I’m relatively new to the world of online dating. After hearing a lot of positive stories from friends, I put myself on both OKCupid and Tinder. Both services use your location to match you with people via basic compatibility methods. Tinder uses your Facebook friends and likes to match you with similar people, and OkCupid uses a basic personality test-like questionnaire. Both connect to users’ social media to provide images. Based on some tough lessons learned, here are my five key tips to online dating success:
Post real photos
Eventually people will find out what you really look like. Choose flattering pictures, but don’t post group photos, abstract images or other deep symbols, many online daters simply bypass anyone with them. Don’t make me look through four or five group photos just to figure out which one you are. While modeling shots are not necessary, I like to see a mix of dressed-up, cleaned-up pics, along with some natural action shots and that’s what I provide on my profile.
Get to the point
The whole idea is to meet and go out with other people, not chat online. Once you establish any kind of communication,I suggest suggesting a meeting. And a casual approach usually works best, “Hey I really like talking to you, do you want to meet up for a drink sometime?” usually works for me. Obviously a bit of chat back and forth is good to get a basic idea of someone’s personality.
Others may have different opinions on this, but I still think honesty is the best policy. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, say so. If you’re looking for casual friendship, say so. I will suggest females should not say they’re looking for casual hook-ups (even if they are) as they will be overwhelmed with responses. Conversely, I don’t recommend guys be that brutally honest as it has the reverse effect and they will reduce their potential responses greatly.
I think the same policy of honesty applies to people you’re communicating with. If you don’t want to meet them or communicate anymore, just let them know. Most online services have easy features allowing blocking for people who don’t get the message.
Start with drinks
Be casual at first. There’s no need to meet for a formal, expensive dinner or date. Be upfront and suggest an initial meeting over a drink. If it goes well, it can turn into many drinks or you can head somewhere for dinner. If it doesn’t go well, you’ve only lost an hour and the cost of one (or two) drinks.
Online dating is a great way to meet new people. Online dating is also a great way to meet predators, weirdos, freaks and sociopaths. Go with your gut feeling, if you don’t like someone, don’t communicate. Watch out for signs of instability, if people are rich, successful and happy with their lives, they wouldn’t be online dating.