Online dating is a new realm for many women. It can be daunting, as well as confusing, so here's some need-to-know online dating advice for women to make navigating the online dating "jungle" a little bit easier.
1. Make your profile great.
One of the keys to successful online dating is a well written profile. When it comes to profile text, be brief and unique. Men don't want to read the usual "blah blah blah" of why you are fabulous, a list of your hobbies, and how you "work hard and play hard." Instead, use language that enables him to imagine, in his mind's eye, the two of you doing the things you love to do together!
Specificity will make you stand out! For example, rather than saying "I love to go to jazz clubs and hike in Runyon Canyon," you could say, instead, "If we are a match, the perfect weekend may include checking out the latest jazz club, staying up just a bit too late, sleeping in guilt free, lots of cuddle time, and then spending our afternoon on the hiking trail where we talk, laugh, and plan which movie to go see later."
2. Post Recent Photos.
If you are okay with you who are, someone else you meet is going to be okay with who you are too. Keep your photos casual and recent. Be honest about who you are; uploading both a headshot and a body shot helps, and try not to include too many other people in your photos.
3. Use good grammar!
Spelling errors, bad grammar and too many acronyms do not make the best first impression. Be literate, and use full sentences when writing messages to people you are communicating with. Remember, your online profile is not a giant text message box. Spell out the words "you" instead of "u." Avoid LOL and other text -based language. Capitalize your sentences, use commas and be complete in your thoughts.
Remember, you are making a first impression and you want men to easily rule you "in," rather than find a way to quickly rule you "out."
4. Determine what type of site is best for you.
There are general dating sites, and there are also relationship services. You just have to decide which is best for you. A general dating site would be something like match.com. If you are more interested in marriage or a more serious relationship, a site like eharmony.com might be a better choice for you.
5. Avoid white lies.
Posting a photo that is more than 9 months old, or lying about your age are two common white lies when it comes to online dating. Always be honest about what you are posting. If you do want to impact the site algorithm and attract men who are younger or older, simply give a "heads up" notice in the first line or two of your "about me" section. For example, "Just a heads up! In order to make sure I don't miss out on a great match because of age discrimination and algorithm based matching, I want to let you know that I was actually born in 1966!"
6. Communicate several times before going on a date, but not too many times!
Aim to meet someone you are corresponding with online within 10 days. Lingering in emails and texts can cause you to feel close to someone you don't even know yet. This also does not mean that if a man you are emailing with has not asked you out, that you should ask him out!
If he is continually emailing you without asking you out, you can politely let him know that you would like to meet. Let him take if from there. My favorite language goes something like this, "I have enjoyed getting to know you online, but I know that for me and what I am looking for, meeting is really important. What about you?"
7. Leave the hour long phone calls for after you've already gone out on a date.
Just because you have an hour long phone call with someone you've met online, does not mean that there is a guaranteed in-person spark. Leave this for after you've already determined that this person could be a match for you!
8. It is okay to initiate contact with a man online - and if he doesn't write you back...
Do Nothing. Move on. Create the space needed to allow someone else to ask you out. If someone writes you and you are not interested, it's nice to send him an email letting him know that you are flattered by his inquiry, but that you just don't think you are a match. And then get to the other messages in your inbox...
9. Manage your expectations.
No one is capable of describing themselves perfectly, and your date may not be exactly what you were hoping for. But remember that you are either going to get to know more about this person or part ways, and either option is fine. The value of each experience you have online dating in general is one powerful step towards finding love. Remember, not every "at bat" is a home run!
10. Have fun!
It is easy to forget to enjoy dating, but it is really a time for you to figure out what does and does not work for you. Remember, you might have to meet a few Mr. Wrongs before you meet Mr. Right, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't have a good time during the process.