Founded in 1995 and responsible for the most romantic connections, Match.com is the most well-known, successful dating site around, and it’s extremely easy to figure out — whether you’re on desktop or mobile.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few tips and tricks to it that can make the experience even better. From the mindset you should have to what your profile needs and the safety precautions you should take — we’ll let you in on a few changes you can make.
Match.com Tips for Signing Up (#1)
Everything starts with the registration, and while Match’s isn’t a lengthy or complicated process, you will want to be aware of one important factor — and that’s which membership you’re signing up for. Match has three-, six-, and 12-month memberships that are affordable, but you don’t have to go with those right away or at all if you don’t want to. You can sign up for a free membership that never expires, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about it.
1. Take Advantage of a Free Membership
When you join Match, you’re automatically given a lifelong membership that doesn’t cost anything. You’ll be asked for your gender, the gender you’re seeking, your preferred age range, zip code, email address, and birthday. To streamline this part, you could also sync up your Facebook account and have Match pull your information from there.
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The next part is to tell Match more about yourself, such as your lifestyle habits, religious beliefs, and appearance, and your ideal date or partner, including their level of education, whether they have or want kids, and their political views. This part takes as long as you want it to, depending on how specific you want to be, but once you’re done, you’ll be able to upload photos, browse profiles, receive matches, like members, add members to your Favorite list, and send virtual winks — at no cost!
Match.com Tips for Guys (#2-5)
It’s not that women don’t need tips for using Match — it’s just that we get more requests for information from men. So, fellas, in this section, we’re focusing on you. Here’s what you need to know about Match:
2. Know Your Goals
You wouldn’t go into a job interview, a two-week long European vacation, or pretty much any other life situation without having some sort of plan, right? The same should go for online dating.
This doesn’t have to be some elaborate thing where you set up a vision board. Just take a couple of minutes to decide if it’s a hookup, friendship, a date, a relationship, or marriage that you’re after. Match learns from your on-site behaviors to deliver you the most compatible matches, so if you’re unsure of what you want, you won’t be getting that.
3. Don’t Be Too Picky
Yes, the best part of online dating is that you can specifically state what you want, but that doesn’t mean you have to list every single thing in your profile or get really minuscule about it. What you might accidentally end up doing is limiting yourself and receiving significantly fewer matches.
For example, is hair color a dealbreaker or a preference? What about height, career, income, movies/TV/music, pets, and diet? Probably not dealbreakers. Plus, it’s fun to go beyond your type every now and then, and you truly never know who you’re going to end up with. You could meet someone who meets all of your must-haves, but the chemistry might not be there.
4. Make A Lot of the Moves
Of course, women can and should make some moves, but why not take your love life into your own hands? Women love men who take initiative, and it will streamline the process if you “Favorite” members you like, send the virtual winks and messages, and ask for a Match phone call first.
5. Say What You Mean & Mean What You Say
Playing games, like waiting to message someone back when you think it’s been long enough so you don’t look desperate, are just a waste of time. Some singles like to focus on being the one who cares less, but it’s actually better just to be honest about yourself, what you want, and how you feel about someone.
This tip also means not agreeing to do things you don’t like to do just to get someone to like you or to show that you “have so much in common.” Your true self is going to come out eventually, so you might as well show it off right away. And women will appreciate that.
Match.com Tips for Girls (#6-8)
While both this section and the one above for the guys can apply to both genders in some way, we’ve found a couple pieces of advice that can apply specifically to the ladies. Incorporate all or some of these tips, and you’ll be ahead of the game.
6. Check the Site Every Day for an Hour
How many hours do you spend every night browsing through news or entertainment sites (I’m addicted to Buzzfeed quizzes, myself) or playing games? Tack off one of those hours and dedicate it to searching for matches and sending and answering messages on Match. If you want to succeed at anything in this world, you’re going to have to put some effort into it. Your love life will thank you!
7. Wear Red in a Profile Picture
Research from Nicolas Gueguen and Celine Jacob, of the Universite´ de Bretagne-Sud, found that women wearing red in their profiles receive more contacts from men than those who wore other colors like black, green, blue, or yellow. What could it hurt?
It doesn’t even necessarily have to be a full-on red outfit. Add some red earrings, necklace, lipstick, or scarf to your ensemble and see how many likes, Favorites, and messages you get.
8. Leave the Laundry List for the Grocery Store
It’s great that Match allows you to list out your wants and needs, but you don’t want to go too far the other way either. You could come off as demanding and needy without meaning to. Knowing what you’re looking for in a match is, of course, important, but try to keep it to the few essentials.
