While it seems the whole world is swiping right and left on Tinder or finding love on Match.com and eHarmony, believe it or not, every day singles come to me to tell me they’re going to try online dating for the first time.
Nine times out of 10, they are nervous and hesitant about the whole thing.
From thinking they’ll only meet creepy guys, ones who want to hook up, to wondering how much they’ll really weigh, some singles would rather go to the dentist for a root canal than create an Internet dating profile.
I’m here to tell you to toss your fears again and join the digital dating party. What do you have to lose if you’re open to the possibilities and maybe even a few laughs along the way?
Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before you try online dating for the first time:
1. Set Your Dating Goals
If you’re newly single and just had your heart broken, maybe you need to wait a few months before taking the plunge. If you just want to take a peek, go ahead and create a profile for free on one dating site and start searching profiles until you’re ready to send your first email.
In terms of what to say, if you’re looking for marriage and a long-term relationship, make sure you state it on your profile. This will push away those who have a different dating agenda. Make it known what you want and don’t settle for less.
2. Think About Your Appearance
Looking your best online is as important as looking your best when you go to an important work meeting or even a job interview. When they say a picture says a thousand words, there’s some truth to that.
If your photos look lazy, blurry or only include selfies and party shots, you probably won’t be finding your husband or new boyfriend online.
Take the time to get your profile photos professionally taken or grab a friend with a great mobile phone or digital camera and shoot 100 photos in three to five different outfits. Make sure to wear color in your primary photo and smile into the camera.
Ditch the sunglasses and let your new potential boyfriend or girlfriend see your dazzling eyes. If you’ve been sleeping with your puppy dog in bed at night, your date doesn’t need to know, so don’t post photos with your dog as your primary shot.
3. Be Unique
Who wants to walk on the beach holding hands or go on a beach picnic? We all do. As a matter of fact, my guy and I went on a romantic beach picnic last week, but I’d never list it in my “to-do” list on my profile.
Instead, mention the time you went snorkeling in the Grand Cayman Islands and how amazing it was to see all of the stingrays. This will make you appear unique, and someone else who is into snorkeling may write to you to share his or her favorite snorkeling experience.
4. Give It 100 Percent Effort
There are thousands and thousands of voyeurs on dating sites that look and peek and never take the time to reach out and say hello. If you’re signing up for a dating site for the first time, put all 10 digital toes in and view who has looked at your profile. Write someone an email to say hello.
Log on daily so a potential date can see you’re an active member instead of an inactive member. If the site sends you potential matches, view the matches, and even if you’re on the fence, click yes or swipe right.
The more you date, the better dater you become. Commit to at least six months or, better yet, one year of learning more about what you’re looking for and meeting a variety of people.
At the end of the digital day, the squeaky wheel gets the love deal. It’s time to dive in and enjoy the ride. Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace or wherever you may roam.
Photo sources: CNN.com, RolePlayGetaway.com, BuzzFeed.com, SurvivingCollege.com, UrbanTimes.co.