How to make the most of digital dating
The digital age has changed dating in every way imaginable, but how do you make it work for you? Charly Lester shares her top tips on making the most of digital dating
This week, I was asked to sit on an expert panel, talking about the way dating has changed ‘pre’ and ‘post’ the digital age. Anyone under the age of 30 is unlikely to remember a time when you couldn’t send your date a text message, Google someone before you meet them, or even meet someone online. In fact, it can be easy to forget just how easy we have it these days.
And while some of these digital innovations might come with their own complications; if you’re dating in 2016, then it’s important to make the most of them. So, what are the best ways to embrace the digital dating era?
Use good photographs of yourself
Almost everyone owns a digital camera now, and most of us carry one around all the time, in the form of our phones. With the ability to take a photo any time of day and upload it almost immediately to your dating profile, you have no excuse not to have a good photo of yourself online.
A photo speaks a thousand words, so make sure you have good quality images, which honestly show who you are. Avoid selfies – ask someone else to take the photo for you – make sure the image is well-lit, and smile. Include head shots and full body photos, and wear the kind of clothes you’d be wearing if you were going on a first date. Don’t forget to add pictures that tell a story about you – hobbies you regularly participate in or places that you love.
Update your profile regularly
Luckily, we no longer live in a world of personal ads, where we pay per word and have our profiles fixed in print. Today, you have complete control over your online dating profile, so don’t be afraid to change it. If you don’t think it’ working, ask friends to give you some feedback, and experiment a little – the Internet is a great place for trial and error.
Try out multiple sites
Digital dating is a learning curve. There are hundreds of different apps and sites out there, so take time to try out your options and find the site that works best for you. Ideally you’re looking for a site that attracts the type of people that you’re attracted to. If you have friends who are similar to your ideal partners, ask them which sites or apps they might use.
Go online regularly
With digital dating; you get what you put in. Make time to regularly check your account and reply to messages. It’s worth remembering that it’s a numbers game and people are often talking to more than one person at a time, so if you take days to reply to messages while others only take a few hours, it can be difficult to forge new relationships online.
Be proactive, not just reactive
Online dating is a two-way thing. Don’t just sit back and expect people to message you. Spend time reading other peoples’ profiles and reach out to them. The great thing about digital dating is that rejection is passive – if someone isn’t interested, then they just won’t reply. What have you got to lose?
Try not to fall into a Google trap
With so much information available about people these days, it can be easy to get carried away Googling a potential match, but try not to learn too much about someone before you meet them. While it can be tempting to befriend a date on social media, it’s a lot better to learn about someone’s life through actual conversations with them, rather than from photos you’ve seen on their Instagram! If you’re confident someone is who he or she says they are, then meet up in real life and get to know them face-to-face.
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