When people ask me where I met my husband, I never miss an opportunity to tell the story of how we first met. A major detail that surprises most people is that we met via online dating! We found each other on Facebook Dating to be exact. It did not come out of a place of desperation for either of us, just out of a desire for a long-term/permanent and healthy relationship. However, without online dating, neither of us would have ever been able to find each other or know that each other existed. We started chatting online in June 2021, our first date was June 9, 2021, and we were married on May 25, 2023.
Online dating can be MASSIVELY successful if done correctly and safely. While there isn’t a specific “one way” to date online, there are helpful hints and tricks to making sure that you’re getting exactly what you want out of your matches. Online dating also is extremely useful if you’re ready to settle down and find a long-term relationship, if you’re in an area that doesn’t have an abundance of social activity, or if you’re tired of the same social circle perpetuating itself repeatedly.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Does Online Dating Work?
- Creating My Dating Profile and Pics
- Making the First Move
- I'm Getting Responses - Now What?
- No One is Responding - Now What?
- I'm Tired of On-line Dating
- Am I Too Old for Dating Apps?
- What If I'm a Single Parent?
- Caution: Dating App Red Flags
- Time for a First Date
- Should I Pay for a Dating App?
- Manifestation and Dating Sites
Do Dating Apps And Online Dating Work?
YES! Online dating and apps can be massively helpful in expanding your social circle, providing you the opportunity to meet people you normally wouldn’t know about or possibly encounter in your daily life. One reason dating apps and online dating are becoming far more “normal” is due to the rise of social media! But as social media becomes increasingly popular, so are dating apps as a main means of meeting that special someone in the modern world.
Dating apps and online dating are extremely useful if you’re in any sort of isolated position and looking to socialize. For example, if you live in a rural community which doesn’t have a great number of social opportunities, or if you’re in a large city but are stuck in a routine where social activities are limited, online dating can help you meet others with similar interests all without leaving your home. Dating apps are WONDERFUL for when you’re moving to a new city, or if you’re trying to “get back out there” after a divorce or the end of a long-term relationship.
Of course, there are always negatives with online dating. It’s always good to keep emotional and mental boundaries when exploring any new relationship, whether it’s a romantic relationship or friendship, and the same goes for using online dating/apps and exploring potential partners. Online dating apps simply open the doors to opportunity a LOT more due to how many people use them, as well as the variety of people that do, but with that also comes some potential dangers. If you keep aware, keep your important personal information private, and if you block those who push past any boundaries you set, you’re bound to do well.
I’ve Tried Online Dating Before and I Wasn’t Interested In Any of My Matches, Now What?
If you’ve failed with dating apps previously, there may be reasons outside of your control or it may even be due to the platform you’re using. For example, if all you saw when you logged onto a dating app were individuals that you were NOT interested in, that’s likely not the dating app for you, and it’s time to try another one! Just remember that only takes ONE opportunity to truly turn into a relationship. Also, new people join dating apps EVERY day. The person you’re looking for may be just a day or two away from joining. Patience is key!
That being said, if you’re having trouble with getting matches, join multiple dating sites at the same time to explore other options. Surprisingly, popular dating apps and sites vary from location to location! What is popular in one place is not necessarily as popular in another, so dating apps aren’t really “one size fits all” – you do have to shop around a little. It NEVER hurts to try more than one (or two).
Make sure the dating atmosphere of your dating app matches your dating goals. Meaning, if you’re noticing most of the users on a certain app/site are seeking exclusively casual relationships or friends-with-benefits situations, while you’re looking for a long-term relationship, you’re likely looking on the wrong app, and just try another one! Play around and try a few out, you can always delete them if you don’t like them.
How Do I Create an Appealing Dating Profile?
Creating your dating profile should be FUN. This is your time to show off who you are, strut your stuff and get to know yourself all over again, and in the process, let OTHERS know who you are! It’s a time to reinvent yourself if you wish, but more so, to feel GOOD about yourself. It can be daunting creating a dating profile, but make sure to not let any insecurities take hold. Instead, if you feel any anxiety, try to transfer that anxiety into anticipation and redirect your thoughts to self-love. This is a great opportunity to get enthusiastic about yourself all over again. Remember the things you LOVE about yourself and share that with others. Overall, creating a dating profile should be a fun, engaging, and exciting activity!
