Online Dating Guide: How To Online Date Successfully. The ultimate guide to how to online date successfully, including tips for successful online dating.
We are going to begin by addressing in brief some of the key issues that relate to Online Dating success. A number of the points raised here will be addressed in more detail further into the guide for online dating but for now we will discuss them in a general sense. These ten points ahead are what we, and a number of industry experts believe are the critical factors on the path to prosperity when seeking love or relationships online.
Navigating the waters of cyber dating has become increasingly difficult in recent years due in part to the rapid growth of the industry. For many who have tried or considered Online Dating to find a partner the concept has become progressively daunting. Simply put, it doesn't have to be that way. With a little help and a cautious approach the experience can be both fun and advantageous. It certainly shouldn't bean arduous experience and the following tips will guarantee that it isn't. Not only will this advice help to improve your experience but it will also increase your chances of success.
Online Dating services are estimated to be responsible, at least in part, for tens of thousands of marriages each and every year. The numbers continue to grow and are virtually impossible to calculate but it is a sure and certain fact that large numbers of singles are finding and forming permanent bonds online. The following information will assist you to better understand the industry as a whole, your own personal requirements and whom that special person is that you seek.
The number one tip is to correctly determine the service type that best suits your needs. Online dating services can be broadly defined into five different categories. We have discussed these differing site varietals in more detail in another tips for online dating but for the purpose of classification here they can be broken down as:
Once you have a grasp of the options available choose a site that best suits your personal needs. General services provide members with an option to view the profile of anyone who has posted one. The main aim of these sites is to promote dating in general.
Relationship services have a more specific purpose and do most of the work for you. They will match you with members based on compatibility analysis that is typically derived via the completion of an intensely detailed profile form that paints a very specific picture of the individual. These sites are very much intended for users who are extremely serious about finding a long-term relationship or marriage.
Social networking sites are less dating specific but still an option for those seeking love online. They allow you to develop a group of friends and potentially find someone to date along the way.
Niche dating services are interest specific sites that aim to bring people together who share a commonality or desire. The combined Online Dating services are the industries latest trend. These sites combine the online experience with offline applications. For example, they may allow you to post a profile then arrange speed dating parties in your local area with members based on the information you have provided, another example is HIV dating.
Tip number two is perhaps the most important of all. Set your personal safety standards. From the moment you register on any service through to that very first meeting it is critical that you maintain your own levels of personal safety. Unfortunately the industry does attract some unscrupulous characters and personal safety has become a key issue for anyone seeking connections online.
The single most important point to make is to ensure you don't provide any personal information until you are totally certain whom you are connecting with. One of the most common mistakes people make on dating sites is giving potential dates their phone number. As innocuous an act as this may seem it is critical to avoid taking this step until such time as you are assured your date is who they say they are.
Next and equally important is to make sure you meet in a public place for that first date. We have made this mistake myself early on in the piece and we will never make it again for reasons we will elaborate on later. Request a recent photo! In a recent study it was found the average age of a profile photo is 96 days old. Take out the very common snaps that are shot at the time a member signs up and this figure blows out dramatically. We have in the past had contact with members who have admitted (after pushing) that their profile pictures were 10 years old. Finally, trust your gut, it's usually right!
Number three on the list is to spend some time preparing your profile. Make it a winner from day one! There's no point in going about this critical stage of the process half-baked! Your profile is your ticket to success and we have addressed this issue in more detail in another tips for online dating. Take your time over what is essentially your key ingredient and get it right, as it will determine if a member makes the choice to contact you or not. The best advice provided by the largest sites themselves suggests that you make your profile lively, fun, positive and confident. We heartily agree. No one wants to spend there valuable time reading through a boring pile of steaming crap. That's about as nicely as we can put it after having reviewed hundreds if not thousands of member profiles over the years. If a member finds your profile of interest and a stand out from the crowd your chances of connection increase dramatically.
