The essential guide to online dating
The rules are changing when it comes to online dating, we’re taking things mobile, broadening our searches and finding new ways to go about connecting with new people.
Gone are the days when you’d enter a chatroom and talk with random strangers, with the potential of finding love. Now you can join and create a profile, or have your friends create one for you, which is the premise behind MySingleFriend, the dating website founded by TV presenter Sarah Beeny. The people who know you best write your profile for you, and matches are found by age and location. You can read a review of the dating site here.
So how do you go about dating on the Internet? Here’s a quick “how to” guide for finding love online…
You will need:
Your picture is of great importance. The main thing to remember is to be honest and keep it recent. Uploading a picture from ten years ago might make you look better, but if you meet up with someone they will know that you lied about your appearance, and that could make for awkward conversation.
You are more likely to be contacted if you upload a profile image but keep in mind that poses in said picture are of great importance. Guys, no topless shots please and ladies, try to refrain from the pouty look!
It’s also best to use a photo of just you, not of you and your best friend out for a night on the town. If someone has to struggle to work out which one in the photo is you then they probably won’t bother making contact.
Most sites you use, such as Hily meet people and chat, will ask you to create one of these. It can seem long and tedious with lots of form filling but remember, your profile is the first thing a prospective partner will see, so it needs to be detailed, but not too detailed, and outline your hobbies, interests and general outlook on life.
Keep it reasonably short and light-hearted, there needs to be some mystery for someone reading to go on and hit that contact button. Talk about any unusual hobbies you are interested in but don’t use your profile to boast or be too specific about the “type” of partner you are looking for, in case you alienate others and discourage someone who might be well suited from contacting you. Stick to character traits and interests.
Also, be sure to watch your grammar and punctuation, poor writing and using text speech can put a lot of potential dates off.
You will have to:
Respond to messages
Once your profile is all set up, written beautifully and topped with a recent, flattering picture of you, then the exciting part begins. The waiting and the searching!
Women will discover that men on online dating sites are eager to make contact and there will be a lot of sifting-through messages with just the word “hi” involved (it’s a good idea to try and refrain from sending one word messages – if you can’t ask a simple question or make a statement based on that person’s profile over the internet, what will you be like in person?)
Men will find that it might take longer to hear from anyone, women are not as forthcoming when it comes to making contact and that they also take their time responding.
When a conversation does spark up, keep things cool and don’t divulge too much personal information straight away. Talk about what you’ve been up to lately, what sort of things you like and try to refrain from going into a big speech about how you want four kids, three dogs and to be married in the next two years.
It’s also best to stick to sending messages on the dating website, try not to move things onto something more personal too soon. You can easily scare someone off by suggesting swapping numbers or adding each other on Facebook.
Once you’ve spoken to someone for a while and feel comfortable enough it’s time to set up a date. Treat your first meeting as something extra special, ask your date more about themselves and their background, laugh at their jokes and if you’re a guy, offer to pay for the meal. If you’re a lady always offer to pay half!