Beginner’s guide to online dating

Below you will find the blueprint needed for a successful online dating experience. It is ordered by steps to provide an easier structure to the process. By no means is this the only way to do it, but it does provide a guide as to how the online dating process translate into meeting someone.


Steps for starting online dating


1. Different mindset.

You may need to change the way you think about yourself and dating. Your goal is to market and sell yourself to potential mates who may agree to potentially spend their lives with you. It’s no small task, but it’s a common process that everyone has done trillions of times over. You have to inform others about your qualities and what makes you an individual.

There will be many social rules, norms, etc. that play out in the process, but you can trump most by having confidence. And confidence can be achieved by knowing who you are and admitting to yourself who you are. For the introspective folks, that part is way overdone sometimes to the point hampering oneself (social anxiety). Afterwards, you have to fake it until you make it. It’s something that needs to be built up.

You will need to market and sell yourself to others, but how…


2. Sign up for several dating sites.

There are many free and paid sites. Start off with the free sites to get your feet wet. Sign up and get setup first. Take a moment to browse through profiles on the site and get to know the site. The sites will have a gimmick, or twist, that is used to try and break the ice between members of the site. Each site is usually different and take some time to get to know how it works.

After you have finished getting acquainted, it’s time to get started on your profile.

Please note that you can substitute a dating app for a dating website. However, the dating websites are recommended as they are more in depth in terms of profiles and the features offered. Dating apps meanwhile are more focused on photos and short messages. The dating process should in part be one of self-discovery (cheesy phrase, but you’ll have new experiences) and therefore take the time to write about yourself and who you are.


3. Fill out profile

Take the time to complete your profile. There is a ton of information on the net for how to write a profile, including on this site.  One tip would be to review other’s profiles first. Browse other people who interest you and read their profiles. Pay attention to what draws you to their writing.

Another tip is to find a good ground between being concise, but saying enough. Don’t write long winded diatribes or monologues in your profile. A last tip, don’t list adjectives to describe yourself (interesting, athletic, intuitive, intelligent, good listener, etc). Instead, describe your interests and what your hobbies are.


4. Take a good profile photo

After the writing is done, it’s time for one of the most important ways to market and sell yourself: your profile photo. Please review our information on what makes a good profile photo. Some cliff notes of what the data says:

  • Women: Smile looking at the camera
  • Men: Look away from the camera, not smiling
  • Try to include pictures of interesting (or even unusual) activities

Once you have taken the pictures, upload them to your profile.


5. Start sending messages

Now is the part where you finally have to put yourself a little out there. Start by browsing profiles of people your age. When you find someone you are interested in, read their profile and craft a message or question to them based on what is said in their profile.

Concentrate on making the message only a few sentences in length. Try to limit your message to 2-4 sentences.  Don’t send a first message saying just “Hi”, or “How are you” or “hey bb”.  Once you are finished writing it, click send.

Ok, so the first message was sent.  Now forget it and go browse some other profiles. Find ten other profiles you are interested in and send messages to all ten people before calling it a night. You’ll need to repeat this process many times.

Now you check the next night and hmm no response? Good! Most likely its an inactive profile or the woman you messaged is flush with messages. Or it’s even possible she’s not interested. Whatever who cares, lets move on.

Setup a new goal, find more people you are interested in and send those messages. If you find your choices limited then sign up for another dating site. Use the matching services provided by the sites, but don’t get too caught up in them. Do the hard work and go through the profiles yourself first.

The above advice was directed towards men. If you’re a woman, you’re in luck because the messages should be coming in soon. If you decide to message someone then follow the advice above and expect to have a much higher response rate than if you were a guy. And if you’re a lesbian, you better get to sending messages.


6. Respond to your replies

Ok, you’ve sent the messages, tons, and you’re finally getting replies. Take the time to respond to the replies. Remember, follow standard social norms and expectations: don’t bombard people with messages. It should be a back and forth conversation. Your goal is to have several separate conversations. It’s ok to end conversations early and save them for another night. Wait to ask the person out, but don’t wait too long.


7. Ask out on the 3rd or 4th message

This is more subjective and it depends on what you’ve built up during your messages back and forth. Some people recommend popping the question on the 1st message exchange. Probably a bit too early. You might be able to get away with it on the 2nd, but it really depends on the previous messages back and forth. We’ll go with: it’s time to ask the other person out on a date after the 3rd or 4th message exchange. Notice how it’s important to do it sooner than later. If you wait too long then you might end up drifting off into friend territory.


8. Meet in a restaurant and talk

When it’s time to ask out, ask them to go to a restaurant. It gives you time to talk and get to know each other. Choosing a movie is most likely a bad idea as you’ll sit together in silence when you should be getting to know each other and determining if there is chemistry.


9. Wait….then reach out again for a second date.

Don’t start blowing up her or his phone. Wait for a few days before reaching out again. When you do reach out again, make sure to ask again for another date. You have your foot in the door, so i’s ok now to ask out to go meet up more.

If you call and she or he doesn’t answer then you have one more shot. Wait a little and try again in case they were busy. However, that’s about it. If the first date didn’t go well and she or he is not answering or returning your calls or texts then it’s time to move on. Hopefully, you have continued to message other people on the online dating site and will have more dates lined up, or are in the middle of replying to conversations.


10. Wing it. On your own!

If you’ve made it to the second date then things are looking good! You’re on your own now and hopefully you and your partner will have a lot of chemistry and fun together. Things can still fizzle out now, especially as you get to really know the other person, but enjoy it for now. Be yourself and see what happens. I would recommend still messaging others on the dating sites until you both have the exclusive talk or when it’s obvious you two are trending towards the relationship status.


Please take a look around the rest of the site as there is plenty of advice and tips to get you through the online dating part. Research studies are referenced in our advice…we don’t just shoot from the hip!

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