You may be considering Best using an online dating platform in your search for true love. You’ve seen it work for friends. You might find yourself dissatisfied with your attempts in the real world to find a great partner, or your opportunities to meet single people are limited. So why not try the online world of dating? Before you take the plunge, here are some things you will want to do in order to obtain the best result possible from this virtual world of single people looking for love.
Check out the platforms you are considering using
There are loads of online dating platforms out there so you will want to do your research to drill down to the ones that seem to be the most appropriate for your needs.
The largest and most well-known include match.com, eharmony.com, plentyoffish.com, okcupid.com, bumble, and Tinder. All of these sites are targeted towards people looking for classic relationships, in other words, they are not necessarily hookup sites.
Take good, truthful photos to use on your profile
Do a little research on any dating site, and you will soon see all sorts of photos that look like they may date from 10 years ago. Indeed, people are known to use old photos, thinking they will attract more attention. The problem is of course when you meet that person in real life, they do not resemble their photo and that can lead to disappointment, not to mention an impression that your date is dishonest.
You don’t want to be that person—the person that puts up a visual image that does not reflect who you are today, whatever your age, weight, hair color…
Save yourself the stress of having to explain to your date why you are suddenly 30 pounds heavier than the photo you put up, and upload real, current photos to your online profile.
Be honest in your profile
Just as you want to have honest photos of yourself, you will want to construct an honest profile to attract the right type of person for you. You don’t need to put in all the dirty details of why you are on a dating site—keep it light—but if you are recently out of a long-term relationship, you might want to mention something like “Just dipping my toes into the dating pool after ending a 10-year relationship.”
It is always beneficial to state what you are looking for, and what you are not looking for.
“Seeking a friendship first, then we will see where it goes…” tells a potential partner that you want to take things slow. “No one-night-stands” also tells any potential dates that they should go to the next profile if that is what they are seeking.
Spend some time emailing and on the phone before you meet up
It may be exciting to suddenly have all these people interested in you, but don’t accept an invitation to meet for a drink before having some email or phone contact first.
You will want to get a sense of that person, and the written word is a good indication of whether or not they might be worth pursuing.
A phone call or two is a good idea, too.
Many people will tell you that “dating is a numbers game.” In other words, you should go out with as many people as possible, because you never know when a match may be great unless you meet up in person. This is not great advice. First of all, your time is valuable and you don’t want to waste it getting excited for a date that may turn out to be just awful. So do your footwork in advance.
Don’t swipe right on every profile you see on Tinder. Read the content. Have a look at where the person is located—are they geographically desirable? Then begin the email exchange.
Take your time. You will both know when to propose a meet up. Go with your gut feeling. If you don’t think you would be a good match based on exchanges, don’t set up a meeting. But if your exchanges have been lively, enjoyable, respectful and a good balance of questions and answers, set up a date.
First meeting: always always always in a public place
No matter how into the person you think you are, you do not really know them. There are plenty of scammers on dating sites and plenty of bad people who could cause you harm.
Do not invite someone to your home that you haven’t met. Meet in a neutral place where there are plenty of people, like a Starbucks, a museum, a theater.
Never give out your home address, and never give too many details about where you work before you meet the person and establish a sense of who they are and if they are “normal.”
Don’t be afraid to end the date quickly
If you meet up and the person is not as they portrayed on the dating site (nothing like their photos, age is different, or anything really off about them), have no remorse. End the date immediately.
You can say something like “I’m not comfortable staying because you look nothing like the photos you had on your profile.”
They might get mad, even insult you. But that’s not your problem. You were honest in how you presented yourself, they weren’t. And they don’t deserve your time so cut off the meeting, go home, and try again.