What to Know before You Try Online Dating

I recently met a man who had been in a long-term relationship, and had spent the last few years getting over this woman. He’s now ready to get back out there, and is at the thinking-about-trying stage of online dating.

I’m always a little surprised when I meet single people who haven’t tried online dating, but when they speak of their reservations, I am reminded how daunting it was for me at first. I think it’s also much more overwhelming now, than when I first started ten years ago, what with the sheer volume of sites and apps available.

I’m going to share a few tips to keep in mind before you begin the wild and winding journey that is online dating.

Know What You Want

I’m going to break this down into two parts. The first is about the kind of relationship you want. Are you looking for casual sex only? A trans friend with benefits? A long-term committed relationship? Be clear with yourself before you reach out to the universe, because you don’t want to waste your time, or anybody else’s.

Once you know what you want, begin your research of various dating sites. Some are mainstream and some are niche. Some are free and some have a monthly membership fee because they offer extra features. Read reviews and articles that explain how each site operates. Or you can do what I did, and talk to friends who have been in the game a while.

Know that Results Reflect Effort

This is my number one talking point when giving advice to online dating newbies because the lazy-effort syndrome is prevalent among men, and these men usually end up angry because nobody wants to meet them.

Write a stand-out dating profile that makes your personality shine in just the right places, and that reveals the real you. You don’t want a woman to shake her head when she meets you, wondering where the guy from the profile is. Choose kick-ass profile pics that aren’t cheesy or out of focus. And send thoughtful messages only after reading a woman’s entire profile. We have many many posts here that talk to all three of these actions.

Know that Finding What You Want Takes Patience and Perseverance

Everyone has a different rhythm when it comes to their online dating style. Some people go on several dates a week, while others may go on only a couple a year as a supplement to meeting people in their day to day. But we can all feel burnt out and despondent at times when we aren’t finding the right connections or meeting anyone at all.

Avoid desperate feelings by having a full life, filled with interests and passions that occupy your time, while you’re searching for the relationship you want. Know that sometimes it’s good to take a break from searching, and that you can’t take every rejection personally. It was only when I’d given up and relaxed about the whole process that I met my current partner. And, yes, it was on a dating site!

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