Match.com Safety Tips (#9-12)
With things like SSL encryption, Match is a pretty secure site all on its own. But there are some extra things you can do to keep you and your personal information safe from potential scammers and other harm.
9. Read the Site’s Safety Page
When you register for Match, one of the first things you should do is check out its Safety page. Sure, it doesn’t sound very exciting, but there’s a lot of great info on there.
This includes online advice (e.g., protecting your finances and the proper ways to message) and offline advice (e.g., telling friends where you’ll be and try to limit your drinking).
10. Never Give Out Your Personal Info
We understand that this seems like something Captain Obvious would say in those Hotels.com commercials, but we just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t say it. Without a shadow of a doubt, you should absolutely never give private details about yourself to someone you meet on a dating site. Private details can include your last name, maiden name, pet’s name, bank’s name, and address, among others. The only time you should do this is if you two have been dating for a while and you trust them completely.
Perhaps the biggest red flag, though, is if an online match asks you for money. No one with good intentions will ask an online match for money — no matter how much of a sob story they seem to have.
11. Block & Report Suspicious Members
If someone ever does ask you for this kind of information or for money, Match has ways to take care of them right away. At the left-hand corner of the profiles, you’ll see the option to block a member from contacting you or appearing in your searches. If you feel like you’re unsafe, click both of these buttons.
Also on the left side of the profiles, you should see the words “Report a concern.” Once you click those words, a pop-up will appear, and that’s when you can tell the Match team if a member is using vulgar language or photos, appears to be a scammer, is sending harassing messages, or is in violation of any of Match’s other terms.
12. Meet in a Public Place for the First Offline Date
When you’re planning the first date with someone you connected with on Match, from the outset, you should mention meeting at the agreed-upon location. Don’t offer to pick them up and politely decline if they offer to pick you up.
Make sure the date is at a place or in an area you’re familiar with, where there will be a good number of people, plenty of lights and exits, and where you can get an Uber if you need to. On the day or night of the date, it won’t do any harm to also let your family and friends know who you’ll be with and where.
Match.com Profile Tips (#13-17)
Your profile is like your online dating résumé, and if you want to get the job, you better have a damn good one. We’ve compiled a quick list of the most important things you should do for your profile.
13. Update It Once a Week
Match, as well as many other dating websites, list new and updated profiles higher in search results, so if you want to get more eyes on you, then we’d recommend making a few tweaks once at week.
All you have to do is things like switch out or add some pictures, reword your text or list some other hobbies, and expand your distance. Members who’ve been on Match for a while will think you’re someone they skipped over, while new members will get to see your bright, smiling face first thing when they log on.
14. Don’t Make Grammar Mistakes
Bad grammar is the ultimate online dating killer. Even two mistakes means you’re 14% less likely to get a response. This is something you have a lot of control over. Have someone proofread your work before you post it, or download a grammar app (there are several good ones out there).
15. Vary Up Your Pictures
You probably wouldn’t be very excited if you went to someone’s profile and they only had one photo or they all were portraits, so don’t do that with your own profile. Mix it up with portraits, full-body photos, action shots, and the like. This will give people a quick look into who you are before they’ve even messaged with you. Princeton University says people only take one-tenth of a second to form an opinion about someone, and you don’t want it to be a bad opinion — or worse, a boring one.
16. Be Confident & Funny
We all assume that people are drawn to those who are funny, but it’s also backed up by science. According to a study posted on eHarmony, men and women are attracted to online daters who describe themselves as funny. It’s OK if in-your-face funny doesn’t come naturally — just do what works for you such as sarcasm or self-deprecating humor.
Confidence is another trait that will get you a long way on Match.com and in life, in general. We’re not saying you have to talk about yourself a lot, but don’t be afraid to be proud of your accomplishments and the type of person you are.
17. It’s All About the Details
Pretty much every person I know loves movies, traveling, good food, and hanging out with friends, and I bet most of the people you know do, too. It’s not bad to say you like doing these things, but if you want to stand out from the 30 million people who are on Match, you’ll have to be more specific. What movies do you like and why? Where do you like to travel and why? What kind of food do you like, why do you like it, and can you cook it? What do you and your friends do when you hang out and why? You’ll notice the common denominator here is the why.
Take Your Match Experience to the Next Level!
Match is a great dating site and has become one thanks to the team’s hard work, innovation, passion, and dedication to its members. But it doesn’t hurt to improve your chances of success even more, and that’s what the above tips are for. Once you’ve mastered the art of using Match.com, finding that special someone will be a breeze.