The Do’s and Don’ts of Online Dating 2017-2018

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When it comes to finding that one special someone, our true love, and that one soulmate who since childhood, we’ve always dreamt of, I don’t think that anyone really imagines that one day, you’d meet that person in an online dating site or app. But hey, we can’t plan everything in life. Online dating has become very popular, and with all of the good, as well as the bad things about the sites, people still use them, and more and more all of the time. Singles go on them, get frustrated for a month or so, deactivate them, and then they turn them back on again. And I know for a fact that many people can relate. Online dating sites and apps can be a great way to meet people, especially, if you’re the busy type or one who doesn’t get out enough. But unfortunately, there are a few problems that can happen on dating sites if one isn’t using them in the right manner. In this article, I wanted to address a few of the things that you should be aware of in yourself, and when looking for your match.


First of all, dating sites are supposed to be used as a tool in order to meet someone new for dating, and possibly starting a relationship. So for starters, it’s important to have pure intentions, to be honest, and to know what you want. And then, you should create your profile by adding pictures, answering possible questions, and filling in your summary.


You should create a profile which will let people see how you look, and a little bit about who you are and what you’re looking for. A lot of people don’t like writing about themselves, but to those people, suck it up, and write something. Put a little effort into finding your match. You should post at least a few pictures of yourself, preferably not selfies, and preferably, not holding your cellphone up to a dirty mirror in a bathroom. Um, ew gross. The pictures that you choose should not only be appropriate and not too revealing or sexy, but they should include a close-up picture of your face, perhaps a longer body shot so that someone can see your body type, and perhaps something that you’re doing that interests you.


Something awful that I’ve seen that insanely distracts someone from looking at your pictures and considering you as someone that they would date, is when someone blurs or photoshops a person’s face that they’re standing next to. I was nearly shocked when I once saw, someone posted three pictures of themselves, but standing next to them were four other people, and they were all blurred out. Honestly, it was completely distracting, and I can’t imagine how anyone was thinking anything other than why he would do that.


Don’t post pictures of your paintings or things that you love, if you’re not in the picture next to them. Having pictures on a dating site or app is a great way to see if someone feels that fire and chemistry when they look at your face. You should want someone to be attracted to you. And we all like and are attracted to different things, so don’t be insecure or too hard on yourself, because everyone is beautiful in different ways. And of course, looks aren’t everything. But it’s nice to see who you’re communicating with or at least get an idea in that regard.


Don’t post pictures of your fancy homes or cars, pictures of famous people or models pretending to be them, or even leave it blank and not post anything. You’ll just be setting yourself up for people connecting with you and trying to be with you for all of the wrong reasons. Be genuine and honest, and post a few pictures. Even if you’re in the public eye, post a few pictures. Hey, we’re all VIP’s here. Don’t make the excuse that you’re a lawyer, a doctor, an actor, etc., and that you don’t want your clients to see you on Tinder or Match, because… because what! There’s no good excuse. If you’re using online dating as a way to meet someone, then use it in the right manner. I mean come on, your clients are people too, they’re on the site, and you’re no better or worse than anyone else. Put your ego aside and post a presentable picture or two, and “this too shall pass.” Laugh it off if your client mentions it, and if it bothers you too much to post a picture, honestly, turn your site off and meet someone using a different method. You have to be fair.


Personally, I would never respond to someone if they didn’t post a picture, and yes, even if they said, “Hey, send me your email so I can send you pictures.” Um, no thanks. You want my email and all that I’ve already shared, no, just no. You have to be fair in this aspect. You’re not more important than the next person. And like I said in the beginning of this article, it’s never anyone’s preference to meet someone from an online dating site, but this is a choice you’ve made, and at the end of the day, who really cares where you met the love of your life, as long as you meet them.


Now, when it comes to what you write in your profile summary, depending on the dating site, you’re only allowed to write so many words. Therefore, it’s imperative to make those words count, and to write at least a few lines about what you’re looking for, but without being jaded, negative, or making a list of things that you don’t want. Many times, people are looking for someone who’s not only attractive in pictures, but who actually holds substance and has depth in who they are as a person. Give someone the opportunity to see beyond your pictures by writing a few lines about what you’re looking for. As well, try to be as genuine and authentic as possible, because the right person will not only acknowledge that, but they’ll appreciate it and possibly find it very appealing, swipe right, and contact you.


One problem that I’ve seen on dating sites, is that many times people struggle getting off of the sites once they find someone who they feel potential with. The whole point of being on a dating site or app, is to find someone who you’ll connect with, and one who ultimately wants the same things. The only way to give a promising situation a chance, is to turn off your dating sites, to deactivate them, and to do so after about three dates. I’ve written this before in my article on the three date rule, as well as in an article I wrote called, when is it appropriate to deactivate profiles, but I’m going to reiterate what I said there, right now.

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After three dates, if you don’t feel interested in someone enough to keep pursuing them, then you should stop dating them right then and there, and before you get attached. But if you see that you’re still interested after three dates, and that the feelings and desire to see the person are growing and mutual, you should deactivate all of your online dating profiles. You should have a conversation openly with the other person about doing so, and you should be on the same page in that regard, so the action of closing shop as well as the feelings are mutual.


