I couldn't be like that forever.
My friend, Lili, was always encouraging me to start dating again. Ironically, she had met her boyfriend via one of the most oddly curious means I had ever heard of - on the Internet. When she first told me this, my initial reaction was of laughter and complete shock! How could one actually meet a great person online? Obviously, we all know that meeting quality guys at bars and dance clubs are few and far between, but to imagine the online world of dating to be any different was unfathomable to me.
I just didn't understand that world nor did I personally believe in the idea of it. Quite frankly, I saw it as a complete waste of time.
Yet Lili's boyfriend was such a wonderful guy. He treated her right. He was respectful. He knew how to take care of her. And if it wasn't for the Internet, the two of them would never have met.
Was it possible?
It all changed for me that fateful day when I was bored at home and decided to check it out for myself and see what all the hype was about. While surfing the Web, I became flabbergasted by just how many online dating sites actually existed.
The temptation was too great for me.
At this point in my life, I had been through a number of disappointments with guys in "real" life. It was time for ME to take control - to decide who, where, and when I would date someone.
It was time to get online.
I was lured into this craze; I created my profile, and thus began the craziest adventure of my life. For several years now, I have explored every facet of online dating with every possible motivation. I have experienced the highs and the lows. Met the wonderful men - and the serious assholes. Most importantly, all of this experience has shown me how to find the man of my choosing.
From carefully crafting my profile to attract the type of man I desire to the ways I go about communicating with my online perspectives in real life - from a phone conversation to a first online date, through my trial and error, I have developed the strategy and the psychology behind finding the right man for myself.
This book is, in part, geared towards just this - ways you can find the right guy for YOU online.
But in addition, an equal part of this book is about PROTECTING you from the wrong guys online - the ways you can identify and shield yourself from the men on the internet who might try to lure you into something through their own strategies and psychologies. I will show you how to outsmart these men.
If I can pass this knowledge on to you then I can save you the countless hours of wasted time, energy, and money that I had to endure in order to meet the guy you're looking for online.
Has it really come to this?
The fact of the matter is that YES it has come to this - and there isn't anything wrong with it. This is a new era of dating that we're living in. As women, we're conditioned to think of this type of dating as being "taboo" or inappropriate, but why? Is online dating truly any different than meeting a guy at a bar or at the supermarket when he approaches us? If the internet dating world helps us meet the guy we're truly right for in life, are we going to deny ourselves this happiness simply because of the unorthodox nature of this bold new way of meeting people?
Of course not!
How far the world of dating has come, and how far my growth as a woman has been as a result. From such innocent humble beginnings as a girl who let guys walk all over her to someone with an awareness of her own power as a woman, who dictates for myself just who I meet, when and where we meet, and how we meet, the self-confidence and self-assurance that I have discovered within myself as a result of the world of online dating alone has been worth every second of the journey.
And now it's time that you follow me on this adventure down the yellow brick road. Ultimately, as you read on, you will discover your own path off the road for you to venture down. At that point, you will know you are ready.
Has it really come to this?
Yes it has. Let the journey begin.......
Chapter TwoThe NEW Online Dating
Let's think back to ten years ago when you would see that guy with the thick bifocals and the pen in his front pocket - reading his books, working on a portable computer called a "laptop" and connecting to a 56k modem in order to log into something called "America Online." This was what we called the "stereotypical" nerd. We would never label this person as cool or desirable. And when it came time to dating, let's face it, Ladies, this was not the guy we wanted to date. We avoided this type of guy altogether and made fun of him.
Well, times have changed.
Ten years later, that dorky computer guy can now be found within us all! We, as a society, are now completely obsessed with, and in many cases, dependent on computers, the Internet, and technology. A day doesn't go by without checking your email, updating your status or checking someone else's status on Facebook, or surfing the Web. We communicate, pay our bills, shop, sell and trade stocks all online.
And yes, of course, we even find our dates online.
With technology in our society advancing so rapidly, and everything becoming so "virtual," it's no wonder, then, that this form of dating would become a dominant means of meeting people. It's always funny when I'm at the market or a beauty salon and I overhear someone talking about their cousin, or their daughter, or even themselves meeting men on the Internet. It's like everyone's doing it.
It feels that way because everyone IS doing it!
The appeal for me is the fact that typically we meet men through friends, at our jobs, in the supermarket, or at a bar. We rely on fate to help us seek "the one." But with online dating, it's up to US to find that person. We're in the hot seat and in control of our own destiny. We're putting the burden on ourselves to meet the right guy. I like being the one in control. Online dating does just that.
