Dating can be frustrating if you’ve been on the scene for a while and intimidating if you’ve either never dated before or if you’ve just gotten out of a relationship and are getting back into it again.
Regardless of which situation you currently find yourself in, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is that online dating is on the rise. The bad news is that online dating is on the rise. No, you didn’t read that wrong. The online dating scene is now the most common way most people are looking to find a partner. But as convenient as it is, it also means you need to be doubly alert about who you meet online.
The Disadvantages of Online Dating
Though it’s true that you need to be just as weary about dates you meet through other situations, online dating poses a set of problems that are unique to the platform.
- It’s easy to be anonymous. You can be anyone online and hide behind a persona that you create to attract another person. It goes without saying that this problem could turn out to be particularly dangerous.
- Women are more likely to be harassed. The #MeToo movement gave plenty of women the voice they needed to protest sexual harassment. However, online, some women reported that they would get creepy messages the minute their profile goes live.
- Men tend to conceal their marriage. Dating site can be a hotbed for cheating spouses (but statistics show that men tend to this more than women).
Online Dating Guide
Despite the pitfalls and disadvantages, more than 55% of Americans reported that they had a positive experience with online dating. And to make the most of your online dating experience, keep in mind the following tips.
1. Be authentic.
You wouldn’t want to be bamboozled when you go online so why would you do the same when you create your profile? Be yourself. From the photos you put up to the description you write, make sure it’s as an honest representation of yourself as possible.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative, though. Let’s say you’ve had some cosmetic work done. Instead of downplaying it, make it fun and quirky. For example, don’t use snark to highlight that you have regular lip filler injections, say that you do it because you want to have that perfect, kissable pout!
2. Read their profiles.
Tinder made it easy to judge a potential mate by their looks, yet we all know that looks alone don’t matter if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. Tinder’s reputation as a hookup app may soon change, though, as they introduce more features that would protect your safety and delve into a potential date’s heart and soul better.
But even without these new features, you could have better, more meaningful dates if you take the time to read their profile and not just swipe right or left, only to later find that that handsome face you swiped right on didn’t share anything in common with you. Be analytical when you analyze their profile, too. Be on the lookout for words and phrasing that seem too good to be true. They often are.
3. Make an effort with the conversation.
So you’ve finally got a match. What happens next? Tradition might dictate that you wait for the man to make the first move (in this case, the first text). But studies suggest that women are more likely to find success in dating online if they make the initial contact.
Don’t just throw out a quick “hi” or “hello” either. If you’ve matched, then it means you have a common interest or something in their profile sparked your fancy. Refer to that when you make the first move. Ask them a question about it or get their opinion about current issues you are both interested in. Another quick rule of thumb: people get busy. If they don’t reply immediately, don’t be discouraged. Wait 24 hours and if you still haven’t heard from them, shrug it off, and move on to your next match.