I have spoken a fair bit about dating recently but it did occur to me that I have never really shared my personal approach to dating online, especially during a global pandemic! I think there a bunch of unspoken rules about how to act online, but honestly my approach is to just let things happen as organically as you would in person. That being said there are definitely a few things I have found have that have kept me safe and helped me find like minded people a little more easily and so today I wanted to share those nuggets of wisdom with you…
Beware of limited online profiles
When you check out someones online dating profile you are usually met with a bunch of information, a few well chosen pictures, some questionable answers to the cringey questions provided on the site and any shared social media profiles the person has added. Every now and then you will come across a Jamie Dornan lookalike with nothing but a picture and maybe a few words about looking for someone special written on their profile. In my experience (and that of pretty much every girl I know who has dated online) these profiles should always be avoided.
There are a couple of reasons for this, the main one being that if someone only has one picture it’s more likely they’ve googled ‘hot Dornan lookalike’ and swiped the first photo they’ve found. However lets just say you’ve hit the Jamie Jackpot and it’s the actual person, personally I think if someone is too lazy to add some details and some extra photos is says alot about their personality (or lack thereof) and relying purely on your looks is definitely a bit of a red flag!
Prepare yourself for rejection
It happens a lot more online then it probably does in real life, and that’s mainly because people have a bit more confidence to just walk away the second something isn’t 100% perfect on the internet! I know myself I’ve had jokes go down like a lead balloon and I’ve been ghosted by people that I thought I had got on pretty well with. You can’t take any of it to heart though, I personally don’t believe in ‘one true love’ I believe there a lots of potential true loves and so there is no use getting too upset about something that just fizzled out. That being said I have heard a lot of horror stories about people being treated pretty badly when they have ended an online potential connection and it’s important to remember anyone who can be disrespectful online will most likely be even worse in real life, so consider yourself very lucky for dodging that bullet, dust yourself off and get back out there (digitally of course!)
Keep your distance settings low
I’ve definitely be stung with this one. The dating pool where I live can be a little….sparse. So I’ve extended out the distance of how far I’m happy to go to meet up someone and before you know it you’ve matched with someone great, 60 miles away. Now if you drive that’s no problem (guessing here as no one would trust me behind the wheel!) but if you’re working full time and rely on trains to get around, it will definitely suck to meet someone online that you get on great with but not actually be able to you know, meet them. I personally recommend using local dating websites (so for example Staffordshire Dating for people local to you) to make sure you match with people near you and avoiding any potential logistical heartbreak!
Be careful with what you share
I am happy to share my instagram on my dating profile and I am happy to chat in the DM’s but I don’t just hand my number out to every guy online. Just like you wouldn’t walk around handing out your whatsapp to random men in a club, I personally think it’s important to build up some level of rapport before you share too much. Call me cynical but not everyone online has your best interests at heart and being safe online is as important as it would be in person.
If you feel like you’ve built up a pretty good connection with someone, you get on well and you’d like to know a bit more about them, the obvious thing to do is to go out on a date. Well lockdown has well and truly put the breaks on that hasn’t it? If you’re able to go on a socially distanced date then I think that’s a great idea, but if you’re in a bubble like me it might be a good idea to try a virtual one, theres a reason video apps have been some of the most downloaded apps during lockdown. No, no-one looks good on video chat and no, it isn’t the same and in person dating but there’s something to be said about seeing how someone smiles and responds ‘live’ as opposed to over message!
I really hope my guide has been helpful, these are things I definitely learned through trial and error and I have to say online dating is pretty much a game of trial and error! That being said, it can be so much fun meeting new people and experiencing dating in a new and less intense way and who knows you may just meet someone special… (if you do meet a Jamie Dornan lookalike though, send him my way)