What's great about this style of dating for us, as women, is that we can wake up one morning, decide that we have a Friday night open where we'd like to go on a date, and therefore begin a dialogue with one of the many suitors who are emailing us online. Next thing you know ... that Friday night void has now been filled.
We have the control.
But in order to begin the process of finding our potential mate online, we have to wipe the slate clean, start from scratch, and erase any preconceived notions about what we think we know about online dating.
Stereotypes are abound in this arena ...
Are all guys losers online? Of course not. We hear about more and more people meeting and getting married all the time from internet dating.
Are there creepy guys on the internet? Hell ya! But we'll learn how to deal with those jerks.
Are there guys online who will trick us into trusting them until we sleep with them and then they'll pretend we don't exist? Well, they are out there, but don't we deal with that in our day to day lives anyway?
To this last point, part of the way we should dissolve our preconceived notions of online dating is to start thinking of it in MODERN terms. Online dating IS a tangible and very realistic way of meeting the right guy if we play it the right way. But it's very easy for us to make excuses for why this form of dating isn't right for us. If we think of this medium in negative terms and with a defeatist attitude, then we won't find what we're looking for.
But we're wiping the slate clean. We're starting with the belief system that there IS a "right guy" for us online. It's been there for other people, so there's no reason why it can't be there for us.
We can find it ... as long as we know what it is that we're looking for.
Chapter ThreeDetermine What You're Looking For. Know Yourself.
Some of you may be reading this because you are looking online in order to find a serious relationship and ultimately marriage. Others of you simply want to go on a date and see what's out there, find a friend, and yes, perhaps even an "activity partner."
All of these options can be found online - all are perfectly viable and understandable. Decide which path you are currently looking to take. Your decision will help you sculpt your profile and mold your online interactions with men in such a way that will guarantee that you will find more quality guys based on what you're looking for.
Don't worry ... we'll have plenty of time to figure out the motivations of guys online. But if you have an understanding of what you yourself hope to attain online, then no man will stand in the way of you getting exactly what you want.
Often, you will find men who say they are online looking for a serious relationship and to get married. Then you'll go on a date with them and discover that this is exactly what they are NOT looking for. This used to happen to me all the time. Even if a guy in his profile continually makes references to the fact that he wants to be in a serious relationship, and is attempting to sell himself through that idea, more often than not he is THAT guy who is simply trying to convince himself that he is finally ready for that deep, committed relationship even though in reality, that couldn't be further from the truth. Either that or he's just trying to tell us what he thinks we want to hear. Either way, it's a common trap that we can easily avoid. After going through a handful of these types of online dates, I've discovered how to see through these types of men, which I will show you a bit later.
It all stems from having a real grasp on your own intention, though. Once you have this established, then it will be much easier for you to see these types of guys without the blinders on and not be swayed by their bullshit.
Women who venture into the world of Cyberdating without understanding the rules and the motivations behind the men who are out there are the most susceptible towards finding the asshole and getting hurt.
Even if your intention changes, you must tackle this world with one clear mission at a time. My roommate started with a very simple agenda: Just go on a fun date with a GOOD guy for the spontaneity of it. After weeding out MANY possible suitors, we found the right man for her to try this whole online thing out with. He did turn out to be one of the good guys. They instantly hit it off. And now they're engaged.
She met this guy just one week into her online experience!!!
We were able to eliminate all the asshole ineligibles and get right to the heart of what it was that she was looking for - both in terms of her intention and with what her type a guy was.
Step 1: Figure yourself out.
Step 2: Figure HIM out.
Chapter FourIntegrity, Luring, and Lying
Once you've determined for yourself what it is you're looking to find online, it becomes equally as important to truly understand yourself before you bring another person into your life.
People often enter into relationships when they are lonely, depressed, and need some reason for being. We all probably have had a friend or two, and many of us have even found ourselves in this situation, where we've sought out a relationship out of what we perceive to be "necessity" and not because of true love.
Unfortunately, as many of us know all too well, this will only lead to a life full of drama and pain. My motto has always been that once you feel you are INDEPENDENT and love yourself, only then are you ready for a relationship.
In order to find success in the world of online dating, we have to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and truly be able to identify the strengths of our character as well as our weaknesses.
There are two aspects of integrity, luring, and lying as it relates to the cyber world: Being true to ourselves and expecting others to be true to us.
Excerpted from The Daternet for Women and The Daternet for Women by Courtney Lauren Kanner Jeremy Stephen Howard Copyright © 2009 by Courtney Kanner. Excerpted by permission.
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