Our dating adviceWhether you're completely new to online dating, or are getting back onto the dating scene after a break, there are a few things you should bear in mind before getting started. Keeping in mind that to grow any relationship, you have to give a little to get a little, we also want you to exercise caution when getting to know any potential new dating partners whether you meet them in a bar, through a friends or on our site. Here are a few things you might like to consider:
Stay in controlIt is our top priority to ensure that you have a safe and successful experience on match.com. We strongly recommend that you stay within the site to build up relationships over time, rather than giving out your phone number, personal email or instant messenger address to matches that interest you straight away. Remember that with match.com you are fully in control of your search for love and can choose to take dating at your own pace.
Keep it realWith online dating you get what you give. Honesty and communication have often been viewed as the cornerstones of a happy relationship, so by being honest about yourself and what you're looking for in a partner from the start, you'll have a better chance of meeting someone who's right for you. Our research shows that members with photographs receive as many as seven times more responses to their profiles than those without. So be sure to choose a recent picture that accurately reflects how you look now. Pick a headshot that clearly shows your face smiling and in a flattering light, plus one full-length shot, and another showing you doing something you enjoy such as walking your dog on the beach.
Get the most from your time on match.comWhen creating your profile, if you want to catch peoples' eyes and stand out from the crowd, it pays to be specific in your interests and to highlight the qualities you have. Don't just simply state 'I have a good sense of humour' or 'I enjoy nights in with a bottle of wine and a DVD'. If someone you like the sound of shows an interest in you, take a good look at their profile. Personalising your first email to them is everything. Pick up on common life experiences and interests and make a connection that way. A first email is about getting the conversation started, not revealing your entire life story - so leave something for you both to chat about next time. Make responding to your email as easy as possible by asking them some questions, it's important to remember that the person at the other end may be waiting for you to make the first move.
"My main method of meeting someone thus far has been to know that I want to go on a date, and hope that the universe would pleasantly respond by presenting me with a tall, dark, handsome man who would love to take me out on a date and drink some red wine. Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly, this approach hasn’t quite worked out the way I had hoped, so after a while of contemplating whether or not online dating was for me, I decided to bite the bullet and sign up to match.com.
So there I was on Sunday with a slight hangover wondering what to do with my day, and thought that it was the perfect time to log into my account and explore what it was about and the possibilities it has to offer.
I started by filling in my profile, and actually found it quite hard to know what to say. I had never written a ‘personal ad’ so to speak before, apart from in my CV, and I didn’t think that details about my work experience would be enough to attract the kind of man I was looking for!
I firstly had a look on some people’s profiles to see if that would spark any inspiration. I found that the ones which attracted me most to reading them were not too long, they were funny, and they told me some details about who they were and what qualities they wanted in their date. So many people had written, ‘I don’t know what to say’ or ‘I’m really new at this’ and it got a bit repetitive going through people’s profiles which all had the same summary. I realised that what you need to do when writing your profile is to stand out from the crowd, and so the worst thing you could do is to start it like a hundred other people do!
When I was seeking inspiration from other people on match, one profile really caught my eye. He simply had a list of 10 funny/unique bullet points about himself. For example he said that he was 6’2, so tall enough to carry a girl on his shoulders at gigs, and that he had cooked for a famous band! This was short, to the point, and also made him sound interesting and exciting. It grabbed my attention so much, that even though I hadn’t completed my profile, I sent him a cheeky wink anyway!
But back on track again I thought I would turn to Google and the match advice site to see if there were any useful hints and tips that would help me out. I quickly realised that the advice online was the same as what I thought, write an attention-grabbing headline that tells people who you are, make it interesting, and also write a bit about what you are looking for.
The problem still remained however - do I really know what exactly makes me interesting? Or fun? I thought that the best thing to do was to enlist the help of my friends. I asked them what they thought my best qualities were for both my looks and personality, and then tried to write something engaging and most of all a bit fun!
We came up with the short and sweet -
‘Cake baker, risk-taker and fun maker! A good time girl looking to meet a fun and friendly guy. If you like to dance, drink wine, eat good food, and have adventures, then I'm your girl.’
I thought this ok, but perhaps it was a bit cheesy, and it didn’t give much personal information away or tell my potential date what I was looking for. So I tried again –
‘A bit Australian, a bit Indian, a bit African, and a bit English, I love traveling and going to new places, red wine, baking cakes and cooking spicy food. I’m easy going, love to laugh, and want to meet a fun and relaxed guy.
