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How to Date Online in 2021

Online dating is now the most popular way for singles to meet. Here are some tips to get you started or hone your skills.

ArabLounge Staff Dec 8, 2020
Iranian Dating App

Meeting someone on the internet is just about the safest way of dating. This is because you have the opportunity to vet potential dates prior to that date, which is something that you cannot do if you meet somebody in a pub or club. You'll have undoubtedly seen some online dating horror stories, but they're so rare it isn't worth worrying about. If companies use apps to find and qualify potential workers then you certainly can do exactly the same thing for your relationships.

To help you get the most of your online dating experience and teach you how to online date, here are some tips for online dating:

Your profile photo is key

Many online daters do not even open all their messages, because they cannot be bothered to sift through all of them to find the interesting ones. A glance at your photo is what will often determine whether your message is worth the effort, so if your primary picture is not the single best photograph you have of yourself, then you're not putting your best foot forward. Avoid lame topless shots, blurry images, and make sure your photo showcases your best attributes--you need an image that shows you're an easygoing , enjoyable individual with a busy social life.

Consider your profile photo as the cover of your book. Although it’s true that what you write in your opening message and on your profile can make you stand out, a good deal of your success with internet dating will be how potential matches react to your profile image. We all know how important first impressions are, so to capitalize on this key point will determine your online dating success.

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Your profile should be informative but leave something to the imagination

What, specifically, you write on your profile matters less than the feeling your profile conveys to its reader. You’ll want to come off as who you really are by being sincere and true to your character. This is not a resumé; you are not auditioning for a job, so don't write it as if you're trying to impress. If you’re a funny person, be funny. If you’re witty, be witty. But if you’re serious and dull… don’t be too serious and definitely don’t be dull! Mentioning something a bit embarrassing about yourself can make you seem more approachable and can be a good icebreaker. A good way to get started is to ask your friends or family members how they would describe you, what makes you unique and what they like most about you.

Search for matches and reach out to them

Okay, now that you have perfected your profile, it’s time to start meeting people. If you’re lucky, you’ll start receiving interest signals from other online daters right away. This is an exciting time and may be reminiscent of those days in your youth when you first started interacting with members of the opposite gender. You’ll be flattered and a bit apprehensive. It’s always a good idea to reply to each message, even if you’re not interested… you never know where it may lead.

It’s also important to take matters into your own hands and reach out to the singles who interest you. Many sites provide quick and easy ways to show interest, suck as winking, liking and messaging. Don’t be shy.

When messaging, do not just send the same mass email to everybody: if you tailor the message to its recipient, they’ll know you actually read their profile and aren’t just carpet bombing the site with generic messages. Say something nice about their picture, or mention something you read in the profile which piqued your interest.

Look for something other folks might have missed. Focus on common interests you may have. Make sure each message you send is open-ended and ask some questions to increase your odds of receiving a reply. Don’t be too nosy at first though, as that can come off as clingy and raise some red flags.

Use common sense

As in real life, online dating is not absent of risk. If someone is asking you for money, don’t send them money! Would you give large amounts of money to someone you just met in a bar? No you wouldn’t. So why even entertain that idea online?

Ensure the photographs you've seen are real. If you cannot view their FB page or when their profile just has 1 photograph then it's fine to ask for a couple more. Never meet up with anybody if you have not had a look at several of their photographs. This will reduce the probability that they are attempting to pass themselves off as better looking than they are, or someone completely different altogether.

Move your interactions to a more personal communication platform

At some point, you’ll want to transition from online dating to the real thing. You will be leaving the relative safety of the internet to the exhilaration of real life. As always, use common sense and be safe.

Once you have developed some trust and rapport with the person of interest, you can move away from the dating app where you met to some more personal process of communicating. Share your email address, whatsapp, or whatever online messaging system of your choice.

From here you can deepen your relationship by sending each other messages more easily throughout the day and once you’re feeling comfortable, you can then transition to talking on the telephone.

Meet in real life

When you’re sure enough that the person you are communicating with online is for real, and you want to take things to the next level, it’s time to meet in real life.

Pick a public place that you know well rather than a new or random place. Ideally, this place will provide the chance for you to sit/walk side by side and not confine you to a spot that may make you uncomfortable. Don’t commit to a long, drawn out first meeting. Avoid going to dinner, the cinema or sitting opposite each other.

If you have a good experience on your first date, offer to meet again for a more formal date. You’ll know by now whether or not you’ll feel comfortable dining with this person and spending a longer amount of time with them. At this point, you’re dating in real life, and online dating worked for you!

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