Dating sites, and all of the online dating questions that come with them, can feel a little overwhelming. For one, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. For another, it can be a little disappointing when you realize that the perfect match isn’t as easy to find as you think. But fret not. We know that it’s completely possible to find your other half online. After all, up to a third of marriages in the recent decade started over the internet, and these couples are as happy – if not happier – than their more traditional counterparts.
At the very least, dating apps are the perfect space to find like-minded people. If you’re new to the online dating scene or just looking for advice on how to find your type with more success, here are a few rules to keep in mind.
1. Be clear about what you want
Much has been written about goal-setting because the science behind it is solid. If you want something to happen, you increase your chances exponentially by turning it into a goal.
Goal-setting works because it guides focus, triggers behavior, and sustains momentum. Let’s assume, for example, that you’re saving money for a vacation. If you’re asked where you want to go, and you say, “anywhere”, the likelihood that you’ll get there is low because the end goal isn’t clear.
Conversely, if your goal was more specific – say, you want to save $10,000 for a one-week vacation in the Maldives by December, you’re much more likely to save that amount because the finish line is so more tangible.
Goal-setting in relationships works in exactly the same way – the clearer you are about what you want, the more likely it is that you’ll get it. Are you ready for a committed relationship? Or are you more interested in dating casually or making new friends? Before you start your online dating journey, it may help to pause for a moment and reflect. Journal, if that’s helpful, or talk with a close friend. Knowing what you want out of the dating app experience can help you select the right matches from the get-go.
2. Make your profile reflect your goals
You may notice that we tend to fall for like-minded people. Both online and offline, people opt for similarity across a wide variety of characteristics, such as demographics, attitudes, and religion. This desire for traits similar to yours also extends to physical appearances, drinking and smoking habits, and even pet choices. In this regard, the best strategy for online dating (or any kind of dating, for that matter) is to be yourself. Talk about your hobbies on your profile. Highlighting rare or unusual interests actually leads to greater online dating success.
Drs. Khan and Chaudry also suggest a number of ways to boost your profile. Users were much more likely to meet like-minded people when they described who they were and what they were looking for. Your “My info” section and the hashtags you select should reflect that: whether you’re an #outgoing parent into #hiking looking for a #long-term relationship or a high-flying #career enthusiast looking for #international-love, make sure you add it to your profile!
We know, finding the right person is not easy! That’s why we offer several features to help you find the person who will still drive you crazy from time to time (we aren’t magicians!) but who will also complete you. Learn more about compatibility features on #Dating.
Compatibility on #Dating:
One of the best features is our This or That game. You can answer a set of questions where you have to choose your preference between two options. Then you can invite a match to play the same game, see their answers and even get a compatibility score! You both prefer dogs over cats? Good first sign, right?
3. Capitalize on your options
Dating apps give you a plethora of options, which can be a little overwhelming for some people.
Don’t worry though. While dating apps can give you decision paralysis, there are tricks to overcome it:
- Instead of scrolling mindlessly during your lunch break, set aside a short but devoted window of time for swiping. This allows you to give potential partners your undivided attention and increases your chances of meeting like-minded people who catch your eye.
- Once you do get a match, strike up a conversation, and keep it engaging. Go through their profile to see what they’re into, and ask them a question about one of their hobbies.
- Have common interests? Even better. Shared interests increase the chances of success in most relationships. Send them an opener about your last mountain climbing experience, and don’t forget to ask them about theirs.
At any one time, 25% of dating app users are talking to four or five different people, and up to 19% are juggling 10 matches at once. While you should be talking to as many people as your heart desires, this comes with a caveat. The getting-to-know process requires time and energy, and you don’t want to burn yourself out talking to too many people at once.
4. Switch to IRL when you feel ready
The majority of dating app users – 76% of women and 83% of men – have gone on a date with someone they first met online, which means the odds are in your favor when it comes to turning your online spark into a real-life connection. As soon as you feel comfortable, ask your match out on a date to see whether your common interests translate into compatibility offline.
Some safety tips:
- Video chat before you meet up in person. This is a good way to know whether your match is who they claim to be in their profile.
- Always tell a friend where you’re going.
- Plan your date to happen in a public place.
Need some date ideas? If you connected over a shared hobby, this is a great time to take advantage of that. Go to the new Japanese restaurant you’ve been eyeing for weeks, and gush over the trip to Asia that you’ve both been dreaming about. Give that couples scuba diving lesson a go. Or grab a mid-day coffee.
No matter the place or activity, meeting online matches in person is the best measure of compatibility.
5. Be patient
There are over 300 million unique users on dating apps worldwide. While the connectivity increases your chances of meeting like-minded people, it also raises the stakes for more failed attempts. But don’t lose hope. In general, it seems people are seeking deeper and more meaningful connections than ever before. Even if you don’t meet your person from the get-go, being mindful of your swiping habits can bring like-minded people to the forefront.
Similarly, if you’re feeling burned out, take breaks as often as you need. You may be surprised how much better you can connect with your matches when you’re coming onto the app with a fresh eye (and heart).
At the end of the day, dating apps should be tools for connection. While it does help to be upfront and honest about who you are and what you want, a lot of the dating app experience is in the journey. Be yourself, trust the process, and keep an open mind. You are always just one swipe away from your new favorite BFF.