Online dating has gone from something reserved for lonely people at the end of their romantic ropes to a huge, multi-billion dollar industry in less than a decade. What’s more, in the social sphere it has become a totally legitimate and accepted way to meet your significant other.
But whether you’re taking your chances with eharmony.com, or just want a quick fix with the Bang With Friends app, there are still some general recommendations to follow that will help you navigate the world of online dating.
We had the opportunity to sit down Let’s Date CEO Adam Huie, who shared with us some insights and tips for dating online. From rate of success to how much you have to worry about being “catfished,” they managed to create a quick cheat sheet for online dating which will allay some fears, put to bed some negative assumptions, and help you safely and smartly try something new.
“Although the younger ‘Millennial’ generation is quite savvy with today’s technology, there is still some misunderstanding on their part with finding love online,” says Huie. “As CEO of Let’s Date, I wanted share some inside wisdom I’ve learned over the years to help demystify the online dating process and increase their likelihood of success.”
20 Things 20 Year Olds Need To Know About Online Dating
1. It works.
Nearly 40% of marriages start from meeting online. Plus the divorce/separation rate is lower than couples that met offline.
2. It’s cheaper.
Buying someone a $7 cocktail in the bar to say hello can really add up fast. Most online sites, especially mobile dating apps, are free to use.
3. It’s fun.
Apps like Let’s Date allow users to anonymously browse profiles and hit “yes” or “no” if you like them. Only if they happen to like you back will your intentions be revealed. This process removes all fear of rejection and makes it much more enjoyable to find a match. So, widen your search and take a chance on people that normally might not be your type.
4. The Catfish scenario is not a reality.
Besides Manti Te’o and MTV’s non-reality show, you will not fall in love with a fictitious person. Most apps require a Facebook or other authenticated login to block fake profiles.
5. More the merrier.
Try out a few different dating apps as each one has a different feel and different user base. Some apps are good for hookups (i.e. Tinder), others for getting married tomorrow (i.e. eHarmony), and many for actual dating (Let’s Date, Match.com, etc.).
6. It’s okay to be curious.
Many LGBT young adults turn to online dating when trying to understand their sexual identity. This is a great place to test the waters of different dating pools and figure out what you’re looking for.
7. Use your best photo.
Unfortunately, 80% of online daters base their decisions on photos alone. However, that does not mean you should Photoshop or use an outdated photo. Wear something nice and have a friend snap a picture. DO NOT do a ‘selfie’ in the bathroom mirror. Nor should you send a group photo. What potential suitor wants to spend time trying to figure out what you look like?
8. Take the time to fill out your profile.
Although your photo is worth a thousand words, it behooves you to put in some basic stats. Serious daters do read profiles, and it will save you time later when your date freaks and runs off because you reveal that you have 12 cats.
9. Don’t lie.
Again, this not fantasyland. Your date will notice that you are not 6’4″ and Channing Tatum’s Stunt Double.
10. Spelling counts.
You look stupid when you don’t proofread your messages and nobody wants to date someone they think isn’t intelligent.
11. Get your friends involved.
Your closest friends will be the best judges of potential suitors. Try group dating (Grouper) if everyone is single or have your off-the-market friends become your secret wingman (Let’s Date), where they can view profiles without having to create their own.
12. This is not Snapchat.
If you send a naked or inappropriate photo, it will not disappear. Rather, it will end up getting posted on some blog to ridicule you, or worse you may get a call from the cops.
13. Don’t give out personal information.
Security is the most important value for most dating sites, but shady people will always find a way. Do not list your birthday, post photos that could reveal your location, or continue any conversation with someone who makes you feel uncomfortable. Find the flag or block button and move on.
14. Cheaters need not apply.
If you have a significant other and plan to use online dating for extracurricular fun, you will get caught. Most sites use social networks and friend-of-friend based recommendations to serve up dater suggestions. The BFF of your GF will come across your profile.
15. Be patient.
Just like offline dating, relationships take time to form. Also, most dating sites use matching algorithms that take in account variables like how long you’ve been a member and your activity level to determine where you appear in someone’s feed. You will get a date.
16. Don’t say “Hey.”
After you’ve been matched up with that special someone, don’t follow the 63% of mobile daters who start the chat messaging with “Hey.” Pick something interesting from their profile and start a dialogue around that. The extra effort may mean a better first date.
Unlike offline dating where you nervously ask someone out and have to suggest a place on the spot, online dating gives you plenty of time to form a game plan. So take advantage of it and plan something amazing.
18. Don’t be a “Serial Dater.”
Given the ease and convenience of most dating apps, setting up dates for coffee, lunch, drinks and dinner is a cinch. Well, DON’T. This can get expensive fast, not to mention you’ll develop a rep.
19. It’s not an excuse to be an asshole.
Even though you meet someone online, it doesn’t give you the excuse to dump someone online. Your boyfriend of three months shouldn’t get a breakup text message. Respect, y’all.
20. Delete the app.
Most users forget to remove their profile after they’ve started a relationship. The last thing your new partner wants is for your phone to be buzzing with people still checking you out.
Some quick background info on Let’s Date: It’s a free app that finds you the best dates by studying your reactions to dating profiles and actual dates to learn over time what your best match is. It simplifies and streamlines the online dating process with an easy-to-use iPhone app that helps people go on casual dates with the right people. There’s a huge user base to play with, too. Let’s Date boats over 1M actions on the app daily, and has helped put 60,000 couples together over the past two months.
You can download Let’s Date for free at the app store.
What do you think of the “20 Things 20 Year Olds Need To Know About Online Dating” list? Do you find this information useful? Is there anything we missed? Sound off!