I studied drama at Uni and work in online marketing in London. A fun fact about me is that my parents also set up a fresh curry paste business, so I help out with that and naturally have a lifetime supply!
I like to go to the theatre, hang out at the pub, sit in coffee shops, and listen to live music. If this all sounds good to you, then I’d love to hear from you.’
I still didn’t know how good this was, and part of me was thinking that perhaps a lack of capitalised mentions of EXTREME SPORTS and WILD ADVENTURES wasn’t going to attract the attention of millions of men. But then again, I don’t want to meet millions of men who prefer sporting holidays to the beach, think bungee jumping is fun, or love to camp in wild mountainous terrains, because all of that just isn’t me.
So now that’s all written I can move on to the rest of my profile, and in all honesty, even if my summary isn’t perfect, I can safely conclude that it’s a whole lot better than hoping the universe will be kind enough to send a tall, handsome man to my door!”
How to get the most out of online datingJoining an online dating site can be a daunting prospect, but get past the jitters and there's a whole wealth of fun to be had with so many singles at your fingertips! Using the web to get to know potential dates can be a lot less effort than hitting the bar circuit or joining a club, but it's worth putting the work in to ensure you get the most from your online dating experience.
1. Your dating profile is your selling pointDon't expect to get many emails based on your age and location alone, the profiles that attract the most contact have a photograph and a well-written personal ad. Choose a photo that shows you in your best light but avoid passport style photos that can look rigid and formal. Ideally your profile should have a range of photos which show the different sides of your character - for example one of you doing something you really enjoy such as walking on the beach, one of you out with your friends and a nice natural shot of you looking happy and relaxed.
2. Get text appealAvoid clichés in your personal ad such as ‘easy-going' or ‘equally happy going out or staying in with a DVD and a bottle of wine'. Whilst these things might be true, you'll be surprised at just how many other people say the same thing. Instead try using ‘buzz' words that stand out, like mentioning a country you've visited recently or a book you've read. If you like food mention a particular cuisine, if you have an interesting job describe it and don't be afraid to use a thesaurus to avoid unimaginative words.
3. Search, search, search!Many online daters rely on the matches suggested to them when looking for their ideal date but it's always good to team this with a variety of your own searches. If you have a particular interest, such as heavy metal or kayaking, use the keyword search feature to pull up profiles which mention these things in the personal ad. The good thing about a thorough search is that you whittle out your non-types, so if you're looking for a rugged caveman with a penchant for jazz and camping you're more likely to find him using the search menus than by simply keeping an eye out.
4. Don't be afraid to make the first moveIf someone you think is interesting has looked at your profile but he hasn't sent you a message – don't give up hope! While it's still more common for the male members to be proactive with their online dating, there's nothing wrong with girls getting in there first. Send him a message, even if it's a quick one just to say hello, and chances are he'll love the confidence that comes with you making the first move. Same goes for guys, if you've winked at a girl and she hasn't winked back don't despair, write to her. Generally it's best to keep messages short and friendly to pique the other person's interest. And remember – if they don't write back, don't take it personally and certainly don't follow it up with an accusatory message, after all online dating is meant to be fun!
5. Don't let one bad dating experience get you downIt's not easy finding that person you really click with so don't get despondent if you don't fancy your date when you meet in the flesh; most online daters will meet at least one person they're not attracted to during the dating process – it's totally normal. If you're worried about being stuck with a date that leaves you cold try keeping it short by meeting for coffee or lunch. And when you finally meet that one that gives you butterflies you'll know that it was definitely worth the wait!
More dating advice...
- How to ask someone on a date
- How to prepare for a date
- How to let him know you like him
- What to wear on specific dates
- The real truth about being compatible: 5 dating myths exposed
- Dealing with dating disasters
- 8 dating dos and don'ts
- Top 5 tips for first date conversation
- Overcoming trust issues
- Why women love chivalrous men
- 3 things you can learn from a bad date
- 3 ways to guarantee your first date goes smoothly
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- 5 ways to get the most out of a dating website
- What do you want out of your dating experience?
- 3 key things to consider when choosing a dating website
- How to sell yourself on a dating website
- The 5 pieces of dating advice you should definitely ignore
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