Just getting started with online dating? Follow our guide to meeting a match who’s right for you.

Keep an open mind about your ‘dating criteria’

Online dating means you’re exposed to a lot more potential dates than in a normal situation and it’s natural to have a set of criteria to filter the matches you’re interested in from the ones you’re not, but think carefully about what those criteria are – are they deal-breakers?

If you’re guilty of rejecting matches because they made a typo in their profile, aren’t quite tall enough or don’t like the same bands as you, you could be turning yourself off to people you’d click with.

The next time you find yourself making snap decisions about why you’re not interested in a match, take another look and give them a chance. You might be surprised.

Meet them in person as soon as possible

Been messaging for two months and not met up yet? Be brave! Ask them on a date and see if you connect as well in real life as you do online.

If you don’t spark you can move on without regret, but if you do it could be the start of something.

Don’t be afraid to multi-date

The beauty of online dating is getting the chance to meet so many different people. Some you’ll like, some, not so much.

You don’t have to commit straight away and it’s perfectly acceptable to date several matches at once, so organise dates with different types of people and see who you click with best.

Dating a range of people will allow you to work out which qualities you find attractive in a match and which are less important to you.

The spark might not be instant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there

Ever met someone who you weren’t sure about when you were first acquainted but went on to become a great friend? Yep, us too, and dating’s no different.

People are often nervous on a first date which can affect the way they behave, the things they say and even whether they remember to ask anything about you. So if you liked someone’s profile and got along in messages but don’t feel the spark in person, try giving them a second chance to wow you.

Consider a different type of date for your second meet up. If your first date was a bar with loud music, maybe they found it tricky to talk because they’re naturally quiet. Try somewhere quieter like a coffee shop and you might see a completely different side to your date.

If at first you don’t succeed…

Not everyone finds their match in week one. We’re sorry, we wish they did, but sometimes it takes a little time for the right person to come along.

If you can identify with this point, stay positive. Ask a friend to help you give your profile a makeover, stay active on match to give yourself the best chance of finding your match and download our mobile app so you can keep up with messages when you’re out and about. Your perfect match might be right around the corner.