Thought Catalog
June 16, 2017

8 Ways To Make Online Dating A More Pleasant Experience

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Tatiana Niño

Dating has entered a whole new level over the past recent years. It’s no longer as simple as we want it to be – a guy seeing you across the room in a social event, approaches you and striking up a conversation or mutual friends introducing you to someone and you hit it off…. Well, those were the days!

Online dating sites used to be thought as ridiculous and desperate. Why create an online profile to meet “matches” when you have a plethora of people out there? It’s easy to say it but with work or school schedules being hectic and people having their faces stuck to their phones, it’s your next best bet to find someone romantically or even platonically. This is especially when you’re not the type to socialise outside of your own circle.

Having gone through the ordeal of meeting new people on online platforms for the past three years, I have decided to give you a few tips to navigate the vast sea of online dating.

1. Putting yourself out there

I admit it’s the scariest part – putting up a profile, selecting photos for strangers to swipe on is a nerve-wrecking process. When a friend of mine decided to set up an account for me on Tinder, I was so terrified. I hated the fact that there would be thousands of people out there who would judge me based on my photos and would pass a ‘Like’ or ‘Nope’ on me. How degrading, I thought! Don’t worry though, thousands of others are doing just the same, might as well get into it. If you can’t beat them, join them!

2. Your online profile has to be concise

Trust me when I say this, more than half of the men or women who swipes right or clicks on the ‘Like’ button wouldn’t read your profile (especially on Tinder). It’s a cruel world out there – pictures play more importance than what we actually have to say about ourselves. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to write anything about yourself! Keep it playful, nothing too passive-aggressive or just simple quote that best describes you. That will suffice. Be a mystery and don’t give everything away even before you matched.

3. Don’t be afraid to say hi first!

Many girls think that guys should always make the first move. I’m not saying you shouldn’t hold onto your traditionalist views… because sometimes guys do have to make the first move. But with this thought in mind, it will usually involve ‘silent matches’ and you’d end up getting very frustrated because the guy doesn’t say anything after you’ve matched! It gets incredibly frustrating when the guy seems like an interesting person who’d hit it off with you!

During the first few months of this, I was very upset. However, after talking to a couple of male friends I have, it seems that they’re also afraid of making the first move because they would usually get no replies from the other party. Communication is a two-way street people! Go out there (or in this case, virtually) and say hi! You may never know who is out there and what kind of conversation you might have.

4. Keep the conversation going

Throughout my experience, men can go a mirage of ways. Some would be chatty from the get go. Some would be cautious and would only text you more often when you seem open. Some would just be interested in one night stands or being friends with benefits. Some really want to settle down and have kids with you…. (It can get very intense!) This is where you can play 20 questions at the comfort of your own bed, in your PJs and drinking tea. I find this part of the process the most enjoyable and yet the most frustrating.

This is also the part where you can gauge if the person you’re talking to has chemistry with you. Throw in jokes, throw in funny stories of your life and see how he responds. Great guys who are interested (and not at all empty in their heads) usually respond more than just a ‘Haha’ or a ‘LOL’. They’d build on what you have to say and continue the conversation just like you had. If the replies you get are just one word or very insignificant, you’re allowed to walk away.

5. You’re allowed to walk away

Not everyone you meet online is going to be nice. Not everyone you matched on those dating apps are going to interest you. I have gone through a phase where my matches seemed very interesting and would have hit it off with me based on their profiles. Yet, when conversation was initiated, chemistry was nada. Don’t fret! You can simply just move on. During my first few months, I would reluctantly ‘unmatch’. However, after being ‘ghosted’ by someone whom I thought I had a great connection with, I began to tactfully let the other person down.

It’s much more civilised that way and the other person wouldn’t have to wonder why you ‘ghosted’ them. No one wants to know that someone else is uninterested. But it will make you feel good that you have ‘ended’ an interaction on a good note. Plus the other person would appreciate it if you are tactful enough.

6. Meeting up face-to-face is important

Online chemistry versus face-to-face chemistry are two very different things. I have had experience where the online chemistry – texting, phone calls etc. were not as exciting as I wanted them to but when I met the guy, the chemistry was explosive. It doesn’t mean you can’t have face-to-face chemistry with someone whom you’ve had great chemistry online! If you have both, girl, you’re in for a ride. Ultimately in this digital age, both is considered ideal. Having said that, you’re going to be in a relationship with a real person, face-to-face chemistry outweighs everything else!

7. Be open to new ideas and have fun

For a good part of the first year, I would refuse to meet someone over coffee after just a few days of talking or texting. I realised that chemistry sometimes fizzles out fast online (Look at No. 6!) So when that cute person asked you out to have lunch or a small meet up at a café to have coffee, go for it!

8. Most importantly, be safe!

I have met my fair share of creeps online. Some people are just downright creepy when you meet them finally. Always be sure to meet someone in a place full of people. Try not to give away your address too soon so that he or she can pick you up on that first meet up. Fun is fun, excitement is great but always have your own safety and welfare in mind! TC mark