Trying out online dating for the first time or frustrated by the experience?
Here are five online dating tips from Andrea McGinty, dating expert and founder of 33 Thousand Dates, a coaching platform designed to help millennial and Gen X women and men navigate online dating.
In her 20-plus years as a matchmaker, McGinty arranged more 33,000 dates, so it’s safe to say she knows a thing or two about dating successfully.
1 Enlist help. With more than 104 million singles in America and more than 30 million dating online, your online dating profile needs to stand out. A dating expert can help you craft a profile you’re proud of — and one that isn’t full of clichés like “long walks on the beach.”
2 Refresh your photos. Time to cull from the thousands of photos saved on your phone for five to 10 terrific shots. If they’re more than a year old or low-resolution, consider scheduling a photoshoot with a friend or a professional. Pose in natural light, ideally outdoors, and show off your smile. Avoid selfies and sunglasses, and include at least one full body shot that conveys your interests, whether you’re hiking, doing a tree pose or walking along the shore. Lastly, most photos should be solo. Pets are warm and welcoming, but limit the shots including friends or family.
3 Be proactive. Start with only one or two dating platforms. You can add more later, but you don’t want to be overwhelmed by all the “likes” you’ll receive. Once live, don’t wait for messages to bombard you. Instead, use the platform’s filters so you see the type of people you’re looking for — don’t be shy about knowing what you want.
“After coaching thousands of people and playing a part in 4,200 marriages, I’ve found that those with the highest level of dating success proactively work the system in person and online,” McGinty said.
4 Arrange video chats. Set up short virtual dates to determine whether you’re willing to meet in person. Keep conversations to 10 minutes. This is enough time to get a feel for personality, looks and mannerisms. Ask important questions early to ensure your values align. And remember, chemistry only comes in person.
5 Have fun. Now it’s time for the good stuff. Arrange drinks, coffee or brunch al fresco. These dates are less pressure, more relaxed and don’t drag on. If you’re ready to leave, say you have errands to run or evening plans. A coach can help with this part, too. Keep in mind, you’re seeing if you like the person enough to go on a second date, not marry them. And if it doesn’t go well, those millions of other singles are waiting to meet you.
Don’t continue to tread water. Take proactive steps now to date online with confidence.