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Whether you like it or not, online dating is here to stay. Although using online dating websites and apps may not feel like an entirely natural thing to do, more and more people are using these methods to meet people and start serious relationships.
In fact, a 2020 Pew Research Center report found that three-in-ten Americans have tried online dating. Even more promising, information from Statista indicates that a 2019 survey found that 49 percent of dating app users said they were looking for exclusive relationships.
If you're new to the online dating scene, there's no need to be intimidated. If you could use a bit of friendly advice, however, here's a crash course on the do's and don'ts of online dating.
Be Honest With Your Profile
DO post a recent photo and write an honest description of yourself. This way, people can know exactly what to expect when they meet you and you'll be more likely to connect with people who are genuinely interested in who you are.
DON’T assume that everyone else is as honest as you are. Unfortunately, some users may post outdated photos or even lie about their background. That's why it's important to try to get to know each other before meeting up in person and to choose a safe, public place to meet up for the first time, just in case.
Learn the Lingo
DO learn the lingo of dating profiles. People tend to embellish their accomplishments and physical attributes when it comes to online dating. Look out for any flowery language or vague statements that feel untrue.
DON’T get lured in by corny, overused pickup lines like, “Looking to spoil the person of my dreams with flowers and candlelit dinners.” Anyone can write something like this but few are actually interested in doing this for someone they haven't even met yet.
DO stay on high alert. If someone sounds too good to be true, they might be. That's not to say that you should be overly cynical when scrolling through potential dates, but it's helpful to be realistic and have your guard up until a person you've met can prove that they are who they say they are.
Look at More Than Pictures
DON’T choose your dates solely based on photos. It’s all too easy to scroll through internet profiles and select only the most attractive options. However, it's important to also consider someone's personality traits and interests when looking for a potential mate.
Move Conversation to the Phone
DO move the conversation along from direct messaging to phone calls. Some people are great writers—or even have a friend ghost-writing for them. In a phone chat, you’ll get a better sense of whether your personalities click.
DON’T disclose where you live or any personal information that could lead to your address. While most people who use online dating sites are probably just as normal as you are, it's always best to be overly cautious when meeting someone new (whether you meet them online or not).
DO take things slowly. Arrange to meet in a public place until you have both gotten to know each other better. You may also want to wait until you trust them before giving them your address to pick you up or drop you off.
DON’T let too many options get the better of you. If you’ve met someone you're interested in, there's no need to keep looking for new suitors online. It can be easy to get distracted by the sheer number of eligible people who post dating profiles online or on mobile apps, but once you've got a good thing going, it might be time to delete your profile.