Online dating makes it easy to meet new people and find love. However, dating online isn’t the same as having your friends set you up. It requires a different approach. You need a strategy to find success with online dating.
Your profile, messages, and photos are an important part of online dating. You’ll also want to watch out for catfishing and other scams. Discover how to navigate the waters of online dating with these top tips.
“I enjoy dating. I love first dates. I think they're incredibly fascinating studies in human psychology. When you sit down across from someone on a first date and things are going alright, you talk objectives. We want to win each other over, so how do you win someone over? You have to put the best foot forward.” - Chris Pine
Start by Making Lists
The first step to finding success with online dating is to make several lists.
A good plan will save you time and effort while searching for a partner online. It’s important to do the planning before trying to create a profile or upload a photo.
Consider making these lists:
1. Make a list of your goals. What do you want to accomplish with online dating?
○ Do you want to meet your soulmate, or are you looking for a casual relationship?
○ Figure out what you want to get out of online dating.
○ Write down what you’re looking for in a potential partner.
2. Make a list of dating websites. Create a list of all the dating websites you plan to use and check them out first.
○ Take a look at each website and read the requirements.
3. Make a list of ideas for your profile. Write down everything you want to include. Then, narrow it down and only keep the most important points.
By making these lists, you’ll be better prepared for a positive experience.
“To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” - Criss Jami
Online Dating Profile Tips
Your profile is an important part of online dating. It has to be accurate, fun, and attractive. You want to share your personality and make it easy for people to connect with you. Research shows that shorter profiles tend to do better online. However, you want to ensure that you include enough information.
Try these ideas for your online dating profile:
1. Keep it short and interesting. Include enough information to pique their interest without being long or boring. There’s no need to share every detail of your life.
2. Avoid common turn-offs. Bragging and lying are common issues that it’s better to avoid.
○ Avoid exaggerating in your profile. People will notice you’re bragging and won’t connect.
○ Be original in your dating profile. Don’t copy another profile or the content. Show the real you to the world.
○ Avoid sharing your baggage or issues. An online profile isn’t the place to discuss childhood trauma. It’s okay to discuss these topics later with a partner.
3. Create curiosity. Share just enough information to create curiosity.
4. Check spelling and grammar. It’s important to check the grammar and spelling in your profile before publishing it. Many people are turned off by mistakes and think it’s sloppy.
○ A tiny typo isn’t an issue. However, multiple mistakes can make others think you don’t care.
○ For some people, grammar and spelling errors are a pet peeve.
Your profile is one of the most important parts of finding love online. Use these tips to make it interesting and fun to read.
“People always fall in love with the most perfect aspects of each other’s personalities. Who wouldn’t? Anybody can love the most wonderful parts of another person. But that’s not the clever trick. The really clever trick is this: Can you accept the flaws?”- Elizabeth Gilbert
Your photo is one of the first things people notice online. They may only spend a few minutes scanning the text, but they always pay attention to pictures. Consider posting several recent photos on your profile. You want people to see the real you, so avoid using filters or Photoshop. Use these phot tips below:
1. Use a recent photo. Add a recent photo to your online profile. Avoid choosing one that is old or unflattering.
○ No one wants an unpleasant surprise on a first date, so it’s important to use a recent picture. People should be able to recognize you easily in it.
○ It’s a good idea to include several recent photos.
2. Avoid using photos with friends. Although it’s fine to post photos with friends on social media, you want to avoid doing this on your online profile. People want to see you and not a group of friends.
○ It’s sometimes hard to figure out who is in group photos. This could confuse potential dates.
○ Group photos may also show a lack of confidence.
3. Avoid inappropriate photos. Some online dating sites will take down inappropriate photos and block the profiles.
○ You can send the wrong impression to potential dates.
○ Revealing photos can make you look desperate. They can also lead to inaccurate expectations on first dates.
4. Use photos that show activity. Do you have photos that show you hiking or traveling?
○ Activity photos can help potential dates get to know you better. They can show them a different side of your personality.
○ Consider using photos from trips or vacations.
5. Think about including pets. If pets are a big part of your life, consider including them in your photos. However, avoid putting pets in every single picture you post.
It’s important to have a variety of pictures with pets and without them. Your dates may be interested in this.
6. Include at least one body shot. Some people skip profiles without any body shots.
○ A photo showing all of you that is fully clothed is a good addition to the profile. Some people get worried when the only photos they see are closeups of your face.
○ A body shot lets them know you have nothing to hide.
○ It also shows that you have confidence in your looks.
Photos can make or break your online profile. Always use recent photos that reveal the real you.
“I've found that when you're wrapped up in the process of dating and want so badly to have something work out with someone – anyone – it's easy to forget that your choices aren't limited to one person or the other. There's also the choice I always forget about: To not choose anyone in order to keep myself open to someone who IS right for me.” - Rachel Machacek
Most online dating websites include the option to message potential dates. You’ll want to master this part of the dating world. Your messages can either convince someone to date you, or they can make them run away screaming.
