How To Take Your First Steps With Online Dating

You’ve taken the plunge and are ready to start looking for a significant other online.  It’s an exciting, yet intimidating experience.  All of a sudden you have an opportunity to see and interact with more singles, than you’ve met in a year!  But wait online dating isn’t anything like meeting people in person and it certainly doesn’t come with a rule book…

Understand the Vocab: One of the first and most confusing steps is dealing with the lingo.  These are your first moments of interaction, what kind of impression do you want to leave and how in the world do you choose what to do?

Just like in “real life” the words we use to define a kind of interaction, such as a handshake, lend themselves to explaining what has just occurred between two people. This idea still applies to your online options:

Like – Think of this as a smile across from the bar.  It could grab someone’s attention. However, it’s not as engaging as if you went over and said, “Hello.”

Wink –A wink is just as quickly sent as it is dismissed.

Favorite – This is that person you talked to in the line at Starbucks.  You felt a spark right away; yes you just met them in passing, but you can’t wait to bump into them again.

Messaging – This is a text message from “the” person you’ve been waiting to hear from all day.  They’re totally into you.

Making a choice on how to communicate can determine the kind of reaction you get.

Shock and Amaze: If you need to read a few profiles before writing yours, that’s okay.

– It’s hard to know what to include in a profile and how much if you’re new to online dating.  You don’t want to write a haiku, but you don’t want to bore people to tears with details of your 5th grade piano recital.

– Make sure to give personal details, there are a thousand people who love movies and ‘want to find a partner in crime,’ what actually different about you? (Did you go to pastry school and now work in marketing.  Perhaps, you recently picked up parasailing?)

– Define what you’re looking for in a partner, if you don’t people might think your profile is fake.

Be Bold: You’ve joined online dating not to be a wallflower, you want to find someone!

– You have nothing to lose!  What are the chances you will run into this person? Zero to none; don’t wink at them, if you actually want to message.

– Don’t let your inner doubt win.  You never know who might be interested in you, unless you give it a try.  You didn’t join online dating to sit in the corner and knit did you?  If you did, I think you are on the wrong website.

Try something new:  There is nothing wrong with knowing “your type,” but try talking with someone who is different from your past relationships.

When you have thousands of options looking at you from your glowing computer screen, there is nothing wrong with testing the waters to learn what you want.  Perhaps, you go on a date with a clown and realize, “I just can’t be with someone who honks their nose for a living.”  There is nothing wrong with that, or maybe you learn that’s what you’ve been waiting for all along.  You never know what could happen.

Be Yourself:  As Dr. Seuss put it, “I am who I am and that’s a great thing to be.”  If Dr. Seuss said it, it’s got to be right. It’s hard to start a relationship with someone if you’re trying to pretend to be someone else.

Yes “hottie8675309” is extremely attractive, but you can’t find anything in their profile you have in common.  You think to yourself, “Well they named ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ as their favorite book. I think I read that in high school.” Before you know it you’re on a date with someone who wrote their PHD dissertation on ‘The Grapes of Wrath.’ Good luck with that!


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