Online dating. We all already have a preconceived idea around this new form of romancing. When I’ve asked some of my friends why they don’t try it , their answer would always be “it’s not for me”.
To be honest, I contemplated downloading Tinder for quite a while before actually doing it. Firstly, because it seemed terrifying putting myself out there to be judged based on an image; and secondly because the idea I had of the type of guy using Tinder seemed even more terrifying.
Needless to say, I did end up downloading the app and it has ended up being a very entertaining and rather awkward part of my life. 9/10 times, I would not recommend it, but if you are as single and bored as I am, give it a try.
Tips on starting your profile
To kick things off, you’re going to have to set up a profile for yourself: a few photos, a short bio and the option of linking your Instagram and Spotify to show what great taste you have.
Please don’t be one of those people who only upload one photo. Or even worse, one photo of you and a friend… How am I supposed to know who I’m looking at here?
There is an unspoken guide to your Tinder profile, where choosing three photos is your best bet: your first photo should be a shot of you alone, the best one you have. This may be the only chance you have at a right swipe.
Your second photo should be of you and a few friends, showing that you’re sociable and that other people actually like you.
And thirdly, consider including a photo of yourself with an animal (extra points for puppies). This is a sure winner for guys, but I’m sure for girls too.
With regards to your bio – keep it short and simple. And refrain from using a pick-up line or posting how tall you are.
The guys you’re going to meet, but don’t want to
In my few months of online dating, I’ve met three types of guys:
The first type uses online dating to have fun. They will often state this very directly in their bio’s by saying something like “Here for hook-ups”. You can decide for yourself if this is the guy you want to meet.
A second type of guy I’ve come across is one that uses online dating just to chat. When this happened to me for the first time, I was very confused. I had been chatting to someone for a few weeks and when I suggested we meet for a drink he just didn’t want to. He gave some weird excuse of us living too far apart and we ended up not speaking for a while. When he started talking to me again, I suggested we meeting up again. He reacted in a shocked way saying: “haven’t we been over this before”. Stay away from them.
Thirdly, there are the “ghosters”. You chat to someone for a few hours/ days and mid-convo the person disappears, and you realise you have been unmatched. Without any reason. Unfortunately, you’re not able to prevent yourself from meeting these people. Just know they do exist.
Even though a lot of the people on online dating sites are like the above-mentioned three types, there are still some great people on there. I’ve met a few good ones, they just take a while to find.
What not to do
We are all very excited when meeting someone online, but please don’t be that person that sends nudes in the first 10 minutes, or at all without the person explicitly asking for it. We don’t want to see it. And from the other side of the convo – don’t send pictures of yourself to people you don’t know. This can end very badly.
Preparing for your first date
First dates are awful. I’ve seldom heard of a great first date in an online dating scenario. There’s only so much you can do to prepare for a date, but keep these pointers in mind.
First step – stalk. Thanks to social media, we can learn a LOT about someone by visiting their social media profiles. This can be very useful for finding topics to talk about before your first date, so dig deep!
Keep your first date casual by going for a drink or two at a place you’re familiar with. If the date is going well, you can discuss grabbing a bite, but you want to leave the option open to go home in case things aren’t running smoothly.
I made the mistake of agreeing on sharing a bottle of wine on a first date with a guy, before I met him. Then I realised two minutes into convo that this wasn’t going too go well and that I’d made a big mistake since I now felt obliged to stay till the bottle was finished.
At the end, you’re just going to have to go and see how it is. Out of my own experience, there was only one date I felt went well and it was with someone I barely knew. This is compared to the most awkward date I’ve had, which had been with someone I had been talking to for six weeks before finally meeting in person.
Keeping it safe
When meeting a stranger online, pay extra attention to your safety. These are some tips I’ve picked up with time.
Never trust a guy who has no bio and only one photo on display. Especially if it looks like a stock photo of a handsome Doctor. See if the person looks and talks like a real human being before meeting up somewhere.
When meeting up – be sure to arrange your first meeting in a public place. I’ve been invited to go hike in a random spot by someone I only talked to for about a day, so trust your gut when something seems off.
Tell a friend about your date. Make sure they know where you’re going and when, so that they can check in to make sure you’re fine.
Do you have any online dating experiences to tell us about? Leave a comment in the section below.