In last week’s column, I wrote about online dating and how it can be a good way to meet someone special. Signing up on an online dating site can open up many new opportunities to meet new people and possibly your perfect match. Through my professional experience and my own personal online dating experiences (where I met my husband), I’ve compiled some actionable tips and advice to help you present your best self online and to bring the greatest chances for online dating success.
Check these online dating success tips to consider…
The first thing you’ll do when signing up on an online site is create a profile. This is basically your resume and your calling card. The saying goes that “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” This is certainly true in life and especially when making your online profile. Although you can’t always control who the site will match you with, you can control your online profile and how you present yourself.
Most importantly when submitting your profile, focus on quality photos. Your photos should be an accurate representation of you. Think of your photos as a tool to show who you are. Although your photo doesn’t need to be professional, you may choose to invest in professional shots if you feel they’re needed. Professional or not, your best photo should show you looking open, with a warm smile, a casual body pose, and wearing nice colors that complement you. Your photos should also represent the “real” you. It’s a well-known fact that many online daters are less than truthful with their photos, either by using very outdated ones or those that may not show how they really look. Choose a photo that your closest friends and family would immediately recognize as you! (Hint: skip the selfie in the mirror!)
The next tip is to show your personality. It’s easy to fly through the online dating questionnaires and profile questions without much thought as to how you’re coming across, but this is a big mistake! After your photo, your profile and the accompanying questions are a big part of your first impression. Do your best to write in a compelling, interesting way that features your personality. If you’re funny, show that. Sarcastic? Add a witty comment. Spend time focusing on your best qualities. Instead of “I love sports and going to football games,” try something like: “To say I like sports would be an understatement. Most Sundays, you’ll catch me at a football game cheering on my favorite team.” Subtle changes will make your profile come alive with personality.
This next bit of advice is incredibly important when dating anywhere – but especially online. You need to do your best to stay open. When joining online dating sites, people often have very high expectations for finding “perfect” matches, i.e. those who have ideal looks, personalities or hobbies. While it’s great to have an idea of who you’re looking for, realize that not everyone will be ideal. It’s important to really read the profiles and get to know someone as best you can. Send them an introductory message, send a few emails, and then make your decision. As with normal dating, first impressions are important, but it’s important to not judge someone too hastily. Put some effort into seeing past that initial impression.
Finally, the most important piece of advice is to be honest. Many people choose to be less than truthful, and some even downright lie. In my opinion, that accomplishes nothing and only hurts others who are trying to do their best. Lying on your profile is pointless too, since you’ll ultimately meet your match in person. It’s easy to see that you don’t look anything like your profile, or find out you misrepresented yourself about your personality or hobbies. Then, even if you make it through the awkward first date, you’ll be starting a relationship off on the wrong foot. Be yourself and be honest. The person who is right for you will love you for you.
Online dating can be tough, and it takes some effort to present yourself in a compelling and interesting light. Spend some time on your profile, take care to present great photos of yourself, be open to the process and your potential matches, and ultimately, be honest – on the site and with yourself. If you follow these tips, you’ll have fun and may even find your soul-mate!
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Check these Online Dating Success Tips to Consider When you are Dating Online. What to Do Before you Start Dating Online. Advices Before Online Dating!