We’ve probably all, at one point in our life, had a flirt with someone over the Internet. In this day in age, it’s almost weird if you haven’t. If you’re currently a young adult, it’s likely that you began with MSN Messenger, adding your crush’s initials into your name, then onto Bebo where you shared your love hearts with your nearest and dearest and now spending endless hours skimming through Facebook and Twitter. I owe the Internet to my own love story, and with a steady increase in matchmaking Apps on smart phones – how can you stay up to date in the online love game?
1. Play it Safe
We’ve all seen Catfish. None of us want to be the guy that thinks he’s found the girl of his dreams and she ends up turning out to be a balding, overweight man from the other side of the world. If you are talking to someone online who you don’t know in real life, employ a little common sense. They don’t want to video chat or call? They have less than 100 friends in their list? They only have a couple of pictures of themselves? These are all classic warning signs that the person you’re chatting to might be hiding some unsavoury secrets.
2. First Impressions
Profile pictures are important, no matter what anyone says. As humans, we judge each other very quickly based on appearances, so decide carefully when it comes to the first picture of yourself a prospective partner will see. You don’t want to be ‘Drunk Girl Holding Alcoholic Beverage With Fake Eyelash Perilously Close To Falling Off’ or ‘Pretentious Smug Guy Who Has Just Climbed Mountain On Gap Year’. In the same breath, you might want to avoid, ‘Group Shot So You Can’t Tell Which One is Me’ or ‘Shameless Mirror Selfie Guy’. Maybe opt for something more natural, a holiday shot of you frolicking on the beach, or a snap of you smiling your face off at your graduation might be more appropriate.
…all classic warning signs that the person you’re chatting to might be hiding some unsavoury secrets…
3. Honesty is the Best Policy
It seems simple enough, but making yourself out to be better than you are is kind of too inviting to avoid. Bear in mind that everyone is trying to make themselves look as desirable as possible so take what you initially see or read with a pinch of salt. We all want to be the best version of ourselves online and it’s easier to control our image when we’re hiding behind a computer or a phone. Also, best not give out misinformation about yourself when you first start talking to someone online, as you may ultimately find yourself wanting to take your online romance to the next level and you’ll have to explain you’re not actually the CEO of your own company eventually…
4. Stay Relevant and Open Minded
Still pondering over an old fashioned online dating website profile? Download some dating apps directly on to your smart phone. Tinder, Grindr, Plenty of Fish, Dattch, Zoosk, How About We – there are literally tonnes to choose from. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to the people you aren’t interested in and be confident enough to say ‘yes’ to those you do want to know more about. Try not to get stuck in a rut of finding that very specific person that ticks all of your meticulous potential partner boxes. Prepare to be open minded enough to meet new, interesting people who might offer you experiences and adventures you haven’t experienced in previous relationships.
…we all want to be the best version of ourselves online…
Don’t be hasty, slow down and enjoy mingling with other singletons. Don’t feel the need to jump into something with the first person who strikes up conversation or likes your profile picture. Give it time, listen to the stories of other people who’ve done the online romance thing and learn from their (and your own) mistakes.