Online dating has become a massive phenomenon. Courting a lady like a true gentleman is now abandoned for matching scores and texting each other. Not completely – until you start meeting, but that was the way of the old. Maybe some things that your grandma mentions when she says “These young people nowadays!” were great. But alas! Grandma’s day and age have evolved from stealing subtle romantic glances to stalking profiles online. Don’t say you haven’t done it. Everyone has. And you’ll have to do more if you are going to find a future hubby or wifey. It won’t be stalking but developing some observational skills to see if the person can be a good life partner.
But that’s not all. Here are some tips, guidelines and safety precautions you can follow when searching for your future through online dating.
1. Why are you doing this?
When you decide to start using a service, make it clear from the start on why you are doing this and what’s your intention behind it. Most people do it to find someone they can eventually marry, but you’ll find your fair share — more than fair share in reality — of harassers, stalkers, and predators who are there to only take advantage of you. You can identify who you want to interact with once you know what you are looking for.
2. App and profile
It’s time to decide which service to use since there are so many. There are matrimonial services and normal dating services. But considering that there is a cautious and slow get-to-know-each-other phase before you enter a lifelong commitment, you can use either since you have your intention down.
There’s also the option of going premium with most of these services. The free profiles are decent with optimum features for simple use, but premium profiles reduce the chances of encountering good-for-nothing fellows drastically. Their app algorithms also boost matching you with someone who has similar interests with you. Investing in a premium profile is also a good choice. In case you opt for the free profile, we will also explore signs that are red flags when interacting with users.
You’ve chosen your app/service and now it’s time to set up your profile, what are the basic rules you should follow? A clear and natural photo as a profile picture; not edited out of proportions and enhancing your features too much. Write a precise and exciting About Me description that entails some passions, hobbies, likes, and describes what you seek, general plans for the future, and the qualities you are looking for. Some bits on your background are good, as well. It’s not a CV or resume, so make it sound natural.
3. I got a match; now what do I do?
Perfect question. First, look at the greeting. A creative greeting that has a sense of excitement, curiosity, and is overall courteous is perfect. If you are the one initiating the greeting, then something like “Hey, it’s so awesome the app matched us. Let’s get to know each other” or “Hello. I opened your profile and it seems we have so much in common. It would be so marvellous to know you”. It shows you are genuinely interested, there’s a touch of liveliness coupled with attentiveness and interest in the person. What counts as stalker behaviour is when you visit any linked social media profiles and start listing their activities one by one. And if this is being done to you, just don’t ignore it.
4. Done with the greeting, what’s next?
Just talk. You both are there to discover love, so being friend-zoned is not an issue. Learn about each other’s interests and hobbies. Find things common between you. Just be a great conversationalist. If you don’t get the same energy being reciprocated from the other side, maybe it’s time to talk to someone else. You don’t have to feel guilty; you can move on. With that, always remember to be courteous and respectful.
This brings me to mention something important. You will need patience. Hearing stories about people who hit off with the first match and ended up getting married with two kids and one on the way will jog up your imagination, but they are the exceptions, that’s why you heard about it in the first place. Don’t feel low or unmotivated, it will take some time. When the right time comes, you’ll be thanking God for that person.
5. When to press block
Now we’ll discuss some red flags.
An unclear profile photo with a super-awkward and unusual username. Creativity does not substitute for being sketchy.
Childish and immature profile description that does not really describe the person or what their purpose is.
No external social media profile. A person can choose to value his general privacy and share their social media when you get to know them, so look out for this one if the other red flags are also present.
Indecent greetings and conversation openers.
“Hey there, babe!”
“Your photo is sizzling hot!”
Yes, it’s time to press the block.
Everything in the conversations online has worked out well and it’s time to meet. You are still meeting a complete stranger. Prepare the following safeguards:
- Inform someone about your date.
- Update them regularly.
- Don’t let them pick you up from home. Your address will be shared.
- Choose a public place as a meeting spot. Cafés, parks, malls, and restaurants where other people will be present are excellent.
- Just to be super, extra careful, maybe carry a pepper spray or stun gun. Just maybe.
You can also check out Nuwber to look up information about your date. By searching their name or number, you’ll be able to confirm that you’re meeting exactly the person you were talking with. If the reported info doesn’t match with what the person told about themselves – it’s better to avoid meeting in person.
You’ve got the basics down. By being careful yet staying open you will certainly find the one you are looking to spend your life with. Don’t we all do, in the end?