7 Things To Prepare Yourself For When You Join A Dating Service

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Dating Check List

So you’re ready to take the plunge into the 21st century and try online dating. Before you join Match or download Tinder, you need to prepare yourself for what’s to come.

Online dating is a roller coaster of emotions. When it’s up, it’s amazing. When it’s down, it can be devastating. The best way to ride it successfully is to arm yourself against anything it can throw at you. Here’s what to expect when you sign up for a dating service:

#1 Anxiety.

Dating of any kind comes with its fair share of stress. Dating online when you’ve never done it before ups the anxiety factor significantly. You’ll fret over which pictures make you look good and represent who you are. You’ll agonize over every word in your profile. You’ll rewrite messages until you’ve done more drafts than a college student writing his thesis. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that every online dater has been there.

#2 Rejection.

It’s guaranteed to happen, especially if you’re a guy (sorry gentleman, it’s a hard truth of dating no matter how you do it). Rejection comes in many forms online and no one is immune. Many find it easy to say no to someone who’s just an anonymous profile. On the plus side, many also find it easier to handle rejection when it’s coming through a screen instead of face to face.

#3 Silence.

Your interest won’t always be returned, and not everyone will have the time or courtesy to tell you up-front. The casual approach many singles take to online dating means you will sometimes craft messages that go unanswered. One follow-up is fine if it’s someone you were really into, but anything more than that sends the wrong message.

#4 Flakiness.

Messages aren’t the only thing that might go mysteriously unanswered. Make plans to meet up with a match and when the big day arrives, they may suddenly cancel (or worse, just not show up). You’ll probably never know why they decided to flake, so don’t expect closure. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

#5 Ghosting.

The worst of all flaky dating behavior is ghosting. Ghosting is the hip, buzzy term for the silent treatment. When someone you’re dating ends the relationship by cutting off all communication, with no explanation whatsoever, you’ve been ghosted. It’s confusing, and potentially painful, and there’s nothing you can do about it except move on.

#6 Spam Bots & Scammers.

There are a lot of genuine people on online dating sites. Most of them are genuine people. But not all. The reality is that some profiles belong to scammers looking for their next victim or robots trying to take your money. It’s important to date smart and steer clear of cons.

#7 Fibbers.

Even the people who aren’t looking to empty your bank account or steal your identity aren’t always honest. Fortunately, it mainly falls into white lie territory - add an inch or two to the height, take a pound or five off the weight - but sometimes the stories get more elaborate. If the person who shows up for your date looks nothing like the person in the profile, take comfort in the knowledge that you’ll have a killer story for Reddit later.

4 Ways To Hack Your Dating Apps

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Dating apps are no longer the upstarts of the matchmaking world. Like traditional websites before them, they’re now firmly mainstream and wildly popular. Millions of people around the world using dating applications and the number increases daily.

As users increase, so do the number of apps available. From Tinder and Bumble and Hinge, to newcomers like SWEATT and The Grade, dating apps are efficient, fun, easy to use, and often free. To get the most out of the experience, brush up on these expert dating app hacks.

  1. Don’t Be A Slacker. Dating apps are the pared-down, lazy alternative to dating sites, right? Oh so wrong. A blank profile says you’re either only looking for a hookup or a scammer in search of their next victim. Your profile doesn’t have to be as detailed as it would be on Match or eHarmony, but you should offer a brief intro to your life, your personality, and what you’re looking for.
  2. Swipe Often. Dating apps only work if members use them regularly, so most punish infrequent users by showing them other sporadic users - meaning you’re stuck choosing from a pool of people who are less interested in meeting someone and fewer matches overall. The more you open the app, and the more often you swipe, the better your chances and the higher the quality of your matches.
  3. But Do Exercise Restraint. Dating apps penalize both picky swipers and indiscriminate swipers. A user who swipes right on everyone looks like a spambot or scammer, which algorithms are designed to weed out. Don’t say yes to everyone in a desperate attempt to increase your odds of getting a yes back.
  4. Use Your Words. Swiping is a perfect way to pass the time on public transportation or in line at your local coffee shop, and no one is immune to the ego boost of receiving a right swipe, but there’s more to the experience than that. Why waste time making tons of matches that go nowhere? Dating app users are notoriously lax when it comes to communicating, so buck the trend by sending a message as soon as a match is made.

