Dating online is fast becoming the 21st century way of meeting a partner. But if you’ve yet to dip your toe into the fast flowing waters of this world, then it really can seem pretty intimidating.
Or, perhaps you’re already there – but haven’t been having the success you hope for.
1. Pick your dating site
There are tons to choose from! Some require a fee, others are free to use. The largest of them all – Match, has around 35,000,000 unique monthly visitors (wow!), followed by Plenty of Fish (23,000,000), and Zoosk (11.500.000).
2. Create your profile
With many dating websites, you first have to complete a questionnaire that requires you to answer questions about your lifestyle, and the kind of person you’re looking for.
The big thing here is to be honest. There’s no point saying you love hiking and rock climbing if you really prefer binge watching box sets and cozy nights in! And, for goodness sake, put your real age, your real likes and dislikes, and what you’re really looking for in a potential partner.
When it comes to creating your profile, then once again, simply be yourself. Try not to come across as too needy or demanding, but don’t hold back too much. If you’ve got kids from a previous relationship, then say so. And most importantly – don’t be negative or cynical. That is soooo not sexy…
3. Add some great pics
Now, let’s be serious here. Do not (repeat, do not!) put photos of you from 10 years ago. Sure – you want to put good pics on your profile, but be realistic. The last thing you want is to strike up a great rapport with someone, only for your first date to be your last, simply because they thought they were meeting up with the person you were a decade ago!
So, recent photos, and put on a selection – perhaps 3 or 4 – of you from all different angles, doing fun stuff, smiling (very important), and just being yourself.
4. Scroll through your matches
Here comes the fun part! Looking and reading about the guys or girls that are available! What are they looking for? Do they like the same things you do? Are they in the age range you want? Are they physically appealing to you? Do they live close enough to make meeting up a reality?
The questions you need to ask yourself will be unique to you, so take your time.
5. Contact or reply
Remember, you don’t have to sit and wait for others to make contact with you – you can make the first move (and the great thing is that you’re sat at a computer – if they don’t reply, no-one will ever know…).
The same applies to you. If you don’t like the look of someone who gets in contact with you, then you really don’t need to reply. In fact, a ‘thanks, but no thanks’ email can be more damaging than no reply at all…
6. Don’t email for too long
Some people find they get so hooked up in emailing that they take way too long to meet up. If it works virtually, then get out there and meet them in person to see if it works in real life!
7. Tell someone (anyone) about your first date
Just so, you know, you’re safe. And have your first date somewhere public – a lunch date is always a good plan. It’s less formal, and if you get on like a house on fire, then you can arrange for something a little more intimate next time.
8. Don’t expect love at first sight
Because the same as dating the ‘old fashioned way’, you’re probably going to go through a whole load of possibles before you meet someone you really like.
9. Get in contact after the first date
Even if you don’t want to see them again. After all, manners cost nothing, and a simple email to say it was nice to meet up and wishing them well in their search puts both of you in the picture.
And hey – if you like them, and they like you, then you could soon be onto date number 2…!
10. Most importantly, have fun!
Because dating should be fun – not a chore. Don’t set your expectations too high, go with the flow, accept that you’re going to have some rejections, and you’re well on your way to successfully dating online.