Touching hands as you scan for books in the library is a thing of the past (unfortunately), and the singles of the world are turning to the internet to find true love. It is not all bad. Online dating allows you to prioritize and filter what is important to you so you can start by avoiding people who have your 'non negotiables' (things that you simply could not get over, ex: doesn't want kids, or to get married). It is a big ocean out there and the fish are a-plenty, but not all of them are for you. Before diving into the water, make sure you go in educated and know a few tricks to make sure your experience is a good one. With enough luck, you may just find the person of your dreams!
15 Meet in a public place
This one is not only obvious for safety reasons but it also proves to enhance the date. A first date can be awkward if there is not a lot to talk about. A public space offers lots of external stimulus to spark conversation and provide opportunities to comment during a lull in conversation. That said, if the lulls keep happening and you are continually forced to comment on your surroundings, or the weather, maybe it's a sign you don't have enough in common.
A public place is also important for the aforementioned safety aspect of it. If the person who you are meeting is even who they say they are, you don't know their intentions. Sticking around other people could be life saving (dramatic, yes. Important. More so).
14 Make it low key/inexpensive
If you are at all familiar with the modern dating world you will know that everyone is dating more than one person, and first dates are a dime a dozen. For this reason it can get very expensive. Men are not as apt to take you out for a 5 star meal on their dime because it would simply cost too much. And who is to say he will pay? Save yourself the pain of splitting a $100 bill on a date that went nowhere.
Coffee shops are great public places to meet, have a beverage, and chat comfortably. You can really get to know someone for the small cost of $3. Not only that but if it goes badly it is easier to chug a coffee than to wolf down a steak and high tail it out of there.
13 Don’t give out your number until after the first date
This may seem counterproductive but it will save you the turmoil of a stage 5 clinger or crazy person. Use the app/website messenger to set up your date. If the date goes well you can decide then if you want to see them again and can give out your number at that time. That way, you don't have a scorned man texting you at all hours of the night asking what went wrong and calling you horrible names.
On the flip side, it can be overwhelming if you are going on multiple dates and they are all texting you. Leaving conversation to the app/website allows you to keep your phone personal and separate yourself from the madness.
12 Be honest in your profile
They will find out one way or another that you are not actually an avid hiker who loves to spend nights on a mountainside. Plus, really outdoorsy men are not always looking for someone to keep up, they may just be looking for someone to come home to. Having similar interests is great but your dream active man may just like a girl to do quick hikes with, and then to come home and relax. Leave the marathons for his friends or hiking group.
Be honest, because when he finds out who you are, even if he likes it better, you've already started off as a lier and he will be instantly turned off.
11 Put “No hookups” in your profile description
This is key. As per the reputation of so many sites, it is important to say that you are serious and looking for more than sex. This will deter the predators from 'swiping right' on your profile because they know it would be harder work than they are willing to put in. It also gives you a reference for when those few sneak through.
Set a standard for yourself and stick to it.
10 Use a current picture
This is obvious. It ties back to the part about being honest, plus the fact that the timeline is shorter. It will take all of 0.001 seconds for the person to dislike you if you look totally different than your picture.
Have a few extra pounds? Own it. You'll want a man to like you for you anyway. Want men who want an active girl? Get active! Keeping an old picture will only anger the person meeting you for wasting their time and lying to them right away. Building a relationship on a lie is not a relationship at all.
9 Dress conservatively
You don't want to give it all away on the first date. Wear something appropriate for the setting and for your moral code.
Wearing a short dress to a coffee shop makes you look high maintenance. Cleavage leaves nothing up to the imagination. And something see-through is just embarrassing. Most men are looking for a 'lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets'. This means that they are looking for someone they can take home to their mom, but who is still fun in private. Revealing it all in a public place is not 'mother-approved'.
8 Do something active
Staring across a table can, as mentioned, be awkward when conversation is slow. Meet at a coffee shop, grab a coffee, and go for a walk around the block or through a mall.
More ambitious? Meet up for a game of squash or rock climbing! It is fun, a great bonding experience, and will give you a ton to talk about while not even needing to talk a lot! Plus, guys will love to see that you are active and willing to do something different.
7 Choose your photos wisely
Bathroom selfies, shirtless pictures, and bikini babes are a dime a dozen on dating sites. Yes, its nice to see how many abs a guy has, and yes the guys want to see your body, but is that all there is to you?
Your first picture should be a headshot (with you alone), second could be full body fully clothed, third can be a lifestyle group shot with friends, fourth as a bikini/shirtless (since, well, everyone is a little shallow), and after that should be fun/funny pictures (like you laying in a pizza box wearing a onsie). Those last few are the conversation starters.
6 Meet in the Middle
Nobody wants to go out of their way for a date that may not go anywhere. Pick a well known spot in the middle of your houses and each make an equal effort to get there. The shows that you are willing to compromise and don't expect the other person to do all the work. This, as you probably guessed, leads nicely into a thriving relationship.
5 Don’t overwhelm yourself
Stick to 15 people max to talk to (which is even probably too many). It's easy to get a bunch of conversations going but if you commit to too many you will get overwhelmed and lose interest in them all. Too many conversations also hinders your ability to get to know any of them. If a few people fall off your radar, delete/unmatch them and focus on the ones left. Once whittle it down to some faves see how those go. If none really make your tummy tickle, swipe right a few more times.
The odds of finding someone you like will be easier this way, promise.
4 Expect More
If the message you receive is just "hey", or, even worse "hey sexy" then delete it. The person clearly put in no effort to get your attention and may not have even read your profile (because if you filled it out and it's good, they probably would have commented on a common interest). As well, if the paragraph is riddled with acronyms and spelling errors, it also shows a lack of effort (or intelligence). "Hey babe, ur hot. wutz up" is probably one of the most common message a girl will get, and also the biggest turn off. Even the hottest guy becomes ugly if he doesn't know how to speak to a girl, or speak in general.
3 Show something about yourself through the date
This is your time to shine. First impressions are vital in a world where 4 first dates a week is not uncommon. Pick a date that reflects your personality, or do simple gestures to show it off. Example, bring reusable mugs for coffee if you are environmentally conscious or know that the environment is important to your date. This small gesture will start you off with extra brownie points and a give everyone a reason to smile.
2 Look for red flags before you meet
It is pretty easy to see a bad date before it comes if you take a moment to look. If things become overly sexual it is probably a sign they are looking to get laid right away. This can come in the form of innuendoes, pet names, or dirty pictures sent way too soon.
Another red flag is patience. If you decide to take a break for a few days and come back to 10 messages from someone wondering where you are and calling you rude names for making them wait, it is a sign of insecurity and clingyness.
1 If you have a dog, walk it
Two birds with one stone. A dog is a great positive distraction and also a secret weapon. Animals are great at sensing if a person is good or bad so it's almost like bringing a lie detector. Plus, a dog lover wants the person they are dating to also love their dog.
As a second bonus, it is great exercise. Plus, a park is a public place (go during the day and during peak times), and is full of furry adorable distractions! Win-Win-Win