Whether you’ve been on umpteen dates with people you’ve met online, or are still preparing for your first, we can all do with a little bit of advice when it comes to dating in the technified world. We’ve previously gathered dating tips for women and vice versa, but here are some general tips for navigating the online dating maze.
1. Make sure your dating bio does you justice
It can feel unnatural to analyse yourself and dissect your personality into bullet points for your online dating profile. Many of us cringe at the thought of having to define our likes, dislikes and hobbies on paper, but the more information you give about yourself, the clearer a picture you paint for a potential match who comes across your profile.
2. That goes for your profile photos, too
It might sound obvious, but try to pick photos for your profile that are clear, honest and show you in your best light. That blurry photo with the really bright flash? The one of you on holiday in sunglasses? Or your all-time favourite photo that was taken a good 10 years ago? Nope nope nope.
3. Stay safe online
Every now and then, a horror story emerges about online dating. These range from people not looking like their profile pictures, to people turning out to be downright dangerous. It’s important you choose somewhere public for your first date, and as an extra precaution, make sure you let a friend or family member know you’re going on the date, and that you’ll contact them in however long if all goes well.
4. Leave Facebook stalking out of it
I’m sure many of us can admit to knowing what someone does for a living, where they went on their last five holidays, and the names of every member of their family including their dog before we’ve even met them. Not because they’ve told us in a message, but because we’ve found their relatively open Facebook profile and had a good look before the date.
5. Meet somewhere you feel comfortable
If your ideal first date is getting to know one another in a snug, independent coffee shop, but they suggest taking you to your first heavy metal gig, it’s worth trying to find a halfway ground. If you feel comfortable in your surroundings on a date, you’ll give off a more relaxed impression and be able to enjoy yourself.
6. Avoid mentioning the ex
Whether they broke your heart, spent your money, or the amalgamation of all their annoying little habits eventually drove you to drive a metaphorical knife through their heart and call it quits, your new date doesn’t need to know. Yes, it’s natural to be curious about who he or she was dating before you, but these conversations will happen organically in their own time. In short, try to avoid the ex chat when you’re on your first date.
7. Offer to pay
Whether you’re male or female, you’re an independent adult living in the 21st century. Regardless of whether you end up paying, it’s polite for both parties to offer to buy a round of drinks or split the overall bill.
8. Don’t lose yourself
Try not to make the new person you’re dating the centre of your world. We all have that friend who used to be so much fun, and who listened to all our problems, then suddenly started dating someone new and vanished into their world. Don’t be that person.
9. Enjoy the experience of online dating
This one might sound obvious, but if you’re not enjoying the dating process for whatever reason, it’s not worth pursuing. Dating expert Jean Smith points out that many people get nowhere with online dating because they’re not in the right frame of mind for it.
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