The online dating resolution

Our dating website¬† has had an increase in activity in the last few weeks. I suspect lots of the people who’ve joined have made a New Year’s resolution to improve their love lives.

If that’s the case and you want to be assured of a date before Valentine’s Day, here are a few ideas to increase your chances at online dating. The advice is drawn from our 16 months or so at managing an online dating website.

Some of the points are really basic, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who don’t follow them. I hope the suggestions help, regardless of which site you might belong to.

Post an interesting profile – Write a good description of yourself. Look at it from a prospective reader’s point of view and make yourself sound like someone who’s worth getting to know. Why are you special? That doesn’t mean exaggerate or be dishonest. It does mean playing up your strong points and qualities and using a bit of humour – don’t be modest.

You’d be surprised at the number of people who post profiles and write nothing about themselves or just a brief line, such as “Looking for someone like me”. Would you respond to that? No, neither would I.

If you’re struggling with your profile, talk to friends and ask for help. Get feedback on what makes you the person you are and your strong points. The site’s administrators can also help with profiles, and many offer a profile writing service.

Upload a picture – A quality photo can make or break a person’s decision to respond to your ad. Get a friend to shoot six or seven images specifically for your profile and choose the best. A grainy image of you at last year’s company Christmas party with red eyes isn’t really going to win any admirers.

Make the first move – So now your profile is looking sharp. Don’t sit back and wait for messages. Make the first move. The more messages you send out, the better your chances at making contact with new people.

Have lots of contact – Don’t worry about being in touch with lots of people at one time. The more people you have contact with the better able you’ll be able to decide who is worth meeting, and the better your chance at finding what you are looking for.

Be safe – Online dating is successful because people feel comfortable and safe using it. Once you’ve finished studying and have past the first few years at work the chances of meeting that special person fall off. And a lot of people feel vulnerable going to bars or having blind dates set up by friends. Online dating protects you from that vulnerability.

It’s worth it – Online dating can be frustrating at times but it’s worth the effort. We’ve had quite a few emails from¬†members who’ve said they’ve met their new partner through the website. If it works for them, it can work for you.

In other words, don’t give up. If your New Year’s resolution is to have a date or even love in the near future, don’t rush. Instead, do one thing a step at a time. Take an afternoon to get your profile written and then spend some time with a friend taking and choosing some really good photos of yourself.

Log on regularly, but if you’re tired don’t push yourself. There’s no point replying to messages or sending off new contacts if you’re not at your best.

Most of all enjoy the experience and use it as a tool of discovery. You’re sure to learn new things about yourself and that should make online dating a whole lot more exciting!

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Originally published on our old blog Jan. 27, 2008.

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