Dating in the 21st century is very different from our parent’s day. No longer do you meet your future partner at the school dance or through family friends. Even meeting people at bars or your local coffee shop has become a thing of the past. It feels like online dating is the only way to meet potential partners these days. As this is the case, you need some online dating tips to help out.
Before that, let’s look at the statistics. The pandemic hit hard and left the majority of single folk swiping left or right from the comfort of their couch. That’s not going to change anytime soon either, with a 2021 study showing there are around 30.4 million online dating users in the US alone.
With so many people trying to find their perfect match online, it is becoming increasingly difficult to match with that special someone. There is a lot of competition out there, and trying to paint a positive picture of yourself with a few words and photos isn’t easy.
In order to give you the best chance of success, we’ve come up with a number of online dating tips to help you create the ultimate profile so you can find your dream partner.
1. Make Sure You Are Ready To Date
This might seem obvious, but lots of people get on dating apps too soon after a relationship and are not ready for the constant buzz of their phones as the matches pile up. You have to be mentally ready to get back out there, even if it is just online. Eventually, the back and forth messaging will lead to a catch-up in the real world, so you have to be invested in that person and ready to meet. If you are not ready to date or are just trying to accumulate matches, this is unfair on the people you are connecting with and is a waste of everyone’s time.
Once you are in the right mental and emotional state and over your ex, it is time to download a dating app and start swiping.
2. Know What You Want
So you are ready to jump back into the dating scene. That is great. Now you have to decide what you want to get out of the experience. Are you looking for love? Is casual sex your jam? Maybe you just want to meet some interesting people? Whatever floats your boat, make sure you are clear from the start.
This way you will be able to approach dating in a positive way that reflects what you want from the app. It also allows other people the opportunity to know what you are after so they can decide if you are a good fit.
3. Choose the Best Dating App for You
While Tinder was once the go-to app for dating, that has changed over the years as more competition has sprung up. Bumble and Hinge are two of the more popular alternative options to Tinder. They are marketed more towards people looking for long-term relationships, while Tinder is still predominately seen as a hook-up app.
Some apps like Plenty of Fish and OkCupid have been around for years and allow you to include a lot more information about yourself so you can match with people with similar values, pastimes, and goals.
There are also many online dating websites aimed specifically at finding a life partner, such as Elite Singles. These websites often require you to enter an astronomical amount of detail about yourself, but this means you are more likely to match with someone who is looking for the same things as you are in a relationship.
Do your research and find out which dating app appeals to you and offers you the best chance of getting matches. If you need some help you can check out our list of the 10 best dating apps for 2022.
4. Create an Intriguing Profile
Once you are signed up, the next major step is creating a profile that will attract the right people. You want to highlight your good qualities without coming across as arrogant or overconfident. Depending on what app you use also impacts the type of profile you can create.
Tinder allows you 500 characters to write whatever you want. You can use this space to list your best qualities, state what you are looking for, and make a few jokes. Hinge on the other hand requires you to answer a number of prompts so people have a better understanding of who you are and what you are about.
As licensed clinical social worker Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, wrote for Mind Body Green, “put the games aside and be honest and direct about who you are and what you’re looking for.
Your profile is your calling card so it should reflect your personality and your relationship goals as mentioned earlier. If you want something serious, you should include that so you only match with people on the same wavelength. If you just want some fun, let that be known. This will save any awkward conversations that could come up later when discussing your wants and needs.
5. Use Recent Pictures That Make You Look Attractive
You wouldn’t believe how many people use bad photos when creating their dating profiles. Even worse are people who don’t use one. According to Elite Singles, a shocking 52% of people said they wouldn’t even open a profile without a profile picture. You need a clear picture that shows you in your best light. Don’t use a group picture or one where you are making a face. People want to see the real you, so make sure the photo is of your face. Smiling is a bonus as it shows you are friendly and approachable.
With your other photos, be sure to show your personality. If you love the outdoors, feature an image of you hiking or enjoying nature. If you are a foodie, a picture of you cooking or eating a tasty meal. Social photos are great too as they show you like to get out and about and have fun, just make sure not every photo shows you drinking otherwise people might think you are an alcoholic.
6. Don’t Be Afraid To Message First
Now is not the time to be shy. If you match with someone send them a message. That is the whole point you are on a dating app–to connect with other like-minded people. While it might be intimidating, making the first move shows you are confident. It also doesn’t mean you and your match will live happily ever after. Sending the first message is the best way to get the conversation going so you can find out more about the person.
Some apps, like Bumble, only allow the woman to message first, so this could be a better dating app for those who are a little shy. If you match with someone then you know they are keen and half the job is already done. It just sucks waiting for them to reply.
