Advice for Online Dating

Online dating can open new doors of opportunity to meet the right person, but your chances of finding a date heavily depend on how you construct your online profile. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with online dating that impression is made by your profile. You need to make sure it is the best it can be.


Photographs are one of the most important parts of an online dating profile. Physical attraction is important, so you need to supply a clear and unobstructed photo of yourself to potential dates. Don't use a photo with bad lighting or where your face is made up excessively, obscured, or in a strange perspective. It is best to let others see what you look like. If you don't, they might think something is wrong with you, and if you meet in person they might not know what to expect. Including a shot that shows your body type or additional photos that show more of you can be useful. Avoid photos that are overly revealing, and be careful with posting unflattering photos, such as party shots. You might want dates to know that you enjoy partying, but that does not mean you should post a photo taken the last time you got sick drinking.

Profile Content

Your profile photo is likely the first thing a potential date will see, but it is the written content of your profile that ultimately determines whether you find a date. When constructing your profile, write with positivity and optimism. Talk about your passions and favorite hobbies because finding a common ground between interests can often lead to fun dates. Be honest about what you say on your profile. The purpose of online dating is to find someone who will accept you for who you are. Lying about yourself or exaggerating can easily come back to haunt you, and it will make for more stressful meetings. Check your spelling and grammar twice before you are finished.

The First Date

If you connect with someone who interests you through your online dating site, begin by communicating through the site or other services, such as IM, Facebook, or over the phone. This can help you develop a level of familiarity with the person before you meet in person and assist you in deciding whether meeting is worth your time. Never feel pressured to respond to inquiries or go out on a date if you don't want to. There are a lot of fish in the sea on online dating sites, and it is not worth the time or effort to respond to people you are not interested in. For the first date, meet in a neutral location in a public place, such as a coffee shop, restaurant, or bar. Don't feel pressured to meet with someone again after the first date if you are no longer interested. There is no shame in being fickle when dating online. If your date isn't the right person, move on.

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About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.

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