Online dating success stories compel many singles to give it a shot, but there is still some skepticism surrounding it. Moving past the unnatural feeling of finding love online may be the first hurdle to overcome, but understanding the difference between online dating and offline dating is just as important. In most cases, you can stifle frustration by setting proper expectations.
The best way to utilize online dating is to be crystal clear in what you want. Understand it may take time to find a particular person, and you may have to risk a few flops along the way to get to the man or woman of your dreams. Follow these guidelines to get the most out of your experience.
1. Determine Your Distance
Can’t seem to find a date locally? Distance is actually a huge advantage of online dating. You can connect with people you would otherwise never meet.
If you live in a small town, you may only have access to the same 20 profiles, but if you widen your search range, there could be hundreds more to discover. If you are saying no because you fear that distance will be an obstacle you cannot overcome, you may be making assumptions about possibilities that you will never see the result of.
We live in a fast food culture, and value convenience a little too much in my opinion. Don’t let the idea of a little inconvenience hinder the potential of a great thing.
2. Give Yourself A Year
This is one that no one wants to hear. A year sounds so long. However, by giving yourself a year to honestly try, you should be able to meet plenty of quality candidates. (Of course, there is always the chance you could immediately connect with Mr. or Mrs. Right!)
I find that most people who only try for a month typically walk away feeling the experience was a failure, but it’s important to remember that online dating is different than just meeting someone in person. It might take a little longer to find someone you have chemistry with.
3. Know Exactly What You Want
If you don’t know what you want with clarity, you won’t know who your efforts are worth if they come along. Spend time really thinking about what it important in a lifelong mate.
4. Don’t Let Bad Experiences Ruin Possibility
Allow for some awkwardness. You can’t really know someone in just one date, just as you can’t see everything someone has to offer in one paragraph of a profile. Give second chances when you’re not sure, and let the duds roll off your back.
5. Move Things Offline
Online dating should not be a replacement for getting to know someone. The sooner the you meet, the sooner you will truly know if a person is right for you. So, try to move things offline as soon as possible. Go have that coffee date, and make it about just meeting each other. Set your assumptions aside and let the situation unfold as it will naturally.
6. Keep Your Expectations In Check
Don’t be so picky that no one is good enough. You are not going to know everything about someone just by looking at their profile. If on a scale of 1-10, your interest is at least a 6, then send a message or a response. I’d say give it 3-5 responses minimum, then see where it goes from there. If you are not feeling it, just be honest and let the other person know.
7. Maintain Your Profile
Update your profile regularly – about once every month. Add a few new photos, change your main profile picture and re-write your main bio. What you say this time might be the magic that someone needed to read and be intrigued enough to reach out to you. Successful online dating comes with some upkeep.
Online dating offers the ability to connect to people far beyond your day to day life. It also affords some shortcuts that are not available in offline dating; after all, no one walks around with their bio pasted on the front of their shirt. Online dating affords us the ability to take more risks with less commitment. It may not be for everyone, but if you can accept the difference between the two, and treat online dating like an entirely different experience, you increase your chances for success.