When you approach creating an online dating profile, it’s important to have an idea of what you’re really looking for. Are you looking for a long-term relationship, or something more casual? It’s okay to be specific, and it’s okay to be really open to just about anything too! The key to finding the RIGHT person for you with online dating though comes from being honest about your intentions. If you misrepresent yourself, you may unintentionally attract people who are truly not good for you or do not have the same life goals nor intentions, so be honest about what you’re looking for and don’t sugar coat it, and you’ll have a MUCH better success rate. Genuine people appreciate honesty.
How Do I Take the Best Dating Profile Photos?
When taking photos for your dating profile, DO make sure to display fun, engaging, clear, current, and accurate photos of yourself. It’s completely normal when getting into online dating to feel self-conscious about our body types or appearances, but DO NOT try to hide your uniquely beautiful body type or any portion of your appearance that someone will notice in person. The more authentic and truthful YOU are, the better opportunity you will have to meet with matches that are also authentic and honest.
DO post fun photos that represent your personality, pictures of you and your pets, or pictures of you doing what you LOVE to do! DO NOT post heavily filtered or “doctored” images of yourself or your surroundings. People are getting better at spotting filtered images, and it can work AGAINST you to include too many heavily edited images. If you want to include one or two amongst your other photos, that’s acceptable, but keep your profile authentic, just like you!
If you have trouble taking good photos, ask a friend! An easy tip for getting good photos by yourself is to set your camera on a shelf at roughly eye height, turn on your camera app and take selfie videos! Experiment with your lighting, your background, your pose. Then screenshot your photos from that video! Most dating apps allow for more than one photo, and it’s suggested that you put at least 3-4 photos, if not more.
Also, keep your photos current. A year or two old is OK, but if you have that favorite photo in a bikini on the beach when you were a senior in college and now you are in your mid-30s, it’s time to retire that one as a profile pic. You can always show it off later on a date. But if you eventually meet up in person, you should look pretty close to who you are in the pictures on your profile.
While your looks are NOT at all what dating nor relationships is about, they are a first impression, and that is a big part of online dating. Pictures tend to show us things that words cannot, and they’re EXTREMELY helpful when dating online and seeing whether someone is authentic, honest, and genuine, or if they’re not.
What Are the Secrets to a Well Written On-line Dating Profile?
A well-written dating profile is JUST as important as good photos, if not more so. Keep in mind, your profile will NOT be the ONLY profile a person reads that day, so just don’t make it too wordy. You can keep it short and sweet if you’d like, but slightly longer profiles can be appealing especially if you’re looking for a relationship, as opposed to a hookup.
Being honest in your profile is so, so essential to success. Exaggerating is often seen as lying, so represent yourself with honesty. What are you REALLY looking for? Be specific! If you’re looking for a long-term partner or full relationship, be truthful about it! Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed or feel that you need to hide WHY you’re on the dating site. Do not misrepresent your intentions, as that can lead to quite a bit of failure.
Do show off your positives, your good traits, anything you’re proud of or would like someone new to know about you! Talk about your passions, what you’re into, what you watch on TV, what food you enjoy, etc. Do NOT express negative in your profile. You can express whatever you would like, but in a non-negative form. For example, you may have been cheated on or hurt in the past, so it may feel compelling to write “If you’re not trustworthy, move along” or something similar. Any similar condescending energy or negative energy will be read through your words, so leave your trauma at the door. Instead, a good way to phrase that would be “Seeking someone trustworthy and loyal,” which still provides the same boundary, but with a much more positive energy behind it that others will notice and respond well to.
Should I Make the First Move?
Now that you’ve perfected your profile, it’s ready to start taking some action! When it comes to making the first move with an individual that you’re interested in, read their profile first! Try to notice any conversation starters or topics you could explore from their profile. Engaging with someone by showing that you took the time to read their profile is a GREAT way to get an interested party to respond.
