What to Know Before You Try Online Dating for the First Time

In a digitally driven world, online dating is the new norm. Dating, in general, is hard, so what do we expect from online dating? There are so many questions we want the answers to. Is it harder? Is it awkward? Does it even work? Regardless of the answers to these questions, nothing should scare you away from, at least, giving it a try.

One of my closest friends was dumped by her high school sweetheart of 10 years, and that’s a long time. When she had started dating this guy, online dating hadn’t existed, and until that breakup, she had never tried it before.

So, once she decided she was ready to get back into the dating scene, she installed a few apps and entered the world of online dating. As her best friend, I was there every step of the way and it provided me with great insight into the ups and downs of online dating.

Here are some helpful tips to know for newcomers:

1. Not all dates work out, and that’s ok.

Chances are that if you have a first date, you connected with someone based on their profile or after at least some conversation. This is the exciting start of a potential relationship, right? Well, not always. Meeting in person for the first time reveals a lot about their personality that you can’t possibly have noticed through a screen.

Perhaps the connection isn’t as strong as you thought. Maybe their personality is blander, or stronger than you had realized. Whatever the case may be, if the date doesn’t lead anywhere (or even if it’s a disaster), that’s ok! Putting yourself out there is something to be proud of and it officially breaks the ice of online dating. Way to go!

2. Not everyone is looking for the same thing.

Don’t expect too much. High expectations allow for easy letdowns. Remember, you met online so the bulk of getting to know each other hasn’t unfolded yet.

Now, it’s not that you shouldn’t look at a date like it can lead somewhere, but you definitely shouldn’t look at every date like this is “the one.” Go in with an open mind. Being open to the idea that this can go somewhere, or nowhere at all, makes it easier.

Some people may just be dating casually and exploring online dating. Some people may not be looking to settle down yet. So, don’t be discouraged if a date doesn’t call back or things fizzle after a few dinners and drinks.

Remember that not everyone is looking for the same thing. Dust yourself off and get back on the horse. Dating is trial and error and this still applies to digital dating.

3. Have fun!

Easier said than done, I know, but you can meet and chat with lots of people online before securing an in-person date, and I encourage it! Even having a few dates lined up for the week is the fun of it.

This is all the getting-to-know-each-other phase, anyway. When you date online, you make the rules. I find that with online dating, you have more control. You did not randomly bump into someone.

Instead, you sought them out and made a plan to spend time with them, and that is fun and exciting! It is important to enjoy yourself no matter what form of dating you choose.


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