Look no further – it’s here. Straight from the people who brought you the world’s largest dating site; the people who dig through enormous amounts of data, view hundreds of online dating profiles each day, and know all the right ingredients to finding someone special online. The people behind PlentyofFish.com have identified the most important factors to online dating success, and consolidated them into 10 easy tips!
1. Be positive. Everything you write in a message to another user or in your profile description should be positive and upbeat. Be aware of using phrases that start with “I don’t like…” or “Don’t contact me if…”. These phrases can come across as being negative and can reflect poorly on your character…especially when someone only has a few sentences to judge you on. Instead, communicate the same message with a positive twist. Rather than “Don’t contact me if you’re only looking for sex” say “I’m looking for someone who is ready to meet their special someone”.
2. Upload a clear head shot that shows off your fabulous life. Its perfectly acceptable to stay in and watch Friends re-runs on weekday evenings, but that’s not very interesting to look at. Remember that time you went to your local night market last summer? Or to a museum? To a festival? To Peru? These could all be spectacularly eye-catching backdrops for photographs, and although your life doesn’t have to be all spontaneity, all the time, it projects a much more interesting image. If we are working with slim pickings for locale, at least ensure that all of your photos are NOT taken from 10 feet away from the camera with a hat and sunglasses on, because you could basically be anybody. Same goes for selfies taken in your tiny, messy bathroom. Take off the paraphernalia and step into the sunlight. The outdoors is a great backdrop for any photo.
3. Three Photos – that’s the minimum. The more images you post, the better someone will be able to grasp what you really look like. This will come in handy on your first date when your love interest is trying to pick you out of a crowd. And please make the photos relatively recent, because you don’t want your date to be waiting on the 90’s college yearbook version of you.
4. Use the Search Feature. Are you a 6’0 woman looking for a tall guy? Are you a Jewish guy looking for a Jewish woman to settle down with? When you’re looking for a match with certain profile characteristics, a search filter can save you time and energy by weeding out the incompatible matches.
5. Send original and brief messages that end with a question. First off, if you want to find success online, you need to put yourself out there by sending messages. Don’t sit by the side lines and wait for people to message you, be proactive and message the people that YOU like. Next, in order to increase the likelihood of a reply, make sure your message indicates that you read their profile – “I love to scuba dive too.” But don’t go on and on. Short messages get the most replies. Finally, end your messages with a question to ensure the conversation continues. Ending with a question will greatly increase your likelihood of a response.
6. Go on dates with people who are NOT your ‘type’. Think you like tall dark handsome? Only sending messages to a narrow group of people can be very limiting and could even result in missing out on some wonderful matches. The true test of whether you have chemistry…and you can only find this out when you meet face to face. Ever found yourself being attracted to the opposite of your ‘type’? Yup – this can happen online too if you remain open minded!
7. Set a date! Online dating sites are here to help you facilitate a meeting in-person to find out if you have real life chemistry. You could be chatting with the hottest, most perfect guy on paper, and then realize when you meet in person that there’s no chemistry. The opposite can also happen. If you’ve messaged back and forth with someone 3 – 4 times and are still curious, set a date to meet offline. If you wait too long, you’ll develop high expectations and you could very well be let down.
8. Pay attention to what kinds of questions your date is asking. “What kind of car do you drive? Do you own your own home? How old are you?” Hmmm…sounds like this person isn’t very interested in getting to know the real you. Being aware of what kind of questions your date asks you (and vice versa) may give you insights into what kind of person he/she is and what they look for potential partner. The guys who asks about your family or your childhood is likely very family oriented himself. The guy who asks about your career progressions and your education is likely very focused on his own career and professional life.
9. Don’t plan or agree to extravagant first dates. When you’re dating regularly, expensive and lengthy first dates can get east into your wallet and social life. It can also make you dread going on dates, knowing you could be stuck with a dud for longer than you’d like. Keep first dates short, light and easy. Grab a coffee or a drink at a local pub or coffee shop. Take a walk along the beach or boardwalk. These options have easy escape routes if needed or could turn into a lengthier date if you’re both having fun!
10. Be Safe. Make sure to take precautions when meeting someone new in-person. Always meet and STAY in a public place and get your own way there and back.