I am a firm believer in online dating. My journey into the world of online dating began a few years ago, and I must admit, I was extremely skeptical. Now – nearly three years later – I have learned subtle signs often missed when conversing with a potential match. Many times, I found myself frustrated and defeated by the online dating phenomenon. How were so many people finding their special someone? What did they know about digital matchmaking that I had not learned through traditional dating?

Watching out for these subtle signs will help you find Mr. or Mrs. Right and minimize frustrations and wasted time pursuing Mr. or Mrs. Wrong.

Better Questions, Better Answers

Half the battle in online dating is separating the profile from the person. Not all online dating subscribers are created equal, nor are their intentions, motives or reasons for subscribing. Profile descriptions, questionnaires and selfies are but a fraction of a much larger whole.

One of my first groundbreaking revelations occurred when I started experimenting with different questions. I found that being cliché was not the way to start a meaningful dialogue. After all, I was but one fish in a very vast ocean of potentials. I won’t give all my secrets away, but this one phrase dramatically increased my response rate to messages I sent:

“Creamy or crunchy peanut butter? What say you?”

I don’t have enough room in this post to go into all the various ways this phrase worked. But it worked! It got my foot in the coveted door of the online dating Holy of Holies – an inbox full of replies!

While my initial approach was disarming and lighthearted, there were bigger questions that needed to be asked. As I fine-tuned my approach, I began to realize that the quality of the questions I was asking tapped into the true nature of the person I was conversing with.

Here are some examples of questions I asked frequently:

  • If you had all the time, money and resources in the world, and you couldn’t use it for selfish gain – what would you do?
  • What is one thing in a relationship that you have never had, that you have always wanted?
  • What fear(s) do you battle constantly when it comes to pursuing your most passionate goals and dreams?

The best questions are the ones no one else is asking. Getting someone to focus on what’s inside of them will draw more of the “real” person to the surface. Master the art of asking better questions and you will be rewarded with most valuable answers. The quality of the questions you are asking should reflect the quality of the person you are as well as the quality of the person you are looking for.

Emotional Health

Emotional health is the metric of dating success. This was a brutal lesson I had to learn (more than once, I might add). There is little more deflating than meeting a wonderful match and spending a month or more on the relationship only to find out the individual was not emotionally ready for a serious relationship.

Pay attention to subtle emotional signs to avoid this issue. Ask specific and intentional questions that draw an individual’s emotional well-being to the surface. I called this “Heart Checks.” I began to realize that no matter how wonderful a person seemed at the onset, if their emotional health was greatly lacking, things would inevitably come to a halt.


Are you dates being truly vulnerable with you? There is a balance here, as someone may need time to get to know you before they open-up. But if they avoid any and all questions of vulnerability, that should be a red flag. When you sense a level of comfort has been reached with an individual, ask intentional and personal questions. You don’t want to come across as an interrogator, but it is important to see if their heart is ready for a relationship. Are they trustworthy? Are they hiding anything that may need to be disclosed? Are they comfortable discussing personal issues or sensitive subjects?

Other areas to probe would be family relationships and interactions. If you are meeting in person, pay attention to body language, eye contact and the tone of the atmosphere. If things start to feel awkward or “off,” this could be an important indicator to you. If you are talking on the phone, pay attention to tone of voice and avoidance of direct answers. If you are asking direct questions, and are not receiving clear answers, this could be a red flag.

I wish I could say that the online search for Mr. or Mrs. Right is easy. But the greatest lesson I have ever learned is to become a student of life. I have learned to let no trial, tribulation or frustration go to waste. It is all too easy to quit in our frustration, when our expectations are not met. While we are all different, I truly believe these foundational principles will guide you to your Mr. or Mrs. Right.

You may also be interested in 4 Ways To Keep God First In A Relationship

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