Online dating is so popular it’s overtaking most singles’ lives! Why? Because it works – people do meet each other online and even get married. I met my husband on one of those sites, and we will be married two years this September.
Butt, to stay safe and avoid making regrettable mistakes, there are a few things you should know, before diving in. Let’s discuss some easy ways to meet the challenges of online dating head-on!
Don’t fall for his lies
Until you see the guy face to face, you can’t evaluate how tall or honest or (not) bold he is based on just a few pictures. Online dating prompts many of us try to show ourselves in the best (and a better) light. Of course, just like in the real life we put on our best outfits and head out to bars to meet each other, online we make our profiles look good.
According to Opinion Matters, about 53% of US online daters lied in their online dating profile. But the caveat is that it was women who lied a bit more than men, usually about their looks. Some posted photos taken way back. Almost half of men, however, lied about their careers and achievements.
But isn’t so bad – if you wear make up, you’re also just trying to make yourself look better, not much harm done there. However, if he lied about a few things on his profile and you found out from his social media accounts that he isn’t entirely honest, can he be lying about other things? See this mortifying scene from He’s Just Not That Into You:
If you catch him on some major not-OK lies, the best thing to do is just move on. Sending an angry complaint to the dating site email won’t really do any good, so just count your loses and be proud of the fact that it ended before even beginning.
Be super upfront about what you want
Men seem to assume that if a woman is dating online she is up for just sex. It’s more common for men to share that they are online for one night stands; women who are looking for relationships are misunderstood. Although there are are plenty of guys online looking for a relationship, many still only look for their next sexual triumph.
Make it very clear on your profile that you’re looking for the right guy to be happy with, not a guy to make you happy one night and be gone the next morning.
The challenge is to not seem too needy. The best way to avoid waisting time with men who aren’t into relationships are to see their social media profiles and judge from there, as well as answer many of your online dating website questions in a way that it’s clear that you’re not interested in just some action between the sheets.
Learn to deal with rejections
We grew up facing rejections on occasions. Hey, some of us were so lucky – they never were rejected romantically. But online dating is more like sending lots of CVs straight after university trying to get a good entry-level job. Most of those come back as rejections.
To avoid disappointment, think of your current achievements and just accept the fact that among millions of single men on your dating site, many won’t be into you. There’s nothing wrong with that – who can be liked by everyone?
Remember the last time you googles best watch for sport, or best camera for travel, or something else ‘best..’? The reason for the rise of best searches online is the fact that we have lots of options for everything these days.
Finding that significant other is no exception. In fact, with a growing popularity of online dating apps and sites, we get deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole of never ending choices.
To know when to be happy with your choice is a skill kinds need to learn in primary schools these days, just to survive ever growing number of choices and decisions they will face every single day when they grow up. Psychology Today has a good round up on being happy with your decisions. Apparently the best thing about commitment is we stop comparing alternatives, and finally enjoy the person we have found!
Try not to grow judgmental
Be prepared that all these choices can take a tall on you and make you picky, full of yourself and even judgmental. Like, Miranda Hobbs kind of judgmental. So before you end up like this, stop yourself!
Did you know that the US Association of Psychological Science found that “reviewing multiple candidates causes people to be more judgmental, and inclined to dismiss a not-quite-perfect candidate than they otherwise would be in a face-to-face meeting”?
How horrid is that? Just think about it for a minute: you came across a person, absolutely perfect for you, and you ignore them because your brain is too busy judging and nitpicking!
There are over 50 million singles online trying their luck in finding love (or sex). Of course this is overwhelming. Think a typical Chinese take out with a Bible-thick menu – remember how intimidating that is? Now you online dating live will be millions of these menus! You need to navigate them strategically and with a clear head.
You can’t control thoughts that land between your eyers, by you can acknowledge judgments and try to not to overindulge with being picky. Have a set list of criteria and stick with it. Ensure you give yourself (and that cute guy) a fair chance.
The grass really isn’t greener, we just imagine it to be.
As with all online activity, there’s a degree of risk involved in online dating, and as a responsible adult, you need to ensure that you’re aware of these risks.
Regardless of the challenges of online dating, it’s still a wonderful way to meet a potential partner.
Here are 5 practical safety tips to consider while using an online dating site. All of these tips should be applied before you decide to break the touch barrier and take your dating to the next level.
Limit Personal Info
It’s essential for you to remain anonymous. Use a username that has no link to you, and never mention your last name.
You should leave out any other personal information that could be used to trace you. This means: limited pictures with no visual landmarks, no contact details, no last name and no address.
You also should not mention which schools you attended or whether you’ve kids. We may not like to think about it, but child trafficking is a serious problem.
Privacy and Security Should be a Priority
It’s best to only use your personal computer when logging into the dating site, as public or shared computers can make it possible for others to steal your information and use your account.
Open WIFI networks, while appealing, are not secure. I, personally, never use free WIFI in coffee shops and libraries. We always need to ensure that our online presence is completely secured and protected against cyber-attacks. Using open WIFI networks only makes it easier for your computer to be compromised.
You also should be wary when receiving emails from unknown sources or new acquaintances, as these emails could contain malware. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance to ensure that your internet security (anti-virus) is regularly updated.
Beware of Fraud
Fraud could refer to people, or even the dating sites themselves.
It would be best to only use a site that is a member of the Online Dating Association, as they have certain codes and ethics that need to be adhered to.
Fraudulent sites will create fake profiles to strike up conversation with you to keep you spending money. Alternatively, they could stop sending you potential matches as soon as you’ve made a certain amount of payments.
They could even steal your money by using insecure payment systems to store your bank account details.
On the other hand, people could try to create online relationships with you to get money from you. Blackmail (use your webcam to record you, for example) and phishing emails (used to get your personal information) are just two of the potential methods used.
Instincts are Key
Take your time to get to know the person before deciding if you want to meet him/her.
Don’t rush into anything or allow yourself to be pressured into a meeting. If you’re getting strange vibes from someone, pull the plug on your interactions and report them if it becomes a serious problem or they make you uncomfortable in any way.
Do research and listen to your instincts.
Cautious Face-to-Face Meetings
These meetings should always be in public and during the day.
Again, no last names or address, and drive yourself to and from the meeting place. Go home alone. Avoid alcohol and keep an eye on your food and drink to avoid being drugged.
If your date is giving you bad vibes or making you uncomfortable, make an excuse and leave. As I said, trust your instincts.
Most of the people on dating sites are genuine and honest, and you’re likely to meet someone good. But, there are few bad ones, and you need to understand this.
So, be cautious, but hope for the best.
I’d love to hear how you deal with online dating challenges.Before you go, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below. I'm working hard to build a community here and a big part of that are your contributions! If you have experiences to share, questions, comments, suggestions, or anything else, please leave us a quick comment. I promise to reply!