You may not know that Valentine’s Day isn’t the only time of the year we celebrate love. Yes, August is National Romance Awareness Month. Many singles might think they are too busy to find love, but thanks to the world of online dating, that does not have to be the case. Times have changed and the world of dating has been turned upside down. Friends are less likely to go on a blind date or get fixed up by an office friend. If you’re not a party person who frequents the bar scene, or you suffer from workaholic tendencies you may feel that your options for meeting someone new are quite limited. Online dating continues to grow in popularity, but there is a recipe to successfully finding romance online. If you’ve been curious or are new to the online dating game and want to give it a try, we’ve got some great tips to get you started. Keep in mind honesty, patience and a well-thought out profile are the keys to finding real love online:
- Build a Great Online Profile—your online profile is initially your biggest selling point when online dating, but don’t be intimidated by the thought of that. Just be sure to put some thought into it and grab a friend to help if you’re not sure what to say. Select a good picture of yourself (no more than a year old), have fun with a catchy headline and write a few honest paragraphs that are fun yet truthful about who you are and what you’re looking for. Update your photos as often as possible and include photos from vacations, taking part in a hobby you enjoy or with your pet. Many people extend the truth a slight bit, maybe they’re a half inch shorter than they are in real life, but other than that, be honest. If the online communication leads somewhere, they are going to learn the truth anyway. And always spell check and proofread your profile for errors.
- Know What You’re Looking For in a Mate—be honest with yourself about the kind of person you’re looking for. There’s no point in pursuing someone that doesn’t fit the profile of a person you’d be interested in dating. It’s a waste of their time and yours. Make a mental list of the traits that are important to you and the ones that are deal breakers. Put this information in your profile. Be upbeat but clear about what you’re interested in and the type of individual you want in your life. If there are deal breakers, make sure you list them in a carefully crafted way.
- Online Dating is Similar to a Job Interview—as tough as that sounds, the two are very similar. When a job opening is posted, there could easily be a hundred applicants and the same goes for online dating. Just like a job opening, you need to put your best foot forward. If you want to stand out from the online dating pool, take the time to make your profile unique. Check out what the competition looks like and says by searching for people just like you. When you do contact someone, point out something special you read in their profile, like a photo of them playing a sport, a vacation they took or comment on their pet. Make yourself stand out. You will also need to be patient. Keep in mind that if you walk into a room with 200 people, only a couple of them might actually be a fit for you and someone you would date. This is no different than online dating. It may take a bit to meet a great person to date in real life.
- Know the Difference Between Online Life vs. Real Life—beautifully written emails and sexy messages are wonderful and flattering but nothing can replace a face-to-face interaction. Once you’ve talked online and by phone for a short period of time, make a plan to meet in person. Some people think they’ve fallen in love with someone through email or over the phone before they ever met. Your heart can conjure up a lot of romantic notions when you’re reading these wonderful emails but an in-person meeting tells you a lot more. Are they as they described themselves? Is there an attraction? Are they polite and use manners? These are all things that need to be determined in-person. Before meeting in-person, do a little research to see what you can find on this person. A Google search and background check can uncover some big red flags.
- Don’t Obsess—it may be easier said than done, but limit the time you’re on dating sites each day. A one hour time period is recommended. It might be tempting to stare at the screen for hours at a time, especially in the beginning, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It’s smart to pace yourself to avoid online dating site burnout (yes, this is a thing). And in the case of online dating, the less is more approach can actually increase your odds of success.
Justin Lavelle is Communications Director for PeopleLooker (http://www.peoplelooker.com), the easy way to search for people. It gives you fast, affordable, and easy access to public records. PeopleLooker is widely used by online daters who use background checks to help screen their potential dates. Find out ages, marital status, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, and so much more! All the records you need in one simple report.