Keep your initial communication brief, but engaging, and ends with a question. An example would be “Hi (insert name here)! My name is Jenna! I read your profile and really liked it! I’m very much into music as well (particularly folk and world). What kind of music do you generally follow?” Don’t ask your question as a “Yes or No” question (“Do you like folk music?”) because that can lead to a one-word reply and leave you with little engagement. If you approach it as something open-ended, that will require some thought to respond to and ideally strike up a conversation!
Keep in mind that when initially making contact, that person may not be active on the site/app consistently. If you’re not getting a response immediately, there may be a reason. Make sure to not accidentally jump to conclusions about a person you don’t know. Relax, and remember that patience is necessary (and attractive).
What Should I Do When People Respond To Me On a Dating App?
This is where the fun starts! You have someone interested! Congratulations! It’s understandable to feel a combination of anxiety and excitement when this happens, so reacting in a positive way when people reach out to you is key! Just as you did with reaching OUT to someone, that same information is helpful here. Try to pull the conversation along by referencing something in their profile! People LOVE to talk about themselves, so pick an area and go for it!
It’s important not to judge early on when online dating. Boundaries are ESSENTIAL, but still try to allow room for error when they initially start responding to you. For example, it may be simply a casual “Hey, how are you?” that seems to lack effort, but not everyone expresses themselves well online, so keep that in mind. Boundaries are ridiculously important though, and knowing how to decline or deny someone is just as important as accepting a date.
When rejecting someone online, my suggestion is to be direct but kind. If you see red flags on their profile for example (see Red Flags below), or if someone reaches out and you simply know you’re not going to be interested in them, it’s better to be a little direct as opposed to not responding at all. When you don’t respond, you’re keeping the hope alive for the other person, so it’s best to just be honest. Keep in mind though, when you reject someone, it’s likely NOT the first time they’ve been rejected, and if they respond well, that’s fantastic. If they don’t, you know that you dodged a bullet!!!
No One Is Responding To Me – What Now?
There can be NUMEROUS reasons for people not responding, and it varies from person to person. It can have something to do with your area, your profile, the people you’re reaching out to or the app you’re using. However, if you’re reaching out to MULTIPLE people and not getting any responses, there may be a problem more with the app or the specific people you’re reaching out to. On many apps, people can receive MULTIPLE messages per day, so give this time. However, don’t process this as rejection, just look for what needs to change. Is it your photos? Your profile? Maybe you simply need a different app to connect with MORE people. If you’ve only reached out to a couple of people, then expanding the range of what you’re looking for may be needed.
To start, look through your dating profile and see if there’s any areas that need to be changed or improved, or if there are issues there. If not, consider that ANOTHER app may be needed in addition to the one you’re using. Don’t give up hope!
How Can I Overcome Online Dating Fatigue?
Dating fatigue is ALL too common and can happen quickly after starting online dating or apps. It can be exhausting flipping through photos and profiles, responding to tons of messages or sending tons of them, only to feel like you’re not making an inch of progress. It can get to the point where faces blur together, and it’s hard to distinguish one profile from the next because they all seem so similar at this point. Perhaps you’re not even seeing a whole lot of activity, you’re just tired of viewing photo after photo and feeling like you’re not meeting anyone special.
If you’re starting to feel burned-out, then it’s time to reset! Getting off the app or site you’re using is a great first start, because it will give you an opportunity to enter a NEW online or app community different than the one(s) you’ve been interacting with. Try apps that are set up differently from what you’re used to, there are many to choose from so explore something where layout and format are different than what you’re used to. Start from scratch, and re-create your profile from the bottom up, even starting with some new fresh photos.
It can also get easy to get caught in a trap of endless messaging online, without ever making the effort to meet in person. After all, meeting up is dauting, intimidating at times, and can be really scary in terms of potential rejection. However, if you’re encountering endless loops of messaging, then it may be time to finally break past that boundary and approach finally meeting in person, or encouraging a date, to progress things forward in a productive direction. It may also be what you need in order to break out of your rut if you find yourself exploring endless profiles and being impressed by none of them.
Am I Too Old for Dating Apps?
