If you’re currently single then chances are you’re signed up to at least one online dating App or website. It’s literally the only way to meet people today, which is kind of depressing, but we don’t have time to get into that right now… All of my single girlfriends use Tinder and/or Happn – some reluctantly, others with more enthusiasm – and I flit between the two. It took me a while to get into the groove, but swipe Apps can be a really effective way of meeting cool people once you get comfortable with the process. And here are my 7 online dating dos and don’ts…
DO GIVE EVERYONE A CLEAN SLATE
If I’ve had a particularly bad run of dates or Tinder conversations I start painting everyone with the same brush and become overly critical. But cynicism doesn’t get you anywhere. So, although you will undoubtedly experience plenty of disappointments on dating Apps, it’s important to give each guy a clean slate and judge them by their actions alone – not what the last bozo did or didn’t do.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SEND THE FIRST MESSAGE
When I first started using Tinder I let my matches send the initial message. But now I’m happy to be the first one to reach out. The possibility of rejection can seem daunting, but I honestly think men fear it more than women do and actually appreciate the gesture. So be brave and say hello if you see someone you like. The worst that can happen is they don’t reply, in which case you just swipe your way to someone better.
DO TAKE A LOOK AT THEIR INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
I’m not one for stalking my dates on Facebook, but if I’m interested in someone I meet online and they’ve synced Instagram to their profile I always check out their pictures. It’s surprising how many guys voluntarily share their Instagram handles when their accounts reveal they have a girlfriend, a gun fixation, or work in Morrisons supermarket when they claim to be a “professional golfer” (true story).
DON’T WASTE TIME ON ONE-SIDED CONVERSATIONS
I can’t tell you how many “conversations” I’ve had online that read more like an interview. I’m not sure whether the current generation of 20-something men are all narcissists, or simply don’t understand how conversations work, but they’ll happily talk about themselves for hours on end. So I now have a 2 strikes and you’re out rule. If I ask 2 questions in a row and only get answers back in return they’re dunzo.
DO MEET IN PERSON AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
And, just as it’s important to put an end to one-sided conversations, avoid getting sucked into endless chat with Tinder Timewasters. These are the guys that are happy to message back-and-forth for days on end without asking you out on a real date. The way around this? After 3 or 4 days of in-App-chat say “we should meet in person” and share your number. If that doesn’t encourage them to swing into action cut off contact and move on.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT PERSONAL SAFETY
Meeting a guy for drinks after you matched online the night before might seem like a completely normal situation in 2016. But safety should still be your number one concern. As well as meeting in a public place (duh!), it’s also a good idea to let a friend know exactly where you’re going and ask them to text you at a set time to check in. I also send my bestie a photo of the guy in question and his mobile number, so if I go missing he’s got nowhere to hide.
DO KEEP AN OPEN MIND
I know exactly what I’m looking for, and have a very distinct type. But I try to keep an open mind when I’m swiping, because the most interesting, fun and handsome men I’ve met online weren’t those with the sexiest pictures. So if a profile sparks your curiosity be sure to swipe right – even if they don’t initially appear to be your type. You might be pleasantly surprised.
What are your online dating dos and don’ts? Leave a comment below to have your say…