Internet dating is no longer taboo and strictly for techno geeks and nerds. Now it's so common that it’s mainstream. If you’re not doing it, then there’s something wrong with you because these days it’s the way to meet that casual fling or very special someone. So jump onboard the information superhighway and get your date on! Who knows, love (or whatever you’re looking for) might just be a click away.
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10. Know What You Want
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The great thing about Internet dating is it forces you to really reflect on what you want in a partner-in-crime. Most sites require you to write a few sentences or more describing yourself and what you’re looking for in an ideal partner. For a lot of people, especially guys, this may be the first time you’ve actually thought about what personality traits and characteristics you’re looking for (aside from hair color and chest size) in a date. Take the time to really reflect on what you want. Consider it carefully. Be mindful of not being too specific (like desiring an exact height or that he/she graduated from Harvard in '06). When crafting the section on what type of person you are looking for, be mindful to keep an open mind and do not bombard anyone with a long list of unrealistic expectations because this will just scare off any potential suitors.
The truly great thing about Internet dating is it forces you to think about the qualities you want in a partner. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, how do you expect to find it? You may not meet this person online, but when you do meet them (wherever that may be) you’ll know they’re it.
9. Pick the Website That'll Give You What You Want
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There are a ton of dating websites out there, all catering to different types of people, turn-ons, sexualities, religions, and different sorts of relationships. Just be sure to do your research and pick the website that best suits what you’re looking for.
Here’s a list of 10 websites to get you started:
eHarmony – This is a large website that requires users to fill out a lengthy survey. This site is tailored for those looking for marriage/long term relationships. It also skews a bit on the older side.
Match – This is one of the biggest dating websites for those looking for more serious relationships.
Nerve – For the more casual relationship/hook-up.
Lavalife – Allows you to choose what type of relationship you’re looking for: Dating, Relationship, or Intimate.
Adult Friend Finder – Use this to try and get laid, but good luck. This problem with this site is the male/female ratio is equivalent to that of a mens' locker room.
Plenty of Fish – It’s free, but has a reputation of being full of flaky people.
Ashley Madison – Use this site if you’re married and want to have an affair with a similarly married person. Though, publically looking for an affair probably isn't the smartest thing.
The Onion – No, this is not a joke. The satirical newspaper has its own online personals section and it’s full of funny people.
8. Cough Up Some Cash
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Paying for an online dating service does not make you desperate or a loser. In reality it’s the opposite. By paying a fee you are showing that you are of means (we’re talking $20 – 30 a month here, hardly a fortune) and it shows you’re serious about dating and finding someone. It also means that the people you meet online are similarly serious and most importantly active on the site. Too many of these free online dating sites are filled with people who are inactive, got drunk, and signed up, or are currently in a relationship. Trying to make a connection with these types of people is a waste of your time.
Also, if you pay for online dating you are more invested in the process and will make more of an effort to get your money’s worth. This may result in you finding the love of your life...or just someone to have great sex with.
7. Be Honest
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Honesty is imperative when it comes to Internet dating. Don’t lie about your height, income, physicality, hobbies, or anything for that matter. Lying will get you nowhere and is not a good foundation to start any relationship. Period. If anything, underplay yourself a little. Keep some mystery. That said, don’t undersell yourself too much. It's essential you put your best foot forward and present the real you. Once you’ve finished writing your profile get a female friend to read over it and provide feedback. This is a great way to really know whether you’re presenting your best self and will test if it’s pulling the right heartstrings in the opposite sex.
The profile page is your most important tool and it’s worth investing in. Make your profile page personal, intriguing, and inviting. The profile needs to do two things. It needs to attract those looking for someone and it needs to seal the deal with those you seek out.
