Being successful on a dating website doesn't have to be a major challenge; however, there are ways to boost your success and ways to damage your chances. The old adage "be yourself" may not apply as much as "put your best foot forward." While honesty is important, dating successfully online is similar to dating successfully offline--you want to present the best aspects of yourself rather than giving too much away all at once.
Research online dating sites. There are dating websites available to people from all walks of life and, based on the focus on the website you choose, the type of people available on each website will likely fall into the intended target audience. If you are looking for something serious, avoid sites that focus on casual dating. If spiritual beliefs are important to you, look for dating sites that support those ideals. Sexual preference, lifestyle, beliefs, location and many other types of criteria should be part of what helps you choose what website will be the best one for you.
Choose a flattering picture of yourself. The photo that you choose to be your profile picture should be an accurate, yet flattering, representation of what you really look like. Many people choose photos that are years old or that do not portray their true, current appearance. This can cause issues down the road if someone who has expressed interest in you feels as though you have not been honest or that you have something to hide. A good profile picture should show you with a happy face, in a good light and dressed nicely. Ask a friend for their opinion on what picture would be a good choice.
Decide what kind of relationship you would like to pursue. If you want something serious, then you may want to avoid people who are only looking for something casual or vice versa. Successful online dating happens when you find someone who is looking for the same things as you are and who is willing to meet you halfway to make the relationship work.
Write an honest profile. If you are looking for someone with similar interests, beliefs or lifestyle, convey that in your profile description. Don't be afraid to list hobbies and interests that you would like to share with someone, even if you don't know people in your offline life who share those. A dating website will expose you to people around the world with a range of interests that may match yours. Don't seem as though your ego is overwhelming, but don't be self-depreciating either. Simply state who you are and what kind of person you would like to find. Also note how serious of a relationship you are looking for.
Be respectful, just like you would if you were on a "real," offline date. Many times, because of the anonymity of the Internet, people feel freer to reveal things about themselves or to say or do things that they would not normally say or do. This can be off-putting to someone who is getting to know you. If you view an online relationship in the same manner you would an offline relationship, use those rules for behavior and language to guide your interactions. Then, once you are more familiar with someone, you can start to step deeper into different parts of your personality.
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- Don't limit yourself to getting to know people only within a specific geographical location--even if you aren't willing to relocate. Many times, if a relationship looks like it is going to work out and is ready to move forward, the "details" can be dealt with when it's time. If you don't seem to find anyone you're interested in within a certain area, expand your search to see what kind of people you may find outside of your own location.
- Don't rush into anything. Just like relationships offline, online relationships take time so that you can get to know someone well enough to see if you want to move to the next level. If things are moving faster or slower than you are comfortable with, be clear about what your expectations are so that you and the other person can be on the same page or can be free to find someone else who is.
- Never reveal specific information about where you live or how someone can locate you. The Internet can be fun, but there are also dangers if you are not safe and protective about your private life. If you decide to meet in person, bring a friend. Or meet in a public, neutral location after telling a friend where you are going ahead of time.