10 Online Dating Tips
Whether you're looking for love--or coffee--online, use these 10 online dating tips to increase your chances of finding someone to connect with. A great profile is your first step. Read on and get ready to log on!
- Create a detailed profile. Your profile is your key to online dating success. People browsing dating sites for potential matches have only the information in your profile to go on. Profiles that simply read "Single. Straight. White. Over 30" aren't likely to get many responses. Think of the information you'd like to find in a profile when you're the one doing the browsing, then build your profile with those guidelines in mind.
- Be honest. It's tempting to withhold information or to embellish your life or accomplishments. What would you think of a date whose profile said she was a professional model only to find out that she hasn't had a professional picture taken since those Glamour Shots in college? If you're looking for someone who will go beyond that first awkward coffee date, be honest about who you are. The right person will be glad to find someone who shares their obsession with all things "Firefly."
- Choose your username wisely. You can be cute or funny or you can just use a variation of your name. But names like "Stankass69" or "DungeonMaster" are better avoided. If the name you want is taken, don't try to force it--you'll end up with something that takes a decoder ring to decipher.
- Post recent photos. Use pictures that accurately reflect what you look like. Don't post the picture of you as quarterback of your high school football team. Avoid self-portraits of yourself in your boxers in front of the bathroom mirror. If you don't have any headshots of yourself you like, get a friend to take some for you. If you're tempted to post a picture of yourself at 40 pounds thinner, imagine how you'd react if your online date showed up looking nothing like his or her profile picture. You want your potential matches to be attracted to you, not some photo of you ten years ago.
- Be positive. "I used to think online dating was for losers, but it's been a year since my last date." Would you want to date someone who has this attitude? Don't talk about your "psycho ex" and don't give disclaimers like, "I'm not much to look at, but I'm a great guy."
- Actually read the profile of your potential matches. Don't just message someone because he or she is hot in those profile pictures! Make sure you have things in common before you go beyond the first email or two. Read to see if there are any potential deal-breakers as well. If you're a Fundamentalist Christian, messaging that hot Wiccan girl might not be wise. If someone contacts you, check out his or her profile. See if the person is someone you actually want to get to know. You don't have to respond just because someone messages you.
- Update often. Add new pictures to keep your profile fresh. Be active on whichever site you choose, so potential matches know you are still looking. Conversely, if you start dating someone exclusively, either change your status or take the profile down.
- Play to your strengths. You want to sound interesting! Don't just say "I love Cowboys football and brewing my own beer." Instead, try something like, "Most Sundays, you'll find me cheering on my Dallas Cowboys while enjoying a pint of my home-brewed lager."
- Don't put off the first meeting. It's all too easy to get emotionally involved with someone over email and then discover that you do not click offline. Move things into the non-digital realm as soon as you can.
- Stay safe. Practice common sense when dating online or meeting your online match the first time. Use a free email account that you dedicate just to online dating. Meet in public the first time. Don't release personal information like your full name, address or workplace until you have a good sense of the person. Trust your gut instinct--if something tells you that there's something off, there probably is.
Posted on: Jul. 19, 2010