Online dating seems simple enough. If you like someone, you let him or her know; if not, you keep searching. However, the concept can be quite different from the experience. How do you sell yourself? How do you know if the other person is right for you? What happens when it’s time to meet? You might be ready on paper, but in reality, you’re still scared stiff. Where do you go from here?
Like a lot of things in life, online dating comes with its own set of unwritten rules that are designed to help you master the minefield. Here are just a few of the guidelines that you should be using to navigate the world of online dating.
Don’t leave your profile to chance
Writing the perfect profile can be difficult. How should you start? Which picture should you choose? How honest should you be? Aim to answer the website’s prompts as truthfully as you can. Perhaps it’s not sexy to tell potential partners you’re a mum or dad, but it’s not fair to begin a relationship without being honest about certain things. If you need inspiration, it’s always worth seeking out the experts for a little dating profile help; the professionals have been writing profiles for years and will know how to accentuate your best qualities.
Take the time to read your matches’ profiles
Matching with a person is about so much more than that initial attraction, although that certainly helps. If you’ve swiped right, taken a second look, or decided to meet someone, there is a good chance you were intrigued by their likes and interests. Take the time to familiarise yourself with your matches’ profiles. Not only can you dive straight into your date, but you’ll have some conversation starters for those awkward lulls.
Make sure you’re both ready to meet
You’d be surprised by how many people feel pressured into meeting their date, either by their date or by society’s expectations. Whether you’ve been chatting for days, weeks, or months, never leap into anything unless you’re sure, and even then, be sure to head to a public place for that first contact.
While there aren’t any steadfast rules following after-date contact, it is important to be honest. If you don’t want to meet a person again, let them know; you’ll save time and heartbreak in the long run. Following a successful date, try not to appear too keen. A message thanking your would-be partner for a wonderful time is fine, but then aim to leave a few days between messages unless the other person initiates a conversation.
The world of online dating can seem like a big and scary one, but if you follow these simple rules and stay within your comfort zone, you can never go wrong.