Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dating in the Modern Age And 4 Rules For Online Dating

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By Jenna Brown

Relationships and coupling have always been surrounded by odd rituals and believe it or not, someday future generations might view our finding mates via online dating sites just as bizarre as we now view dowries or arranged marriage.

In today’s world, online dating has become the normal way to meet someone. Most of us have given up on the idea of a “meet cute” and instead prefer to surf for potential dates from the safety of our homes. Sure, some of us still go out to bars in the hopes of finding a hookup but mostly? It’s the dating site that helps us find our next relationships.

So! If you’ve been toying with the idea of joining one of the many sites out there, do not trust the judgmental tones that you hear your favorite sitcom characters use when they talk about using the Internet to find love. Those shows were filmed years ago and seriously? It’s not like those characters are doing so great, right?

Before you jump onto the first site you find in Google, though, there are some things that you need to keep in mind as you’re setting up your profile(s) and surfing for your next potential partner.

1. Choose a Good Site

Seriously. Not all sites are created equal. There are hundreds of them to choose from and while there are some good general sites, many sites are geared toward specific age groups, cultural groups or desired situations (aka sites to facilitate the random hookup).

Do not simply join the first site that pops up in a Google search. Instead, do some research! You can find ratings and reviews for online dating sites through portals like, ask your friends for referrals (or warnings), etc. Start with a site that caters to who you are and the type of relationship you want.

2. Create a Good Profile

Yes, this is largely subjective. Even so, creating a respectable (and alluring!) profile is hard. There are all sorts of things that you should and shouldn’t do. A quick Google search will turn up hundreds of articles filled with tips for profile do’s and don’ts. Most of them say the same thing. The article we liked, though, used actual data compiled from the major data sites and was published on (How to Create the Perfect Online Dating Profile in 25 Infographics).

3. Go Slowly. Pretend You’re a Glacier

Most of the people you will talk to through these sites are perfectly normal men and women who are hoping for the same thing you are: to meet someone nice. For every dozen of those, though, there is at least one who has…um…baser needs and desires. Unfortunately, figuring out which one is the weirdo is tough because anybody can pretend to be anybody online.

This is why you need to go really slowly when you start talking to the people you meet through a dating site. Message through the site’s messaging system for a while before sharing any identifying information about yourself. Never agree to meet someone right away. Be wary of anybody who pressures you to reveal more than you are comfortable revealing about yourself. Don’t give out your phone number until you feel very comfortable with the person. NEVER give out your address or social media profile info to someone you have not yet met in person.

4. Meeting in Person

The rules for meeting a date in person for the first time might sound like they are from another era, but remember: it is better to be safe than sorry:

- Always meet in a public and very popular (lots of people all the time) place.

- Always meet the person there. This way you’ll have an easy escape if it goes badly or you feel unsafe.

- Set up a basic plan for the date before you meet. Stick to the plan no matter how comfortable you feel! If you are pressured to change the plan at the last minute, bail and go home.

- Share your date’s information as well as the date’s plan with a friend, just in case.

- Set up a “check in” time with a friend. This is where, if you haven’t already “checked in” with your friend by a certain time, he/she will call you to see how you’re doing.

- Always meet in “neutral” territory a good distance away from your home.

- Take a different route home from your date location. Better yet, meet up with friends after your date. You’ll like having the down time and it reduces the risk of your being followed home (and if your date does follow you to your destination you’ll have backup).

Online dating has changed quite a lot in even the last few years. Now you can do it right from your phone! Even so, it might take a while before you find the one. Like “regular” dating, you might have to kiss some frogs before you find the prince (or princess). Good luck!

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