For some of you, the whole idea of jumping online to meet like-minded singles is exciting and presents new opportunities. It’s simply another option that allows you to increase your chances of finding the one. However, there are those of you that find the whole process daunting and foreign.
It may be that you’re shy, you’ve just had your heartbroken, you’re divorced with kids or simply unlucky in love. Whatever the case, you feel lost and confused about how to enter the dating world. Well here are 7 important tips to consider before getting into online dating:
1) Do some research
Take some time to learn about the online dating world. That means being proactive and spending time researching different online sites to see what they offer. Are you looking for free or something that costs money? Do you want to be matched or do the leg work yourself? Are you looking for serious or casual and fun? Google will have your answers so get researching!
2) Talk to single friends
It’s a great opportunity to reach out to your single friends to find out how they navigate their way in the online dating world. Hopefully, they will have done a lot of the leg work for you, and can give you insights as well as recommendations as to where to go and what to do. They can also support you when you finally decide to jump in and get started.
3) Use good photos please
Don’t even think about entering the online dating scene without several good recent photos of yourself. First impressions count, and you want to post great images of yourself to make an impact. Forget about using photos of you wearing hats, sunglasses, drinking alcohol, being in a large group of friends, showing too much flesh, old images and/or ones with an ex.
4) Create an interesting profile
Online dating is not about blending in! You are unique and have plenty to offer. After singles stop to look at your amazing photos, they’re then going to move on to read about you the person. Stand out and be different. That means be specific about your interests and wants. Show off your sense of humour and give them insights into who you are, rather than creating a boring long list of general adjectives.
5) Avoid spelling mistakes
Take your time and read through your profile carefully. Spelling and grammatical errors look bad and show that you’re rushed or simply don’t take the online dating process seriously. You want to show other like-minded singles that you mean business.
6) Control the pace
For those that are new to online dating, some complain that things move very quickly and they can feel overwhelmed. Remind yourself - you do not need to be hurried in this process. You control how you want to run things. Get to know them online and by phone before meeting them. Then meet in a public place in the day time. Give yourself time between dates and you can call things off anytime you want. Anyone who tries to pressure you is not the right one moving forward.
7) Have fun
Dating is about having fun and meeting new and different people. It’s not about putting pressure on yourself to meet the one on your first date. Some dates will go well, while others you’ll hope to forget. Be patient, be selective, and enjoy the ride. You don’t need to be perfect. Just be open to getting to know other singles and learning about what you want and don’t want in a long-term partner.
John Aiken, RSVP Dating and Relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (www.johnaiken.com.au)