7. Write An Interesting Opener
Saying “Hello” or “Hi” just won’t cut the mustard. You need to catch your match’s attention as soon as possible, so opening with a one-word reply isn’t going to impress. Many women will ignore you if all you are putting out is a one-word message. Similarly, asking “How was your day?” or “How was your weekend?” isn’t going to get her juices flowing.
There are a number of ways you can go when it comes to a good opener. If you think you’re a bit of a prankster, make a joke, just be sure it is not offensive. Your best bet is to read her profile and ask her a question about something she is interested in or something she mentions.
If her profile says she loves to travel, ask her where she has been or where she wants to travel to next. Maybe there s a picture of her dancing at a live gig. Ask her who she went and saw and what it was like.
Also, stay away from talking about Covid-19. Everyone is over it by now and you should have better things to talk about.
8. Forgot Those Who Don’t Reply
As is the nature of online dating, you are going to match with lots of people who just don’t reply. Even if you send them a couple of messages to check-in, you might get zero back. There could be a million reasons why they haven’t got back to you. They might not use the app regularly. They might have notifications turned off so they don’t get your messages until they open the app. Then there are those who just aren’t interested. Even though you have matched, they might have changed their mind or started talking to someone they have found an instant connection with.
Any of these reasons are totally fine and you have to respect their decision. It might not be nice being ghosted before you’ve even begun a conversation, but that is what dating online is like. Just learn to let it go and concentrate on those matches who are talking to you and interested in what you have to say.
9. Manage Your Matches
If you have a great profile the chances are you will be inundated with matches. This is a great ego boost, but also means you have to prioritize who you chat with. It can be hard enough to keep one conversation going, let alone 12. Try and limit the number of people you talk with at any one time. This way you can focus more on what these people have to say and won’t find yourself forgetting who is who.
If you are using the apps for casual sex, then have as many conversations as you like, but for those after something more serious, it is best to narrow down your matches to a chosen few who you think you would like to meet in the real world.
10. Be Honest and Open
Transparency is the key. Communicate your thoughts and feelings as best you can. You need authenticity if you want to form any type of real-world connection with someone. Don’t be afraid to talk about what you want from a relationship. Even if you say it in your bio, it is best when it comes from the horse’s mouth.
Let them know you are looking for a relationship. Talk bout your kids if you have any. The same goes for them. If your match says she wants to get married and you don’t, let her know and see how that plays out. If she says she is only after fun but you want more, talk about this so you don’t waste time messaging each other when it is clearly not going to work out in the long run.
11. Start Dating When You Feel Ready
While lots of people match and organize to catch up with someone within a few messages, that’s not always the way you have to go about it. You also might not feel confident to meet someone after a few messages. Take your time and engage with your matches over a period of time. Don’t feel pressured to make a date to see each other. Ask her when you are ready.
Exchanging a week’s worth of messages should give you a good idea of what they are like and if you really want to meet them. You may find out that they are not the right match and decide not to catch up. That’s totally fine. Just do whatever feels comfortable.
Just keep in mind that you are not using the apps to find pen pals. The ultimate goal is to meet someone and hopefully hit it off.
12. Organize a Date
You’ve matched with a real beauty and the conversation is great. You feel ready to take this to the next level. It is finally time to organize a date. So what should you do? The options are endless, but here are a few simple ideas:
- Drink at your favorite bar
- Coffee date at your local cafe
- Walk in the park
- Catch up for ice cream
- Picnic in the park
These date ideas don’t require a lot of planning and enable you to talk freely in a public space without interruption. They are great for creating a relaxed environment. That’s why a date to the cinema should always be a second or third date option as there is no point meeting someone for the first time, then sitting in the cinema for two hours and not talking.
13. Define the Relationship
You’ve been on a few dates, are texting daily, and maybe even got between the sheets a few times. But you aren’t quite sure what the deal is. Ask your date. Obviously do so in a respectful manner, but if you are unsure of where things are heading, communicate this to her.
If it has been a few months, find out what she thinks and if she wants to keep things going the way they are. You don’t have to put a label on it, but make it clear whether you are exclusive or if you are both taking things to the next level. This can be a little daunting but it is better to know where you stand than not. If you think it is serious but your partner is shagging other people, it’s better to find out within the first few weeks than four months later.
14. Don’t Get Discouraged
Online dating can be rough. You may have thought you’d met the person of your dreams but they turned out to be the actual opposite. Or maybe she was seeing other people when you thought things were exclusive. There is a multitude of reasons why a date can go bad or a relationship fizzles out quickly. But don’t be discouraged by that. It is all part of the fun and games of online dating. While nobody wants to go through that, finding your perfect match on the first swipe is highly unlikely. You might have to kiss a few frogs before you get to the princess.
Don’t let this get you down though. Stay patient and positive and keep engaging in conversation with people. Eventually, you are bound to click with someone and embark on a relationship. Just like Bon Jovi said, “you gotta keep the faith.”
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