Does it seem like you’re having little or no success with online dating?
If so, you’re not alone. Almost 50 million Americans have tried online dating across thousands of available platforms.
And while a few get lucky in love, it seems like the rest of us are still searching for that perfect match.
Wondering how to succeed at online dating? Setting up a great profile is a start, but that alone won’t lead to online dating success.
Here are our best online dating tips to bring you one step closer to finding love.
1. Be Clear About What You Want
The 8,000 dating sites worldwide indicate that everyone is looking for something different when it comes to love.
Whichever site(s) you choose is up to you–just make sure the site’s goals and ideals align with your own. If you’re looking for a serious, long-term relationship, set up profiles on sites that are geared toward finding “true love.”
If you just want to keep it casual, that’s alright too. This site has more information for those interested in casual dating and hookups.
2. Choose the Right Profile Picture
Give a lot of thought to your main profile picture, as this is a potential date’s first introduction to you.
They will see this photo and form an opinion of you before they read your profile (more on that in a minute), so choose wisely. You only get one chance to make a first impression!
Select a photo that’s clear, flattering, and recent. It should show that you’re a fun, relaxed, and balanced individual. You don’t want to come across as being uptight or shy, but you don’t want to appear to be in love with yourself either.
Unless you’re on the lookout for casual hookups, avoid profile pictures that feature too much skin. No one seeking a serious relationship will take you seriously if all they can see is your cleavage.
3. Define What Makes You Unique
Many dating profiles fall flat because they focus on cliches.
You like watching movies? So does everyone else.
You’re looking for someone with a sense of humor? Of course you are–no one likes being with a grump.
Dig deeper here and find some things to put in your profile that make you unique. Have you shared in any volunteer work or other projects close to your heart? Have you traveled to some unusual places for business or leisure?
You don’t want to brag or boast, but you don’t want to sound timid or shy either. Try to find that happy medium so others can get a true sense of who you are and what makes you tick.
If in doubt, ask a trusted friend to read over your profile before you post it. They may even think of something great you missed (or fail to recognize about yourself).
4. Avoid the Urge to Lie (Or Stretch the Truth)
While we’re on the topic of your profile, we can’t stress the importance of honesty.
A few exaggerations might make your profile more appealing–at first–but what happens when you meet your date in real life? If you claim to speak another language and your date surprises you by learning a few phrases, you’re going to look like an idiot.
Ditto for listing your weight as 150 pounds when in reality you’re closer to 200. Your date is going to find out the truth eventually, so why not be honest upfront and avoid wasting everyone’s time?
5. Personalize Your Message
Once you’ve created your profile, it’s time to browse and find someone to connect with.
Even if the person you’re considering is drop-dead gorgeous, avoid the urge to open your message with a physical compliment. 1) They’ve heard it before, and 2) They’ll immediately question your motives.
Instead, spend some time on their profile. Read it thoroughly and find something specific to ask about.
Do you share a mutual love of Audrey Hepburn films? Craft beers? Labradoodles? Did you major in the same subject in college or travel to the same foreign country?
Show genuine interest in something on their profile–preferably something you have in common. Ask questions without prying, and don’t be afraid to use a few emojis to express yourself.
6. Stay Safe & Use Common Sense
No article about online dating would be complete without mentioning personal safety.
Yes, the majority of people on your dating site are legitimate and harmless. Still, you can never be too careful–especially as a woman.
Only communicate through the site’s messaging system. Never give out personal information, such as your phone number, workplace, or neighborhood.
When you do decide to meet up, make sure it’s a public place with plenty of people around. Restaurants and coffee shops are popular options, but you might also consider a concert, an art fair, or another local event.
It’s easy to get carried away if you feel like you hit it off with someone–but that’s no excuse to do something stupid. If the person you’re messaging comes on too strong or something feels “off,” don’t ignore it.
That gut feeling you have might just save your life.
7. Be Open-Minded
We all have a “type,” and that’s fine–as long as you don’t let it limit you.
The whole purpose of online dating is to connect with someone you may never have met–or even noticed–in real life. If you limit your search to blondes only, you could be missing out on a world of great brunettes.
The same goes for browsing people’s profiles. Not everyone has professional photographs or a talent for describing themselves in writing.
If someone seems interesting and nice, reach out and message them–even if their profile isn’t mind-blowing. By keeping an open mind, you may form a connection with someone you never would have expected.
The Best Online Dating Tips: Now You Know
So, which of these online dating tips will you use first?
Whether it’s updating your profile or focusing on first date etiquette, the tips above will help you succeed.
Did you finally find the perfect someone–but he or she lives far away? Click here for expert advice on how to make a long-distance relationship work.