Online Dating Basics
This is a very entry level primer which will allow you to miss a number of mistakes newbies as well as experienced online daters often make.
There are hundreds of online dating sites, ranging from mainstream ones like Match.com to very niche sites such as ones for people who like bearded men, or fat women, sites for Jewish people, fitness freaks, over 50s, geeks, bald aficionados, Catholics, and many more.
Start with One Dating Site and Quickly Add One More
I suggest starting with one mainstream site (for example Match (not free), OKCupid (free), or Plenty of Fish. Then I suggest pretty quickly adding at least one other site, which doesn’t necessarily need to be mainstream although it can.
If you already belong to one site, regardless of experience, try another also is you haven’t. Each site is different, and you may love or hate or be indifferent about a site. Too many people try one and give up claiming “online dating isn’t for them” when really they didn’t like the site.
Write a Profile
Once you join, you need to write a profile and you’d better put up at least one picture.
We could write about profiles forever, and most quite honestly do suck, but get one up quickly and then improve it is our advice.
- No hint of desperation like “I’m just looking for a red woman who will accept me” or “a guy who will enjoy me as I am.”
- Tired cliques such as “like to travel” are common but it is better to mention a trip or more such as “I’ve had a blast taking cruises and visiting foreign ports” or “looking forward to my upcoming trip to Thailand”.
- Especially for guys, but ladies too, you do not wants “lists of things.” These are mere facts and you want to invoke feelings as much as possible.
- A sense of mystery is great. What sounds better: “I’m an accountant” or “I help people get their finances together so they can fully enjoy life” ?
Just get something up and then improve it over time.
You Need a Picture
You need at least one picture, and more are better. It had better look like you! No shirtless photos or selfies in the bathroom! One selfie if you have several pictures is OK. Again, get up a picture (even a selfie) and then improve it. Show you pictures to others to see if they like them.
Generally men need to send messages to meet others, whereas women do not (although most probably should). Even ladies who are stunningly attractive and bombarded with messages may find that the right men are not writing them and they can fix that easily by going looking.
It usually takes a few messages back and forth, an exchanging of phone numbers, and texting or a call before a meeting is set up.
One more word: most messages never get answered! If one out of 5 is, you are doing super well. 10% response ain’t bad either. I always mention something from their profile so they know I’ve actually read it. “Hey Cutie,” “You’re hot,” and other generic messages very very rarely work!