Top Ten Tips for Success in Online Dating

online dating tipsUpwards of 2% of marriages are from matches made through online dating. That’s a lot.

Wondering how that 2% got their success? Here are the top ten tips for online dating success.

1. A good main profile picture, and a good gallery of what you look like. It doesn’t have to be a studio portrait. It can be something you took yourself on your phone. It has to be clear. Have a photo of your face and a full body shot. Include other photos of you and other people, you and your hobbies.

Keep these photos recent and real. It takes away the fear of rejection once they see you. They know what you look like at the outset!

Good photos also tell your story a little. Do you look like you laugh easily? Do you look like someone who makes an effort, but never trying too hard?

2. Approachable username and description. You’d want to be unique, but not too obscure. It’s best if you take your nickname and just add another word or a couple of numbers to it. Which is better? Julie2786 or puppymama29? 14KyleBlue or bestmate5454? A personable username is like wearing a good outfit to an interview.

Your headliner or description is your profile’s title and subtitles.

This is composed of three pards. The first sentence or paragraph to introduce yourself, what you do, what you like. The second one, list some of your dislikes or ‘dealbreakers’. In the third, what have you been doing lately?

Keep this short. Pretend you’re at a table and everyone’s introducing themselves. You don’t want to make a speech, and at the same time, you want to be memorable and possibly start a conversation later.

“Hi I’m Julie, I’m a financial consultant in love with Doctor Who. I like scifi and suspense shows, and eating sushi. I’m cutting back on fry-ups. Like rude people, they’re not healthy for you. I hate rude and heartless people.

Just bought a little trampoline. Aerobic rebounder. Good for the heart and nerves and immune system. I’ve been jumping a lot. Feels quite awesome.”

3. An interesting profile. Look at Julie’s short description above. She’s introducing herself, but at the same time, she sounds like you’re already her friend, just reporting to you about how the trampoline is getting on.

On the other hand, she’s also left herself open for teasing. Vulnerable. This is what interesting profiles are like. Open up. Reveal vulnerabilities that are actually your best features. It’s what makes you YOU.

Imagine if instead of the trampoline closer, Julie instead said, “I just closed with a client and got a nice bonus. Time to kick back and relax now.”

That is true for about 99% of the adult population: finishing a job and taking a breather. It’s dull.

In your profile, use the same concept.

Update this profile and your photos regularly. Some sites have a filter for ‘Recently updated’ profiles, or a spot in the homepage where those who update their profiles get featured. You can get exposure this way.

4. Narrow focus. Someone compatible turning up will actually go higher if you’re specific about what you’re looking for in your date. Age bracket. Hobbies. Dealbreakers. Be specific.

5. But ease up on requirements a little. It’s a fine balance of knowing what you want without being rigid.

6. Sound interested in that first message/first approach to someone you like. Find something in their profile and grab that as a threshold. Don’t compliment. That doesn’t merit a response. Be interested. Ask about something and share something. “I see you’ve read The Shadow of the Wind. That didn’t let me go for about 30 hours. No sleep. Almost no food! And I wore a diaper. Just kidding. It’s great, right?”

7. Be polite but not too polite. See, in the message above, it was nice enough, but not stiff. It’s warm and funny. Manners matter, but you shouldn’t sound unlike yourself. Be friendly. Act as if you’re already friends with the other person.

8. Work toward the first eyeball or first date with communication. You exchange messages in the online site. And then you add each other on Facebook. You talk via Whatsapp or Viber or Tango or any other of the countless messaging applications online.

You can skip this and meet immediately, but you’d have to deal with breaking ice. If you get to know each other a little, you can meet as friends and talk like friends.

9. Meet somewhere public that one or both of you love. You’d be in your element. You’d be at home. And when you’re in a place like that, you’re on your best. You look happy. This happiness, confidence and contentment is catching--if even just one of you is in a beloved place, that’s enough.

10. Be patient. You may meet your life mate at the first go. Or it may only happen after you’ve met 11 people. Online dating is like entering a room with a thousand people in it. It takes some luck and time before you get through to the one you’ll want to hold on to. In the meantime, you just keep to Steps 1-9.