Online dating can be daunting, especially when you are newly single or out of practise. A few years ago finding a match on the internet was something done in secret, but now it is a common and easy way to meet potential partners. If you are ready to jump in and try online dating, here are six tips to get you started:
- Know what you are looking for
Think about the reason you want to date, are you looking for a long term relationship, someone to flirt with or maybe just a companion to take to the movies? Being clear with yourself about what kind of relationship you want, and the qualities you are looking for in a partner will help you sift through the profiles and (hopefully) avoid dating the wrong people.
- Have a clear photo and interesting profile
You don’t need to write a 5000 word essay about yourself and what you had for breakfast, but you should make your profile interesting enough to stand out. Photos are an important part of the process, and some websites will allow you to keep them private. This setting helps if you don’t want people you know to spot see you, as this could lead to relentless questions about your dating life. When choosing photos make sure they are clear, recent and individual shots (avoid group photos).
- Be patient
It might take some time, and a few different meetings to finally find the person you are looking for. Don’t be dissuaded if it doesn’t happen instantly, remember – you want to find the RIGHT one not just ANY one. Chat with different people and enjoy the experience. Online dating can be fast paced and people come and go. Try not to fall madly in love with someone you have never met in person, and keep your options open – because they are almost certainly doing the same.
- Stand out
We all know how important first impressions are, and this is also true when you are chatting with someone online. Stand out by showing some personality in your messaging. Instead of starting with “hey sexy” you might like to refer to something you read in their profile. This gives the impression you are actually interested in talking to them, rather than just sending a generic message to anyone and everyone.
- Be Positive
Be positive every step of the way! This means no crying about your ex to a handsome stranger or having a profile filled with everything you hate. Instead of saying “I don’t want someone short, blue eyed, blonde or lazy” try “I am looking for someone who is interested in health and fitness”. Consider keeping your options open because you never know…chemistry is important and is about so much more than just how someone looks. Being too specific could narrow your options, but you still need to be honest when talking about yourself. Suggesting you are eight foot when you are actually five, or 25 years old when you are actually 40 is never going to work if you intend to meet someone – you will be found out.
- Meet People
To ensure dating success you are going to have to eventually get out there and meet people. Sometimes if you wait too long they will be snapped up by someone else, never to be heard from again. It is important any meetings are in a public place and a friend knows where you are, and who you are with. On the first date make sure you get there independently and plan a shorter date, for example you could meet for a coffee but make it clear you have plans afterwards. This will give you a way out if you need one. People are never going to be quite what you expect, but even if you don’t click with someone you should try to embrace the experience. You could end up with a new relationship, a new friend, or just a funny memory.