The next critical element for success is your profile or gallery photos. Most importantly, make them recent. If you don't it will only cause problems later on down the track and perhaps even bring what may have been a great connection to a screaming halt. Think about it from the point of view of your own searches, the very first thing that captures your attention is the profile photo. It's the photos job to draw potential dates in to read your profile. The topic of profile photos is also discussed at more length elsewhere but it's important to note here that the generic snap is no longer going to cut it. Take some time to get this element right. Think about what colors work best on you, the clothes that you're wearing, if you're male... shave! The little things count.
Also consider creating some interest in the photo. We spoke with a person once who said he had gone to the bother of hiring a NASA astronauts suit. Perhaps this is a little over the top but the point was he created interest and it worked. He told us that his contact rate increased six fold inside of one week and it had everything to do with the outfit. The point here is that he created interest and gave the person contacting him something to say. This is the key; give your potential date something to contact you about. Consider the fact that they might be shy or just not know what to say. If you give them a lead in it works for both of you.
Point number five is all about communication. We can't stress enough the importance of being able to communicate effectively. That very first message you send may well be the most important message you will ever send in your life, and you should always consider that to be the case. Simply put, it will determine whether or not they decide to message you back. Don't be afraid to personalize the message a little and ask some questions. Engage your contact with queries about them deduced from information you have drawn from their profiles. For your own sake don't send a "one liner". They rarely work and will usually make you look like a complete moron. It's okay to provide a subtle (and we mean subtle) compliment but don't place them on a pedestal. It can have the negative effect of belittling you and cast an inference of a lack of confidence on your part. Allow us to explain - at this early stage you don't really know the person you're contacting. Given that simple slice of knowledge how can you effectively provide a genuine compliment. If you are going to engage at this level keep it simple... "You have a great smile" or similar is enough.
Even though it shouldn't need to be said this next tip relates to how you treat others. To give it to you straight... be respectful! Over and above anything else it will enhance your own character and charm. The point We aretrying to make here is, if you have decided to move on after meeting someone online, let him or her know. Don't just drop off the face of the earth. It is widely considered that this is the most common complaint received by Online Dating services. In one particular online survey members confirmed this by stating that someone they had been communicating with simply disappeared. Let's face it, this is at best a little disrespectful! It doesn't take much to send a short polite message to advise someone you are moving on. It gives them the chance to do the same.
We rate this next issue as another of the critical pieces of advice we can provide. Tip number seven relates to the truth! From the other end of cyber space it is easy to spill a few white lies along the way. The problem is they are likely to come back and bite you on the backside, and rightly so! Online untruths take on many varied forms such as posting out of date photos, deceptive age notifications, distorted income or employment status and my pet peeve, body type subterfuge. Overweight does not mean athletic, slim or petite. At the very best it might fit into the categories of cuddly or curvy but anything else is a blatant deception.
Whatever that little white lie you tell is, it will no doubt come back to haunt you eventually. Consider this, why are you looking for love online? If it's for anything more than finding and developing connections that may lead to something permanent then keep it real! Always be honest even if you think it may harm your chances of success. If you don't they are likely to be harmed anyway further down the track and waste yours and your contacts time in the process. The added benefit is that you won't have to struggle with remembering every tiny bit of bullshit you spin.
Point number eight has a modest connection with tip number seven as it relates in some way to truth. This is about knowing how to spot a married person online. The sad truth is that around 1⁄4 of members of Online Dating sites are married. The really sad truth about that is that over 1/2 of them don't or won't tell you they are. Whether they are looking for a way to cheat or simply seeking knowledge of what they may have "missed out" on, the absolute certain fact is that they are a menace to those seeking an honest relationship.
