People enter the world of online dating for many reasons. Some think it will be fun, some reluctantly get involved, some do it because their friends do, others have heard positive stories and want to get their own one. Either way, people often enter this world not really knowing how to do it well. So here are 5 tips that will help you.
I have written a few times about online dating. Especially about how it isn’t dating, but an introduction. It’s a chance to meet people, just like a blind date or meeting someone at a party is, which may then lead to dating and forming a relationship. (Read Who Else Wonders If Christian Online Dating is Okay?)
But how do you make good online introductions?
How do we write a profile and approach online dating in a way that protects us? As well as giving us the best chance of finding someone we can form a great relationship with?
While I have never used online dating, doing the work I do means I come across lots of research, positive and negative stories, and resources that can help guide people. As a result, I often give these 5 tips:
- Honesty Saves Time
- Use Unspecific Words
- Keep It Positive
- It Takes Time
- Know What You Want
Honesty Saves Time
Writing a profile is hard. Knowing what to put in and what to say in a message to someone wouldn’t come naturally to most people.
But the starting point needs to be honesty. Exaggerating our skill set, or what we like to do, or lying about our features (most men online lie about their height) is a bad start.
It will mean that we end up getting introduced, and even dating people who we aren’t suited with. Which in turn will just result in wasted time and disappointment. By all means, put your best foot forward, but do it honestly.
Use Unspecific Words
The next question would then be: so how do you put your best foot forward?
It’s really important to use unspecific words. The reason for this is because, sadly, we can easily make superficial quick judgments when reading profiles. So if we say ‘I love football’, or ‘I love cruises’, people can discount us if they don’t like those things.
In order to keep our profile more approachable
Therefore, it’s better to try and keep it more general, in order to keep our profile more approachable. E.g. ‘I like sports’, or ‘I like to travel’. These statements are still true, but they’re open enough to allow more connection points. Because someone may not like football, but they might enjoy other sports that you like, for example.
Keep It Positive
The time that you take to say something is important (profiles with about 100 words get the most interactions), but the way you say it is even more important.
Profiles with positive language get the most traction. Talking about your hopes for the future, what you enjoy doing and what makes you feel alive are the best things to talk about.
Avoid giving demands, like ‘Must love…’ or ‘Must hate…’. Talking about what you hope the relationship will look like is fine, but being positive and talking about what fulfils you is vital.
It Takes Time
All of this takes time, and the search is often for an indefinite time period which can be very demoralising at points. But sadly, there is no way to change that.
Online dating isn’t like online shopping. You can’t just specify what you want and have it delivered the next day. Online dating involves time, emotional investment, meeting people and giving energy to the search.
If we do approach online dating half-heartedly, or without giving it enough time, then we will be disappointed. Which is why the next and final tip is so important.
Know What You Want
Just saying yes to everyone is not a good idea. There are people in our work, at our church, in our social circles that we do not get on with. Or people who we like as a friend but would never date. The same principle applies online.
We need to think about the type of person we want to get to know
We will not get on romantically with everyone. That’s why we need to think about the type of person we want to get to know. The type of person we want to date, so we know who to say yes to and who to say no to. (Read Online Dating: Transforming Or Just Tweaking Our Relationships?)
There’s no perfect solution to online dating or finding someone, but if we or people we know are using online dating, we can at least prepare well for it.
Imagine if we remembered: Honesty Saves Time, Use Unspecific Words, Keep It Positive, It Takes Time, Know What You Want. (Read I’m Single And Hate Dating, What Can I Do?)
What other good advice have you heard? Comments welcomed below