My obsession with the one: Online Dating

Online dating has grown into 2 Billion dollar industry and has been increasing its market share by 5% each year. It is very fascinating to me considering how many people I know for whom online dating simply did not work.
Back in my dating years I've tried many dating sites: e-harmony, Okc, match… I've tried outlets of spiritual dating sites and cultural as well...
How do you think I've met my soulmate? Speed Dating! As in 5 minutes, in person. In reality - that's all you really need.

Needs/Wants
One of the biggest problems I see with online dating is filters. We are expected to state our preferences in choosing a partner. Thus, we end up stating who we want, yet most of us have no clue who we actually need!
This was one of the biggest problems for me. One time I got exactly what I thought I needed and that relationship fizzled rather quickly. When we choose traits, physical features and other criteria we miss out on a whole myriad of other values because you cannot quantify good heart and soul (as cheesy as it sounds).
The only search mark my partner hit was height. He is 6'5" and my nose bumps into his chest when I hug him, I wouldn't have it any other way. I was searching for: a tall and older man, with a bachelors degree, who lived alone. I got: a younger man living with his parents, without a bachelors degree, who made more money than I did (after my decade of working in Accounting).
Well played Universe!

After countless hours online sifting through profiles, proximity had so much power that it wiped away all stigma, giving a way to pure chemistry.

Profile pictures
If you've ever seen 'behind the Instagram' photos, dating profile pictures reality should not come across as shocking anymore. People choose a best looking moment in time, with the best lighting, angle and pose. Considering that a few decades back lonely hearts would send videos of each other - nowadays I think we should go back to doing the same. Countless pictures won't replace a short 1 minute video clip of a person talking. Sound of their voice, facial expressions, manner of carrying themselves and finding words can tell you more than any picture. Yet pictures are still one of the most common selection tools.
I meet all sorts of people now through various Meetups, networking events and seminars. Upon connecting with them through social media I usually get two completely different pictures of who they are. I tend to lean towards the authentic in-person candidate rather than a polished social media page. I live for authenticity. I love your little insecurities, vulnerability, confidence hiccups, crass humor and conversation; your little habits that sneak through and aversion of eye contact or a shy smile.
I am all for human - not a snapshot of one.

Hookups/relationships
It's more common with women than men: looking for relationship only or in other words no hookups. To a regular Don Jon that simple one line serves as a big red sign that makes him utter words: challenge accepted!
I've had my share of tinder dates where a guy was simply pushing bs to get ahead. I had a hookup or two myself, which were very memorable as my bs meter is much farther advanced than most women. I was truly dealing with pros!
I've met some very decent people through tinder as well, which comes as a surprise to some people. I swear, one of the most amazing people I've ever met was through tinder, and he's well on his way to a pretty big somebody!

Here in this section I'd like to talk about those peacocks that want to get their pea cock into you.
I've had instances when during the first few conversations, in person or online, a guy would bring up material possessions or try to create an illusion of grandeur making himself look like 'a prize to chase'. I've had guys bring up their cars, watches and house interiors, vacations they go on, their jobs and even how much money they make... This made feel very sad, because if this is the bait then what kind of catch are you expecting?

I find it very entertaining to see this unfold in person because the simple question 'Why?' breaks their pattern so completely - some of them panic. A man who truly earned his environment will know why he bought that specific car or went to that specific vacation. He'll tell you emotions attached to the purchase and memories made with his acquired dreams.

An ancient Chinese wisdom states: a knowing man does not talk, a talking man does not know.
In my experience a knowing man does not even show - he just is. Stacking of confidence and self-worth is more powerful than any words or material possessions. 
It goes back to the value question: would you rather win a million or make a million? Making a million means you know how to make more, winning it means you value it less and fear of losing it more. This is why I don't keep people with entitlement issues in my inner circle. I value the grit and intelligence behind it. I look through the empty rendition and stand behind knowledge and authenticity.

If you're looking for a relationship and not a booty call, you have to call out bs immediately. This will make liars back off and authentic men stay. And if he doesn't stay - he's not your kind of authentic. If he doesn't back off - walk away.

Accessible Authenticity
Nowadays players power-game the dating game. One of my friends said that the online dating mantra is "If it's a fair game - you're doing something wrong"
There is a ton of information out there regarding any topic. To pick up a woman online sometimes requires numerous browser windows open with various information on interests presented.
In our time anyone can have a website or a Facebook page or a business card. Scammers get resourceful, both men and women.
There were times when my guy friends would ask me to vet a girl for them (usually at a party), to check her expertise, values and outlook on life. Liars generally focus on one prey at the time, thus an innocent bystander usually gets a hit of a real thing.
Moreover, I am usually the last person my girlfriends introduce their men to, because they know - the dose of truth is coming. Meeting your dates friends is mostly always nerve racking, and an experienced observer can always tell what's being hidden, by the way it's being hidden and how it's covered up.

Both sexes use the internet effectively to present their best face forward. Some agendas are authentic, and some are far off. If you build it - they will come. Nevertheless, sustaining a lie around a knowledge gap is rather difficult and very noticeable to someone who knows the topic back and forth.
Liars be aware. Authentic folk - learn, trust and verify.

Soulmate for the soul
I have found some amazing souls online. Some of them I had an amazing connection with through writing and phone conversations. However, in person we struggled to last even for a few hours. Bummer.

Nothing beats in person chemistry - nothing. We are still animals and while we meet - all sorts of biological things fire off. We visually check if facial proportions are similar to our own, to indicate familiarity and genetic closeness. We hear the quality of the voice to indicate danger or compatibility; to zero in on personality traits via voice and body language. The most important sense - is smell. It helps us identify immune system compatibility with the most diverse genetic variability. We are animals and as much as most of us want to find our partners for their soul, we are largely drawn to basic douche-bags because biological offspring with them has a higher probability of survival. 
I'm sorry. Forgive me. It's the sad truth.

We all want a soulmate for the soul, an authentic connection that fits our parameters and satisfies the beast within.
Finding a mate for life involves a rather complex formula and yet it is simply another blueprint that we build, that can be tweaked and adjusted.

Long story short. Trust and verify – your friends are your best resources. To make online dating easier loosen up your filters and open your mind. Use Skype or FaceTime to see a video of the person in action, this will satisfy majority of in-person requirements. Be open and be love. Let go.