It used to be, your eyes would meet with someone else’s, maybe exchange a smile, and one of the two of you would be brave enough to approach the other. You’d establish if there was chemistry and interest and maybe exchange contact information.
However you can now carry out this process virtually anywhere with online dating apps and sites. Online dating is not only convenient, it also broadens the pool of eligible people you’re able to meet. If done well, online dating can be effective, however there are also some pitfalls to avoid if you want to have a successful experience. Here are some dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
1. Be honest
When you put yourself out there on sites, be honest and be specific, avoid cliches and absolutely put your photo up if it’s a static site but think about it if it’s a romancing site – some apps offer up dating potential in real time, in close proximity so be sure if you want to always be identified, or not. You’ll get far more interest if people can see a quick impression of you and these days almost everyone with internet access on the planet has at least one image of themselves for public viewing. The safety issues are important, but use the same kind of common sense you would use about giving out your detailed personal information to a complete stranger. There is no reason whatsoever that someone you connect with online needs your address or even your last name until after you meet.
2. Meet sooner rather than later
Don’t linger online with someone. The trap many people fall into is staying in the “online zone” for too long. You can waste your valuable time and emotional investment chatting online with someone you may not have physical chemistry with. Use the online portal to open a door to meeting someone in real life. Do not wait and flirt and spend weeks going back and forth with someone you think you may be falling for, when you haven’t even met.
3. Create your boundaries about what you do and don’t want
Sometimes, being on an online site can be a bit like being a kid in a candy store: so many people to choose from … and they all sound so terrific and sexy and wonderful! Critical details can be overlooked from the seduction and excitement. If you don’t want to be with a smoker, or someone too far from where you live, or who lives with children or has pets, keep those guidelines for you to remember front and centre, even attached to your computer screen. If you find yourself spending too much time online (a common and easy trap as people get glued to finding out if someone has responded to their messages), give yourself windows of time during which you check the dating site, or app, and force yourself to stay away and remain engaged with your real world life the rest of the time.
4. Only look for similar relationship status seeking people
If you want something casual, stay away from sites where the aim is to get married or get into a long term, serious relationship. Sure, that person may have said they would be up for something casual, but be warned: they chose the relationship site, out of all the others. Make sure your goals are aligned.
5. Be upfront with people
If someone pursues you and you’re not interested the polite thing is to let them know, no thanks, and if they don’t stop, block them or even report them if it continues. It’s not mean, it’s reality in the virtual meet space. Everyone is geo-located these days, so it’s important to have the experience of online dating be safe or it can’t be a good time.
6. Be confident about dating online
It’s one of the main ways people meet these days, for love, sex, even business connections. There is no longer anything to be ashamed of! Put yourself out there because you get back what you put in to every effort, your love life especially.