Let’s face it: Online dating is here to stay. Once somewhat of a cultural taboo, online dating is now just as common as meeting someone organically. If you’re ready to jump into the world of online dating, there are a few strategies that can help you up your game and (hopefully!) meet the person of your dreams (or at least a fun summer fling). So grab your phone, download a few dating apps of your choice and use these tips to get started.
First impressions are always important, but perhaps they matter more in the world of online dating than anywhere else. That being said, don’t just breeze through filling out your profile page. Really take some time and thought to make sure you’re representing yourself correctly and interestingly. Now isn’t the time to hold back, either! If you rescued a beached whale on a remote beach in the Pacific Northwest or babysat Britney Spears before her schoolgirl days, include that in your profile! Be as open and honest as you can, but also be as memorable as possible—that way, you’ll attract the right person, and you’ll also make them remember you.
Profiles without photos often get overlooked in lieu of profiles with a good mix of close- ups and full-body shots. Use the photos to show off your personality, your hobbies and the people you love! One caveat, though: If you’re going to include group photos, make sure to include a few photos of you by yourself, too. That way, any potential matches will be able to pick you out of the crowd.
The great thing about the Internet is that it makes it easier to let your guard down a bit. Take advantage of your (temporary) anonymity and use it to your advantage. Be yourself! Share the jokes you think are funny, take a stance on the issues you believe in and message that person you would never have the nerve to walk up to in a crowded bar. You may be surprised by how it pays off.
This should go without saying, but the flip side of that anonymity is that it tends to attract some unsavory comments. If someone on a dating app makes you feel uncomfortable, report them. And don’t be the creep that gets reported.
So you’ve talked online for a bit and are ready to take it a step further and meet in person—congrats! Be certain to arrange the first date for a public place. This will help take some pressure off the situation, and make sure that each person feels comfortable.