Online Dating Dos and Don’ts for Happiness and Safety
Recent research suggests that a whopping 63% of single people are looking online for love  and that around 25% of all couples meet this way . But online dating can be a daunting process and we’ve all heard the horror stories! Follow these guidelines for a more positive experience to finding what you desire:
Research the sites
Different sites attract different people, so spend some time looking at where you feel most comfortable. To do this, you need to ask yourself honestly what you are looking for: is it true love, a quick fling, or somewhere in between?
Tinder, of course, is known as the hook-up site, and it can feel brutal: one swipe and you’re done. If you’re looking for a soulmate, maybe look somewhere else. There are plenty of online dating sites and many are targeted at a specific demographic, such as for over 40s or for certain religious groups. Researching where is best for you will help your experience be a more positive one.
Write a great profile
There are ways of wording your profile that will help garner attention. Online dating giant harmony offers the following advice:
- Be light-hearted, because being too serious will put people off.
- Make it concise, because people have short attention spans, and a wall of text can feel overwhelming.
- Be the real you, because whilst it’s tempting to want to present yourself in a golden light, you are also human too! People are now a little cynical when it comes to profiles that look too perfect. Allow yourself to be authentic and expect that of other people too.
Include photos and be creative if this is difficult
If you’re happy having your photos online, then try to include ones that show you doing something; these are much more engaging than just a selfie. If you’ve mentioned hobbies in your profile or your love for your pet, use photos that reflect that. You are more than just a pretty face!
There may be reasons, such as shyness or security concerns, why you don’t want to show yourself clearly. No problem. You could have a photo that shows you just from behind. Or perhaps one holding a book or mug in front of your face. Be creative!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of online dating. You have the opportunity to talk to all sorts of people and many of them will be trying to impress you!
Remember online though that some people are not who – or what – they pretend to be. The thoughtful and caring individual you thought you were talking to, maybe a scammer, con-artist, or already married and cheating. There are ways of protecting yourself though:
- Use Google image-reverse to see if their profile or other pictures are online. The picture may come up as a stock image (meaning it’s a paid model) or a real person whose identity has been stolen.
- Trust your gut. If something feels ‘off’ then believe that feeling. It’s an evolutionary trait that helps us survive. Don’t override it and don’t try and analyse it either. Listen to your inner wisdom and let it protect you.
- Never give money! This sounds so obvious, but it’s easily done. Scammers are ruthless and strategic and can be both men and women. Vida Select , an online matchmaking company, suggest that these are the four steps scammers use:
Step #1: Acquire a target: scammers troll dating sites or social media.
Step #2: Build trust: try to bond with you over shared experiences.
Step #3: Dangle the carrot: suggests meeting but always cancels.
Step #4: Ask for money: for travel to see you (but they’ll cancel last minute).
Be aware of this pattern so you can spot it before anyone tries to take advantage of you. Disengage, block, and move on, with your bank account intact.
Enjoy the experience
Online dating can bring new experiences into your life. You may find a partner, or you may find people who become good friends. Perhaps even both for a real win-win! The key to it is not to take it too seriously or personally. When it’s too much, walk away and take a break. If anyone is rude or abusive to you, block and report. There are genuine people on there (you are one of them, of course) so here’s hoping you find what you’re looking for in a fun and safe way.
Finally, lots of people struggle with finding ‘the one’. There are many reasons why, such as issues around fear of intimacy, amongst others. My Family Psychologist can help you through this. Call us now on 07801 079 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a confidential chat so that life can have more happiness for you.
- Neyt B., Vandenbulcke S., Baert S. Are men intimidated by highly educated women? Undercover on Tinder. Educ. Rev. 2019;73:101914. doi: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2019.101914.