So, how do you spot the Online Dating pariahs? The first thing to look out for is in the nature of their communication. Is it irregular? Is it non-committal? Is it difficult to reach them directly once phone communication has begun? This is an interesting point, as more often than not you will get the answering service when you call. If they do return your call it will most likely be with a degree of irregularity as it only happens when they can sneak in a call. M ore often than not they either post a shocking indecipherable photo or no picture at all on their profiles. When this is the case it's blatantly obvious they are trying to avoid being spotted by someone they may know. The single best reason we can provide for avoiding married people online is this... "Once a cheater, always a cheater!"
The second last key ingredient to success is all about that critical first date. We can't stress enough the importance of making it memorable! Successful Online Dating doesn't just come from getting that first date. It's about how well you do on that date as well. For this reason it's vital your first date leaves a lasting impression for both of you. Someone once said "you never get a second chance at making a first impression". How true that is! The best advice we can provide is to be confident. Why shouldn't you be? You got this far so why not expect things to work out well. Confidence is said to be the single most attractive quality sought by online daters so it's fair to say it's the most important weapon in your arsenal. We will discuss some tips for first dates further later; we have your bases covered.
Lastly, and not of the least importance by any stretch of the imagination, is the issue relating to becoming a Serial Online Dater. Believe us, over the years we have met, spoken with and even dated a few of them. One authority on the topic recently coined this individual as a "Professional Online Dater". It's not far off the mark! I'm still not sure if it relates to confidence issues or just a simple belief that there is always the chance of finding someone better. Either way it has now been labeled as an addiction, which we find quite amusing. The problem is though that the addiction is very real and harmful because of the effect it has on potential relationships. Chances are that the Serial Online Dater has left a number of broken hearts in their path.
So how do you spot them in order to avoid them? It's actually not always an easy thing to do but we will attempt to give you some basics as a heads up! Typically they will be members of a number of Online Dating sites, and they will be going out on dates on an unusually regular basis. If they take the next step and enter into a relationship they will just hide their profile as opposed to deleting it completely and at the first sign of trouble they will become active once again. These are the kinds of contacts you make that just drop off the face of the earth and have little regard for the feelings of others as mentioned earlier.
Now there are two things of relevance here! First is to know how to spot one, the second and perhaps more important is to know how not to become one. Perhaps the benefit of being forewarned is enough to limit the chances of issue number two, all we can suggest is that you always maintain an awareness of the possibility and do unto others as you would have done unto you.
There is a different set of rules and social standards for Online Dating as opposed to "offline dating". If you conduct yourself with the correct decorum while communicating with potential partners online you will make some wonderful connections and perhaps even meet the love of your life. So, what is proper online dating etiquette and how should you best present yourself?
Online dating is all about connections via messages. One of the most significant problems you will face is the potential lack of response, it can leave you feeling despondent and with an impression the process isn't working for you. We always advise anyone with these concerns to simply avoiding placing all of your eggs in one basket. It's a common mistake and your best course of action is to not put all of your hopes on one individual until the connection is on solid ground. It's okay to send messages to more than one person and in fact considered normal practice. The facts indicate that only around 30% of messages actually receive a response and they aren't all positive.
Try your best to reply to every message you receive, even if you're softly letting someone down. In my opinion not responding is rude, but if you feel you can't do this without offending the person it may be better (in some circumstances) to not respond at all. It's a personal choice but we would strongly suggest at least trying to do the right thing. On the other side of the coin, you shouldn't take it personally if you don't receive a reply to your messages.
When sending a reply, try your best to keep it personal and not like a letter from your bank. Always respond honestly, everyone has feelings and you should consider this at all times. Keep your replies reasonably short, you're not presenting an essay for college. The best messages are light in tone, reasonably short and casual with a subtle hint of humor.
Honesty is such a critical element with dating online. When setting up your profile answer the category questions as truthfully as you possibly can. Some people have a tendency to stretch the truth about their true self and in the long run this will back fire. If you do end up meeting someone and it leads to a relationship your "misinformation" may well come back to bite you on the backside, quite literally! You can expect them to learn about the things you exaggerated at some point in the future.
