Ted Hickman

Online Dating 101: Tips to Make It Work



Even before real world events of 2020 changed…everything, the world was moving away from the ‘Do you come here often?’ style of dating that seemed to dominate the 20th century (or you met someone at your workplace, but even that setting has gone through a major tailspin recently).

The internet made it easier for people to connect who just wanted to talk about and share their favourite things, so it was inevitable that dating and hooking up casually would soon be done through our phones.

While this has made it more convenient to cast a much wider net for prospective dates, it is by no means intuitive. So whether you are looking for straight, gay or trans sugar baby dating, read on to get the lowdown so you don’t make a fool of yourself (or get cancelled).

Know What You’re Looking For

Just be honest with yourself to start. Are you looking for a serious relationship, or do you just want to find someone to blow off some steam as you ‘Netflix and chill’? If you want the latter but are looking in places where prospective matches want the former, you’re going to run into headaches and arguments very quickly.

Fortunately, there are many different dating apps out there, catering to whatever sort of relationship you want. Spending a bit of time to find the right site for you will save time once you set up an account. Don’t think for a moment that if you are looking for something niche that there won’t be a site for you. 

Whether you are looking for a travel companion, a partner several years older, or someone who lives less than ten minutes away because you hate to travel, the internet can oblige. Even if you are just looking for a wild one night stand, you might find that you’re partner hit it off even before the bedroom, and suddenly you can tell people that you met when you both went onto a squirt gay site (or you can tell people you met the old fashioned way, at a bar).

Work On Your Profile

When you did meet someone for the first time in a social setting, your appearance and body language said just as much as the words coming out of your mouth. When you are trying to meet people online, a lot of that goes out the window, and your words are your most powerful tool.

The more time you spend making your profile page on the dating reflective of who you are (or at least, how you want to portray yourself), the better luck you will find someone who fits the bill for what you’re looking for. You want to make a good first impression, and that means having some amusing (but honest) answers about your likes, dislikes and hobbies. Ideally, you should avoid sarcasm or dry humour since that doesn’t always land when a person is reading about you for the first time (saying you enjoy “Group Fun,” can be taken in a few different ways in certain contexts).

Having a few ice-breaker questions on your profile page that any visitors can then send to you with a response is a good way to get some chatting back and forth. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy, so focusing on maybe dream vacation spots or favourite guilty food pleasure can be good choices. 

Including a few photos is good, and you should find a middle ground between a hastily taken selfie in a bad light and a professionally taken photo with plenty of airbrushing. You want to look good, obviously, but you don’t want to disappoint the person when they meet you face to face and you look different.

Be (Extra) Patient

The internet has sped everything we do up, so it makes sense that we would expect results in everything a lot quicker. But a relationship is obviously not like a google search or an album stream. Even if you just want a quick hook-up, you’ll be rather disappointed if you think arranging a time and place five minutes later is a guarantee.

While people can certainly text back and forth very quickly, that’s not exactly what happens. Someone might see your profile and send an innocuous ‘hello’ text, and even if you respond right away (after seeing their profile and deciding you want to), you might not get another response from them for hours.

Sure, during that time you might become a bit annoyed, but that’s not them necessarily snubbing you. That’s them going about their life normally, finding time to chat when they can. Sometimes you might not want to respond so quickly anyway, to avoid looking overeager. It’s the same problem that might arise when you eventually make plans, where you would hope to get together in the next day or two, but they might propose something next week.

Dating or not, communicating successfully via text is a lot more complicated than anyone would like to admit.  However, one piece of advice that applies here has applied to dating for a long time: Play it cool.

Don’t Give Up

Remember that even before you had the world in your back pocket, there were bad dates and relationships that didn’t work out. This can certainly continue today (and much quicker), so the point is that you shouldn’t spend too much time feeling sorry for yourself or licking your wounds. Finding the right person for you was never going to be an easy process, and at least one big benefit of the internet is that it is always ready for you when you want to try again.

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