Navigating the Online Dating jungle is an acquired skill. If you’re single and dating, then you know what it’s like to weed through online dating profiles. Here are some tips to help you start off in the right direction so that your journey on the road to find your happily ever after is a positive one!
5 Things You Should Know Before You Start Online Dating
1. Your Online Persona Matters
If you’re looking for something serious then you may want to pay attention to a few very important online profile guidelines.
Let’s start by talking about photos. Shirtless photos or revealing clothes aren’t a good way to attract a quality partner, especially if you’re looking for something serious. Your photos should represent who you really are as a person. I always say include a full body photo, activity, at least one where you’re more casual; and one where you’re dressed up. They say a picture is worth a “thousand “words, well if you ask me, online, a picture is worth a “million”. Choose photos that really give a sense of what you look like, who you are, and what you are about.
Secondly, you want to be absolutely honest about what kind of relationship you’re looking for on your profile. If you want a casual relationship, write that. If you want something more serious, then definitely write that. Think of it this way, in order for people to know what you want, guess what? You have to tell them! It also helps as a screening tool to get some of those “players” out of the way.
2. Traditional Dating Rules Don’t Fly For Online Dating
I hear most females say, “I’m scared to write someone first, aren’t they supposed to write me?” This could not be farther from the truth. The online dating paradigm doesn’t necessarily need to conform to the conventional dating rule – that the man asks out the woman. By searching for and contacting men yourself, you are implementing the search tool in order to help you find people whom you have things in common with, and/or find attractive. That’s all it is… That means you should write to people you find interesting, and if it seems right, try to set up a meeting.
3. Manage Your Expectations
In traditional dating circles, a person meets prospective mate in person, then arranges for a date. Chemistry is checked off and once that date it set, the opportunity of seeing them often leads to a feeling of excitement and the proverbial “butterflies”.
However when it comes to online dating, you’ve only met the online persona. Maybe you’ve had the chance to chat online or talk / text on the phone a few times. Even though it may feel like you really know the person, trust me you don’t! Your prospective online date might be totally different than your inflated expectations and leave you feeling totally deflated in person. That’s why it’s so important to slow things down, manage your expectations and not get too excited until you after you meet someone in person.
4. Make the First Meeting Casual (not a date)
I know the word “date” does exist in online “dating”, but as noted above – in this first meeting this is not necessarily the case. The reason is simple. Online chats and phone calls are good ways to learn about people for sure, but there is no substitute for human-to-human interaction. This is also the time to weed out the liars, the over-sellers, those who only give good phone, and those who you just don’t have any personal connection with. The important takeaway from this initial meeting is to come in with the proper expectations. What I recommend is to keep it as casual as possible – consider meeting at a coffee shop or a local bar (but limit the drinks to two). That way there is no serious pressure or any expectations like in the more formal dinner date.
5. Come Prepared
Dating can be really fun if you enter into each date with the intention of not just finding a mate, but also as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and what you are looking for in a mate. With that even if the date doesn’t work out, you can at least garner some kind of takeaway from it. So before you go on each date, have a couple questions prepared for the person you meet that you can pepper into the date to see if they are a good fit for you. For example, if being close to family is VERY important to you, you might ask, “Do you have any siblings, and if so how close are you with them? Or “How often do you see your family?” Questions like this can be very telling into a person’s character and background.
If you put yourself into the online dating world and implement the information from these 5 tips, you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Remember, online dating is a skill, and like most things in life, it can be learned! So give yourself some time to learn this new skill and eventually the training wheels will come off and it will be a smooth ride for you!
READERS: What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!