If you’re like me, you know a few people who’ve met their boyfriend/fiancé/husband through the Internet. I have a friend who technically met her husband through MySpace and a coworker who met her fiancé through eHarmony. With one in ten Americans admitting to using a dating website, finding a romantic counterpart through the Internet is no longer unheard of or overly stigmatized. I was one of those people that decided to try it out after a “why not” moment. But, trying these sites (yes, I tried multiple) on a whim didn’t allow me to mentally prepare for what I might encounter. So for those thinking about joining a dating site or app, here are a few online dating tips for those who have never tried it before.
You won’t automatically get #chose upon signing up.
Just because you’ve filled out your profile and added the cutest professional/selfie/cropped out friend party shots doesn’t mean that some extremely handsome guy will be taken aback and automatically message you within the first 24 hours.
Don’t come off defensive nor desperate.
I’ve heard of people encountering pages where women were either really selective or too eager for attention. Remember, what you put out is what you’ll receive. Look at what you put in your profile and remove anything that might display you in a bad light.
You don’t have to respond to every message you get.
Don’t compromise your standards just because someone with two kids and a partial Bachelor’s degree and a cute smirk sent you a message. If you wouldn’t entertain them off the computer, don’t do it now.
Certain dating sites have certain reputations.
Do your research first. If you want a relationship, one site could potentially be better than another. If you just want someone to hang out with as you’re tired of doing the matinee thing alone every weekend, another site might be better. Ask your friends and just search the Internet for what others have to say.
Just because you think he’s cute and you’re both on this dating site doesn’t mean a thing.
Yea, so you winked or poked or whatever the guy that seems like he has his life together. And then you wait, and wait, and wait a little bit more. You saw that he viewed your page and still, no bite. Welp. Every now and then, he’s just obviously not that into you.
You might have to evaluate what you really want.
Is it really crucial that he must abide by your “no contact on Thursdays during Scandal” rule? Is it ok if he’s one or two semesters away from graduating? What if he has a somewhat decent full-time job but works the night shift? All the hypothetical situations you’ve run through in your mind might actually be on display in the form of a dating profile. Sometimes, something has to give.
Don’t check your page/account every day. Try checking 2-3x a week. You’re going to get used to seeing the SAME faces over and over again. Eventually someone you either overlooked or is new to the site might appear in your potential matches and who knows…
You might not meet anyone at all.
A sad reality to this online dating game is that you could leave just as #unchose as you came. Your friends have successful online dating encounters, but that doesn’t happen to everyone. If you’ve given yourself a certain period of time and still feel unsatisfied with the selection you’ve been given, deactivate your account. Come back later, if you need to.
To be honest, signing up for a dating site is a gamble. The same guys you’d swerve in real life are online. Some might be the one for you and some might not. You could always take this as an opportunity to get a free meal and to network, if anything at all. And remember to be very careful. Let someone you trust know if you ever decide to meet someone in person.