Online dating can be a great way to meet your significant other. But, as with any other situation, there are best practices and dos and don'ts that should be considered before you dive into the online dating pool.
The following tips will help you – whether you're an online dating veteran or just starting out – maximize your chances of meeting Mr. or Ms. Right online.
Know The Type of Relationship You're Looking For
This may sound like an obvious step, but it's important to know what you're looking for in a partner. Are you looking for nothing more than good company? Do you want someone with whom you can share romantic dinners and movies when the weather turns cold? Or are you looking to settle down quickly and start a family right away? Knowing what your end game is will help determine which apps or sites will suit your needs best. There's a huge difference between sugar baby apps and Christian Mingle.
Be sure to mark what you're looking for on your account. It's easy to come across the wrong type of person this way.
Be honest about your expectations and be prepared to spend time communicating with people who aren't what they pretend to be online.
Have an Excellent, Honest Profile
Online dating is a different ballgame than more traditional ways to meet others – and the same rules don't apply. To be successful at it, you must bring your A-game from day one. That means having a fully fleshed-out profile complete with accurate photos, not just selfies. And it's crucially important that your bio is honest and contains what you're looking for rather than just fishing for responses or playing games.
Like it or not, online dating tends to bring out the worst in people. Many profiles are written with ulterior motives in mind,which is why you should try to avoid being overly negative about what you're not looking for (e.g., "I'm not into guys who wear Abercrombie and Hollister"). Though there is a good chance that you know what you want from your next relationship, playing hard to get in the beginning is only going to drive away potential matches. As much as possible, be direct about what it is that you're looking for, and you'll be surprised at how quickly things will start to pick up.
Don't Worry About Your Type
When it comes to dating, everyone has a "type" that they're drawn to. Whether your type is tall, blonde, and blue-eyed or short – you know what you like, and so does everybody else. But, the problem is that we tend to fall back on our preconceived notions of what we want in another person – unmindful of whether or not the other person is actually compatible with us as a partner.
One positive of dating online is that there are usually enough people around who will fit at least some part of your criteria (e.g., men who love cats) which means that those lists of must-haves may not be as important as you think. It's perfectly fine to have a "type," but if you're not open, then it will be that much harder to find someone.
Be Patient and Have Fun
As with any other activity that can be both stressful and frustrating, online dating is meant to be fun. If you're not having a good time trying to meet new people, then it's going to take a toll on the rest of your life and relationships. Nobody said it would be easy but if you find yourself getting especially frustrated or upset, it might be time to step away from the computer for a while and come back fresh later on.
Do not hesitate to delete your online dating profiles and try again at another time. Things are less likely to work out on your dates if you are not at your best.
Never tell anyone where you live or provide them with your personal contact information, no matter how harmless it might seem. It's one thing to meet someone online and another if the person seems like they may be an ax murderer. If you're not sure about whether or not the other person is safe, take your time before giving out any details that could lead to your home. Trust your instincts!
As for what happens when you do finally meet up in real life, consider keeping it casual at first (e.g., a coffee shop or park) so that both of you can get a good feel for each other before committing to anything more serious. And if either of you decides things are moving fast, then just stop there and thank them for their time.
Remember to keep your safety in mind and if you feel uncomfortable about anything, then do not hesitate to speak up. You should never feel that you have to go through with something just because you already told the other person. Always trust your gut and know when enough is enough!
Online dating can be a lot of fun and is definitely worth trying. You may not be able to meet hundreds of single people on the street or through your friends, but you'll also never know if someone amazing could be around the corner!
It's all about being patient with yourself, having fun and staying safe. Good luck!