A common misconception about online dating and apps is that only young people use them, but more and more people of ALL ages are looking to online dating and apps. Online dating has been massively successful with a VERY WIDE variety of age groups, but there are increased apps and opportunities than ever before.
There are quite a few sites and apps dedicated to “senior” dating, but that’s not a requirement if you’re older in years, as most popular dating apps have a significant amount of people of ALL ages. There really isn’t a barrier for age here! People are often looking for love past 60, 70, and even 80, and online is a GREAT place to meet other people who may be older in years but are still young at heart and looking to love again. They ARE out there… and a LOT of them!
How Do I Navigate Online Dating as a Single Parent?
When putting yourself out there in the dating world, are you worried about being judged for having kids? Fear not! One of the largest demographics of people pursuing online dating are single parents! Many people look for love after having children, it is NOT the disadvantage in the dating world it may appear to be. If someone is willing to reject you simply for having a child (or children), that is someone that you wouldn’t truly want in your life anyway! Thus, when they remove themselves as an opportunity, they’re effectively doing you the favor of not having to remove them yourself.
When approaching online dating as a parent, there are a few things to consider. Do you want to date other single parents and are you okay with dating someone that has kids too? Would it be okay if their kids were the same age as your kids? What about if they had older/younger children? Before jumping to conclusions and limiting yourself about whether it would work or not, it may be a good idea to talk with your children before putting up your profile, to get an idea for how they would feel about having additional siblings/friends, or if you think that there may be any potential difficulties or benefits to consider. Knowing whether you’re willing to consider other people in the same position as yourself is important and can increase the number of opportunities you may have to pursue!
Personal story time.
Initially, when I saw my husband’s profile online, he had stated that he had two teenagers, a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl. I hesitated significantly, as I have no children of my own. I was potentially open to kids, though I had had some negative experiences with previous partners who had children, and I had a deep-seated fear of teenagers and merging into a life with them. I read through his profile twice and decided that I felt it was worth a chance given everything I had read about him. After all, if he was as great as his profile sounded, then his kids must be pretty great too. I now have two awesome step-kids who I consider my own, and who have been an amazing addition to my life that I never, ever saw coming.
If you’re a parent to someone that’s under the age of 18, it’s a necessity that you include that you have children in your profile as a means of transparency, whether they’re with you full or part time. This does not mean that you should include much information about your children in your profile. Your profile is specifically about you, and you alone – your children are a huge part of your life, so including that you have them is an important piece that needs to be included, however, specifics should be left out, and you should be as relatively vague as possible. If you’d like to include basic information such as age range and gender, that would be totally acceptable, but try to keep most of your information specific to you, yourself.
No matter how cute and photogenic your children are, for their safety and yours, keep all photos and images of your children OFF your dating profile. Photos of your kids are perfect to share once you’ve met someone and have deemed them safe and acceptable, but beforehand it’s best to keep them away from any potential or possible danger.
Plan ahead when it comes to online dating! Assume the best, that you’re going to find someone that you’ll want to meet in person and start looking into childcare and babysitters before you need them. Having options for when you DO have a date can make the anxiety and logistics of leaving your babies behind much easier when the time comes, and it will.
If you are blessed to have older teenagers who are open, empathetic, and encouraging towards your dating life, include them, if you want, to a degree in your venture, so that they know that their opinion matters and that you trust them. Let them help choose what pictures to go on your profile, or any jokes that they think you should include! If you start dating someone, let them see the person’s profile and ask questions! Teenagers can be acutely aware of red flags and energy that many adults are jaded to, so listen to what they have to say if they have an opinion! You don’t have to take their suggestions, but listening shows them that no matter what happens or who you date, they’ll always come first. And speaking of red flags…
Are There Dating App Red Flags I Should Look Out For?
Unfortunately, it’s likely that during your time pursuing online dating, you’ll encounter people that give you red flags. A lot of times these people can be pushy, make you feel guilty if you don’t respond quickly enough or at all, and can be very manipulative in trying to get a positive response from you. If you encounter these individuals, your best friend is the BLOCK button. Every dating app has a way of making it so that members can’t contact you, so utilize their specific blocking system. Thankfully, most popular apps are GENUINELY concerned over user safety and it’s not difficult to block any individual for any reason. Don’t feel guilty about it either, it’s there for a reason, so use it as much as you need to.
