Contrary to popular belief, plenty of people finding love online. However, if you’ve ever tried online dating, you’ll understand that it can be rough out there. Even traditional dating is a tough sell these days, so you can imagine how challenging it may be for the relatively new concept of dating online.
Unfortunately, online dating has received a bad rap, especially with the negative press surrounding specific dating apps. Then, there’s the whole situation with catfishing, heavy editing, and photoshopping. You’d have to wonder why someone would want to date online in the first place, where people you’d never want to meet in a dark alley send you “WYD” texts.
But online dating happens every day. Two people meet, decide to hang out in person, and have a good time. Then they do it all over again. While you believe this can happen for others, you don’t think it’s in the cards for you.
But, like anyone else, it can happen to you. The important thing to remember is to be yourself from the very beginning. While some people may be OK with finding someone, hooking up, and then moving on, it’s not what you’re looking for.
Either instance is fine, but if you’re searching for true love, you’ll need to approach online dating differently.
Indicators You’re Being Catfished Online
Catfishing is an online deception that can be dangerous (at most) and irritating (at the very least). It’s where a person pretends to be different from who they are. The goal is to make the victim fall in love with the person they believe they’re corresponding with.
Once the catfish receives the victim’s trust, they may begin to ask for things like “financial assistance.” The good news is that there are red flags when dealing with a catfish. Read on to find some of the more common signs.
- None or very little online presence
- They avoid video calls and in-person meetings
- Very few followers and friends
- Only use professional images
- Asking for money or other favors
- Stolen images
- Asking you for explicit videos or images
Why Do People Catfish?
People catfish for many different reasons. Some are “innocent” reasons. For example, they feel bored, underappreciated, or lonely in a world that doesn’t deem their looks attractive. Their ultimate goal is to create an online presence to attract others they believe wouldn’t be interested.
Unfortunately, some who catfish have more malicious intent, such as stalking or harassing victims. In some cases, catfishing may lead to more severe abuse.
For example, they might tell the victim they want to see them, but to make that happen, they need money. Or, they’ll say that a family member is sick and that they need money to cover the costs.
It feels like you’re helping them by transferring funds, but more than likely, they will continue giving you excuse after excuse to get additional money.
12 Ways for Finding Love Online
Finding love online doesn’t have to be complicated. But first, you must figure out the methods that will keep you motivated because it won’t happen overnight. So here are a few ways to encourage you when you’re finding love online.
1. Stay Positive
Love is out there, but you must believe it if you want to find it. So begin your search by having a good attitude. Chances are you won’t find your soulmate on the first, second, seventh, or seventeenth try, but if you maintain a positive attitude, you’ll find them sooner rather than later.
You may have gone the traditional dating route, and someone may have hurt you in the past. In that case, the best thing we can offer is to drop the baggage and enter each new online date with a clean slate. The next person you date shouldn’t have to pay for the mistakes of those who preceded them.
2. Use an Engaging Profile
You want to match your profile picture with your positive attitude. The key to having success with your online dating profile is to
- Figure out precisely what you’d like to say, including what you’re looking for and what type of person and relationship you’re searching for.
- You need to state all of this in an engaging manner.
Dating experts don’t suggest giving your entire autobiography in the profile. Instead, provide only a snapshot of what it’s like spending time with you.
As for the type of individual and relationship you’re searching for, give a brief outline, not a complete list. You never want to appear too picky or judgmental. Instead, leave room for someone to surprise you. Our perfect match rarely comes in our expected form.
What’s important to you, and what do you bring to the table regarding a relationship?
When you engagingly tell about yourself, give little anecdotes. Show and don’t tell. For example, instead of saying you like to surf, say something like you enjoy surfing on the weekends when the sun kisses the waves in the evening. Do you get a better image?
Also, don’t say you’re “funny” in your profile. Instead, show your sense of humor with a joke or two. Descriptive writing doesn’t come naturally to some, but if you succeed, you’ll hit a home run.
3. Be Selective
When we say quality over quantity, we genuinely mean it. However, when you create your online dating profile, you aim to get more matches. The more matches you have, the more you have to choose from, so you can be more selective.
For the online profile, there are two methods to consider
- Use an appropriate tagline, which results in meeting many others and figuring out how you mesh in person. You need to state all of this in an engaging manner.
- If you’ve met enough people and know what you’re looking for, you may be ready to find a long-term connection. In this case, you’d write a profile that fits more in line with being selective rather than appealing to a wide range of individuals.
