Some women get super lucky. They manage to meet their soulmate online and live happily ever after. The rest of us mortals endlessly correspond with men they never meet. Or we end up going out with men who aren’t interested in relationships. Worse still, we end up agreeing to dates with guys we know aren’t good for us. Does this all seem like a giant waste of time to you? It can be. But the thing is, online dating is just a tool. It’s all in the way you use it.
How you approach the online dating experience is what’s going to make all the difference. It can either be a significant waste of your precious time or the best way for you to meet guys, get dating practice and find Mr. Right. If you’re looking for love and don’t want to waste your time online, follow these ten tips:
1. Be careful.
Don’t put yourself in danger. It’s always best to meet a new acquaintance in a public place. Don’t reveal too much about yourself in your profile. You don’t want just any man to be able to track you down at work or home. When going on a date with a man, always let a trusted friend or family member know where you are. It’s also not a bad idea to have your friend or family member follow you to the date location, so they know you got there safely, and what your date looks like.
2. Wait for men to contact you.
Although we’re modern women who don’t have to wait for men to ask us out, you can tell a lot more about a man’s level of interest if you do.
Is he online looking for women to meet and found your picture and profile appealing? If he doesn’t contact you, he might be among the 30% of online daters who never even go out on a date with anyone online. He also may not be attracted to you, which is almost always a deal breaker for a future relationship. If you want more than a date or two, don’t waste your time initiating contact.
3. Don’t be his pen pal.
It’s true (but rare) that couples can correspond for years and end up in a relationship. However, the chances of it working out are very slim. If you are looking for love, stick with people who suggest a real-life meeting or at least a video chat within the first few emails. Otherwise, you really don’t know if he even looks like his picture.
4. Don’t settle for crumbs.
Any man who can’t bother to put his best foot forward by sending you a nice email just isn’t that interested. He might send you a “wink” because he thinks you’re cute, but you live too far away for him to consider dating you seriously. He’s just saying “hi.” Or maybe he’s conflicted about something else about you or about dating in general. Don’t write him back.
5. Don’t be influenced by online dating sites.
These sites want you to pursue men and be delighted when a man shows the tiniest bit of interest, like sending you a wink. Don’t fall for it. It might be better for the site if you’re asking men out or writing men who aren’t interested, but it’s not the best option for you. With online dating sites, you have to look out for your best interests, because the company only cares about its bottom line.
6. Post your best photos.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so ask someone to take photos of you when you’re looking your best.
7. Don’t lie.
There’s no point in posting a photo that is several years old or many pounds lighter. You may be tempted to think that he’ll like you when he gets to know you, but it’s more likely that he’ll wonder whether he can trust you to be honest with him. Put yourself in his shoes. You don’t like it when people lie to you, right?
8. Be positive.
It’s not in your best interest to use your profile to complain about men or dating. When you say things like, “you don’t want liars or cheaters” to contact you, you’re just showing that you’ve had some unpleasant dating experiences. It’s better to expect good things from online dating. It can also be off-putting for honest guys to deal with bitterness.
9. Take it slow.
Even if your first date goes well, remember that he is still virtually a stranger. Continue to meet him in public places until you get to know him better, and don’t rush into bed with him. This will protect your safety, but it will also protect your heart from unnecessary pain and heartache from crash and burn relationships.
10. Appreciate nice men.
In a culture where the focus is on appearance, we can be tempted to prioritize how he looks over how well he treats you. Dating a man who is good looking, but doesn’t treat you with respect is not a good use of your time. You may not want to date a man you don’t find attractive, but at least value being treated with respect, no matter how he looks.
Do you use these ten tips in your online dating life? Which will you start to use if you don’t already, and how has online dating worked for you so far? Feel free to share in the comments section.