The worst thing you can do is set up a profile and then sit back and wait for the magic to happen. This is a database that’s readily available to you, so I want to show you how to make the most out of it.
Why You Have to Reach Out on a Dating Site
Everyone is shy to a certain degree. You may have the perfect match waiting in the wings, but he or she just isn’t going to make the first move. Do you really want to miss out on a soul mate because you weren’t proactive enough to play cupid for yourself?
You want communication to work both ways – you want to reach out to people and have some members trying to connect to you, also. Some people may have simply given up hope, so they stopped searching and just keep an active profile in case someone like you came along to find them.
Plus, you want to get out of your comfort zone. Chances are, you’ve become too content sitting at home alone – and the interaction between other singles can be a welcomes addition to your social life once it gets going.
Freshen Up Your Profile and Picture
You might create your profile and expect a flood of responses that very same night. Give people time to find you! Some people check in periodically. Or, you could find someone inquiring about you mere minutes into the process.
Some online dating sites actually boost member exposure based on who logged into the site most recently. So continuing to sign in and freshen up your profile will work in your favor and gain you additional coverage.
Let’s talk a little bit about making a good profile pic – since many of you will freeze in terror at the very thought of it.
Here are some good tips to help you make an awesome profile image to represent you to prospective suitors:
· Don’t use shoddy equipment. If your lens on your camera is smudged, wipe it off so that your picture is crystal clear. Don’t use an old cell phone to shoot it with if your digital camera is much better at presenting a sharper image.
· See which is your “best side” and go with that – you want to feel confident about your profile picture. Take it from an above the head angle, even, right, left, front, etc.
· Use natural lighting. Don’t make the picture too dark and creepy – and avoid having a bright light shining right on your face for the shoot.
· Watch what’s in the background of your photo. Are you holding a 20-ounce beer in your hand? Is that the image you want to project?
· Don’t dress like it’s the prom. There’s no need for a tuxedo or evening dress. You should dress like you do normally, every day – except maybe if you work from home in your pajamas.
· Smile! Unless you want to project a very serious side of yourself, smile for the camera. It makes your profile more welcoming to others who might be interesting in you. A serious picture can seem intimidating.
· Make sure they can actually see your face. You wouldn’t believe how many people use a profile of them with a scuba diving mask on or post a pic with something like their toes showing. People want to connect a face to the personality.
Browse Profiles and Make Connections
Every single day someone just like you is signing up as a newcomer to an online dating site – and some sites have hundreds of sign ups each day!
You want to log in regularly and scour the database to see what types of matches there are for you. Some sites will automatically email those to you, but some have you do it manually.
If you’re a woman from a generation where men did all the asking, keep in mind that online dating is a two-way street. You should be active in contacting your possible romantic interests – don’t sit back and wait for them to introduce themselves to you.
Avoid Being Too “Friendly” Right Away
Some people find someone they’re attracted to. They see that they’re online and immediately start flirting with the person in a way that scares them off within minutes.
Most people want to get to know you a little bit before engaging in overt flirty conversation or sexual discussions. Ease into it if that’s what you’re there for – and make it clear on your profile, too – so that some unsuspecting innocent member doesn’t stumble onto you and get shocked with something they weren’t prepared for.
Don’t Ignore the Possibility of Valuable Friendships
Even if you didn’t list “friendships” as one of your desires on your profile, it’s okay to reach out and befriend someone who you feel may not make a good romantic partner, but could be a great friend.
In fact, you might be somewhat similar, but not enough for a perfect match – and you could help each other find the people who would be a good match for each other.
It’s a little different when you have a friend from an online dating site helping you find potential matches because they know what you’re going through. Unlike well-meaning family members who are clueless about setting you up with someone they would like to see you with.
Watch for Who’s Online at That Time
If you’re anxious to start connecting with people, you’ll be happy to know that most online dating sites have special notification systems that indicate who’s logged into the site at that time.
Most also have a “hide me” feature that lets you browse through the site unnoticed. But making yourself available on the site can be a wonderful thing, if you’re prepared for it.
You might get invited to a chat. Or someone might send you an email or message right there to see if you react positively. Remember, they’re often nervous too – and they don’t want to send a message and wait days or weeks to get a reply.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
I don’t care if you think you’ve found “the one” on your first day on the site. Make sure you don’t limit yourself – find more than one or two acceptable matches for your profile.
You want to put your membership (even if it is free initially) to good use, maximizing it to the best of your abilities. Continue using your online dating site until a perfect match is made and the two of you decide to become exclusive in your relationship.
Utilize All of the Features on Your Dating Site
Chat is one of the best features your dating site can offer. If you’re in the mood to interact with others, make sure your profile states that you’re currently available so that people can invite you to hang out online.
This is great for those of you who are shy or intimidated about getting to know people in this setting because it doesn’t have to be one-on-one. It can be a group setting.
Or, if it is one-on-one, it will be easy for you to leave the conversation without it being embarrassing like it would be if you had to excuse yourself from an in-person date.
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What to Do If Your Contact Disappears
One of the hardest situations to deal with is when you find someone amazing on an online dating site, you’re communicating with them, and suddenly the interaction is over!
You don’t know what happened! Was it something you said? Realize that this happens to just about everyone online at some point – try not to take it personally.
It could be a blessing in disguise. Maybe they were married and got busted talking to you on the site. Or perhaps they were communicating with more than one person and simply found the other contact to be more suitable for a match.
Some members even practice having communication with some members just to feel more confident – they may not have had any intention of following through in the first place.
When this type of situation occurs, just move on and continue seeking out the right kind of individual. There will never usually be a bullseye the first time you throw a dart – you have to throw a few to get closer to the center of the circle, and it’s no different with online dating – or dating in the offline world, for that matter!
Tasks for You to Accomplish Until Our Next Lesson:
I want you to seek out someone for friendship on the site first. Contact them and just let them know it’s not a romantic connection, but you’re interested in knowing more members.
Next, browse the profiles and find at least 3 possible members who you would like to make a connection with to see if there’s anything worth pursuing.