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So you've decided that it's time to be proactive about your dating life, have chosen a site to register with, and have created a killer profile; now what?!!
As dating sites have advanced along with modern technology, new daters can find the whirlwind of apps, games and search algorithms baffling to say the least.
Here is everything you need to know about making the most out of Internet dating - and how to make sure you get the best value for money!
Most dating sites will offer a search function and how these work vary between sites. Generally, you'll have either a 'basic' or an 'advanced' search; and the more detailed parameters are often available only to paid or premium members.
The thing is that basic searches are usually all you need. Are you really going to reject a date with a hot single nearby, simply because they don't have auburn hair and chestnut eyes? Does it make a massive difference whether your romantic interest has a career in architecture.
When we see the option for something 'advanced', our human nature is to think it is better, bigger and brighter. However, we see it all the time with dating sites, where members get so bogged down in finding that elusive 'perfect' date - that they miss amazing people who haven't ticked one of their ever more specific boxes
Here's what you have to search for:
By being hyper-picky, you can eliminate great people, so try and be a little more relaxed with your search criteria and you expand your matches to a much wider circle.
When you join a dating site, you'll often find they have a chat room. Some sites even have multiple chat rooms, groups or forums with their own subject threads or niches.
There is nothing to pressure you joining in a chat room, but I'd challenge you to consider why you wouldn't? It's funny how we become so used to shutting out people we don't know, that this trait carries over into the world of online dating - where we should be open to meeting all sorts of people if we want it to work!
Chat rooms are a lot of fun, and there's none of the intimacy of a private chat, so it's a casual and friendly way to talk to new people.
Maybe you'll meet someone special, perhaps you won't. But, what you can do is get used to online chatting, get involved with the online singles community, and maybe pick up some interesting tips and advice along the way.
These days we've all got a smartphone (bet you're reading this on your mobile right now!). It makes sense that we're innately more comfortable tapping out a message on our phones than we are logging into a desktop like we're about to start a new workday.
When you're more relaxed, you're more natural.
When you're more natural, you're more authentic.
When you're more authentic, you'll have more fun.
It's that simple; downloading an app means taking your chats with you, typing away as & when you have a spare moment, or to pass the time on your commute. Taking the formality out of dating makes it feel much more casual - in much the same way as we might start flirting with someone at a local bar, or strike up a conversation at a friend's BBQ.
When you choose to join a dating site, don't restrict yourself to soulless hours of disappointment scrolling through profiles and not finding a single match. Make it fun, and interact in the ways you are used to - when you take the pressure out of the equation, everything moves much more smoothly.
Download the app. Trust me; it's worth it.
Increasingly, date sites are looking at ways to add value. They want you to meet people, they want you to have a good time, and they want you to enjoy using their service!
When we see a meet and greet, a virtual event, or a simple drinks reception at a local bar, we get this instant squeamishness about being in public and having to (gasp!) actually talk to people.
The biggest obstacle most of us experience when we start online dating is the whole interaction thing. So much of what we do is online and either anonymous or with people we already know.
It stands to reason that in the face of an actual meeting (even through a screen) a lot of people feel anxious and uncomfortable, and in doing so resign themselves back to flicking through the screen.
If you want to change something, and you want to meet somebody, you have to put yourself out there. These events and virtual meetings are a golden opportunity - when else will you be in a room full of people who are all single, all wanting a relationship, and all setting aside their time to have a chat?
Putting yourself out of your comfort zone isn't just about the off chance that you'll meet somebody there and then, either. You'll find:
There isn't anything to lose; so try it - just this once - and see what you think. It could change much more than your relationship status.