If you’re new to dating apps or just looking for advice on how to navigate the process with more success, here are a few online dating rules to keep in mind
1. Know what you want.
Online dating works best when you actually know what you’re looking for. Are you interested in finding a committed relationship? Or are you more interested in casual dating and sex? Or maybe you’re just looking to meet interesting new people?
Set a clear intention for what you’re looking for. It may even be helpful to sit down beforehand and journal a little bit about what kind of relationship you want and who would be the ideal person to do that with. That way, you can be thoughtful as you evaluate people’s profiles and decide whether to swipe right (connect) or swipe left (pass) on someone. Focus on matching with people who actually align with your dating goals.
2. Use clear photos of your face, ideally smiling.
It’s good to have a variety of photos of yourself on your dating profile. Make sure your face is clearly visible, and don’t make the first photo a group shot where it’s not clear which person is you. Smiling photos tend to appeal to most people—it makes you seem approachable and fun. If possible, showcase some of your personality in the photos too: a shot of you laughing, a shot of you outdoors if you love nature, or a shot of you in PJs with a decaf coffee if that’s your ideal Friday night.
3. Write an interesting opener.
When you message someone for the first time, don’t just say, “Hi” or, “Hey, what’s up?” Make it engaging! Show that you’ve read their profile by commenting on something they’ve written or about a specific photo of theirs, or better yet, ask a question based on it. You can also ask something specific about shared collective experiences—an upcoming holiday, the unpredictability of the pandemic, or something specific to your city.
4.Don’t bother with people who aren’t interested in you.
If someone doesn’t respond to your first message or two, leave them alone. They probably haven’t checked the app and will see your messages when they get back on, or they’ve seen your messages and simply aren’t interested. Respect their time and accept their rejection.
“There are a million possible reasons that person didn’t write back, and 99.9% of the time, that has nothing to do with your attractiveness and value as a person,” dating coach
5.Define the relationship.
Once you’ve been going on dates and talking to someone for a while, start having conversations to define the relationship. That doesn’t mean you need to immediately jump into an exclusive commitment; it just means talking openly about why you’re spending time together and how you each see the relationship progressing.
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