While just a decade ago it would be highly unusual for a couple to say they met online, these days online dating has become the normal way to meet singles. Indeed, online dating apps like Tinder and OKCupid are now responsible for thousands of weddings across the country.
Which is why, if you’re single and looking for love, you’re likely thinking about joining an online dating site or app in the hopes of meeting someone special. The problem is, with no experience meeting singles this way, how exactly do you date online?
1: Choose the Right Dating Site for You
Like everything in life, not every dating site is created equally. With each different site being popular with different demographics and those looking for different sorts of relationships. So, before you join up, do your research to see if that site is going to be right for you.
Also remember that you don’t just get to choose one site or app and that’s you stuck. You can make a profile on a couple of different sites while you decide which one works best for you. Just beware that having too many profiles can become confusing, so try to keep it to 2-3 at a time.
2: Take the Time to Work on Your Profile
In the excitement of getting set up for online dating, many of us just want to get online and start looking at the profiles of local singles. Getting your profile right first, though, is far more important. Otherwise that gorgeous single you see might not message you back.
Instead, make sure you work on your profile first, filling in questions honestly and writing a little blurb about yourself. Try to add at least 2-3 photographs too, focusing on ones just of yourself rather than group shots where it can be hard to decipher who you are.
3: Don’t Judge People on Their Profiles Too Much
It might sound silly to tell people to work hard on their own profiles and then tell them to not to judge others too much, however, it’s true. Just because someone hasn’t done very well with their own profile, it doesn’t mean that they won’t make a great date or even partner.
All it means is that this person isn’t a great marketer, which is a skilled profession after all. So, if someone messages you and you like their photos but think their profile isn’t the best, try not to judge and still reply – you might just surprise yourself when you start chatting to them.
4: Be Clear About What You’re Looking For
There is nothing worse than spending 2 or 3 weeks talking to one single only to find out that they’re just looking for something casual while you’re looking for a relationship. It could feel like a total waste of your time, especially if you had started to develop feelings for that person.
Now, your profile should let you indicate what you’re looking for from online dating, but there’s no harm in asking in your early messages what kind of date they’re looking for. This allows you both to be on the same page and to move on easily if you’re looking for different things.
5: Don’t Be Scared to Ask Someone Out
As nice as it is chatting to someone through messages throughout the day, you will at some point need to make the leap and arrange to meet in person. This is especially important as, no matter how well you get on online, if there’s no chemistry when you meet then you’re not going to work out.
So, rather than spending months chatting, be brave and ask them out on a date early into your messages. This will allow you to see how you both interact in person – and it will show you if anything has been using photographs with one too many filters!
If the person is reluctant to meet yet, which can be understandable when meeting a stranger from the internet, you could suggest a video call instead. This allows you both to feel safe but will still give you an idea on whether or not you might have a spark in person.
6: Put Effort into Your First Messages
Online dating is incredibly popular, which means singles can receive a lot of messages every day, especially when you’re a woman. So, if your inbox is full on messages that say “hey” and no more, you’re not likely to put the effort into responding.
To make your first message stand out, have a good look at that person’s profile and looking for something you find interesting or that you’re both a fan of. This could be a certain band, sport, etc. Then, when you make your message, talk about this point and ask that single something about it. This sort of message is far more likely to get a reply.
Try to avoid cheesy pick-up lines if you can. Although it might work occasionally, generally singles will be fed up with these and move on to someone that’s sent a proper message.
Online dating is a wonderfully convenient way to meet other singles and it’s not as scary as you might think. Just get yourself online and find the right site for you, you’ll soon be chatting and flirting away with lots of local singles.