If you read my previous piece on online dating (‘’Online Dating: Expectations versus Reality’’), you probably have a pretty good idea what are the most important findings on this topic. If you did not get to read it yet, feel free to give it a go – or simply note that texting for too long is delaying the inevitable (which is, meeting the other person) and being too picky or too hasty can do more harm than good. In this blog, I would also like to present you with some pieces of advice that the authors of the previous study came up with:
- Within a certain time frame, try to limit the number of your online matches: choose a few candidates you get along with and get to know them better first. This way you have a higher chance of creating a bond before meeting someone for the first time.
- Do not rely on the most desirable matches on a given website: they might simply not have enough time to respond to everyone, and unlimited access to plenty of users does not improve your odds.
- Remain open-minded: imagine how you can interact with another person, what interested you in the first place, what seems unique about a given profile. Even if someone does not fully fulfill your selection criteria, consider that it might be due to the person’s honesty (after all, dating profiles usually consist of people who tend to overestimate their height and similarly downplay their weight).
- Try to minimize your expectations before meeting them in person: not only will it save you from future disappointment, but also allow you to approach the other person with more curiosity and genuine interest in who they are.
- Prioritize criteria that are important to you, not the ones that might be important to other users: it is okay if you do not seek an incredibly fit partner or you like people who are bubbly. Do not let others influence what you like in your potential partners.
- Spend some time creating your profile: choose qualities that are important to you and make you unique; keep your profile up to date and try to log in regularly to remain ‘’visible’’ to other users.
- Think before you pay: there are lot of great options out there that do not require a payment and offer roughly the same service as other websites. Paying for dating service might mean that you get flooded with messages – and even though you might find it enjoyable at first, it can get tiring fast.
Besides these tips, remember about the basics of meeting with strangers for the first time: ensure your safety by choosing a public spot and daytime; inform your friends about the date and its whereabouts. If you are shy or have doubts, consider going out for a double date with a friend of yours. Most importantly, if the date is not going in the direction that makes you feel comfortable, remember that you can always leave early and do something else. After all, what is limited is our time, but not necessarily the number of online matches.
Bibliography: Finkel, E., Eastwick, P., Karney, B., Reis, H., & Sprecher, S. (2012). Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 13(1), 3-66.
Gosia Cybulska is a Clinical Psychology Master student at Leiden University and an International Intern at Willingness. Besides her extensive love for Psychology manifested by volunteering at various facilities as well as pursuing a second degree, she also strives to learn more about what makes cats such adorable creatures.