Experts dish out six tips for successful online dating experience

  • Sanya Panwar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Sep 19, 2014 16:03 IST

Today, going online and meeting people is so much more common than meeting someone on a blind date, at the bar or through common friends, don’t you think?

Also read: Online dating can curb racial barriers in romance

Firm believers of online dating would even say it’s practically the norm (,,,, anyone?). Who knows with a little bit of sass and lots of laugh, you might actually hit the love jackpot, never mind that you’re hitting 40, are divorced or are a total newcomer to the dating game.

“It’s finally okay to find a girlfriend/boyfriend online. But turns out, not all of us can find a date online,” says Mumbai-based relationship expert, Ameeta Sanghavi Shah.

Also read: Can you find 'the one' through online dating?

True, not all of us know where to look for love in the virtual world and how to go about it. But, worry not; we’re here to save you from a string of dating disasters and truly forgettable blind dates. Shah, along with online dating specialist Akshay Soni of Quack, list tips for the best ways to approach dating online and creating an eye-catching profile.

Soni says there are five questions you should ask yourself before you write your profile: What is special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? What details of your life, personal or family challenges, history or events have shaped you or influenced your life? What have you learned about past relationships, in terms of yourself? What are your relationship goals? What personal characteristics (for example, integrity, loyalty, compassion, persistence) do you possess, and how can you demonstrate them? What is the single most compelling reason you can give a person to be interested in you?

Also read: 5 ways to be a smart surfer on dating websites

So, get set to broaden your online dating options with these tips:

1Profile photo, check: People who've uploaded a photo get 15 times more attention than people who don't have a photo. Make sure you smile in your photos. That sexy face you're making? It may come across as scary to some people. Do remember that this is a dating site, not a job interview. So, use your profile as a trailer, not the full movie. Oh, just so we’re on the same page, don't use a selfie as your profile photo, please! It looks like you don't have a lot of friends!

2Get your profile right: Spend some time making sure your profile is as good as it can be and that it accurately reflects your personality. Do make your headline a grabber. Think of all the great advertising slogans you've ever heard; why? Because they're imprinted in people's minds. You want to do the same with your profile. Consult your friends and family while writing your online profile. There are things that they love about you that you might not otherwise think about for yourself.

3Do respond to every e-mail you get: If you were walking down the street and someone said hello, you'd probably say hello back, right? It's the same protocol online. Respond, even if the answer is a simple, "No, thanks." Keep it light. For instance, your first e-mail should not be a rant about how expensive gas prices are. Keep it light-hearted in tone and keep it simple. We would even say that don’t be afraid to make the first move.

4Be cyber safe: Verify information on a potential match as thoroughly as possible. Always create a separate e-mail account for your online dating activity. Also, get a post office box, rather than using your home address, to register for the dating site (Do this for all sites where an address is required.) Another tip: list your cell phone number, not your home number, if the site requires one.

5Choose what you write, or say, carefully: Make sure anything you publish on the net communicates the qualities you want to portray. Do make your first message count. Ensure it reads like a personal message by mentioning a few things from the person’s profile and interests that caught your eye and made you want to get in touch. That said; don’t misrepresent yourself on your profile. It’s best to be completely honest about your hobbies and interests. You want to keep it all as realist as possible.

6 First date: Do meet first dates in a public place and always let a friend or family member know where you'll be. Even more important, do be on time. Even slight lateness can set a miserable tone for the rest of the date. Another deal breaker: is cleanliness, yes you read that right. So, do be clean. You'd be surprised how often dates turn up without showering. Just to be on the safe side: don't arrive drunk or come from somewhere else where you've been drinking. Once settled, do contribute to the conversation. It's great that you're "a good listener" but you're wrong if you think letting someone do all the talking makes for a great date.

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