Online dating is slowly but very surely becoming the new normal way to meet people. Whether you are looking for a friend, a casual relationship or a long-term commitment, all you have to do is put yourself out there.
The decision to join the bandwagon and try it out can be both exciting and scary. Maybe you have given up on all those failed blind dates your parents are always planning? Or you’re curious to see what all the hype about online dating really is?
Whatever your reasons, you need to be prepared for your journey through the virtual universe that is internet romance.
Below are ten things you need to know to get you started off on the right foot.
1. It can actually work…
This is for all the skeptics out there. If you think online dating is a huge waste of time, then you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.
These services can and do actually work out for many of the people involved. There are hundreds of success stories out there with people having met their perfect matches on these services.
All you have to do is be patient. It might not happen right away, but if you are open to it and you know what you want, you are bound to find it eventually.
2. …but it doesn’t always work out
This fun fact, on the other hand, is for all the hopeless romantics. If you think that online dating will get your disaster-of-a-love-life together, then you might be in for a rude shock.
Yes, we just said that online dating does work; but not for everyone. Sometimes it is just not meant to be.
It’s very important to understand this point if you do not want to end up completely crushed and disappointed. The best thing to do is to have a cautiously optimistic attitude. Hope for the best but also expect the worst.
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3. Do not put all your eggs in one dating service
There are hundreds of online dating services out there, and they all cater to different relationship needs. If you are interested in online dating, it would probably be best to try out multiple services. The main reason for this is to broaden your horizons. Having active profiles in multiple sites, including international sites for dating Asian or Latin singles, significantly increases your chances of finding the perfect match.
4. With most services, it’s basically like a second job
Online dating is not all fun, games and happily ever afters. You will have to put in the work if you hope to be successful!
You need to set up and maintain an interesting profile and take time to go through hundreds of other profiles to find people you might be interested in. Once you find these people, you still have to invest time and energy into communication to get to know them better. It isn’t easy, but it is definitely worth it. And also a lot easier than traditional dating.
However, if you do not want to turn your love life into a part-time job, then you could invest in premium matchmaking dating services. In this case, all you do is sign up, fill in a few questionnaires and let experts do the heavy lifting. This saves you a lot of time and energy but will cost you money.
5. Take your time
There is no need to rush anything with online dating. In fact, the slower you take it, the better your chances of success.
Taking it slow allows you to meet numerous people and get to know them enough before taking the next step. It also saves you time. How? You don’t have to invest emotions and time on Mr. or Mrs. Wrong only to be disappointed when it doesn’t work out.
6. Be honest about what you want
People use online dating services for different reasons. Some want to find the love of their lives, settle down and live happily ever after. Others want a casual fling or a hookup just to pass the time. Some are just curious about what is out there.
What are your reasons?
Answering this question and staying true to yourself is one of the best ways to get the most out of online dating. It is also important to be transparent with people you are interested in to avoid disappointment or misunderstanding.
7. Do not share more than you should
For successful online dating, you need to be willing to be open and vulnerable. However, this doesn’t mean that you give your heart to everyone who swipes right or likes your profile.
It is important to exercise restraint, especially regarding the information you share. So, don’t go divulging your deepest darkest secrets to someone without getting to know them first.
8. Remember that you owe no one anything
If you have a problem saying no to people, then online dating will be challenging. This is because you will find yourself receiving attention and interest from people you might not feel the same about.
In this case, it is important to remember that you do not owe anyone anything. Therefore, you don’t have to go out on a date or meet up simply because someone asked and you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
9. Beware of the shady characters out there
One of the most important things you need to know as a newbie in online dating is that not everyone on these sites is genuine. There are a lot of shady characters.
Some are out to play with your emotions; others are after your money. It is therefore very important to be cautious when interacting with strangers on these sites.
10. It’s never that serious; so have fun
Finally, remember always to have fun. Meet new people, make new friends and make this an adventure. Online dating will work for you in time so do not stress yourself waiting for The One.
Online dating has its fair share of perks and risks. The only way to ensure that you get through the experience unscathed is by being informed and prepared.
With the ten tips, tricks and hacks provided above; you should have all you need to navigate these tricky waters. We hope you can make the most of online dating services, whether looking for love abroad or in your backyard.