Online Dating Rules For Actually Finding A Relationship, From Experts

Online Dating Rules For Actually Finding A Relationship, From Experts


1. Keep your profile fresh and relevant.

Online dating is like any other social media platform—it evolves over time. "Your looks will age, yourself—as long as you do so in a healthy way—will evolve, people's interests will change. You should always be willing to update your pictures and intro," says Kari Paul, Money & Work reporter for USA Today.

Andy Hinds, co-founder of The Grade , an app that gives users an aggregate score based on their behavior on the app (and notifies both parties if someone they've liked has also liked them back), adds that giving out general information about what you're looking for can help keep things fair across the board."We generally advise students not to mention their relationship status or sexual orientation."Why? Because if your match is dating around and looking for a fling, they don't want to waste their time with someone who's committed.

2. Don't expect it to be easy—or fun.

We know what you're thinking: "If it was so easy, everyone would do it!" True, but having realistic expectations can help ensure your experience is as enjoyable as possible.

"Don't think of online dating as being hopeful that there are people out there who are going fulfill all of your dreams," says Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr, the largest social networking app for gay men that boasts 3 million daily active users worldwide . "You have lower expectations and you're going to be happier in the long run."

3. Check your text messages, or you might lose out on a connection.

You know when you get that match and it's like an instant line of communication is opened up between you and this possible future love? This may not always happen depending on how well (or how poorly) each party composes their initial message. Hinds stressed the importance of responding to everyone who contacts you—whether they message first or second—to maximize your options for finding a connection."We even have research showing that if someone sends a response, they are 1.3 times more likely to receive one back," he says. "When we see lack of response potential partners, it tells us that person is not interested in moving forward."

4. Verify your account before you meet up with anyone.

If you're looking for a serious relationship, you might want to think twice before meeting someone offline, even if they say they are who they say they are online or have older friends in common."That's the number one way that I've seen people get catfished," says Huds. "They haven't used any security features to verify it. If you haven't done that, why would someone be trusting of what they heard?"On The Grade , users can pay $5 to verify their phone number and Facebook profile, which Hinds says reduces spam by 50%. This is typically the most effective form of verifying a user's identity, since it requires them to submit their phone number, which they would need to give out anyway in order for someone to call them.

5. Chat before you meet up.

Grindr's Simkhai says that the average person spends at least an hour on his or her smartphone each day—which means there's ample opportunity to meet new people. "We see about one million dates a week," he says of Grindr's success worldwide (the company does not share specific numbers for college users). "And that doesn't include other types of meetings like casual hookups."

6. Don't post pictures that don't accurately represent who you are (and if possible, use filters).

is no place for digital vanity. "Consider what you're revealing to the outside world," says Paul, who has written about the dangers of social media for women seeking employment . "If you can't see who that person is in front of you, how do you know if they are someone whose values match yours?"

7. If it doesn't look like there's much chemistry , leave quickly and gracefully.

"As soon as someone does something disrespectful or hostile, I block them immediately," says Hinds. He also recommends getting out while things are still cordial."It always sucks when someone blocks us right before we're about to meet up with them," he says. "I feel like 'Why did I go through this entire process just to get rejected?'"


8. Don't make it weird .

This is a general rule of thumb for all types of interactions, but especially important when you're still learning about someone by text or online. "People get so nervous and guarded," says Simkhai. "You want to create a little bit of mystery in how you communicate."9. Try not to overthink things when you meet up with matches.

"We see this happen all the time when people go on dates," says Hinds, who adds that there's no reason to be nervous if both parties feel comfortable and confident in their matchmaking efforts ("Your odds just went way up," he says). He also suggests going into the date with an agenda: If dinner and drinks don't lead to a second or third date, go have drinks instead. "Even if you're just grabbing a coffee somewhere," he says. Just try not to let your mind wander too much in between sips.10. Keep perspective when it doesn't work out—or when it does."When we analyzed the data coming back from our members, what we saw is that people who have been successful on The Grade have an incredible profile—they score high across all of our metrics," says Hinds. "But what was even more telling was that they were having fun making their profiles and taking pictures."So don't forget to do that, even or especially if you're trying online dating for the first time as a way to meet someone long-term. "You should think of it as a fun way to meet people," says Simkhai. "There's nothing wrong with going on a bajillion first dates."

Follow this link for the rest of the article: Offline dating rules from experts who know what they're doing online!

Authors & Contributors: Liza Corsillo, Stephanie Ercklentz, Alexandra Fouché, Cady Lang, Alexa Lyons , Rebecca Nelson, Kaitlyn Tiffany , Anna Waickman. Article originally published at The Atlantic as "Online Dating Rules For Actually Getting A Relationship" and reproduced here under Creative Commons license .

Commentary: Online dating comes with its own set of problems and has even been referred to as an "addiction". If online dating is your only means of meeting new romantic partners, then you may need to take a look at how and why you're doing it, what purpose it serves in your life, and whether it's enough for your needs.

If you want to find out more about my work on social anxiety, fear of the unknown/fear of rejection, fear of being single, self-doubt check out my other articles on this site. You can also search the tag cloud to read articles that I've written which are related to social anxiety topics.

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Posted by Dr. Howie Bow at 22:41

I hope I understand this correctly, but if you want to succeed in the online dating world--apparently especially for women--you need to be fun, have a sense of adventure, spend time creating your profile and taking pictures that are supposed to make you attractive. And then apparently not be too picky? Am I understanding this right? Reply Delete

No one can be just "fun" or "adventurous" because it will show up in your writing when you're being genuine. People coming across profiles who are looking just for that will see through it very quickly. You have to be honest. Use your real personality and interests. And be picky about who you choose to message back. Reply Delete

I don't understand this either. I've tried online dating, but it seems like the best strategy is to say nothing at all rather than try to sound upbeat and interesting when you're just not feeling that way at the moment. What's an appropriate response? "Ughh... can't believe it's Monday!!" ? Some people are good writers, but most of us are only average or slightly above average at writing engaging prose/stories about ourselves. All of this hardly makes me want to sign up again. Reply Delete

Lol! Well, if you're handing out advice for profile writing then clients will expect some level of expertise which you can't fake. You've got to be honest, but it doesn't mean writing a list of everything that makes you horrible. It means being genuine about what's going on with you and why you're on there, who gets the occasional curve ball thrown in for good measure because we all have those days! Delete

I agree that honesty is important - very important. In fact - if everyone were honest - I don't think the online dating service would last long? Now as far as "having a sense of adventure" -- My thought is do not pretend something that isn't really there. If you are not adventurous --- then just say so? Although someone may come along sometime who will change your life -- but they have to get to know you first -- so why not just be honest? Delete

I agree with the honesty point, though it should go without saying that a good profile should avoid any mention of other people. I'm guessing that's a no-go here too, but just in case! Delete

Oh yeah, I totally agree about avoiding mentioning any exes or anything like that. It definitely makes sense and is something I also say when giving advice for online dating profiles. Delete

Online dating can kind of suck, if your looking for dates or relationships then what are you suppose to do if there are zero replies... Reply Delete

Haha this article was really helpful - thank you! One thing is unclear though: Is it better to respond

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