There are some basic rules of dating that apply whether you’re dating online or not, but there are some that are unique to online dating. Let’s go over a few of them. Hint: they all start with being honest.
Use Recent Photos
It’s not fair to use a picture from your senior year of high school if you’re ten years past high school. Get a recent picture just for your profile. Have a friend take it, use your smartphone, or use the webcam on your laptop.
You don’t need a professional headshot – and to be honest a professional headshot doesn’t really say who you really are. Whether we like it or not, people are visual creatures and if you lie about something as basic as your appearance, you aren’t going to be successful. It’s okay to show your best features, but don’t look so different in your profile that they won’t know who you are if they see you in person.
Let Your Freak Flag Fly
Before you even go on a date, if you know that you have certain issues, fetishes or social differences, say so in your profile – or at least when you talk to the person before you go on a date. It can be a deal breaker for some people who otherwise like you to know that you like to be diapered like a baby. For others, it might be their thing.
It’s hard to talk about these things when you haven’t even met someone, but with online dating, it’s expected that there will be fewer surprises on the “getting to know you phase” of the date. Plus, if something is important to you, enough that you’re going to eventually bring it up with someone you like, you best bring it up before so that you don’t get hurt or waste your time.
Don’t lie and say you run a big corporation when you don’t. You don’t have to brag about living in your mom’s basement, but you shouldn’t lie about it either. Dating is about being yourself, and the only way to do that is to be truthful on the dating profile and in conversations with others about your situation in life.
You may be surprised to find out that other people are in the same boat and don’t care as much as you may have thought. Dating isn’t acting. Dating is real. Dating is most often about potentially finding a life partner and if you’re not interested in that, say so from the beginning on your profile – not after the fifth date.
Respond Only If Interested
It may seem cruel, but you really shouldn’t talk to people you know that you’re not going to be interested in and will never meet no matter what. If they’re not right for you, don’t respond to them. If they keep contacting you just say, “Thank you very much for your interest but I don’t believe we are compatible.” If they continue, or are jerks due to it, block them and move on.
Also, some people seem to like to go on dates out of boredom, even when they know that they will never go on another date with that person. Please don’t do this. Only meet up with a person if you think there is a potential based on your mutual reasons for being on the online dating app.
This is especially a problem when someone wants others to pay for the dinners but have no intentions of even considering another date. Same with those who are only after sex but don’t admit it in their profiles. Don’t date someone looking for love and marriage if you only want sex.
When you do finally connect with someone, it’s imperative that you stop talking and listen to them. Many people report that dates tend to do all the talking and they never ask questions about the other person. So, if the person isn’t talking, ask them questions about themselves that you don’t know from their profile.
The more you ask them questions about themselves, the more favorable the date will seem to them. However, on the other side, if the date isn’t also doing the same for you, you might want to question if they’re really interested in you or just the experience.
Be You Even If You Risk Rejection
Don’t try to put on a fake personality. If you’re not outgoing, don’t be outgoing. If you’re not talkative, don’t try to be. If you don’t like going to certain types of movies, don’t go to that movie. If you don’t like hiking, don’t hike. You should be who you are even if you risk rejection. The reason is that no one can maintain a false persona forever.
Someday the real you will come out and if you’ve attached yourself to someone who wants to do things all the time you don’t want to do, it will not work out in the long run. Ideally, you want to meet someone who likes doing the same things you like doing. It’s not really true that opposites attract and work out. They might attract at first, but for a good long-term situation, you both must be willing and happy to engage in the things the other person likes to do.
Offer to Pay
This is always a tricky one and it does depend on what you want out of life. The way it should work in an equal society is the person who planned the date should pay. When you get to know each other more, perhaps the person with the best job should pay.
Men do not always have to pay, but men should consider that women usually make less than they do. However, on the occasion that they find a woman who earns more than them and is willing to pay, they should not take it as an insult. So again, this will depend on what you’re looking for, your age group, and what’s important to you. It’s also okay to pay your own bill and get separate tickets for first dates, and no one should feel put off by this.