It used to be a shameful thing to meet online, but more couples than ever are now doing just that, using both websites and apps to meet their true love. Signing up to a dating site can be intimidating as can talking about yourself. Thankfully, these online dating tips will maximize your success.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
1. BE HONEST
Probably the easiest online dating tip is to look at other people’s profiles to give you an idea of what you might do with yours. Highlight what is important to you on your page, but keep this short, probably less than 100 words. People, at first, are just scanning for information. They want to see a few keywords or phrases to give them something, but they probably don’t want to read about your life story at this point.
2. BE THOROUGH
You’re more likely to find someone if you type something about yourself. Even though you don’t need to provide a detailed description of who you are and what sort of man you seek, you should have something to say. Use words or phrases that will attract men to you, but don’t just write what you think they want to read. It should be true.
3. TAKE HIGH-QUALITY PHOTOS
Of all the online dating tips, knowing how to take the right photos is the most important. If you have recent photos that are of good quality, you can use them. But if your photos are so old that they don’t look as you do now, take some new ones.
The most well-received photos show you doing something you like to do and show some of your body as opposed to an extreme close-up headshot. Don’t just include group photos (or clearly indicate who you are in them), and include a variety of photos to ensure a guy gets a glimpse into your personality as well as your looks.
4. TAKE AS LONG AS YOU NEED
You want to feel safe and comfortable. It’s natural to feel skeptical and even scared to meet strangers. But if you keep saying no to meeting up with someone, you might as well not be online dating. Eventually, you’ll need to meet with someone in person. But don’t rush into doing so until you feel comfortable.
One expert recommends scheduling a phone conversation “date” before the first meeting. It helps ease nerves while giving you an idea of your personality compatibility. If the phone call doesn’t do it for you, you can skip meeting.
If you decide to meet and you’re still nervous, read this.
5. LET PEOPLE KNOW BEFORE YOU MEET SOMEONE
Most people are safe to be around, but not everyone is, so be smart when you start online dating. One of the smartest of all online dating tips is that before you meet someone, you should tell a friend all the details. They should know where your meeting will take place, what time it will happen, and what time you plan to be home. Let them know the contact information of the guy, too.
Text your friend during the date, and let them know how things are going.
6. MEET OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME
This online dating tip is for your safety. Meet in a public place, such as a coffee shop or restaurant. If you have a good first date, set up a second date. But, for safety, don’t invite him to your place, and don’t agree to go to his on the first date.
7. TAKE SEPARATE CARS
If he offers to swing by your place to pick you up before the date, don’t agree to that. Here’s an online dating tip: Drive yourself to the date, use Uber or Lyft, or take the bus. This way, if you aren’t having a good time, you can leave whenever you like, and you don’t need to depend on your date to take you home.
8. SEND MESSAGES FIRST
You’ll communicate some before the date, and this is usually done through texting. Make a good impression by responding to his texts right away so that you can text in real time, life is too short for playing games and pretending to be too busy. But, if you’re too busy at the moment to text back and forth, let him know you’re busy but can text later. Then, make sure that either he or you set up a date during your texting session.
After that is accomplished, stop the texting. Leave the rest of the banter for the date.
Related: What to Talk About On a First Date
9. JUDGE BEYOND LOOKS
You need to have chemistry with your partner, but you shouldn’t base that solely on looks. Looks tend to be important at first, but as time goes on in a relationship, other things become more important. Personality, honesty, trustworthiness, a sense of humor, passion, and kindness are what sustain a relationship.
10. BE OPEN-MINDED
This online dating tip can be difficult. Be honest with yourself. When you go on a blind date, do you notice all the bad things first and then rule the guy out before you’ve given him a chance? You might be ruling someone out who would make a great match for you. People often do this if they’re afraid the other person might not like them, so they want to be the one doing the rejecting first.
If you want to get with someone, give him a chance, even if you don’t like his shoes or the topics he’s discussing. Get to know him first (questions here), even if he’s not your “type,” and then make a decision.
11. TRUST YOUR GUT
Here’s some great online dating advice: trusting your gut, also known as women’s intuition, is real. Bestselling author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book “Blink,” describes how we often know in the blink of an eye which is the right decision. If your gut tells you this guy isn’t one to pursue — maybe he was rude to the waiter, or maybe he put you down in a passive-aggressive manner — go with your gut. Don’t ignore that feeling that made you cringe.
12. ABOUT SCHEDULING A PHONE CALL BEFORE MEETING
Texting is the norm after you meet someone online to make the initial contact and to set up the first meeting. But, you might also wish to actually speak with this person on the phone before you meet him. If you’re texting back and forth, you might want to ask if he can talk. Usually, a guy who doesn’t respect this request is probably not someone you want to meet, anyway.
