It can become a full time job. And there are no hard and fast rules for how to do it right.
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I went to the experts to find out their suggestions for what you should and shouldn't do when you're online dating. One of the most important things you can do when online dating is protect yourself. Unlike meeting a potential partner through a mutual friend, you don't know much about the people you meet online. Jaime Kulaga , life coach and PhD.
Get the basics right
Be especially careful when meeting someone for the first time. Kulaga added, "When you go out on a first date, make sure that friends or family know where you are going and never go to someone's house alone. Make sure that your first date is somewhere in public movies, dinner, theme park, etc. While it might be tempting to use glamour shots of you that were taken ten years ago, don't do it.
Step 10 – First Date Survival Guide – First Date Tips
You want your photos to be an accurate representation of you so that when people meet you in real life, they get what they expect. Krimer added, "To maximize your success in meeting the right person, have photographs that are reflective of who you are and what you look like. The first photo is your first impression — try and remember that when you're coming up with your collection. Don't put up photos that are offensive or deceiving or that don't demonstrate who it is you really are.
Do stay safe
Even though photos are very important, don't discard a potential match just because of their appearance. David Bennett , certified counselor, relationship expert and co-author of seven self-help books, told me, "Studies show most people base online dating primarily on the photos. While this isn't bad, it's the main reason so many people complain that sorting through the duds online is too much work, because just because someone looks good doesn't mean they are dating or relationship material. When choosing a partner, looks are only one part of the equation.
Bennett suggested, "Give personality more weight, and swipe left on guys and gals you know wouldn't be good for you, even if they're hot. You'll get higher quality matches. It's easy to get caught up worrying what your dates want and care about and to neglect your own wants and needs. One of the best things you can do in this process is to be self-aware.
Krimer told me, "Check in with yourself before you get out into the dating world or whilst dating. Krimer suggested that you ask yourself the following questions: Do you know what you want and need? Are you ready to be in a serious relationship? Do you trust your judgment?
What is your attachment style? What fundamental values do you want to align with your potential mate? Are you emotionally ready? Are you a good communicator? Relationships are complex, and it's important to recognize them as such. Krimer told me, "Acknowledge all of the important factors that make a relationship healthy and work — are you confident in your ability to contribute to a relationship in these ways? If you experience difficulty in any of these areas, consider the fact that they may affect the outcome of your dating experiences.
For example, people who have trouble loving themselves will often choose partners who will confirm their beliefs about themselves.
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While relationships are serious business, make sure that you enjoy yourself. Krimer told me in our interview, "It's really easy to get caught up in the stresses of meeting someone — let alone meeting the right someone. Instead of letting yourself get stressed out, she suggested, "Make a conscious choice to think of ways to find enjoyment in meeting new people and putting yourself out there — focus on the process instead of the outcome.
If you put too much pressure on the expectation of meeting someone, you're much more likely to feel disappointed or discouraged if it's not what you expect it to be. I've seen many friends let their longterm goals go out the window when they meet someone they really like, but who may not be a great long term match. Krimer suggested that you keep your goals front and center. She said, "Do know your goals for what you're looking for — what are your intimacy and relationship needs?
Are the people you're meeting matching those needs? For our members though, the only real no-go topic is that of ex partners: Want some first date conversation starters? Try the famous 36 questions! This question is tricky. Again, this area used to be strictly male territory. However, increasingly, this seems unfair — for everyone involved! While some experts still believe in waiting for men to call the shots others, like Jen Kim at Psychology Today, call for for a more nuanced approach.
Kim recommends asking for a date based on your personality, not your gender: Want to know how to ask someone out? Find our tips for every scenario here.
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It really is that simple. Ultimately, all the first date tips in the world are designed with this goal in mind. They're there to help you have a safe, happy and hopefully romantic time with someone wonderful. That's ok, as a first date that goes nowhere is still a really useful learning experience, one that can inspire you to say yes to the date that will transform your lovelife. Ready to see where a first date could take you? Sign up with EliteSingles here!
When should you meet in person? Sophie Watson is an editor for EliteSingles. Or the party school? Was their major the whole reason they attended? Whatever the reason it may be, this helps you to kind of see what helps that make big decisions. This is a fun one! We all have that one thing about us that stands out and finding out what makes the person unique is entertaining. If they're willing to share this with you, then you can tell that this person is open and welcoming.
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Everyone has someone they admire, so this is a good general question to ask online daters. This might be a very unoriginal question to ask, but it is a classic for a reason. People enjoy talking about their favourite things so this one is usually a great ice breaker. And of course if you share any of the answers in common, even better!
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People's face lights up and their eyes twinkle and they can talk forever about this topic when something is really special to them. Now, this may be behind a phone or computer screen, but when people are really passionate about something, it will shine through even a piece of technology.
You may think, "aren't passions and interests the same thing? They can be totally different things or can align with people's passions, so this is a question worth asking. While this might be a touchy topic for some, other might be very open about it. A question like this can really help you see if a person's values are similar to yours or not, or if you are able to align with them.
Another pretty standard question. Are you going to be splitting pitchers, getting wine drunk or enjoying an ice cold cola? It is very important to know before hand for sure. Family values are pretty important to most people. Future you would want to know!