The Complete Guide to Online Dating
Do you want to try online dating but aren’t sure where to start? Use this guide to online dating to get out there and meet your next significant other!
Let’s face it: dating is not what it used to be. Besides busy schedules, a tired dating scene, and blind dates that never work out, online dating sites have a part to play in what dating has become.
According to statistics, over 7500 online dating sites exist in our world today. 49 million people admit to trying their hand at online dating and almost 60% of people think that online dating is a good way to meet others.
Perhaps the most encouraging stats, however, are those that indicate the number of online dating relationships that result in happy endings. 20% of committed relationships began online and 17% of marriages were born out of dating sites.
With odds like that, if you haven’t tried your hand at online dating, maybe it’s time that you did. Here’s our guide to online dating to help you get started!
Your Complete (Beginner’s) Guide to Online Dating
Even if you’re new to the online dating scene, our guide will make it easy for you to jump right in. Before long, you’ll have a full schedule of late night e-chats and dates every weekend if that’s what you’re looking for. By this time next year, you could even be on your way to the wedding chapel.
Step One: Create an Interesting Profile & Choose a Flattering Pic
Almost every dating site will ask you to create a profile of yourself to attract like-minded dating partners. This is your chance to introduce yourself to other users.
It may be easiest, especially if you are planning to sign up for more than one site, to create a general profile to use as an outline on each of dating sites.
You want to come across as fun and confident, but you definitely don’t want to appear cocky.
It can be tricky for some to pen an intriguing intro about themselves that highlights their best qualities without coming across as arrogant.
Still, with a few tries, anyone can do it.
A few things that you might include, other than your name and any mandatory boxes that you’re asked to check, are:
- How you spend your free time
- The activities you most enjoy
- A few defining personality traits
- Possibly include major pet peeves if it’s something might pose a problem from the start
- Try to add one or two unusual facts about yourself or humorous lines to set you apart from the crowd
When it comes to adding a photo, choose one that shows your face and is somewhat recent.
Although it may go without saying, you should aim for a pic that doesn’t make you appear older than your age. A youthful appearance can be had at any age. A big smile and flattering light conditions can work wonders in this department.
You don’t want to mislead anyone to the point that they don’t recognize you when you meet in person. This can happen if your profile has a blurred picture you took over a decade ago.
Choose The Dating Sites You Want to Use
Today, there are hundreds of dating sites to choose from. Some are specifically designed for certain types of daters, but many are open to all.
Some of the most popular sites include:
- Plenty of Fish
Some offer paid subscriptions, but those with free memberships (Tinder, Plenty of Fish & others) are as effective at landing you dates.
If you are super-serious, you might consider the paid option. These sometimes offer more closely matched companions but also might require a greater investment of your time to get set up.
Keep an Open Mind, But Bow Out When You Realize Someone is Not a Match
At first, it may be easy to over-analyze your suitors. If you only respond to those that look like celebrities you might be missing out on a real sweetheart.
With that said, if someone is not what you’re looking for there’s no need to continue with idle chat. That’s one of the great things about these sites. You can move on to the next potential mate without any awkwardness, especially if you’ve only chatted with the person a few times.
Tips for Planning a Date
After some online conversation, you may decide that you want to meet in-person. When that time comes, it’s a good idea to follow some general rules for your first date.
1. Plan to Meet in a Public Place
While it’s less common than some might think, it can be dangerous to meet for the first time in a secluded location, such as the person’s private home. Instead, choose a public spot where you can still enjoy some one-on-one conversation.
2. Make the First Date Short & Sweet
Choosing to meet during your lunch hour is often recommended for a first date. Or, you can choose any other time frame that puts you on a limited schedule. This way, you will be able to meet but are also guaranteed an easy excuse to cut the date short, in the event they weren’t what you imagined.
3. Line Up Dates With More Than One Person
Unless you fall in love with your first online suitor, you should try to line dates up with a few potential partners.
This is a good idea so that you won’t feel discouraged if something doesn’t work out immediately. It also gives you options and provides practice. So, even if the first few fizzle out, you’ll feel prepared and comfortable when the next one comes along after having been out a few times already.
A Few Additional Pointers
Be careful that you don’t divulge too much information to anyone you don’t know. Sending overtly sexy messages or photos isn’t recommended and may even get you banned from some dating sites.
When choosing subsequent dates, don’t be afraid to plan an out of the box adventure with your potential sweetheart. If you both enjoy the outdoors, for instance, an afternoon hike might be fun. Adventurous outings can help you get to know someone even faster than a typical (and oft uneventful) dinner and movie.
Always be yourself, and don’t lie. No one appreciates dishonesty.
Be transparent about where you stand and what you expect to gain. If the relationship progresses, make sure you are both clear about your relationship status so that no one’s feelings get hurt unnecessarily.
Finally, have fun. After all, that’s what the dating game is all about.
Want More Tips to Help You Spark Your Love Life?
Whether you’re only getting started with online dating sites or already in a committed relationship, you have to be willing to do your part if you want to keep the spark alive. If you followed this guide to online dating and found the love of your life, that’s only the first step. Next, you’ll have to find new ways to keep the sparks going.
It’s not always easy to be a master of romance, no matter where you are in a relationship. There are a few things that you can do to kindle the flame if you feel that your once-hot connection has started to fizzle out.
Check out this post for some ideas to help you keep your romance sizzling hot for years to come!