Nowadays our world s filled with websites and apps dedicated to online dating and finding love online. Whether you re looking to meet a friend or family member new, you can use the right online service to be introduced to someone new every day.
But how do you do it? How do you start the conversation? What do you say?
We brought together a series of maps and charts to help you get started with some of the most common questions first. And we’re starting with a crash course on how to date online:
You might be thinking about trying finding love online and online dating for the first time, or you might have tried it before and found it too difficult. Maybe you just need a little help facing the virtual unknown.
Whatever your reason for trying online dating, these tips from experts like anthropologist Beth Shaw, founder of FirstMet, can help you get started and find your way around the site.
1. Make sure you’re willing to do your homework
Shaw says many people are hesitant to spend time on online dating because they feel like it isn’t worth it. But she suggests the opposite.
“It’s really important to do your research into the person you’re about to meet,” Shaw says. “Ask yourself, is this person who I think they are? Do I have any proof of them being who they say they are?”
You’ll do that research study every day when you meet someone new online, but first, be sure you know what you’re looking for.
“You want to know who you’re meeting, why, and what their story is,” Shaw says. “If you don’t know those things, then how can you possibly give them your best? It’s hard to create trust without knowledge.”
2. Take a look at your own profile
profiles are more than just a way to describe yourself. They can be a tool
to bring you together with people who share your interests. If you’re looking to date someone, but you don’t have many interests in common, your profile may be the solution to your problem.
“If you don’t have many interests in common, then how are you going to have a conversation? How are you going to relate to them?” Shaw says. “But if you start a conversation by looking into their profile, it shows you care. It shows that you’re interested in what they’re interested in. It also shows that you’re a real person.”
3. Make sure they’re real
There are thousands of profiles on dating sites, and if you want to date someone, all you have to do is click “add friend” or “add family member” and then confirm the friend or family member. It’s easy to think you’re adding a fake profile, but the truth is, you’re not.
“If you do decide to meet up with someone, and it goes well, then great,” Shaw says. “But be aware that you’re not meeting up with your online friend. You’re meeting up with someone who may live in a different city or state than you do.”
4. Consider your own safety while finding love online
Online dating can be fun, but it can also be risky.
“If you don’t want to get hurt, then don’t do anything that could put yourself in a situation where you could be hurt,” Shaw says. “There are scammers out there who try to make money off of kindness. If you send a friend request to someone and they send you something in the mail, then they’re probably not your friend.”
Don’t worry though, Shaw says; true love will never let you down. “If you find someone who you like and who likes you back, then you’ll be successful,” she says.
5. Set yourself apart
To be successful in online dating, you need to do two things: set yourself apart from the competition, and set yourself up for success.
“You don’t want to be just another face in the crowd, so the best thing you can do is be unique,” Shaw says. “Think of something that no one else is thinking about. Maybe you have a picture of yourself from high school or you’re not wearing any makeup. These things can sometimes separate you from the crowd.”
Once you’re done putting yourself out there, be sure you’re meeting people who are right for you. “I would never recommend going out with someone I didn’t trust,” Shaw says. “If you don’t trust someone , then don’t go out with them online or anywhere else.”
6. Make sure your online presence is working for you
There are several options for online dating, but perhaps the most important one is to make sure your online presence is working for you.
“Be sure your photos are recent and that you’re looking fit and healthy in them,” advises Shaw. “It’s no different than looking good in person. You want to make sure you’re presenting yourself in the best light possible.”
Also, be aware that there are some people out there who just want to have fun and get to know you; they don’t really care about your appearance or they wouldn’t ask you out on a date. So, if you don’t feel confident in your photos, then do something to help you stand out from the crowd.