If dating wasn't hard enough as it is, online dating could also be confusing. Get an overview here and figure it all out before you delve into it!
Approaching someone at a bar can be pretty horrifying if you haven't done it at least fifty times. If you slip up and you aren't smooth, then rejection can be something tough to face. It's even worse when you've been talking to someone for a while, and you can call them your friend, but when you ask about dating, it suddenly gets awkward.
Rejection isn't easy to face, but around 90% of the time, it has something to do with that first impression or approach. Of course, that's usually where the slip-ups happen, but that's one of the reasons that online dating has become such a huge thing. When you're sending that first message, you can read over it as many times as you'd like to finalize everything and make sure it sounds fine.
Stuttering doesn't exist. Pausing and thinking about a word doesn't exist. Writing messages is considerably slower than naturally speaking, and although that takes away some personality, it ensures you can get the words out properly, exactly how you mean them. Let's first have a look at the pros of online dating, and then see how they weight out with the cons.
Advantages of online dating
- As mentioned, that first impression matters when approaching someone, but when sending a message, it's much more difficult to screw it all up. As long as what you write doesn't seem too weird, you can usually get by relatively quickly.
- If you find someone in your area, it's incredibly easy to escalate your online relationship into a physical one if everything works out correctly.
- Rejection is much easier to handle since you can block a user or stop replying to them, and move on to another potential partner.
- There is usually less cost involved in online dating, simply because it's challenging to go on a date to a fancy restaurant when you aren't face-to-face with someone.
Disadvantages of online dating
- Since everything takes place online, if you're looking for a physical relationship, you may feel lacking or empty. Having someone physically with you is almost always nicer than sitting in front of a screen.
- Finding someone in your area to talk to online can be difficult if you're in a small town or neighborhood.
- There are also lots of fake profiles meant to lure people in, so these need to be watched for. In a simple manner of counting the pros versus cons, the pros do outweigh, meaning it's overall beneficial. But the cons are still valid and should be taken into consideration to see if online dating is something that interests you and is right for you.
Creating a profile
If you haven't already decided on a platform, we would like to direct you to our previous guide on the most popular dating apps. Once you have that figured out and you've signed up, it's time to build your profile!
Generally, most platforms will guide you through making your profile when you sign up or log in for the first time. This simplifies the process of having to find and enter everything manually. However, it's still somewhat familiar for people to put in random information, which may make it harder to find anyone. So we'll go over some of the typical profile fields to help you figure out what kind of things to put in them.
If you're looking to date someone, you at least want to be physically attracted to them. Whether they have an excellent physique or a pretty face is still essential, no matter how much people say, "It's what's on the inside that counts." And that statement is true too, but we'll get to it later.
A good profile picture should, at the very least, show your face clearly. As long and that's visible, you shouldn't have much trouble. Many online dating platforms will even remove pictures if they don't show your face, or if they suspect your friends are in the picture as well (a common tactic used by people to confuse others.)
To add a bit of class to the picture, try certain things. Don't go crazy on the filters, as it can also be misleading. Staring right at your camera and smiling can be useful for a starter, but it may even look like a mugshot. Mirror selfies are too frequent and lack any form of a class, so maybe get someone to take a picture of you. Maybe strike a pose or make it a picture of you doing something different, so you stand out from other people.
The description is where most people run their mouths a bit, and sometimes it drives people away. You can talk about your interests here, give some unique facts about yourself, maybe where you work, your ambitions, or anything else you'd like to include. Think of this section as a resumé, except you're looking for a partner, not a job, so that it can be a lot less formal. You don't need a whole life story here; try to keep it short, so people don't get bored reading it all.
For some reason, it's gotten commonplace to be rather hostile in this section, as well. Trust me. It doesn't work. Before talking about themselves, they list off all kinds of people they don't want to talk to. And maybe it works, perhaps those kinds of people will stay away, but there may be a lot of people who associate with those groups as well. Maybe they don't meet the threshold of the people on the list, and perhaps they would be great for the person who wrote the description. But no one would ever know, because they just wanted to drive people away.
So just be yourself here, talk about yourself, be honest, but try to prop yourself up to get people's attention.
Other information fields
These parts are usually optional, and not all platforms have them, but when they are available, it's often a good idea to fill them out. It makes your profile more authentic and organizes what would typically be in your description. People can find the information they want much more quickly, and it's a better experience for everyone.
Usually, there will be a particular field for interests and hobbies, maybe another on work and where you went to school. Your age or date of birth will also be here. It may seem like a lot of information to be giving away, but you can trust us when we say this: honesty is the best policy. No one wants to date someone online only to meet them for the first time and find out they were a completely different person.
Most of these platforms will look for people in your area, but you can find options to increase your range if you're looking for something strictly online. Keep this in mind.
Generally, the platforms will give you people, show you their profile pictures and parts of their description. You can choose either yes or no (in terms of if you're interested), and depending on your answer, and you may be presented with an option to send a message.
You can check out our other article on making friends, and that can give you a good view of starting conversations or making friends. The only real difference is that instead of just making friends, there is also a romantic element that needs to be addressed. But usually, there isn't too much variation, and that romantic idea is implied if you're on an online dating platform.
So talk about your interests, ask more about the person you're talking to, try to be interested in them. If all goes well, you should have an online dating partner! But remember, just like any other relationship, cheating still applies. Don't start multiple relationships, even if you're confident you won't get caught. It's just a lot more maintenance and difficult to deal with.
Rejection is still something that is a part of online dating. Maybe you start talking to someone, and they're not interested in you, so they tell you. The easiest thing to do in the long run is just to accept it, forget about it and move on. I mean you're not talking to someone face-to-face, it's a lot easier just like that.
Getting worked up over rejection will almost always end badly since you'll be upset, and when the person blocks you, you'll get more confused. If they gave you a chance and decided you weren't for them, don't try to change their minds. You'll start changing yourself to be with them, and then you'll get tired of having to change and keep up the act. Being yourself is the optimal path.
If you're simply looking for conversation starters, we can direct you to this fantastic list of 250 different conversation starters for all kinds of subjects or situations.
Online dating can be fun, and it's fantastic when it finally works out, and you end up meeting the person yourself. It's a great way to open a door into actually having a real physical relationship.