Tips for Getting Started
Know what and who you want before beginning
Before you start your online dating search, you should know what it is you are looking for.
You don’t want to narrow things down too much, but you should at least know what your must haves and deal breakers are.
Having a picture of what you want in your mind will help keep you on track and help you find the type of person you are looking for.
Be prepared to invest some time and energy
Dating, online or otherwise, takes work. It is a worthwhile endeavor. However, finding a serious relationship doesn’t come easy.
Before you begin searching for a partner, make sure that you have the time and resources to commit to seeing it through.
Don’t limit yourself to “serious” sites.
The truth is that while some sites may be geared more towards relationships while others are geared towards hookups, you will find people seeking both on any site or app.
I recommend using one “serious site”. Match and eHarmony are both good choices.
However, you should be on a few other sites as well. Tinder, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Ok Cupid are all free. They aren’t considered serious dating sites, but many people find serious relationships through them.
Enlist a friend to help
Having a friend’s perspective can be invaluable during the dating process. They can help you tweak your profile, choose the best photos, and give you advice on who to pursue.
Check in with them occasionally and get their opinion. They should be happy to help, and it can make a huge difference in your dating success.
It takes time to find the right person. Be patient, and don’t expect instant success.
Try to keep a lighthearted view of things. Dating has ups and downs, and viewing things with a sense of humor will make the process more enjoyable.
Profile Dos and Donts for Finding a Serious Relationship
Be honest in your profile
Be honest in your profile. This is especially important when you are seeking a long term relationship, because any lies you tell we be found out eventually.
Don’t reveal too much information. Give them enough to make them want to know more, not so much they feel like they already know you.
Don’t be too serious
Keep the conversation light in your profile and when you meet someone. You should make it clear that you are ultimately looking for a commitment. However, you shouldn’t seem in a hurry for commitment. It can come off as pressuring or desperate.
Be real about what and who you are looking for
Let people know who you are looking for as well as the type of relationship you want.
Keep it simple. Don’t have a long laundry list of traits or features. Keep it to the things that are really important to you.
Keep it to what you do want. Don’t mention things that you don’t want.
Consider the message behind photos
When you are posting photos, consider the message you are sending. Photos that are very sexy or revealing send a message that you are looking for something sexual instead of a serious relationship.
This also holds true for photos of you partying. Save them for your Instagram feed. This isn’t the image you want to send to potential partners.
Using keywords in your dating profile can make you more successful at online dating.
The top dating profile keywords are:
Don’t use these keywords if you don’t enjoy these things. It won’t do you any favors in the long term. However, if these are things you are into, be sure to list them in your profile.
You’ll also want to brush up on your grammar, and use whom correctly in your profile, particularly if you are a guy.
You don’t have to attempt to communicate with everyone, or respond to everyone who messages you.
Keep an open mind. The more people you talk to, the greater the odds of finding the right person.
However, don’t get caught up and waste your time with people that you are fairly sure you won’t be compatible with.
Don’t wait for people to come to you. Browse personal ads, and send a message to anyone you find interesting.
Being proactive allows you to take control of your dating life. You should also use more than just one personals site, or a mix of personals and dating sites to maximize your options.
Don’t have a type
You’ll want to be selective. However, you don’t want to get boxed into a specific “type” that you are looking for.
Be open to people that you feel you could build a relationship with, regardless if they are your usual type. Sometimes the best way to find love is to step out of your comfort zone, and date people who aren’t your usual type.
Relax and enjoy the process
Dating is supposed to be fun. Relax and enjoy it! You have to approach dating with a sense of humor to be successful and maintain your sanity.
Things aren’t always going to go your way, and being able to laugh it off will keep you from experiencing burnout.
You are also more pleasant to be around and attractive when you are enjoying what you are doing.
If dating starts to feel like a chore or a responsibility instead of something that is fun for you, it may be time to take a break for a bit.
Don’t waste too much time on chatting online. Meet people you feel compatible with.
If it is someone who lives nearby, you shouldn’t chat for longer than a week without meeting.
You can end up wasting time and developing feelings for someone online that you may not click with in person.
It’s also a red flag if someone is too hesitant about meeting you, given the amount of scams and catfishing that go on today.
When you ask to meet, it should generally be in a public place for the safety and security of both parties.