Just a few years ago, online dating was shunned as the lazy or desperate way of finding your match.
In fact, the practice has become so prevalent, that meeting someone offline will soon be a rarity.
That’s because online dating is easier, faster, and helps you instantly filter out people with whom you are incompatible, leaving only those who may really pique your interest.
But just because millions have turned to online dating, doesn’t mean they’re going about it in the right way.
Before going online, it’s important to know what you’re doing. Listed below are six tips you should follow for dating in the digital age.
1. Don’t Be Fake
The internet is a fairly anonymous place, enabling surfers to hide behind avatars and usernames.
You can literally be whomever you want to be.
The same is not true for online dating. In fact, misrepresenting who you are is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Although it may be tempting to do things like use pictures of yourself from years prior, exaggerate your job, or even your current relationship status, lying is a terrible way to begin a relationship.
The beauty of online dating is that you can be who you are without needing to worry about padding your profile with achievements and descriptions that only exist in your fantasies.
2. Curb Your Expectations
Along the lines of not being fake, it is also important to temper your expectations when it comes to the people you meet online.
I’m not talking about being catfished (ie, tricked into thinking someone is who they aren’t), but rather about understanding that people try to put their best foot forward when they make their profiles.
This means that they will use the best photos of themselves and embellish certain attributes that may not live up to your expectations upon meeting.
Curb your expectations and be more realistic about the person you expect to show up on your first date. It’s vital to remember that online dating is a means to an end and not the end in and of itself.
3. Accept Rejection
Rejection in the online dating world is very different from rejection in real life.
Many people take matching with someone online as a sign that they are a step away from a date. This is incorrect. Matching is simply the first step of a longer process in which you get to know someone by chatting and courting.
Even if you hit it off, there are many reasons why someone would reject a first date with you.
The trick is to take it in stride and move on. Rejection doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you and attempting to prod or force the matter is one of the worst things you can do.
Just because you are in the online realm doesn’t mean your actions and comments don’t have real world implications.
Dating is about persistence, not insistence. If it’s not a match, it’s not a match.
4. Make Sure You’re on the Same Page
There are many things that attract people to online dating websites.
These include finding new friends, finding a girl/boyfriend, finding someone to share the rest of their life with, and even random hookups.
In order to avoid confusion or embarrassment, it’s critical to ensure that you are on the same page as the people you strike up a conversation with.
Of course, there are niche sites and apps for every kind of connection, but you find a little bit of everything everywhere - especially on extremely popular sites with massive member bases.
Most profiles have a section where users can specify what they are looking for, but if they haven’t, don’t be afraid to inquire. One of the great things about dating online is that people are usually blunt about their intentions.
5. Respect the Date
Congratulations, you’ve made it through the red tape and now you’re on your first date. When you get to this point, the expectations are no different compared to meeting people in real life.
This means that you should act respectful, courteous, and polite, no matter what.
If the person isn’t who you expected, there is no reason why you should treat them differently from someone who you are interested in. You wouldn’t want that done to you.
Dating is an exercise in character building. It has the potential to enrich your life and help you develop into a better, more humble person.
Don’t blow it!
About the Author
Pauline Plott is a London-based blogger who became a dating guru after learning the psychology behind modern romance and signing up for every dating website in pursuit of relationship bliss. She shares her reviews and opinions on DatingSpot.co.uk.
Be sure to check out her break down of the best UK Dating sites. HERE