When communicating it's usually best to avoid questions too personal in nature early on. It's better to share information that will help you find out if you are compatible. If you receive messages asking you for your personal information it's best to advise them that you don't share your personal information before meeting and getting to know someone better. It's an acceptable and reasonable response that any genuine member will accept. Given that this would be considered suspicious behavior follow your gut and make a judgment call on what is best to do. M y advice would be to avoid further contact as in all likelihood there is an agenda behind their questions. Personal security comes first, over and above anything else when dating online or off.
Typically there are a series of events that will take place in the development of a connection online. First stage will involve a series of messages via chat or email, followed by phone conversations and finally a casual meeting in person. It's best to use a cell phone when you reach the second stage, as this will not provide easy access to your other personal details such as name and address.
Never try to force the contact. Relax and allow events to take their course. Give the relationship time to unfold, you will find patience is a virtue with most aspects of online dating. Don't be pushy at any point in the process. Try providing the names of some of the places you like to go. If you receive a reply with suggestions of their own your potential date may be indicating they are comfortable to meet in person.
When meeting in person for that first date always follow common sense safety guidelines. M ake sure that you meet up in a crowded public place and it's best to arrive under your own steam. We will discuss more of these issues in detail at a later stage. After your meeting it's polite to send a thank you message even if you think it may not go any further.
If you or your date have decided there was no chemistry between you it's okay to gradually reduce communication. Never just cease contact altogether and leave the person hanging in the wind. If you are contacted by your date acknowledge them and explain that you had a nice time but you just don't think you were a match. Always be polite, treat others' as you would expect to be treated yourself.
If the date is successful and the relationship develops to a point where you both agree to date exclusively then it's advisable to take your profile down from the site. M ost online dating sites allow you to change your status or even hide your profile without cancelling your membership. At this point it's best to cease communication with other people also.
If things don't work out and you decide you no longer want to keep seeing the person it's generally acceptable to tell the person via email if you have only been out once or twice. If you have been seeing someone for longer than this then it's best to break the news face to face or at least via a phone call. That doesn't mean leaving a message either. You need to do the right thing and let the person down gently and this can only be achieved through a mutual conversation.
In summing this topic up we would suggest you consider one simple point that we tell anyone who asks what is the right thing to do in a particular circumstance. Put yourself in the other persons' shoes! Only ever do to someone what you would accept another to do to you. It's about being polite and considerate. Your overall experience will be the better for it if you follow this one simple guideline.
Your chances of success in the Online Dating world really are guaranteed by following the advice generally discussed above. If you follow these basic unwritten rules you will no doubt have a wonderful experience and develop your own personal character. You will also drastically increase your chances of finding someone special and eventually perhaps even become one of those tens of thousands of people that get married each year because they met online.
One of the most critical factors to ensure a successful Online Dating experience is self-confidence. You can be almost guaranteed that your fellow online members can sense a lack of confidence from a mile away. If you show any signs of a lack of confidence it's likely that you will find it difficult to make connections. If your profile is in any way disparaging and details your faults and indiscretions your inbox will be a baron place indeed. On the other side of the coin however, you don't want to present a pompous, self-centered and smug persona. The balance is found in simply recognizing your strengths, and subtly outlining them.
I recall reading the results of a survey in a recognized woman's magazine that stated the number one most attractive quality in a man was confidence. Confidence should never be mistaken for arrogance but often is. A confident person is self-assured, and they know what they are about and what they can do. It's about being in control of your destiny, your future, your career, and everything in your life. Ambition, assurance, principles, good decision-making, enlightening conversation and self-respect are all attributes of a confident individual.
When asked about confidence we usually stress the importance of knowing what you don't like about yourself. After all, these are the things that will most likely be recognized by your potential dates. If you are able to make this simple assessment through honest appraisal you will most likely pick up on the issues and have a chance to address them. If you're shy for example, admit it and look for ways to improve on the problem. Step out of your comfort zone and try approaching someone you may not have been prepared to contact before. You may just surprise yourself.
