Online dating is a bit of a minefield. There are tons of articles and guides telling you what to do to make it easier, but this is how not to online date.
We all need to know how not to online date. Online dating is not as simple as it sounds. There is so much that goes into it. Sometimes it is good and other times it is bad. But, when it is bad, it is really bad.
As someone that uses online dating regularly, I have seen it all. I know what works and what fails miserably. There is a bit of a grey area and of course, everyone’s taste differs, but there are some things that are just a straight up no-no.
Of course, these things also apply with off-line dating, but online dating makes it all so much worse. [Read: 10 of the most common *and annoying* online dating misconceptions]
How not to online date from the start
Things can go wrong before the actual dating begins, actually before talking ever begins. You could be making mistakes before you even signup for that website or download that app.
Your thought process going into online dating is just as important as the rest of it. This is the attitude you are bringing towards dating. This is the vibe you’re kicking things off with. And if you are too hopeful or too negative things will not go your way.
#1 Keep an open mind. I made this mistake myself, so learn from my experience. You do not want to go into online dating thinking in specifics. You cannot have a checklist. You cannot say I will only date this and not that. You cannot say I need this to move forward.
Of course, we all have our dealbreakers and our standards, but most often when we meet someone great, it is far from what we thought. So, try to be as accepting as possible. You never know what might happen. [Read: 10 awful dating habits that could be keeping you single]
#2 Shut down expectations. Thinking every single person on this app is desperate will not do you any good. Thinking you’ll go on one date and see the person of your dreams will also do you no good. Expecting the best or the worst is just an easy way to fail at online dating.
Want to know how not to online date? Stop expecting anything. If you have expectations one way or another, they will not be met. [Read: Unrealistic expectations that can derail your love life]
#3 Do not have an agenda. I cannot tell you how many guys I have chatted with or even meet through online dating that are doing it all wrong. Some have this agenda to please every girl no matter what. They will say exactly what you want to hear, not caring if it is a lie. And it is obvious. We see past it.
So, be yourself. Do not try to get someone with lies. The same goes for the opposite. There is a surprisingly large amount of guys on dating sites that are just waiting to attack feminists and mansplain life to you. If this is your plan it will fail, quickly.
#4 Be respectful. Its quite sad that I have to remind anyone of this, but just because online dating is through a screen it does not mean respect goes out the window. If you are hoping to actually get something out of online dating, do not be disrespectful.
Do not mock someone’s values. Do not be rude. Appreciate everyone you speak to whether you like them or not.
#5 Stop judging. It is hard not to judge when it comes to online dating. We judge others and we judge ourselves. The whole idea of online dating is looks first and everything else later. These sites are literally setting us up to judge others.
And although that is how the game is played, try to maintain your personal preferences without judging. I mean you can be hopeful about someone with tons of travel photos because you also love to travel. You can decline someone that has photos with dogs because you are highly allergic.
But, whether you like someone or feel you would connect or not, try not to judge those who you pass on. Just pass and move on. There is no need to look down on people just because they aren’t for you.
Also, stop judging yourself. Online dating is nothing to be ashamed of. It is how about a third of couples meet nowadays. You are not settling or being desperate. You are using an opportunity that a lot of people use and you should feel okay about that. [Read: 30 really helpful tips to help you win at online dating]
How NOT to online date
Now that you are hopefully in a good headspace, you can get into the nitty-gritty: your profile, your photos, your messages.
There are endless options you can take here, but there are quite a few ways when it comes to knowing how not to online date. So pay attention.
#1 Do not lie. This should not even need to be said, but nevertheless, it does. Do not lie about your preferences, your age, your height, or anything. It will not turn out well, and to be honest, most people can see through these lies pretty early on.
If you don’t list your height or lie about it, if you meet someone, they will figure out how tall you are. If you claim to be an entrepreneur but that means you walk dogs for a living, people will know. And there is nothing wrong with that, just be straightforward about it.
Whether your intention is a relationship or something casual, the truth will come out. It is just always better coming from you. Plus, you are more likely to meet someone that likes you for you if you are you from day one. [Read: How to write an online dating profile that’ll set you apart]
#2 Do not alienate people. Writing something in your bio like “I like my girls natural” or “if you live at home swipe left” is not only disrespectful and snobby but just plain cruel. You can swipe passed people you don’t like all on your own.
But putting something so blatantly off-putting and superficial in your profile will also alienate someone you would be interested in.
#3 Do not hide your face. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen people only post photos wearing sunglasses or photos that are taken 50+ feet away. I know you may want someone that isn’t concerned with looks, but that is how we get a first impression when it comes to online dating.
Whether you are the most attractive or not, people need to be able to see your eyes and your face. It isn’t always about looks, but just connecting with someone’s eyes. So, whether you are confident or not, you need to put yourself out there. If you want to meet someone, they will need to see your face eventually. [Read: How to spot the liars in an online dating site]
#4 Do not post one photo. This is similar to not hiding your face. Sharing only one photo does not give anyone an impression of you. It could be a flattering angle or look nothing like you.
Be real. You will get fewer matches and fewer messages if you try to avoid being you. [Read: How to fall in love with yourself and project happiness]
#5 Do not test people. This is something I have seen a lot and it sucks. If you want someone to answer a question, just straight up ask it. Beating around the bush in sketchy ways is not an attractive quality.
I have had guys try to test my education by asking ridiculous questions. Guys have asked if I’m sexually experienced by talking about sex scenes in movies. It is really very weird and is a huge turnoff. If you want to know something, ask.
#6 Do not be gross. There are dating sites created for all things gross, but using a site where people actually want to make emotional connections to get your rocks off is not only crude and inappropriate but will also not give you what you’re looking for.
If you want dirty photos and sex talk, avoid dating sites meant for people who want something more than that. And if you try it and get turned down, move on.
#7 Do not dwell. Online dating is vast. There are millions of people trying to find a connection. Try not to get too attached right off the bat. Maybe you matched with someone that seems great. They are attractive and you share a love for The Office and have some fun banter. But if they disappear after one good talk, let it go.
Try not to get attached so fast. If someone disappears before you exchange numbers, let it be. I know it is cheesy but there are plenty of fish in the sea, do not let one drown you. [Read: The 8 most common Tinder horror stories]
#8 Do not lash out. This is so crazy to me, yet it happens all the time. If someone politely lets you down, just appreciate their honesty and move on. There is no use name calling or accusing them of leading you on. If you do lash out, you are one of the reasons people prefer to ghost.
I turned down a guy recently because he was too intent on meeting without any prior knowledge. A girl has got to be on the lookout. I told him I wasn’t interested in meeting that fast and if he couldn’t let it go, he should move on.
He flipped out. He wrote paragraphs about how I was perfect for him and I should give him a chance and how he isn’t dangerous. It was so creepy and insane. This guy didn’t know me at all and was clearly carrying around a lot of baggage. This is not going to convince anyone. If someone isn’t interested or says something you don’t like, calm down.
Learning how not to online date is just as important, if not more, than learning how to online date. Avoid these no-nos and stay true to yourself you could be on the path to successfully online dating.