If someone prefers to stay on a dating site after a few dates of getting to know you, and especially when you’re being your authentic self, and being who you really are at your core, that person likely isn’t on the same page with you, doesn’t have pure intentions, and is possibly addicted to the dating site world. Be careful not to fall into the hands of someone who’s addicted to being on dating sites and apps. You’d be surprised at how many people are falling into this category.


Many times, people like the idea of being popular, even in a superficial fake world of online dating. People like getting attention and having other people contact them and pursue them. They like when others give them compliments and make them feel wanted, desired, attractive, and sexy, giving them attention, liking their pictures, and messaging them back-and-forth. But the problem with all of that, is that if you’re looking for something real and meaningful that will lead to a healthy, happy, and loving relationship, and possibly even to marriage and children, then you need to deactivate your dating sites when you feel that a situation is promising enough in order to give that situation a genuine chance.


If you don’t deactivate after a few days, you not only won’t be able to focus or concentrate on the person who you’re dating, but you might end up getting confused if you’re talking to multiple people, serial dating, and spreading your love all around. But as well, there’s a very big “grass is greener effect” with online dating sites and apps, and it’s important to realize that, and to make sure that you don’t fall into the category of being addicted to dating sites.


Again, dating sites and apps should be used as a way to meet someone, and then in order to give a promising situation a genuine chance, you need to deactivate your dating sites after a few dates with someone. And worse comes to worse, if you don’t like each other after you’ve deactivated your sites, and yes, even after a few days, you can turn your sites right back on as if nothing happened, and usually, nothing will even happened to your profiles. But at least you’ll be able to focus on one person, and give a promising situation a real chance, and without keeping your options open and seeing what else is out there.


If someone isn’t willing to turn off their sites after more than a few dates, but you are, like I said before, there’s usually a bigger root to the problem. Many times, it’s the fact that there’s some type of addiction building in the other person, they want to keep their options open, play the field, and possibly, “have their cake and eat it.” Many people have ulterior motives, are dishonest, and play mind games, wanting to use and manipulate other people for their own selfish reasons. Those types will likely never be open to turning down their sites, nor will their hearts even be open towards developing feelings for another.


But hopefully, you won’t cross paths with too many people like that, but still, you should be cautious. As well, in situations like that, I’d say to stand up straight, take a deep breath, stay confident, slowly exhale that big breath, and know your worth. Don’t stay in a situation where someone doesn’t make you feel wanted and worthy. And don’t waste your time believing someone’s nonsense mambo jambo, when they tell you that you’re moving too fast after a few dates, because you want to turn down your dating sites after meeting them and getting to know them—as if being normal and doing the right thing by being willing to give a promising situation a chance is wrong or a bad thing.

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The right person will want to take you off of the market, to remove your other options, and to possess you early on, even if it’s just a little. If you don’t click with someone and feel that connection and excitement with them right away, it’s likely not there, and the feelings won’t grow. So many people are willing to get close and even intimate with a person while they’re still on dating sites and keeping their options open. This is just another reason why I feel it’s so important to hold off on being intimate with a person until you become exclusive and all dating sites are off. Don’t settle for less than what you want or deserve. And don’t settle for being with someone who wants to keep their options open while also desiring to get closer and closer with you. Just say next and move on, left swipe!


Last but not least, I wanted to share one more thing in this article that I’ve noticed people are doing on dating sites that should stop ASAP. People are using dating sites in an entirely insufficient manner. Like I said above, dating sites should be used as a way to meet people, to find a situation that’s promising, and to find someone who you enjoy communicating with, that you’re on the same page with, and who you ultimately want the same things with. Connect with someone who you meet online, but don’t become pen pals.


When you start chatting with someone and you want to know more, ask for their number and take things out of the dating site world. I’m not saying that after you message someone for the first time, that you should turn your dating sites off right away. Almost no one would do that, not that it would be the worst thing! But what I’m saying, is that you shouldn’t be messaging someone back-and-forth 100 times before you take that conversation to the first phone call. Endless messages and emails can get annoying, as well as become very time consuming. Having said that, you should message someone back-and-forth at least a few times, so that you can make sure that you’re on the same page and that you want the same things. But then, I believe the man should ask for the woman’s phone number. And yes, I’m an old-school woman and I write with an old-fashioned mentality, so if you don’t like that, it doesn’t bother me, so it shouldn’t bother you. This is how I feel, because I believe that a man should take the lead in the beginning, but later on, I feel that there should be a healthy balance of give-and-take much more.


So the next time that you’re messaging someone back-and-forth a few times, don’t let those messages take over and become penpals. The point is not to find a friend to communicate with back-and-forth for days and weeks, but more so, to find someone who you can get off of the sites with. Some of the most appealing men and women on dating sites, are the ones who mention in their profile, how they can’t wait to meet that one special someone who will take them off of the sites. Almost as if they really know just how toxic dating sites are, and how they should really be used in order to benefit them. Remember, if you want to give a situation a genuine chance, use dating sites and apps in the right manner by following these rules.

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Anne Cohen

Founder, Owner, Writer, and Editor at Anne Cohen Writes
Anne Cohen is a lifestyle and relationship blogger based in Los Angeles, CA. Her blogs are Anne Cohen and Anne Cohen Writes. She contributes to various publications including The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and many more. She's passionate about love, writing, chess, and more than anything, her two kids.

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