Recognize from the beginning that this is not an instantaneous process. You're not likely to see immediate results. Try making simple, small, positive changes to your messaging technique and profile. As you notice the changes working when you start to receive more messages and replies your confidence will build and you will feel much better in your self.
Before you even begin this process you must be sure you are ready to put yourself out there. Ask this simple question: "Am I ready to date?" If you are just coming out of a relationship you may need some time to heal the wounds. Depending on the circumstances you may be nursing a broken heart or a bruised ego, so take the time you need to recover and be 100% ready to meet new people. Broken relationships will more often than not leave you with a degree of confidence shock. Take a step back and be patient, your new life will wait for the time when you are totally ready.
For most of us our appearance is a crucial element. If we are unhappy with the way we look we are likely to lack confidence. Do something positive for yourself and work towards getting into shape. It's amazing how losing a few pounds and toning up a little can improve your self worth. It's not about vanity it's simply about being healthy, you will be much happier and it will show through to anyone you connect with. Try a little regular exercise like walking or swimming, if you're serious enough join a health club. It's not just about looking good, it's about feeling good as well. If you're healthy, happy and look good your confidence will soar.
Okay, so you're feeling healthy, you're in good shape and most importantly you're happy. The next step is dress to impress. Take a look at your wardrobe and identify the items that will present a sense of style. Keep the T-shirts and sweatpants for lazing about at home. Dress with style and you will feel good about yourself, which in turn will breed confidence. It doesn't mean you have to suit up, just look for a casual but stylish look that works for you.
It can easily be said that confidence is born from the lessons we learn in life. Success or failure, these lessons will teach us what we need to better manage any given situation in the future. If you're not having instant luck with your Online Dating experience, don't beat yourself up. Identify why things aren't working the way you expected them to and make the necessary changes to improve your position. It may be as simple as a poor profile picture or badly worded profile. M ake the necessary changes and avoid making similar mistakes in the future. As your decisions improve your confidence will follow.
You may also want to address any negative influences that are impacting on your experience. If you feel there are people in your life that are constantly deflating you make some changes. This doesn't mean you have to break connections, just alter their influence on you. If necessary, spend a little less time with them. Try surrounding yourself with positive people who make you feel good about what you are doing. It can be remarkable just how much this will improve your own self worth.
Setting realistic goals will also improve your confidence. Don't create expectations that are too hard to meet. Set your sights as low as possible and you will be less likely to become disheartened along the way. If you are sensible and realistic about the whole experience it will show through to others.
Try to avoid comparing yourself to other people and maintain your own individuality. Learn to appreciate your own attributes and you are more likely to attract someone. Don't waste time with people who fail to appreciate what you have to offer. Learn to love yourself first, you will find it makes it easier for someone to love you as well.
When you meet for a date with a potential partner remain focused and relaxed. M aintain positive body language and speak with an affirmative attitude. These are the attributes of a confident individual and will work in your favor. Remember at all times though that you don't want to come across as opinionated or boastful. Find a sensible balance and your success will follow.
Honesty builds confidence, as you aren't on guard about what you are saying. Avoid those little white lies that seem harmless at the time. Dishonesty only ever leads us to feeling bad about ourselves.
There is a high correlation between perfectionism and low self-esteem. Nobody is perfect, and nothing truer could be said. The more you strive to be perfect, the more frustrated you will become as you realize just how impossible it is to achieve. Become aware of any perfectionist tendencies you have and keep them in check. Again, be realistic about your approach and try not to burden yourself with perfection.
Ultimately we all lose confidence at some point in time. It's something that can be taken away from us by the people in our lives. These are just passing phases though so expect them to pass. If we can learn to acknowledge our own confidence levels in an honest way, and develop them, we will feel good about ourselves and attract someone that will feel good about us as well.