Online dating can be dangerous and getting involved with the wrong person can be destroy your life. How do you put the odds in your favor when screening an online date? I have broken down the top 10 tips to increase your success in the online dating world so you can date better, safer and smarter to find that special person.
1. Take time to write a careful online profile. Make sure you use proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Be honest in your profile. If you aren’t honest in your profile, what’s the point? Eventually the truth will come out so don’t mislead people into thinking you are something that you are not. You wouldn’t want someone to mislead you so don’t do it to others.
2. Have fun. The most important part when meeting new people is to relax and have fun. When beginning your correspondence by email, be cautious and private, but don’t be overly serious either. A sense of humor online is just as important as offline.
3. Describe the person that you would like to meet in the greatest detail possible. If you want to meet someone who has never been married with no children, then say so. Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of time turning people down who you have no interest in.
4. Give a detailed description of your interests, hobbies, likes and dislikes. It is just as important to describe what you like, as well as what you dislike, so you attract someone with similar interests.
5. Update your profile occasionally to keep it fresh. For example, if you just got back from a great Caribbean holiday where you learned to scuba dive, write about it. There is nothing more boring than reading a generic online dating profile that says “I love to travel and enjoy reading.” Where do you like to travel to and why? What do you enjoy reading and why? Details, details
6. Add a bunch of different photos to your profile. Your main photo should be a head shot, preferably with you smiling. If your online dating service allows, upload more shots of you in various activities such as doing a hobby you enjoy, perhaps dressed up at a formal event or even a candid shot at work or school. Refrain from uploading shots that show too much skin or are too sexy because you will attract the wrong types of people. Having a photo on your profile is mandatory because a profile with a photo gets over 9 times the amount of replies than one without. If you are unsure if the person you are communicating with is for real, ask them to take a quick digital photo holding that days newspaper. Someone who has nothing to hide, would be more than happy to oblige if they really want to meet you and are for real.
7. Be polite when communicating online. If you are scared to tell someone “no” because it may hurt their feelings, simply tell them politely that you are looking for a certain type of person with specific characteristics and not to take it personally. Say “please” and “thank you.” If someone is rude to you or offends you, simply ignore them and/or block them.
8. Do not give out personal details such as your real first and last name or telephone early on and definitely do not include these in your profile. You have absolutely no idea who is on the other side of the computer. Con artists flock to the internet because it allows them to hide behind phony online profiles. They usually correspond with dozens of people at a time hoping one will bite their hook. Take your time and pretend like you are buying a house by asking questions and researching carefully. Only give out small pieces of information after you have developed a certain level of comfort.
9. Listen to Your Intuition. If something doesn’t feel right to you, it usually isn’t. Either move on or investigate further and proceed with caution. Read, listen, and ask lots of questions. If you think you are dealing with someone who is committed or married, ask for a home phone number and/or consistently call them between the hours of 8p-11p when a commitment person is unable to answer.
10. Always meet in a public place for the first time. A good place to meet is for coffee or lunch in a busy place. Make sure you let someone know where you will be and even have them phone you during the date for a safety check or an early escape if needed. Never meet in a bar or drink alcohol the first time you meet. You simply do not know this person well enough to let your guard down that early on. If you are really nervous, take along a friend or meet in a group setting. Make sure you drive yourself. If you are traveling to meet someone, stay in your own hotel and meet in a neutral location.