Online dating can be tricky! It’s natural to feel hesitant, uncertain, or doubtful that it doesn’t work. But fortunately for you, the internet i now filled with “how to…” guides, manuals, and advice columns that can help make online dating a lot less stressful and hopefully a lot more enjoyable.
We wanted to create something similar for all of our readers. Since we hope to become an authority on dating, that obviously includes online dating. More and more people are starting to date online, but it’s not just that. Online dating has become the norm these days and if you are looking for a connection, you can find that online.
We were going to create an in-depth guide, but thought it would be more useful to just create an article for everyone to read. So, if you are interested in meeting new friends, dates, lovers, or partners on a dating site or app, then keep reading!
1. What Are Your Goals?
It’s important to go into online dating knowing what your goals are. Are you just looking for a hookup? A Casual Date? A relationship? Marriage? There isn’t a problem with looking for any of those things, but once you know the answer, it will be a lot easier to begin your search.
2. What Are The Best Sites, Based On Your Goals?
One of the most important decisions you will make is, “What site is best for me to use?”. There are many articles out there that rate dating apps and talk about their focus. It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to choose just one site or app. Most dating sites and apps have free trials, so you can test out a few and find out which is best for you. After you’ve done that, then I’d focus on your favorite and cancel the others.
If you are interested in our rankings, CLICK HERE to read our article that ranks the top sites in each category.
3. Creating The Right Profile
Now that you’ve chosen a few sites or apps, you will want to create the right profile that will interest others and help you get the right connection. Studies show that most people have formed some sort of opinion in 1 second or less. Don’t panic though, a few tips will help you capture their attention and hopefully get them to message you.
First upload a handful of photos, showing you in different fun settings. Include a few pics that are just of you (different outfits, poses, environments and facial expressions), and pic one of those as your profile pic. The other images should show you in fun setting with family or friends.
Once you have their attention with your pics, create the text. Make sure you are honest and concise about your characteristics and wants. Be yourself!
4. First Impressions Are Important
This applies to not only your profile, but also for when you meet up for the first time. You should never pretend to be someone or something that you aren’t, but you should always put your best self out there. Finding the right partner can help you become that person you are portraying. The best example of this is, when you meet up, you wouldn’t wear your pajamas would you? No, you’d wear some of your best clothing. Apply this theory to your profile.
5. Safety First
When you meet someone you like and decide to meet up, make sure you pick a place that you’ll feel comfortable at. Also, make sure that for at least the first few dates, you meet at the venue or restaurant, rather than having them come pick you up. Always make sure you meet in a public place. Once you’ve gotten to know them better, you can make changes to this.
6. How To Best ‘Search’ For a Match
Most dating sites have a lot of different fields that you can filter or remove things. Our recommendation is to add as may filters as you can think of and look at the results from that first. Also, most sites will let you save your search for future use. We suggest doing that too.
Once you’ve narrowed your search down, start to remove some of the filters you have in place that aren’t really that big of a deal. Don’t pigeonhole yourself or the people you could encounter based on your search criteria.
Don’t remove deal breakers from your search. If you don’t want to date someone with kids, make sure you add that filter. Not being honest up front leads to a lot of problems down the line, when things get more serious.
7. Creating a Message That Stands Out
When sending someone a message, make sure you take the time to read through their full profile and find things that you like, have in common, and can comment on. You will get a lot more responses when you do this, rather than just saying “Hi” or “I think you are cute”.
8. Include Friends and Family – Get Their Opinion
Your friends and family know you best. They can offer some good insight into different profiles. Don’t be ashamed that you are looking for something online and any true friend will be eager to help you with your search.
We also think that it’s important for your friends to meet the person you are dating as soon as you both feel comfortable to do so.Most friends will be upfront with you about their feelings towards that person.
9. Where and How To ‘Meet Up’
We cover a few things in #5, so apply all of that to this also! In additional to that, we have a few other suggestions we think you should follow.
Number one is, avoid hooking up on the first date. You might meet someone and have an instant connection, but we feel like a good rule of thumb is to not truly be alone with a date you found online for at least the first 3 dates. If you truly have a connection, they will understand this.
Listen to your gut. Have an exit strategy in place if thing fell off, or if you feel uncomfortable. We talked about always meeting somewhere. Most of the time this will imply that you have your own vehicle. Make it easy to leave any uncomfortable situation.
10. Keep Your Focus On 1-2 Matches at a Time
Once you start to match with people and hang out with them. Make sure you focus on just a couple of people at a time. We even suggest hiding your profile once you’ve found someone you like. If you are keeping things casual, then you should keep your profile active so that others will still be able to see your profile, but don’t reply to new messages until you are ready to take action with someone else.
11. Following Up After Your First Date
Dating movies always talk about not contacting the other person for a few days or you’ll come across as “desperate”. This is just simply NOT TRUE! If you don’t want a second date, don’t say you will call or text them. Be clear, but not rude. Say you had fun, but didn’t feel a connection with them.
If you had a good time and would like to see them again, there is nothing wrong with setting up the next time you will meet at the end of the first date. Don’t wait to call or text them. These calls and text are how you will begin to get to know someone better, and they are a lot of fun.
12. This Isn’t a Chore, Have Fun!
We’ve listed 11 other things to do and pay attention to when you are online dating, but the most important rule is to HAVE FUN! If you aren’t having fun going through this process, then you shouldn’t do it. Maybe online dating just isn’t for you. If that is the case, you should look at other options to meet people, because there are a lot. You could try speed dating, getting set up by friends, family, co-workers, etc., joining a Facebook group,and many others.
We truly wish you the best of luck and hope you find what you are looking for, because let’s face it; it’s a lot better to have a significant other in your like than to be alone!