If you want to be more selective in your written profile, be sure it exudes all the positives of your personality. You want your audience to feel as though they know what it’s like to hang out with you just by reading your profile.
This is a better way to reveal more information about yourself so readers can get to know you and determine if you’d be a match.
Also, don’t shy away from controversy; allow your sense of humor to shine through. For example, does it matter if your match is politically incorrect? Don’t worry about offending anyone because you’re trying to appeal to your true match and not trying to get the popular vote.
So, be forthcoming and unique when sharing your stories and thoughts. This is the method by which you will connect with someone, and remember, the initial connection is the first step to finding true love.
4. Be Authentic
If you want to find a good match, be sure your profile reflects who you truly are. Unfortunately, women often lie on their profiles because they don’t think they’ll attract the right guy.
The issue with that is their “right guy” is one that will appreciate them no matter what. You’ll only find your perfect match if you show your authentic self.
So, here’s what to do: post at least two images, and be sure one is full-length. This is part of being your authentic self.
The person you end up dating should appreciate you for who you are, including your physical appearance. You are beautiful inside and out, and you want them to see this, so show up and show out. They’re only a match if they appreciate your uniqueness. Better you find out sooner than later.
5. Be Upfront
Tell them what you’re searching for, not what you think they’re looking for in a mate. This is important for 2 reasons.
- Honesty helps to attract the right people
- You don’t want to try too hard to sell yourself. This makes you appear awkward and needy
It’s OK to cast your net wide. One of the best things about dating online is that you can interact with hundreds of people in a matter of a few minutes. Of course, in-person meetings tell you more about someone than any profile can, but that would take too long. So online dating experts suggest lots and lots of online conversations.
“It’s better to get involved in an interaction and cut it short than to have never opened up yourself to the possibility in the first place.”
You’re not looking to win a popularity contest. You’re searching for Mr. or Miss Right, and that’s serious stuff. So when you put yourself out there, do so unapologetically.
Anyone who doesn’t appreciate you is probably not someone you’d like to date. So, be honest and upfront so you can save time. The general idea is to meet your best options as quickly as possible without wasting time.
6. Talk on the Phone before Meeting in Person
You should always have at least one phone conversation before meeting face-to-face. Not an extended text conversation but an actual call, where you can hear their voice and authentically communicate for approximately 15 to 30 minutes. This gives you enough time to decide if you have the chemistry to continue the conversation or set up a date.
Phone calls are the time to find out if you are compatible. Is it negotiable if you’re looking for a long-term commitment and they’re not? Be clear about any expectations.
A written profile only gives you a limited picture of the individual. A phone call may help fill in the gaps. If the conversation goes well and you decide to meet, you may get a complete picture before your date.
However, if the conversation feels laborious and mundane, it’s a good indication that you should nix the idea of meeting in person. But, again, it’s better to find out sooner rather than later.
7. Be Honest
Don’t attempt to be something you’re not. For instance, if you are bookish, quiet, and shy, don’t act like you’re the life-of-the-party social butterfly. If that isn’t your true nature, it is difficult to uphold that image, and then you’ll never make a genuine connection.
Misrepresentation is a waste of time, and this includes not only your written profile but also your profile pictures. Instead of posting images from twenty years ago or heavily edited photos, if you feel self-conscious about your looks, spring for some professional shots. Just be sure the person that you represent on your profile is the true you.
How to Take Good Profile Pictures (Instead of Hiring a Professional)
Most of us care about how we appear in photos, especially for online profiles. You may think about going the professional route, but that can be costly. However, if you want good pictures, there are ways to do them yourself, and here are a few tips.
- Lighting is vital. Bright profile images stand out and help people see you.
- Show those pearly whites and smile. Smiling lets people know that you are friendly and approachable.
- If you have glasses, wear them proudly and don’t hide them. Wearing glasses make people perceive you as an intellectual.
- Keep the backgrounds as simple and light as possible. It doesn’t necessarily need to be white, but keep it simple, so the focus is on you, not the background.
- Don’t over-smooth your skin. You don’t need to show every nook and cranny, but showing more of your natural skin complexion lets people trust you more and indicates a sense of self-confidence.
Whether you realize it or not, your profile picture represents you and your brand, so don’t use silly or goofy images. It’s OK to showcase your humor, but not with anything ridiculous.
Unfortunately, a poor profile makes you seem uninterested, so a potential match might not take you seriously. When someone looks to network with others, they’re searching for like-minded people, so they notice all the minor details.