Other red flags you may encounter are people asking you WAY more about your personal life than normal conversation. This can be for several reasons, but one thing to be wary about are negative intentions. People whose only aim is for personal gain, so make sure to keep your private information private! Don’t share anything that you wouldn’t share with a common acquaintance with someone online.
Luckily, if you’re familiar with exercising your boundaries, you’ll find that addressing any red flags that come up to be easy and painless. Keep your safety your first priority, and you’ll do JUST fine!
What Should I Do (or Not Do) When Planning a First Date?
When planning a first date, make sure to keep your safety as your ultimate goal. ALWAYS meet in a public area. It can feel romantic to have someone pick you up in their car, or to invite you over for a private home-cooked meal, but this is not suggested as first date options until you get to know them. Parks, dinner, the movie theater, coffee, a downtown stroll are all great ideas for a first date location! If you’re into live events, concerts or outdoor sporting events are fantastic memorable first date options. You can also get creative here, depending on the interests of you and your date!
There is no timeline for when to have a first date after encountering someone on an app or online dating. It’s a matter of comfortability and safety. It’s often best to communicate for at least a few days to sometimes a week to find out if you’re going to get along in person, before actually having the date, and not rushing to meet too quickly. This is mostly to learn a little bit about the person, learn about who they are and if you genuinely like them. Usually, after chatting on a dating app or online it’s best to then take it to phone conversations before the date, but again, there are NO rules when it comes to dating, so it’s up to you, and what YOU and your date are comfortable with.
Should I Pay for Dating Websites and Apps?
There are MANY dating apps to choose from. Some require payment up front, some are free but pay for you to add services or the ability to get seen by more people, and some are completely free of charge to use!
Of course, when you know that so many free services are available, it’s easy to ask why anyone would CHOOSE to pay for something they could easily get for free. One benefit to paying for a subscription service is that it indicates that a person is truly interested in finding a future mate. It shows that a person is investing in their personal ability to find a lasting relationship and they’re willing to spend the money to get there. Thus, matches that you tend to make on fee-based apps/websites can be a bit more relationship and long-term oriented.
Free sites can be JUST as valuable as the ones to pay. Many people who are on paid websites or apps tend to also be on other free apps at the same time, though that’s not true for everyone. However, the drawback is a LOT of people with lesser intentions tend to dwell on free apps, so there’s a higher risk of connecting with people that may not be who they represent themselves to be. Regardless of whether it’s free or not, boundaries are ALWAYS your best friend.
How Can I Incorporate Manifestation While Using Dating Apps?
One of the best tools that I have personally found (that worked) when I explored online dating is manifestation! When dating, manifestation is really a helpful tool that can speed things along, break down barriers, and help bring about positive change! It can also drive the RIGHT person to us when done correctly!
When you manifest, you’re in a mindset of total gratitude for what you’re GOING to be receiving. It’s feeling gratitude for something you haven’t received yet – but it’s also instilling in yourself that you know that this person will be delivered to you. You don’t have to worry, fear, or have anxiety about it – manifestation is the time to let all of that go.
Manifestation is getting into the mindset as though you’ve already met your ideal mate, and they’re finally yours. You can use visualization, writing attributes that you want in a partner, or you can use mantras, positive affirmations, whatever you would prefer!
A key part of manifesting is DO NOT manifest a specific person. You cannot bend someone else’s will and you’ll find that often when trying to manifest a specific person, you may get what you want, but in a negative way (meaning that it may leave you broken-hearted) or it likely won’t work at all. You can manifest traits and characteristics of a future partner but keep the identity and the “face” anonymous, and let the Universe bring the right opportunity forward.
Overall, online dating is an extremely fun, enjoyable experience that can be frustrating at times, but I can tell you from my own experience, it is so very much worth the try (and it wasn’t my first try either!)
If you need guidance with dating, help with communicating with someone you’re really interested in, or want to know more about a person you’ve matched with, getting a psychic love reading is absolutely the way to go to get the extra support and clarity you need!