Lonely, Single And Female? Time To Try These Six Steps Towards A Perfect Online Dating Experience

Online dating is now not a taboo way of meeting people that results in that awkward conversation when you’re asked how you met. No longer do you have to answer ‘oh, in the queue at McDonalds’ or ‘in a club’ when you clearly don’t eat fast food and you also don’t like clubbing.

Everyone knows someone who is doing online dating, or they’re doing it themselves and while it takes the fear out of the first approach it brings with it a whole new minefield of etiquette and guidelines.

As someone who has dabbled with online dating in the hope of finding a NJB (Nice Jewish Boy) to settle down with here are my thoughts for girls and guys.

Feel free to agree, disagree or ignore them but they come from personal experience and I wouldn’t want you to go through some of what I went through…

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Step 1 – Find the right site
Are you into men, women or both? Do you like people in uniform? Are you looking for people from a particular religion or interest group? There are dating sites out there to scratch pretty much every itch so find the one that suits you best.

Dating-Ladies
Looking for a Gluten-free soul-mate? Try www.glutenfreesingles.com

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Step 2 – Setting up your profile
This is possibly the most important of the whole process. You want to look attractive, approachable and most importantly REAL.

No one wants to think they’ve been chatting to a Brad Pitt lookalike only to turn up and realized they’ve been talking to someone completely different. If you want your potential love-interest to take you seriously and trust you from the beginning use flattering but honest photos. If you’re short, say so! That’s the one that I experienced the most and as someone who likes taller guys it was an instant turnoff when I met guys who were very generous with their measurements in the height department.

Be honest about what you’re looking to make it easier for the other person to trust you and know where you’re at. Don’t put ‘looking for marriage’ if you’re using the site for hook-ups. Equally, if you’re just there for a bit of fun, don’t put that you’re interested in a long-term relationship. You’re just wasting yours and their time and someone could get hurt.

Tip 1: Use natural lighting
Tip 2: Include a full-length shot
Tip 3: Post more than 1 photo but no more than 5
Tip 4: Don’t hide your features with sunglasses or a hat

Dating-Ladies
Expectation vs reality is always a problem if you aren't totally honest.

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Step 3 – Making the first contact
Girls (and boys, if you are reading this), just be cool… You’re not in the club now, don’t crack out those cheesy lines, just approach someone like the nice person that you are.

Ask them how they’re day is going, make a complimentary comment based on something on their profile or just say hi. It’s that easy. You don’t need to spend hours coming up with something clever and witty although if you are struck by comic inspiration then go for it.

If they’re not interested they won’t reply and you shouldn’t take that as a personal affront. Remember that women will get an awful lot of attention on dating sites so if you’re a man contacting women, you won’t be the first person he’s spoken to on the site that day.

Oh and also, type like a human being, not like a kid. Type full words, use correct spelling and punctuation and only shorten words if they do first.

Dating-Ladies
However hard it seems, just remember, it's much harder for guys to get right.

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Step 4 – Suggesting a date
Congratulations, you’ve got past that awkward opening line and they’ve replied! The joy of online dating is that you get to have a bit of online chat before you’ve even met the person so you can find out some things about your potential partner before committing to spending time with them.

If the conversation has flowed, you have things in common and you want to meet them then suggest a coffee or something casual. Don’t jump straight in there with it, try to make them feel comfortable before you suggest meeting up.

Pick something to do that you’ve already discussed or based on something they’ve told you. If he says he’s having a craving for pizza, suggest you go to an Italian restaurant or if he’s said that he’s trying to get fit why not suggest a bike ride? Be inventive but don’t try too hard, remember it’s only the first date…

Dating-Ladies

Top tip, if you are going to see a movie, make sure it's one you both want to watch.

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Step 5 – The date
Although this can be the most nerve-wracking step it’s also the easiest. Just turn up on time, be presentable and be yourself.

You want your potential partner to love you for you so don’t pretend to be anyone else, it will only come back to bite you in the ass further down the line.

Wear plain colors without patterns so that the focus is on you and what you’re saying. Make sure to ask lots of questions and don’t talk about yourself too much. Keep your body-language open and focused on them, no crossed arms and legs! Don’t get too drunk and definitely don’t chat anyone else up while you’re on the date. Read their signals and don’t be too forward on the first date (unless they’re giving you the come on…)

Most importantly of all, have fun! They’ve decided that they want to meet you too, they’re not there under duress so take the time to get to know each other in a relaxed environment.

And if it all gets a bit much, you can leave. No one is forcing you to be there. Just make a polite excuse and leave but don’t be a dick about it, remember their feelings too.

Dating-Ladies
Never try to read too much into something normal.

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Step 6 – Be honest & mature
A majority of first dates don’t progress to second dates. And that is ok. Don’t worry.

Maybe there was no spark? Maybe he didn’t fancy you? Maybe your interests weren’t compatible? Who knows! For one reason or another, it might just not work.

So instead of bombarding them with messages, which will get you blocked, just mark it up as experience and move on. It might hurt at first and the temptation is to push the other person into telling you why they’re not interested but don’t. Just leave it, they weren’t right for you.

Online dating is a bit of a numbers game, the more people you talk to, the more dates you go on and the higher the chance is that you might actually meet the right person.

Dating-Ladies
However much you liked him, try not to become too overly attached.

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So there we have it. In summary, be yourself, be honest and have fun! Online dating, while terrifying can also be a lot of fun and you could meet the person of your dreams.