13. SOME PEOPLE ARE BETTER IN PERSON THAN ONLINE
Online dating is new for many people, so not everyone is great at it. If you aren’t sure about meeting someone because they don’t have the greatest description on their profile, or they don’t text exactly the way you like, don’t necessarily write them off.
You might want to meet them anyway. You may be surprised. In person, you might really like and hit it off with someone that you weren’t that excited about online. Not everyone is a marketing genius!
14. SCHEDULE A MEETING OTHER THAN A DRINK
It’s best not to meet for drinks the first time you’re meeting with someone. For one, you don’t want to get drunk. That not only makes a bad impression, but it also impairs your judgment and could put you in a harmful situation. For another, even if you’re just moderately drinking, you might miss some subtle signs that you wouldn’t miss if you were perfectly sober. Save the drinks for when you get to know each other better.
15. SET GOALS FOR DATES
Some people are online dating just to have fun. Others have a goal-based strategy. For example, one of your goals could be that the relationship must be fun and easy in the beginning. If there are problems from the start, you can expect them to only get worse later. If all goes well in the beginning, you might set a timeline goal, such as you meet each other’s friends and family at a certain point, such as when you’re dating only each other.
Once you’re in a relationship, you should have goals for that, too. More on that.
16. BE PROACTIVE, SIGN IN OFTEN
When you’re trying to meet someone with the goal of you becoming part of a couple, heed this online dating advice: You need to make meeting someone a priority in your life. Think of this as a second job regarding the time and effort to put in. Sign in often to the online site or app to keep active and to keep the process in the forefront of your mind.
17. TRY DIFFERENT SITES
Here’s some online dating advice that many people don’t know: There are many different online date sites and dating apps, and not all will work for everyone. So that you don’t waste time on one site, set a minimum number of dates you will go on before trying a different site. If one process isn’t working, try another. Just remember that some sites (Tinder, for example) are geared less toward dating and more toward sex. There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should be clear about what you want.
Psst, do you wanna try casual sex? You’ve got to read our advice.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO
1. LIE OR USE OLD PHOTOS
Of all the online dating tips, this one is the most disregarded. It’s true that almost everyone on online dating lies. They say they’re younger, taller, thinner, or whichever “er” adjective they use to make themselves sound better. The problem with doing so is that when the liar meets someone in real life, the person they meet will be disappointed rather than pleasantly surprised.
Be honest in your profile. You don’t have to be negative. Play up your positive attributes instead.
2. PUT YOURSELF IN A RISKY SITUATION
For the first meeting, never agree to go to a strange man’s home, and don’t invite him to yours. There’s no need to put yourself in such a risky position.
3. GIVE IN TO PRESSURE
Your guy might start pressuring you during the date. He might want you to have a drink. He might want you to come over to his place, or he might ask to go to yours. If you say no and he drops it, that’s fine. But if he pressures you, run for the hills. Never be pressured into doing anything you don’t feel comfortable doing.
If there are things you don’t like about a guy you’re dating, keep looking for the right person. Red flags that pop out at you now will make your life miserable if you ignore them and stay in the relationship anyway.
5. BE OVERLY CRITICAL
It’s good to have some must-haves when you’re looking for someone to share your life with, such as sharing your goals for having children (or not) or wanting someone who shares your religion. But the longer your list is or the more critical you are of someone, the more difficult it will be for you to find a partner.
Consider those people who might not be your type or those people who are a little older.
Discover the perks of dating an older man.
6. LOOK FOR YOUR TWIN
Chemistry is more important than identical interests. Read that sentence twice. Too often we think we are perfect matches only if we share all the same interests and think about life in the same way. It’s great to have some shared interests, but it’s not good to depend on one person to meet all your needs.
Plus, if you share many interests but have no chemistry, there’s a word for that sort of relationship: friends. Make sure the chemistry is there, and find shared interests next.
7. MAKE HIM WAIT FOREVER TO MEET
Once you’ve met someone online and have texted back and forth, don’t forget this online dating tip: Set up a meeting. Don’t keep postponing it or keep engaging in a texting relationship with no plans to meet. That’s just dangling your toes in the water. It’s time to jump in if you want to have a meaningful relationship.
8. SELL YOURSELF SHORT
Be bold. Message that hottie (tips for starting a conversation)! This is not the time to have self-doubts or to engage in negative self-talk. As far as online dating tips go, this one is the most self-affirming. Repeat the mantra of what a great catch you are and how lucky anyone would be to have you.
Need a little confidence boost when it comes to dating? That’s okay! Check out this post.
Online dating and dating apps are great ways to meet a guy. And doing so no longer comes with the stigma it once had. But if you don’t put in some effort, you’re not going to see the results you like, making putting in effort one of the most important online dating tips.