Online dating is becoming more and more socially acceptable. The truth is, more and more of today’s romantic relationships begin on the internet. Millions of people have reported meeting their spouses through online dating and a study done with 20,000 Americans revealed that marriages between people who met online are as stable and satisfying if not more so than people who meet in the real world. 25 million unique individuals joined online dating sites in April, 2011 alone, and over five million Americans have married spouses they had met online! Get in on this rising trend and join the millions upon millions of online dating site users.
Here are some tips to meet your match through the online dating world:
1. Finding the Site for You
There are so many dating sites out there and if you really want to cast a wide net, you should sign up for every single one of them!
Or, you can be realistic, and create a chart of things you are looking for, and find the website that is designed to pair you with the partner of your dreams.
2. Create the Perfect Dating Profile
If you want to date well online, you have to give off the best first impression, and in the online world, that impression is based off your profile. Your profile is the customizable area on the dating site in which you write your biographical information, with photos as well as details of what you are looking for.
You should think of your profile in four different sections: the username, the headline, the picture, and the paragraph.
- The Username: You can pick a name that is clever, but make sure it is familiar and won’t go over people’s heads. Make it clear, and do not make it provocative. Avoid the numerous numbers and the sexual innuendos.
- The Headline/Status Line: Your headline should answer the basic question of online dating like “What am I looking for” and it should be fun and playful so as to make people want to click on your profile and get to know you better. One example of this would be “This week I am looking for a fun coffee date near Central Park” which is light and fun and makes you stand out. Similar to the case of the username, steer clear of being too clever because if you use too many puns or inside references, people will not get to know the real you.
- The Picture: Keep it accurate. It should be recent and feature one head shot and one full body shot. Be honest about yourself so you do not have to worry later if, after they meet you, it’s because of how you look. Be honest about who you are. Also, avoid images with other people. You do not want to cause any confusion. Your main picture should be just you, without sunglasses or your dog. If you want to put those pictures up, use them as the supplemental pictures. Make sure to update photos and put up ones of hobbies you enjoy because they give people something to talk with you about and show the real you.
- The Description Paragraph: This should be separated into three parts. The first should be about who you are and what you like to do. The second should be about your personal quirks, pet peeves, and anything that makes you stand out. The third should explain what your life is like now, with movies you’ve watched or books you’ve read or places you have travelled to recently. Be brief and unique and make sure to spell check!
3. Go Big or Go Home
If you want to successfully date online, you need patience. A comparison to real life would be walking into a bar with one hundred people, and expecting to come out with the one. Obviously no one is perfect, and you have to have patience and spend time to find a relationship online just as you would in real life. You should not give up just because a couple of dates did not work out. People put unnecessary pressure on themselves when they date online, especially after they have exchanged a few great emails. You have to practice dating to figure out what is right for you and what you are looking for and finding your match.
One positive plus that online dating has over real life dating is that it gives you a chance to critically examine what you want out of life, and not just out of a potential mate, in ways that you have not done before.
4. Happily Ever After
Online dating is just another venue for busy people to find love without sitting at the bars every night. You have to take every opportunity available to you, but it does not mean you cannot still meet people in real life. You should see it as enhancing your options and view it as a means to an end. It is another way to find your future match.
5. Do Not Get Too Judgmental because of pictures
Online dating profiles allow us to feel nitpicky and maintain high expectations, and turn dating equivalent to scrolling on amazon.com for a great pair of sneakers. This gives us a sense of power, but try your best to fight the urge to judge too fast.
Remember that what you are looking for is a real connection – a relationship with someone you hope to love and who will love you. So you have to bring your most mature and empathetic persona to this project. This means fighting the urge to say “eh, she’s cute, but I prefer brunettes to redheads. Next!”
6. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Do not worry so much about the minute details like the restaurants, bars, or movies that the potential date likes (like “oh they like New Girl” or “They live on that street”). Instead, look at the bigger picture like, do they live in the same city? Do they read? Do they seem intelligent? Avoid being consumed with the idea that there is someone out there who will meet every singly one of your preferences.
In reality, your exes did not all share your exact tastes, and most of the time those also weren’t the reasons you broke up. If you obsess over the details, you might miss out on profiles of people who may make you happy.
7. Look for the Tone of the Profile
The most important factor in a profile is the tone it is written in. This is the best indicator for the sense of the person, which can be really difficult to identify.
You should try to read between the lines and get the sense of whether the person seems pleasant, reasonable, and well-adjusted, even if you don’t recognize their top five favorite movies.
Look out for signs of snideness, bitterness, insincerity, or boastfulness. Attention to these components and to the overall vibe of the profile can help weed out some qualities that no one will admit to, and may not even be aware they have.
8. Do Not get overly attached too fast
Whether it is online or offline, try your best to fight the temptation of fantasizing about the great future when you’ve just met someone. Even if they claimed to be looking for something serious on their profile, and you got along on your first date, there is still a world of things to note. Sometimes we get so tired of dating that when we have found someone we can stand and want to see for more than two dates, we want to jump straight into the next step: the relationship. But rushing into the relationship can be the worst thing to happen in the beginning of a connection, because it tends to end flirtation too soon and might scare off your counterpart. Remember that after a few dates, you are still getting to know each other- no matter how perfect he or she seems (or rather, especially if they still seem perfect). Becoming too attached suggests that you are projecting a fantasy onto the other person, which will scare them off. Getting to know someone just takes a lot of time and patience.
So what have we picked up as a general theme in all of these tips? Keep an open mind and be patient. Dating is draining but stay hopeful and give people, and yourself, a chance at true love.