So, it’s come to this. You’re single, and you’re bored of it. Having the freedom to do what you like whenever you please is fun for a while, but those lonely nights when you have nothing to do because all your friends are busy with their partners start to grind you down after a while. Some of your friends are even married with children, and your mother is trying to guilt-trip you into settling down and starting a family. You don’t like to bow down to peer pressure, but it’s probably time you started looking for someone to share your life with.
This isn’t as easy as it used to be. Gone are the days when you could just strike up a conversation with someone at the pub and arrange a date. Fairly soon, you’ll be lucky if you can even find a pub at all. Much like speaking to someone on the London underground, starting a conversation with someone you don’t know in a public place is more likely to convince that person that you’re weird than convince them you’d be a good bet to take out on a date.
Online dating, whether you like it or not, is the way that most relationships now start.
If you’ve never done it before, it can be a difficult thing to get your head around. How do you start a conversation with someone you’ve never met, based on nothing more than a picture of them on a screen? We’d like to think that none of our readers is the type who thinks it’s a great idea to kick things off with a heavy innuendo or a naked picture (and if you do, stop it. People don’t like it.), but how do you break the ice without sounding either too keen or slightly unhinged? If the idea of online dating has your head in a spin, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. Just follow our advice, and everything will be fine.
1. Don’t Try To Match With Everybody
We all have that one friend who ‘swipes right’ on every potential match they see on Tinder. Sometimes they do it without even looking. This is a good way to get matches, but a bad way to find anything worthwhile. Some people treat finding matches on a dating app the same way they treat playing mobile slots; just keep playing until something happens. With mobile slots, the law of averages is on your side with prolonged play. Eventually, the slot is going to pay out something. While the psychology may be the same, dating and online slots are not the same thing. With too many matches you won’t focus in on the people who really appeal to you, and you won’t stay on top of conversations. If you’re having twelve similar conversations at the same time, all of them will blend into one. You’ll sound distracted, and nobody will stand out to you. If you’re involved in conversations with two or three people at the same time, that’s enough. Don’t start swiping again unless none of them go anywhere.
2. Your Bio Is Not Your CV
All over the internet, you’ll find webpages full of embarrassing dating profiles. Your mission is to avoid ending up on one of them. Someone you know is bound to see it, and you’ll never live it down. One of the biggest mistakes made by men when filling out a dating profile is that they treat them like a CV. You’re not applying for a job. Your potential match doesn’t need to know your life history yet, and your job shouldn’t even feature in your bio. A list of your accomplishments in life will make you sound like an egomaniac. Pick two or three interesting facts about yourself or your interests, a very brief outline of what you’re looking for, and go with that. On the topic of what you’re looking for, the next point is very important.
3. Likes, Not Dislikes
None of us like to deal with timewasters. They’re bad for the soul. There are obviously people out there who we’d never dream of dating, but we don’t need to list those types of people on our dating profiles. Too many profiles start with lines like “Don’t contact me if you’re not looking for something serious,” or “Don’t contact me if you have tattoos.” The message that sends to people looking at your profile is “I’m uptight, and I’ll judge you the moment I lay eyes on you.” You don’t have to say who you won’t date, because you’ll never match with them! Nobody can contact you if you don’t match with them. If you do match, that’s because you’ve expressed an interest in them. That’s on you. Negative bios put people off; anyone who’s looking to start a new relationship is looking for positivity.
4. You Are Not Joey From Friends
Here’s a fact for you: Every time somebody receives an introductory message from someone they’ve just matched with on a dating app, and that message reads “How you doing?” (or a variation of the same), they roll their eyes. Some of them might reply to you out of sympathy, but they’re not impressed. It’s the most generic, least interesting way of saying hello in the world. You need to be able to introduce yourself in a better way than that. If you want to be charming about it, find something you like about your new match’s profile and start off by complimenting them on it. If you’re funny, tell a joke. Ask an unusual (but clean) question. Do something – anything – other than asking them how they’re doing. We promise your response rate will improve.
5. Get A Decent Picture Taken
We’re not talking ‘professional headshot’ here, but it would be nice if you could use the same kind of picture you’d consider having as your profile photo on ‘Linked In.’ Men frequently fall into one of two categories with dating app pictures. The first camp is the gym-going guys who use a shirtless picture, which screams ‘I’m a rampant narcissist.’ The second is the type who uses a picture that’s been taken on a night out, which they think makes them look like they’re a lot of fun but actually says ‘I have a drinking problem.’ You would not turn up your first date with someone shirtless. Hopefully, you wouldn’t turn up drunk either. What would you be wearing for a first date? Put it on, and get someone to take a picture of you in it. Consider it a form of advertising.