Online dating doesn’t have to be hard.
To be a successful in online dating, you need a slightly different attitude toward dating in general and must master the finer points of online dating etiquette. Learning how to find love on an online dating site is a little different than meeting someone at a party or going on a blind date.
When you meet someone in person, feedback from verbal cues and body language helps you figure out whether you’re rounding home base or striking out.
But when it’s online, you’ll have to make sure that your dating profile is good enough to attract “the one” — someone you could really see yourself being with and falling in love with.
In online dating, you lose valuable visual and subliminal cues, like body language and eye contact, which makes it harder — but not impossible — to develop a winning game plan.
Follow these tips and ace your online dating profile to successfully move from “Hello” to “Let’s meet,” so you can finally meet “the One.”
1. Jump in with both feet.
Online dating is a numbers game. The more people you contact, the higher your response rate. If you send out 10 contact requests a day, you should start seeing some action before the end of the week.
Don’t agonize over what your chances are when the online profile of a hot chick or hunky guy catches your eye. Go ahead and fire off a contact request. Who knows? You could be exactly what they’re looking for.
Online dating success is mostly a matter of perseverance. With millions of people looking for love online, your perfect match is out there; you just have to find each other. Too many online daters get frustrated and quit when the love of their life may be waiting just around the corner.
2. Don’t get intimidated by someone saying “no.”
Online dating takes your ego out of the equation. If you overreach and get shot down, no one is going to see you crash and burn; so go for it.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so go ahead and contact whoever you like on your dating site!
You can’t expect to send out a couple of contact requests and make an immediate connection. It doesn’t usually work that way. The more contacts you make, the more likely you are to find your special someone.
3. Don’t act like a fool.
Not everyone you contact will decide to reply. If you don’t get a response, no matter how interested you are in the person, do not pester them with another contact request. When someone doesn’t respond, you have to get over it and move on.
Be realistic, you haven’t even met the person. There’s no emotional investment. Stop beating a dead horse. There are thousands of other daters online, and when you finally meet that special someone, you don’t want to get tripped up by online dating etiquette and blow it.
4. Keep your profile active.
Log in to your online dating site three or four times a day to keep your profile active. You’ll get more contact responses if people think you’re currently logged in.
5. Guard your privacy.
In the early stages of a relationship, it’s smart to limit contact. Don’t share email addresses and other contact information until you’re comfortable with the relationship.
6. Know when to bail.
Online dating allows you to judge someone’s relationship potential without making a huge emotional investment. If you don’t feel the person is right for you, bail out. Be courteous and tell the person you’re going to stop contact, but you don’t need to go into details.
If the person can’t take no for an answer, put a block on them.
7. Take it slow.
Take your time to get to know each other before you propose a real date. Pushing for a date too soon makes you seem desperate. Exchange a few emails, spend time chatting online, become Facebook friends, share your daily experiences by trading Tweets, schedule cell phone dates.
Don’t rush; enjoy the process of revealing yourselves to each other. By the time you’re ready to ask for a date, you’ll already be friends and you’ll both be looking forward to spending time together.
8. Watch for any “danger signs.”
If that new person you just connected with immediately demands to be taken to dinner or other expensive activities, chances are they’re just using you.
Unfortunately, some people use online dating for their own profit. Both sexes are guilty of this practice, so make sure you keep an eye out for any attempts to push you into meeting or going on a date.
If your newfound “friend” cannot understand why you want to take it slow and maybe meet for coffee or even drinks a few times before something more involved like dinner, then its time to move on to the next potential date and save yourself a lot of time and money.
9. Practice good text etiquette.
This means don’t try and make things sexual too early. Many people seem to be at a loss when it comes to texting etiquette in dating. Most men feel like they’re fumbling the ball when they text a new online date.
Learning how to text successfully isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little finesse.
Here’s how you can look better online by honing your texting skills:
- Skip the boring greetings. Texting, “Hi. What’s up?” is lame and more likely to provoke a “delete” than a response. Skip greetings; they’re time-wasters. If you want them to respond to your text, say something interesting, observational, or quirky that piques their curiosity or reveals something about your personality. Texting is flirting for online daters, so keep your comments fun and light.
- Good grammar and spelling are important. Likewise, use complete words, not textspeak. This isn’t high school. You have to create a sophisticated image if you want to attract sophisticated people.
- Keep it clean. Some people don’t respond well to profanity, so if you’re trying to come off as a class act, swearing undercuts your image. “OMG” and “WTF” are the exceptions, but use them judiciously.
- Keep them wanting more. Keep your texts short, sweet and, most importantly, infrequent. Never bombard someone with multiple daily texts. If you come on too strong, you’ll seem needy or aggressive. Too much too soon makes people uncomfortable and can scare them away. Text only when you have something relevant to share and limit texts to a two or three a week at the beginning of a relationship.
Claire Bahn is the CEO of Online Profile Pros, the largest network professional photographers, writers, and coaches across the U.S. and Canada, all dedicated to making sure your personal brand is the best it can be.