Did you know that 40 percent of singletons have tried their hand at online dating? Although lots of us like the idea of meeting people the old-fashioned way, the reality is that modern life often precludes this. With busy working lives and less time to socialize than previous generations, the internet can be a useful tool when it comes to finding like-minded individuals who are looking for a relationship.
But as anyone who’s ever tried it knows, online dating can be something of a minefield, especially for the uninitiated. Although millions of us might use dating apps and websites, most of us aren’t actually sure of how best to sell ourselves.
Luckily for you, we’ve done our research and we’re here to help you.
Tip #1: Post plenty of pictures
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they try their hand at online dating is to not include enough pictures. When making use of different platforms, such as online dating with Badoo for example, the site provides you with ample space to fill your profile with pictures that best illustrate your personality. While there might be plenty of potential partners in your local area, it’s not very likely they’ll pick you if they can’t get a sense of who you are. For this reason, most seasoned daters find their chances of success increase tenfold when they add some extra snaps – ideally, ones that give an idea of who they are as a person. Also, try not to have all of your pictures include you stood with a group of friends, as the odd selfie or candid at least doesn’t leave them guessing as to who you are and lets them know what you actually look like – which leads us on to:
Tip #2: Show your face
While finding that perfect someone shouldn’t be all about appearance, online dating does create a culture where we have to begin by estimating what a person might be like based on how they look. It’s not so much that potential partners are pulling apart every aspect of your appearance, but that they need to be able to get a feel of who you are as a person. To build this initial impression, they want to be able to see you, with a 20 percent increase in matches for those who show their faces in every photo.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to smile
While we’ve all pouted and preened on pictures, there’s evidence to suggest that photos, where we seem to be taking ourselves too seriously, aren’t the best way to sell ourselves. Although you might feel like you’ve nailed the perfect angle and are looking your most attractive, potential matches are much more likely to be drawn to snaps where you’re smiling and happy. In fact, these increase your chances of finding a match by a whopping 14 percent, which means it’s time to show off those pearly whites and give the world of online dating your biggest, brightest grin.
Tip #4: Fully fill out your profile
Most of us feel rather awkward talking about ourselves, but you must remember that those who are looking for love online need something to go on. While it might make you feel uncomfortable to write a mini-essay about your strengths and the qualities that set you apart from the other fish in the sea, it’s impossible for potential partners to get an idea of who you are without telling them too much about yourself. This seems like a pretty obvious one, but you’d be surprised how many online daters think the best thing is to leave some mysterious gaps so their matches have to use their imagination to build up a picture of them. These, however, can become awkward gaps in conversation when you go on that first date, as you end up realizing you know nothing about each other.
Tip #5: Talk about your favorites
While writing an essay is probably not the best idea, there are certain things that potential partners definitely do like to know, such as your hobbies and interests. These not only provide potential conversation starters but can be a good way for people to assess whether you have anything in common. And there’s one thing in particular that online daters look for: your taste in music. Given this is something that everyone has an opinion on, it offers a great opener for getting to know each other and could make all the difference when someone is deciding whether you’re the sort of person they’d like to learn more about. And while a lot of people are open to discovering new types of people, quite a lot of beginners in online dating like to ‘stay in their lane’, as it were, and music tastes provide a familiar safety net when looking for similarities in a prospective partner.
Tip #6: Don’t forget to proofread
Although you might argue that you’re not sitting an English exam, poor grammar and spelling are considered major turnoffs for some. According to statistics, over 75 percent of online daters say they’re less likely to get in touch with someone whose profile is littered with errors. This is because it makes it seem as though you’re not all that bothered about making a good impression – indeed, that you couldn’t even be bothered to put in enough effort to read over what you’d written before posting. If you want to invite stimulating conversation and people with a genuine interest in getting to know you, giving your profile a once over is therefore essential.
Tip #7: Get a friend to give your profile a read
While it can be embarrassing to show your nearest and dearest what you’ve written about yourself on a dating app or website, we do recommend that you find someone you trust and ask them to give you their honest opinion on how you come across to them. Tell them to be brutal in their assessment: to analyze your photos, read what you’ve written, and tell you what you need to add and/or delete in order to show yourself in the best possible light. You might be surprised by what they pick up!
Tip #8: Don’t be like everybody else
Last but not least, try to avoid the trap of becoming a cliché. Although it’s fine to start a conversation with a simple ‘hello’, don’t stick to small talk – to make your mark, you need to progress the interaction to more interesting topics. The best way to do this is by proving you’ve actually read the other person’s bio, so ask them questions about their interests or hobbies. Build up a rapport based on something you know they’re passionate about, and they’re much more likely to want to continue conversing with you. Throw in a few jokes and don’t be afraid to show them your real sense of humor. Most importantly, always, immediately, be yourself, otherwise, it could lead to some very awkward revelations a few weeks or so down the line. ‘Is that a 20-piece nugget box? You told me you were Vegan?’
When it comes to the world of online dating, it really isn’t all that complicated, so long as you understand what it is that people are looking for: a simple idea of who you are. Be bold, be honest, and be yourself, and you’ll soon find that your match count increases tenfold.