Today, online dating is widely accepted across generations and there are a multitude of dating sites available in the market. Many of these sites boast very large memberships. Because of the great span of selection, there is a certain art that often goes unnoticed but is incredibly important for successful online dating.
The natural tendency for most new online daters is to immerse themselves in the plethora of profiles on a site. However, limiting how many are viewed trains the savvy online dater to focus on quality versus quantity. Paying attention to the depth of online profiles leads to better and easier decisions in addition to higher satisfaction. Having so many profiles available at the touch of a keyboard can actually be overwhelming and many people fall victim to “choice overload” – where too many options paralyze their decision-making skills. Online daters can become turned off by too many options and although it may seem counter-intuitive, studies show that online daters are often more satisfied with their choices when they’re presented with fewer options. Therefore, the best strategy for online daters is to impose time limits on themselves when browsing profiles. Viewing profiles in manageable chunks, like 15-minute intervals twice a day, and only choosing to contact a few of the members viewed is ideal. It reduces online burnout and trains the online dater to be more selective.
Another mistake that many online daters make is doing side-by-side comparisons of the profiles that they’re viewing to see who meets their predetermined set of criteria. While reducing the pool of potential mates is beneficial, having a checklist-mentality and not letting each profile stand on its own merit will limit possibilities in a negative way. Online dating can sometimes breed an environment that promotes selection based on the most highly-desirable traits (e.g. appearance) but the most attractive people online are the least likely to respond because they’re trying to manage “contact overload” themselves. Looking beyond the most highly-desirable traits and focusing on what would make you connect with another person are key. The challenge is that many online daters don’t invest the kind of time and effort that they should when writing their profiles. That means online daters have to develop a trained eye to distinguish between those that simply don’t care and those that are serious about portraying their best image.
The most important aspect of online dating is by far communication. People flock to online dating sites to save themselves time so members should keep this in mind when determining when and how to reach out to communicate. Sending frivolous flirts in the form of tokens (e.g., cute images of roses or teddy bears) to let a person know that you’re interested is actually not the best way to go. Online daters shouldn’t hesitate to communicate with someone they’re interested in. It’s a fact that people want to be contacted, which is why they signed up for an online dating site, and they typically log in a few times a day to check for messages. Fast and eager communication are preferred and putting effort into the initial message is of the utmost importance.
Online daters have to remember that they are foregoing the opportunity to make a good first impression in person and are relying solely on their words to convey the right message. Showing off a charming smile isn’t as effective through profile pictures as it is in person, so the trick is to get the receiver of a message to smile as they’re reading it. However, too much emailing or chatting with someone can instill overly specific, and usually unrealistic, expectations about that person so it’s important to meet in person. Many online daters delay the initial meeting out of fear that the vibe they have established won’t be the same. They may hold on for as long as they can to virtual communication to try to continue building a bond before a physical meeting. Research shows that most people meet face-to-face within one week if they are local to each other. Not waiting too long to meet helps both people test the chemistry and also saves time if the level of interest is not the same after a physical meeting. Parting ways is easy and there is always a pool of new profiles to peruse so rejection doesn’t have to feel as harsh with online dating.
Overall, online dating is a highly effective way of meeting a potential mate. It provides a stream of people to consider, a safe way of learning about them and a structured process for moving toward communication and eventually meeting them. Using these tips can make the online dating experience much more worthwhile and help people find success.