As anyone who has spent any time absentmindedly swiping their way through Tinder can attest, making any headway in the world of online dating can be an uphill struggle. You spend your time liking everyone you find attractive with no reciprocation, only to endure a deafening silence when you finally do, because neither of you is prepared to talk first. So how to get a date online?
Everyone navigates online dating sites in their own way, as it all depends on how seriously you want to take it. But for those who want to make some kind of connection, whether it’s just a bit of fun, or in the hopes of finding a long term relationship, there are a few useful tips to make your search a little less of an ordeal.
Don’t hide your intentions
How specific you want to be with your profile obviously depends on what it is you’re looking for. If a serious, committed relationship is what you’re after, there is a temptation to declare it right from the get go. People often think this approach will weed out the ones who aren’t serious about looking for a partner, but it can also alienate prospective dates. Many relationships have come from situations where the people concerned didn’t necessarily go in looking for something long lasting. The best tactic is to simply say that you’re up for some fun and dating, with the potential for it becoming something serious later on. By the same token, if a relationship is most definitely not what you want, say so. It’s okay to not scare people away by giving them an ‘all or nothing’ ultimatum, but giving people false hope certainly isn’t. This also goes for the ‘looking for mates/gym-mate/flatmate’ routine. Nobody likes fake advertising, so don’t lure people into an unsuspecting trap like some dating game hunter.
Make them interested in you
How much of yourself you should reveal in your online dating profile can be a tricky balance. You want to give people enough information to keep them interested, but not give so much that they’re bored before they’ve even finished reading your profile. Saying what you do, what your ambitions are for the future, where you’ve graduated from; people online aren’t here to read a resume. Likewise, don’t give a huge list of every hobby or activity you enjoy doing. If you like a certain kind of music, then that’s all you need to say, no need to draw up a big list of every band you listen to. Giving so much information can also give off a distinct air of desperation. It’s basically saying ‘you might not like this but hey, there are plenty of other things about me you might like!’. Keep it short and sweet, and if possible, try and add a little humour in there. If you can’t be funny, then just be bright, approachable, and friendly, because no one wants to hear about your past failed romances. Stating that you’ve been unlucky in love is just going to bum everyone out, and makes it sound like you’re on here as a last ditch effort.
Don’t be anonymous
The first and perhaps most obvious pointer for your profile picture – have one! Putting up that anonymous, grey outline is an absolute no-no, as is having a torso pic with the head cut off. Not showing your face shows a complete lack of confidence, and tells people that you are unreliable; if you can’t even show up in your online profile, what are the chances you’re going to show up for a date? You should look friendly and approachable in your pic, and please God, spare everyone your ‘model face’. Having a picture that someone else took of you would be the best idea, but if you’re going to take a selfie, do your best to avoid that visible outstretched arm, which can make you look a little awkward.
Persistence will not take you far
Once you’ve started to chat to someone, having a little online etiquette is important. You want to seem interested, but coming off too keen can make people tired of you quickly. Unless you’ve made a real connection and are deep in conversation, replying instantly to every text a person sends can make you an irritant. Give them some breathing space; it’s no big deal if people don’t respond to one another’s messages for a few hours, we all have our personal commitments to be getting on with. If the chat starts to dry up and people aren’t replying to your messages for days at a time, it’s time to call it a day. Stalking them with persistent texts is not only embarrassing, it’s creepy. Accept the fact that they’re not interested and move on.
So in conclusion, if you were seeking for an answer on how to get a date online, you want to be open, honest and friendly; be forthcoming with some details, but don’t give too much away; keep it upbeat and light-hearted, and handle any knock backs with a bit of dignity. Above all, if you don’t take online dating too seriously and stake your whole happiness on hooking up with a new partner through it, you can have some fun meeting new people. And maybe one of those people will be right for you.