And why stop there? If the conversation is going well, take the next step and meet in person. Waiting too long leaves ample opportunity for your date to get bored and move on or - possibly worse - to create an idealized image you can’t live up to when you’re finally face-to-face. For more information, you can view our list of reviewed dating apps.

BBC Investigates The Science Behind Online Dating Profiles

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Almost 100 million people around the world use dating websites and apps. With so many singles looking for love, how do you find “the one?” The task may seem daunting, but the BBC hopes to make it more manageable with tips based on scientific research.

A recent article written by Dr. Xand van Tulleken explores the world of online dating through the lens of a scientist. Professor Khalid Khan of Queen Mary University has reviewed dozens of scientific research papers on attraction and dating. His most interesting findings and top pieces of advice include:

  • Dedicate 70% of your profile to writing about yourself and 30% to writing about what you’re looking for in a partner. “Studies have shown that profiles with this balance receive the most replies because people have more confidence to drop you a line,” writes van Tulleken.
  • Women are more attracted to men who demonstrate bravery, courage, and the willingness to take risks than they are to men who show altruism and kindness.
  • Humor is highly attractive, but only if you go about it the right way. Although it’s easier said than done, the best way to make people think you’re funny is to show them, not tell them.
  • Choose a username that starts with a higher letter in the alphabet. “People seem to subconsciously match earlier initials with academic and professional success,” van Tulleken explains.

With your profile optimized, it’s time to decide who you’ll go on a date with. Mathematician Hannah Fry suggests employing the Optimal Stopping Theory, a method that helps you choose the best option when sifting through many possibilities one after another. According to an algorithm devised by mathematicians, your chances of selecting the best date are highest if you reject the first 37% of potential partners.

“The maths of this is spectacularly complicated, but we've probably evolved to apply a similar kind of principle ourselves,” writes van Tulleken. “Have fun and learn things with roughly the first third of the potential relationships you could ever embark on. Then, when you have a fairly good idea of what's out there and what you're after, settle down with the next best person to come along.”

After a few dates with someone special, science can determine whether it’s love or just like. During an MRI, the brain of a person who’s in love will be activated in a region called the ventral tegmental area - a key part of the brain’s pleasure and reward circuit. At the same time, the scan will reveal a deactivation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which controls logical reasoning. No wonder we call people “fools in love.”

Of course, feeling the emotion doesn’t guarantee a successful relationship, as Dr. Helen Fisher is quick to note. Science can give you a headstart in finding love but the rest is up to you.

5 Quick Dating App Tips For Success

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Dating App Tips

If you’re single and own a smartphone, chances are you’ve downloaded a dating app.

Many people try at least one or two apps, swipe and message for a few weeks, and then quit in frustration because they don’t get many matches, their messages go unanswered, or they never actually get a real date out of it.

Instead of going into app dating full force with no results, it’s better to keep a steady momentum and a few things in mind for successful swiping. Following are some tips to get your dating app game in shape:

Be respectful all the time.

It’s important to remember that even though you might be a great catch, people on dating apps are strangers who don’t know you. They don’t know your sense of humor, your background, or your close friends, so they have to take what you say at face value. So don’t start out being presumptuous – save the overt flirting, gross jokes, or sexual references for a more appropriate time – like when you are dating and are aware of your attraction for one another!

A picture is worth a million words.

Dating apps have really helped those who don’t want to spend the time writing a funny, clever profile. Instead, people can look at one or two photos and swipe based on that. (Most people don’t even read the descriptions or tags on your profile unless they like your pic.) So, you have to tell a visual story. Show a photo doing something you love that will spark a conversation. Include a headshot and a body shot, with no sunglasses or hats covering your face. Remember to smile!

Don’t message endlessly.

It’s fun to get a little flirtatious banter on, but at the end of the day, what do you have to show for it if you haven’t met in person? Instead of endlessly messaging, be bold and ask your matches out sooner rather than later – it doesn’t matter if you’re the guy or the girl. Ask, meet, and then see if there’s a spark.

Don’t swipe right on everyone.

Guys have a tendency to play the dating app game – swipe right on everyone and see who matches back with you. This is a bad strategy for many reasons, but most of all, because you’ll look like a robot to the app, and greatly reduce your swiping options. Instead, be a little more discriminate.

Check in during peak hours.