Consider these messaging tips:
1. Reply within a reasonable time. Messaging on a dating website isn’t the place to play hard to get.
○ Reply within a reasonable amount of time. Your potential date will move on if they don’t get an answer. Making them wait won’t make you more desirable.
○ Try to reply to messages within 24 hours unless you’re traveling or extremely busy.
○ Be considerate of others, but you can skip replying to spam messages.
2. Have reasonable expectations. Give others a chance to respond to your message before getting angry.
○ Keep in mind that some people create dating profiles and don’t check them every day.
○ Wait for a response to your first message before sending more.
○ Avoid expecting them to drop everything and message a stranger. They may have work, school, or other obligations that keep them busy.
○ Don’t assume they aren’t interested in you if you don’t hear back right away.
3. Wait before messaging your number. Before sharing your personal phone number, exchange multiple messages on the dating website.
○ By getting to know someone in a safe, controlled environment, you’re less likely to make mistakes. In addition, you’re able to ask more questions.
○ Once someone has your phone number, it’s harder to get rid of them.
4. Avoid giving out too much personal information. It’s okay to talk about your work or hobbies with a potential date. However, be careful about what you share. Giving out too much personal information may be dangerous.
○ Avoid sharing your address, birthdate, or work location until you really know the other person.
○ Never share your social security number, banking information, or credit cards with strangers on dating sites. They may be scammers trying to steal your information.
○ Never post your driver’s license or birth certificate online.
○ Your personal information needs to stay private. You shouldn’t feel pressured to share it.
5. Watch your language. Emoticons and slang are normal parts of messaging, but avoid cursing.
Keep your language casual and warm without being presumptuous.
○ Avoid cursing or other things that can make a potential date uncomfortable.
6. Remember that texts do not equate to love. It’s easy to get lost in the text messages on an online dating website. However, they’re just one small part of a relationship.
○ Some people send messages without wanting a serious relationship.
○ Loving texts don’t always translate into love in the real world.
○ Keep in mind that some people find it easier to text than to talk on a phone or in person.
Messaging another person on an online dating site can help you get to know them. Take advantage of this feature to get to know someone before meeting them in person.
“Sometimes, a person isn’t looking to increase their lifestyle, status, or ego when they fall in love. Sometimes, they just want that special someone that is just like them. The one person that truly understands how they suffer because they have gone through it too. They want to wake up beside someone that knows their trials intimately.” - Shannon L. Alder
Avoid Catfishing and Other Dangers
Online dating can be a fun way to meet new people and potential love interests, but it has a dangerous side.
There are many dangers in the online dating world that can put you at risk. From scammers who want to steal your personal information to catfishers who lie about their identity, you really never know who you’re dealing with during your initial contacts. It’s important to be careful.
For your own safety, keep these tips in mind:
1. Understand catfishing. Catfishing means luring another person into a relationship by using a fake identity online.
○ Catfishing is one of the most common issues with online dating.
○ Some people use fake photos and information to start relationships. They take these situations to extremes and will even set up dates.
○ There are many reasons why someone may use catfishing. For some, it’s a game and a joke. For others, it’s a twisted way to exploit people.
2. Always meet in public. Avoid meeting in private or secluded areas.
○ Always meet a potential date in a well-known public place with a lot of people.
○ Ensure your friends or family know where you’ll meet the person.
○ Consider taking a trusted friend with you on your first date, so you’re not alone.
3. Avoid falling for scams. There are many online dating scams that scammers use to get money out of strangers - or from YOU!
○ The scammers may pretend to have an emergency or a sick family member. They may ask for money to see a doctor or visit a friend. They may even pretend to have cancer.
○ Another common scam is to ask for money to come see you.
○ Some scammers pretend they don’t have money but are madly in love with you. They may ask for money to buy a plane ticket or get a visa.
○ Refuse to send money to strangers, even if they claim to love you.
4. Always investigate. It’s important to do some investigating before meeting a person you found online.
○ Do a search for their name and picture online.
○ Check out their social media accounts and websites. See who they’re connected to online and what they post.
Remember these tips to stay safe, alert, and avoid the dangers that can lie in wait for you through online dating sites.
“People use masks in public and then wonder why their personal life, their relationships, don't work. If you're not being honest with others, there's nothing real about yourself to learn and, the wider the gap, the deeper the suffering. The heart wasn't meant to be closed in a box made of fake feelings and thoughts.” - - Robin Sacredfire
Online dating can certainly help you meet a potential partner. For your best experience, create an interesting, true-to-life profile with recent pictures, learn to use messaging correctly, get to know potential dates before meeting in a public place, and be alert to dangers like scammers and catfishing.
Keep these tips in mind and enjoy your online dating adventures! Who knows? You could meet the partner of your dreams and live happily ever after! All is fair in love! For some, the saying, it is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all!
About the Creator
Lovena is a physical therapist, freelance writer and a blogger; has authored self-help books on Kindle and Audible. Writing is a passion, so is fixing broken bodies. Her projects include medical missions and fall prevention in the elderly.