6. Play the Numbers Game
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The great thing about Internet dating is there are literally thousands of singles waiting to meet you. For guys this is especially true as there is a way higher ratio of women to men on most of the larger websites. It’s like walking into a bar and having the opportunity to connect with every single hot woman in there, but on your own time. Plus you have time to decide what to say and write. The downside to Internet dating is not everyone will respond to you. Don’t take this personally. How could you? These people don’t know you and have never actually met you. In fact, not replying to a message you sent says more about them than you. Count yourself lucky if one in five people you contact write back. Don’t be discouraged by the level of rejection (or rather lack of response from someone). Internet dating is a numbers game.
On the flip side, if someone messages you then you must make the effort and write back. What have you got to lose? If someone is interested, you should at least dig a little deeper and see if you’re interested in them. Remember that Internet dating is about starting a conversation.
5. Go on Lots of Dates
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The key to Internet dating is to go on lots of dates and meet a wide variety of people. You don’t really get a sense of someone until you meet them and have a one-on-one conversation. Don’t even think of this first meeting as a date. Treat it more like a job interview for a first date. The initial get-together need not be fancy, imaginative, or expensive. Just grabbing a coffee together will suffice. Humans are pretty quick to make judgments, so you will know fairly quickly whether you hit it off or not. If you do, then you should propose another date in person during your initial get-together. If you don’t, then you guys can leave it at that. If you’re on the fence about whether you like them or not, then you should give them a second chance. Sometimes first impressions are wrong.
The other positive thing about Internet dating is you’ll find yourself going on lots more dates with people you haven’t met online. This is because Internet dating is a great confidence booster. Once you’re dating one, two, or three people – what have you got to lose by asking out that cute blonde standing at the bar?
4. Manage Expectations
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It’s important to manage your expectations and understand that not everyone is like you and totally honest in crafting their online persona or that they’ll even respond to your message. Be wary of people who seem too awesome and perfect. Don’t expect your date to look exactly like they do in their profile picture (it may be an old photo or retouched - girls do this all the time). If you manage your expectations, then you're less likely to be disappointed.
3. Keep it Fresh
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You might think that once you’ve joined an online dating site, filled out your profile, and added some photos you won’t need to bother with any more updates. You’re wrong. It’s a big mistake not to regularly revisit and refresh your profile and photos section. Once you’ve been on your site of choice for a couple of weeks and your fresh meat status has worn off, it’s crucial to tweak your profile and photos. This is important as it shows you lead an active life and makes your profile seem fresh and new. This will increase your chances of people messaging you and wanting to get to know you. So make a habit of adding something new each week.
2. Save Money by Avoiding the Bells and Whistles
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If you have decided to pony up some cash and invest in your dating future by purchasing a subscription to a dating site, then there is absolutely no reason to spend any more money. Seriously, save it for the date. Some sites will try to upsell you with special features. They want you to pay more so you can highlight your profile, see if they’ve read your message, or even give you a person’s phone number without having to ask them (creepy). These add-on services will not help you meet more people, get more dates, get you laid, or deliver you a serious relationship. These services do nothing more than feed on people’s insecurities and add to the company’s bottom line. Avoid them at all costs.
1. Be Bold and Start a Conversation
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If you come across someone you like online, be bold and make contact with them. Don’t be passive and poke, wink, or nod at them. Write them an email. It doesn’t have to be long and it should not contain your life’s story. Keep it simple and short. Write a one- or two-sentence email picking up on something unique or interesting you discovered on their profile. Infuse the email with a little charm, wit, and humor.
Whatever you do, don’t come on too heavy, profess your love, or start making wedding plans in this introductory email. All the first email has to do is show them you’re interested and get them to check out your awesome profile. Write about chicken parm sandwiches if it’s something you both have in common. If they like you, they’ll reply. Then you can really getting the conversation going.
If you have started a conversation with someone it’s incredibly important to write back to them in a timely manner. Don’t leave them hanging without a response for more than two days. Doing so shows a lack of respect and is not a cool way to start a relationship. If this happens you will notice she quickly loses interest. Once you have written back to each other three or four times, it’s time to take it up a notch and prepare to meet in the real world.