5 mistakes to avoid when starting to date online

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If winter, Christmas and the new year’s resolution have made you finally get it together and give online dating a try, then welcome!

Online dating has helped many people find exactly what (and who) they were looking for, so hopefully it will help you too. But there are also many people for whom online dating does nothing at all. While there are many reasons why this could be, here are 5 very common online dating mistakes that would certainly hurt your chances of getting anywhere online.

Mistake number 1: Aiming to fail

Have you joined a dating site because your friends / family / co-workers have told you you should? Are you pretty much convinced everyone you’ll meet online is a loser? Are you still hurting from a past relationship but think you ought to be over it by now?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you could find that you are actually setting yourself up for failure. Not consciously, of course – as far as you’re concerned, you’re really giving it a go. It’s not you’re fault you’re not getting any responses or that the people who contact you are ugly / freaky / weird, right? Well…

The truth is, if you sign up to a dating site without really wanting to or without actually thinking you might get somewhere and find someone, chances are you really won’t get anywhere. If you’re hurting – give yourself time to heal (hint: it usually takes longer than you’d like and has nothing to do with the duration of the relationship); if you’re convinced everyone dating online is a weirdo – get over it or find a better dating site. When you’re ready to do the work, try online dating again.

Mistake number 2: Picking a site for the wrong reasons

Not all dating sites are the same. Before you spend your time, energy and money on one, take a look around. A site that’s worked out for your friend may be right for you or it may not. A site that says it’s fab in a TV ad may be right for you or it may be not. Look at about 4 or 5 different sites before deciding which one to pay. Looking means signing up for free, running searches and filling out any personality tests available. Don’t look only at free sites, they don’t represent the entire industry.

Mistake number 3: Skimping on the profile and pics

I know you want to get on with things, but your dating profile and pictures are so important. If you have a good profile and good photos in place, they could be doing some of the work for you while you’re doing something else. Writing a good profile is also one of those things you should get out of the way early, or you may get lazy later and decide it’s good enough the way it is, with minimal information.

Mistake number 4: Sitting back

Writing a good profile is important, as I said, and it will do some of the work for you, as I said, but you should be doing most of the work regardless. Some of the most popular sites are also the most competitive so run searches, find people you think you might like and contact them. The more you contact the more chances you have of someone nice responding.


Mistake number 5: Keeping it online

Online dating can be really fun when you first try it – like window shopping people. But remember that your ultimate goal is to get out there and date. Sometimes that means erring on the side of less fussy so you can give someone a chance if he / she seems nice and interesting but maybe not very attractive. Sometimes it means looking beyond online dating and exploring all avenues for finding someone. Either way, human interaction in person is far far better and more important than sitting at your PC.

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2 thoughts to “5 mistakes to avoid when starting to date online”

  1. Dear All,

    Need some advise please.. I met this guy in datelong.com and was very impressed with the first conversation. He seems to be very genuine and gentle and invited me to lunch with him at his New York apartment. I am bit nervous and afraid to go to his apartment, and suggested to meet in a restaurant instead. But he is gently stubborn and asked me to try his delicious cooking. He sounds very gentle and handsome. Please advise, if there is any potential danger…

    Ann Troop

    1. Hi Ann,

      Meeting in a public place is still the best option. Even if there is no danger, you will feel safer and more relaxed doing so. I would even suggest meeting in a public place several times before going to someone’s house, especially if you’re feeling unsure enough of the situation as to go online and ask about it on my blog. It could be that you are just being careful because of stuff you may have heard about online dating disasters or it could be that you are sensing something you are not consciously aware of. Who knows? It’s always better to err on the side of caution either way.

      Meeting in a public place is safe and neutral and you can choose to end the date whenever you want to, without worrying about it. It’s handy even if the worst case scenario is just a bad date with a boring guy! 🙂

      I would also suggest letting a friend know where you are and even having them call you on your cell phone during the date to see if everything is OK. This is another thing that could be handy if your date is boring and you need an excuse to leave without being obvious about it.

      You may meet the guy and decide you were overcautious and everything is fine, but it’s better than not being careful enough!

      As a side note, any man you date should be respectful and understanding enough to respect your choices without pressuring you. You should never have to do anything that makes you feel unsure, uncomfortable or unsafe. If this guy wants to meet you, he should do it on your terms.

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