The 8 Stages Of Online Dating

Parks & Recreation: Season 3
Parks & Recreation: Season 3

1. Pick a website

So you’re looking to meet new people outside of your friend circle or your usual haunts. You’ve met people through friends and family, school, on the dance floor at a bar, but it’s just not cutting it. There are hundreds of dating websites you can choose from. Some cater to niche interests, and some are as broad and general as simply finding the other person attractive. (Tinder, I’m looking at you.) Do your research and sign up for the one that best meets your criteria.

2. Get over the fact that you are online

Sure, some people still look down on being on a dating website. You may also lie to your friends that you would never be on one because you rather meet someone “the old fashioned way.” Well, technology has come a long way, and the opportunities of meeting new people have become endless. Being on a dating website is just another avenue of meeting new people — really. It’s. O. Kay.

3. Ace your profile

Be honest; be true about yourself, the type of music you like, the books you’ve read, what you do in your spare time, your height, you name it! Don’t mention that you are a marathon runner if you are huffing and puffing for breath after climbing up the stairs. Don’t use every word in the thesaurus to describe who you are. Yes, you are fun, smart, and outgoing — but try to think outside of the box! You want to stand out as an individual compared to the other people on the site. Do not make your profile too long that someone will lose his or her attention span. Keep it short, simple, and eye-catching.

4. Deliberate over which profile picture does your mug the most justice

No photo, no click! (And please refrain from bathroom selfies.) You should at least have a close-up, full-length, recent picture on your profile. Please do not put anything that is 5 years old either. Maybe you put on a little bit of weight compared to before but eventually someone is going to meet you in real life from this website, so you want to be real.

5. The matches start rollin in

When sending a message to someone initially, try to think of something that’s linked back to his or her profile rather than saying “Hey! My name is Joe. I live in New York. I like to go out with friends on weekends, but I also don’t mind staying home to watch a movie with good company. It looks like we have a lot in common. Do you agree?” This is when it feels like you literally copied and pasted the same thing to different people. You are wasting their time, along with yours if your level of commitment is so nominal that you don’t want to write a short personal note. Also, if you have no objective of potentially being able to committing to a long distance relationship, don’t go fishing in the seas that are far away! If you don’t get a response back within a couple days, he or she is most likely not responding back. Respect that, and move on. Don’t just stick to messaging one person at a time — you’d be on a dating website forever if you did. Be proactive.

6. Go on a real-life date

After a few message exchanges, it’s time to meet in person. On a side note, if the person lives far away, try to have a FaceTime date to see if there’s a connection before you meet in person. Don’t pick anything overly romantic for the first date. Dinner dates are too time consuming. Make it a public event where it’s easy to cut it short if you are not feeling it, or easy to extend if you both are having a good time. Meeting up for drinks or coffee is the safest bet.

7. Start playing the field, but remember it’s not a buffet

Date, date, date! You can schedule two dates in one day, one during lunch and other around dinnertime — this is your experience! Don’t settle for one person unless you both have become exclusive. When meeting people from online dating, you honestly don’t know how many people they are dating other than you. You have to do you! Dating can become time consuming and overwhelming. When you catch yourself telling the same story over and over again, it means you may have gone on way too many dates with whoever approached you. It’s fine to take a break from the online dating world.

8. Realize that you cannot take online dating too seriously

Don’t get attached to any one person too soon. It can be difficult when you want to find “the one”, but getting to know someone takes time and patience. You will meet all sorts of people through this experience. You may make a good friend, fling, or lifelong partner through this process, but no matter what you will have interesting stories to share. Keep your head high! Don’t let anyone put your self-confidence down through this experience, and who knows? You might end up meeting your special someone online, after all. [tc0mark]

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