We all have that coworker, sister-in-law or neighbor that found her fairy tale ending on an online date-to-love site like Match.com or eHarmony. We use social media for everything else, so it’s no surprise that nearly 20% of us have now tried online dating. Now that it’s an acceptable and “normal” option, how do we play the online dating game and win?
The truth is, most of the anxieties and pitfalls of dating are the same on and offline. And landing that first date with your online sweetheart might take a little more social media savvy than you think. Consider these tips to grabbing the attention of the right guys or gals online.
Selling Yourself is the Same On and Offline
Think of your online dating profile as a first impression that you actually get to plan out ahead of time. Advertise yourself. Brag gracefully. Why are you a catch? If you’ve got a biting sense of humor, show it off. And if you’re an accomplished chainsaw sculptor, post photos of your work.
If you’re having a hard time putting your romantic c.v. together, consider asking your friends what they love about spending time with you. (If you’re still at a loss, at least mark “modesty” as one of your chief virtues.)
Just don’t get carried away. Getting hyperbolic about your achievements may attract a few more interested parties, but it’s a bad idea to misrepresent yourself. Don’t use an 8 year old photo from your college trip to Cabo just because you look hot. First dates are uncomfortable enough. You don’t want to make it worse by having to explain that what you really meant by “outdoor survival expert” was that your Bear Grylls tribute video made it to the top of Reddit when Man vs. Wild was cancelled. That’s cool, but it’s not the same.
And while you’re being honest, remember to be clear on your “non-negotiables”. If faith is very important to you or you can only see yourself with someone who shares your obsession with film noirs and whiskey-based cocktails, say so.
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Conventional wisdom tells us to practice safer sex. But what does safer sex really mean? Asking your peers and consulting the Internet can lead to information overload, and you may not be getting the truth. Professionals say that many people are grossly misinformed about safer sex and so they suffer the consequences.
Check out our six-part guide to safer sex. All of the information presented has been carefully examined for accuracy and credibility – this is a guide you can count on. Start here, or jump to a section of your choosing:
Protect yourself, protect others: read the whole guide and stay informed!
First launched in 2009 by founder and CEO Joel Simkhai, Grindr is arguably the best “geosocial networking” and location-based mobile app for gay men. It is currently used in over 192 countries and includes millions of members; at any given time, 71,000 users are logged onto Grindr and close to a million users log into the mobile app daily.
Grindr has been described by users as a “revolutionary dating tool,” as well as the “scariest gay bar on earth.” Either way, Grindr has made an indelible mark on the dating scene for gay men, winning awards like the “Best Dating Application” in 2012 by About.com Readers’ Choice Awards and the Best Mobile Dating App and Best New Technology by the Dating Industry and Internet Dating Conference in 2012.
For men who want to forgo long and invasive questionnaires given out by overly complex online dating services, Grindr offers an uncomplicated dating service. You simply download and open the application onto your mobile device. After the program is downloaded, you choose a profile name, upload a photo of yourself and answer a couple of questions. When you are ready, sign into the application. As a GPS location-based service app, Grindr will locate other users in your area, as your next date may be standing only a few feet away from you.
Grindr versus Other Dating Applications
Unlike popular online dating services such as Match or eHarmony, one of the benefits of Grindr is convenience and speed: you do not have to email the person you are interested in for over a week and wait for days to set up a date. Users prefer Grindr over other mobile dating applications such as Skout or Tingle, as it claims the most users and offers the biggest dating “pool.” In the 2012 About.com Readers Choice Awards, 74 percent of readers preferred Grindr over these other mobile dating apps. Originally made for the iPhone, Grindr can now be downloaded and used on the iPad, Android and the Blackberry. Additionally, there are plans to have Grindr released as an application for Windows-based mobile phones in the upcoming year.
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From a small town to a big city, if you start to feel like you’re dating the same type of person, or that you’ve run out of eligible partners, it’s probably because you’ve gotten yourself into a routine and/or social circle that only holds so many prospects. Even if you feel like there is no one new to date or is worth a shot to date, you know that can’t be true — there are billions of people in the world. This is why many people have turned to online dating to find new potential dating matches.
There’s a certain thrill to meeting up with someone you have only been dating online, because people are more apt to open themselves up and let each other see their true colors online. When you’re dating online, you simply have to close a window to get out of a conversation, and know you will never have to hear from that person again, so you are more likely to take a risk, which often pays off.
Of course, it should be noted that the same way you let your guard down because you know the other person can’t see you, the other person knows you cannot see them as well. You’re definitely putting yourself at risk of being taken advantage of or even placing yourself into potential dangerous situation if you’re not protecting your privacy. It’s easy for someone to say they’re a well-mannered guy, but the truth is, you could be speaking to someone who doesn’t have the best of intentions. Don’t let this discourage you, though! But the point does need to be made. Always meet a potential date in a public place so you’re out in the open. Have a plan just in case things go south — there are nifty mobile apps out there that can help you get out of a disaster date.
Negativity aside, there are many stories of people who actually meet their matches online. How? Well, I believe it’s a combination of luck, timing, and work. Work? Yes! You should keep you profile fresh and reach out to possible matches as often as you can, sometimes it comes down to a numbers game, as bad as it sounds. Online dating gives you the ability to filter many people at once according to your preferences — imagine if you could do this in real life! If other methods are getting you down, perhaps you should consider jumping on an online dating site.
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The March 21 Edition of the Carnival of Online Dating has been moved to this Friday, March 30th. The site we use to collect our awesome submissions, blogcarnival.com, had some technical issues and has been down for the last week. As a result, we have no submissions and no carnival to post yet!
Blogcarnival.com is now up and running, so we can collect submissions once again. If you do have any, please feel free to submit them for inclusion here!