The best time to log in to your dating app is 6:00 in the evening, according to Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe. Checking in daily is a good idea, especially around happy hour time. But also make sure to log in on Sunday, which studies have shown to be the busiest day for online dating in general. People are ready to make plans, so get on it!

5 Online Dating Coping Strategies

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The search for love sometimes feels like a roller coaster – exciting highs when you meet someone you click with, or lows when it doesn’t work out.

With online dating, the highs and lows can be much more intense because you are meeting more people than you would in normal, every day interactions. Online dating gives us a heightened sense of possibility, so we are constantly searching, interacting, assessing and then moving on. We get impatient and frustrated when we think it’s taking too long, or when we aren't meeting anyone who sparks chemistry in us. As I state in my book Date Expectations, we are moving on constantly, dating in quick succession and then throwing our hands up in frustration - a vicious cycle.

Instead of repeating this same non-productive cycle, it’s time to develop some online dating coping strategies. Following are some suggestions:

Don’t be reactive. It’s tempting (and easy) to go on a few bad or boring dates and complain to your friends, or delete those dating apps in frustration. Instead of reacting to circumstances, it’s important to take a step back, regroup, and try again with a fresh perspective. If you are really feeling down, take a break from dating and come back to it when you’re ready to connect again. Otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels.

Resist making generalizations. You might have had several bad dates in a row, but that doesn’t mean all men or women are terrible. It’s important to look at the big picture. You have men or women in your own life who you love, admire and respect. They are out there – the key is to move past your bad experiences and still keep an open mind. Remember: you attract people with the same energy/ outlook that you have.

Be gentle with yourself and others. Sometimes we get lost in judgment – of ourselves, or our dates. Instead of looking for things that are wrong, or punishing ourselves for the mistakes we’ve made, it’s time to take a new approach. Mistakes show you that you can do things differently – they are a blessing. Take an evening off of judging your next date, or yourself, and see how you feel by the end of the night.

Spend time doing something you love. Everyone needs a recharge when they are dating. Spending free time doing something you love is a great coping mechanism, because it gives you a new outlook. It’s hard to cultivate joy and excitement for a date unless you do things that bring you joy and excitement.

Practice patience. Easier said than done, I know. But this is essential for dating. Without patience, you will find yourself settling for someone who’s not right for you, or giving up on relationships before you get to experience someone great. Take your time, trust in the process, and just breathe. When you slow down, step back, and take the pressure off of yourself and others, you’ll see there’s more room for fun, for connection. And possibly for love.


Dating App Hacks for the Modern Dater

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Online dating is more popular than ever thanks to dating apps like Tinder. Forget those long profiles written on your laptop, scrolling through matches in the privacy of your home. Now, online dating is a social event – you can swipe while you have drinks at the bar with your friend!

Online dating has become the go-to method for most singles looking for love, but that doesn’t mean people are getting the hang of it. In fact, dating apps have inspired more people to try online dating – but they might not be so successful in getting dates.

Here’s where hacks can be helpful in making your whole experience more successful:

Be active. Don’t just swipe once a week, or message only occasionally. In order to get more matches, you have to show that you are involved. Check in at least once a day, and start swiping and messaging. You will notice that your match list increases, too – when you are more active, you are presented with other more active members. The reverse is true for those who aren’t actively swiping.

Be discerning, but not too much. There is a trend among men of swiping right on every profile, because they hope to increase their opportunities. This isn’t so effective, because there are plenty of apps that do the mass swiping for you – which are recognized as bots. When you act like a bot, you get fewer matches. The reverse is true too – if you are too picky and swipe left way more often than right, you lessen your choices. (Remember, other users are swiping left, too.) Keep an open mind, with some boundaries.

Choose photos wisely. Don’t choose a bunch of group photos, or pictures of you in hats or sunglasses. Include some body shots and headshots without props, so your matches know what you look like. Also, think of photos as conversation starters – post a couple of you playing guitar or hiking in the woods so your dates get an idea of what you like without having to read the profile (which they might not even do unless they like the photos). And it’s a good idea to smile.

No endless messaging. Many dating app users make a mistake of messaging back and forth and creating an emotional connection online before meeting in person. What happens if there is no spark when you are sitting across from each other? Instead of investing in the online communication, try to get to the date sooner, so you can see if you click in real life. Remember, the dating app is only a tool to meet people – the rest is up to you.