Additionally, post several (at least two) images. Preferably post a close-up picture and a full-body picture. Update your photos as often as you can. Also, take new profile pics if you drastically change your hair color or chop off a significant amount of hair.
8. Be Self-Assured and Confident
To choose the right person, you should first be confident in yourself. You need to love yourself before you can love anyone else. So, do things that boost and nurture your confidence with daily activities, including
- read a book
- play a sport
- daily affirmations
- take a class
Share on your profile why you do these activities and how they make you feel. Then, your matches will take note and feel your appreciation.
Understand that you’re doing these daily activities for yourself and not for anyone else. Being able to put them on your profile is simply an added plus but not the reason you do them.
Communicate your passions. Share your dreams and goals, and don’t worry about what others think about them. Your character shows itself naturally with how you live your life and spend your time. High-quality individuals love life and are passionate about everything they do.
When you’re honest and trying to make a connection, in the initial conversation, don’t divulge your entire life story and bullet point what you believe are your flaws.
Instead, draw on your strengths and search for confidence to let your inner light shine. Yes, we are all a work in progress, but when you focus on your good traits, the right match is sure to see how special you are.
9. Remain Focused
First, as discussed, you should always be clear about your wants. For example, what type of relationship are you looking for? What qualities do you want in a mate?
It may help to write them down on a piece of paper. Once you become clear, begin your online search, but be intentional. Focus on the people you’re choosing to interact with and the dates you select to go on.
Unfortunately, people go on dates with anyone that offers, even though they might not be a good match. Sometimes it’s just for a quick fling, and other times they do so as a distraction until the right person comes along. Unfortunately, both hinder your search for what you’re looking for; a long-term serious relationship.
Specific sites attract specific individuals, which translates into the kind of relationship they seek. For instance, dating sites that charge typically have members more serious about their interests. People willing to pay are the ones who tend to view the expense as an investment.
This is why focus is so important. Once you clearly understand what you want, it’s much easier to translate that into your profile.
To get clear, be honest about what you do and don’t want. So many people go back and forth between wanting to play the field and desiring a commitment, which makes it confusing for anyone interested in you.
Ways to Design Your Ideal Match
- Lighting is vital. Bright profile images stand out and help people see you.
- Write those down on a piece of paper
- Translate that onto your profile
10. Never Force Sexual Chemistry
This is where plenty of people go wrong. A profile picture may look good, but you can’t establish sexual chemistry until you’re in person. However, if you bring up the topic of sex too soon, you may scare off a potential love interest.
If you’re searching for a connection, you’ll have plenty of time to build sexual chemistry when you meet in person. And guess what? The more the build-up, the more exciting the experience will be.
Connections online are possible, but it’s essential to understand that much of what happens offline can apply online, too. So take your time and enjoy the process.
11. Stay Active
When you have an activity in common that interests you both and find other people who enjoy the same activities, it’s better for the relationship. Some sites help you easily and quickly find a group near you. But if you can’t locate a group in your area, you can always start your own.
If you already have your profile set up on another app, be sure that it’s active and that you engage with it every so often. So many times, people sign up for an online dating app but lose interest for some reason. Maybe it’s because they’re not getting enough matches, or it could be because they’re busy at work and have less time to date.
In any case, if you want to be successful with finding love online, keep your profile updated. Every so often, upload new pictures, and if you find a match, consider taking a break from your hectic lifestyle for one afternoon. Who knows, they might be the one.
12. Be Ready to Move On
When you write down your list, rank it in order of priority. For example, which items are most important, and which ones are negotiable?
As you get to know someone new, check your list repeatedly to see if the person displays your essential qualities. If they do, continue getting to know them. However, if they aren’t, it’s time to move on.
Unfortunately, many people have difficulties moving on because they prefer to remain in a situation that isn’t a good fit rather than start all over.
The first couple of dates is about getting to know an individual as a person and deciding if there is a connection. Your profiles will likely come up in conversation if you have questions. Listen to each answer and follow up with another question if you need clarification.
Really listen to what their answers reveal about them as an individual. For example, what morals do they have, and do they fit the requirements on your list?
If things are going well and they continue to match, keep dating and getting to know them. But again, if not, move on and make room for a better fit.
Finding Love Online – The Wrap Up
Online dating is nothing new but has only recently gathered traction in the last several years. If you’ve tried the traditional route without success, consider online dating. Many sites offer a free trial, so what’s the harm and checking it out? You may even be pleasantly surprised.