Love Online: An EMC Guide To Online Dating
You’ve been through all the usual motions. You’ve met people on nights out, perused the local ‘talent’, maybe even dated someone who is vaguely friends with someone else, so now you can’t date them either. It seems that only one way of finding your one true love is left: the beauty that is the World Wide Web.
So, where to start with online dating? As someone who was on a number of dating sites before eventually meeting my fiancée online (it can work!), here are my tips for you:
The starting point is obvious: create your profile. Ensure that you upload at least one picture of yourself (people don’t want to talk to a grey face), and write something which reflects who you are as a person, and what kind of person you are looking for. When writing your bio, don’t tell your life story – a short paragraph or two will do. It is also better to not focus too much on appearance when saying what kind of person YOU are, and what kind of person you’re looking for. Whilst attraction is important, focusing entirely on appearance does not open up the gates to romance very well. Describing your perfect kind of date (both the activity and the person) is helpful in receiving messages from the people that you really want to hear from.
How To Talk To Potential Dates
Initiating conversations with complete strangers can be a little nerve-wracking, especially if you’re someone who’s not keen on small talk. Be sure to check out someone’s bio before you actually speak to them – you may be attracted to them, but you won’t get anywhere if you have nothing in common to talk about! Although it is dreaded by some, small talk is generally a good place to start just to break the ice.
Remember not to talk to someone in a way that you would never normally talk to a stranger, because at this point, this is what they are. A compliment is nice and perfectly acceptable, but going over the top just seems a bit stalker-ish and desperate (Note: telling someone how ‘sexy’ they are etc. right off is creepy and inappropriate!). Once you have introduced yourself, you’re set to start talking about the things that will really help you to get to know one another.
Avoiding Time Wasters
The main way to avoid time wasters is to spend a sufficient amount of time speaking to someone before arranging to meet up with them. By doing this, you can get a good idea of whether or not you will get on well with that person in real life, and hopefully secure a second date or more!
Speaking of awkward dates, catfishing is a problem that you really do not want to get into (and unfortunately, I speak from experience). If you choose to put other contact details on your profile (such as your Kik name), ask the person you are speaking to to send you impromptu photos to prove that they really are who they say they are. It may seem extreme, but you could ask the person to hold up a piece of paper which has your name written on it, or something similar.
Video calling a potential date is another excellent way of ensuring that your date is not a faker, as well as testing the chemistry between the both of you. Free-flowing conversation is a reassuring sign that you will be in good company when you go for that all-important first date.
Long Distance Relationships
You may find that the person you’ve got heart-eyes for does not live in the same area as you (or at least relatively nearby). At this point, you will have to consider whether a long-distance relationship is right for you at this time. Things to think about are the likelihood of jealousy issues, how well both of you will be able to commit to each other when you’re not able to see each other as often as you’d like, and the cost of travelling to see your partner. This is by no means intended to put you off entering a long-distance relationship – they can be incredibly rewarding and with the proper communication, your relationship will be as strong (if not stronger) than any other.
Knowing When To Leave The Site
Once you’ve found your potential significant other, you will be debating whether or not suggesting an exclusive relationship between the two of you is too risky. My advice would be to follow your instincts, and answer some vital questions: have you enjoyed the time that you have spent with your date so far? Have they expressed a genuine interest in you? Can you see yourself committing to this person, and continuing to enjoy being in their company over time? If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions, go ahead and ask for that exclusive relationship.