Updated: August 1, 2021
For those of us single folks who haven’t yet made the jump into this new internet trend (or have just dipped our toes in), here are a few ways you can give online dating a try while staying a gentleman.
1. Don’t Misrepresent Yourself
Dating sites have huge audiences, so you’ll find every stripe and color of person you could possibly imagine, and by misrepresenting yourself, you could be missing out on the people who like you for who you actually are. But on that note, not everyone on the other end will be honest with themselves, so…
2. Temper Your Own Expectations
While dating sites have plenty of attractive and very successful people, not everyone will look exactly like their pictures. While I’m not saying you should be expecting a man in a wig to show up, you should kind of automatically assume that their pictures were old or edited, or at the least, something that shows their very best light. Not that that’s always the case, but just keep in mind that you can never truly know someone you haven’t talked to in the flesh.
3. Take the Lead in Conversation
Meeting a stranger is always awkward, and online dating, especially, lends itself to folks who are shy in social situations. So you would probably be doing yourself a favor if you just lead the conversation (if you don’t know how, study this tutorial), or simply just deal with the awkward first date and see if either one of you would like a much less awkward second date; remember that it often takes 3 encounters to really know if you click with someone.
4. Accept Rejection
This tip also applies when someone flat out doesn’t respond. If you try to start a conversation and get nothing in return, don’t leave twenty more messages or take it personally. Maybe they don’t check it that often, deleted the app from their phone, or just aren’t interested. That’s life. Just be thankful it happened with a stranger from the internet rather than someone you approached at the bar.
5. Stay on the Date, At Least for a Little While
I’ve literally shown up on a date and only found out when I got there that the person was weeks away from giving birth. I didn’t leave or sneak off “to the bathroom,” but I stayed and had about an hour-long conversation, not because I’m a saint, but because I could not imagine someone telling me to meet them and then just never showing up. Most importantly, you can never be worse off for simply knowing someone. Even if the date is terrible, you are meeting someone who you probably would never have met, and your life is that much richer.
6. Try to Figure Out What They’re Looking For
There are also a lot of people who are on these apps and sites just for attention. These people tend to match everyone just to feel better about themselves and try to get you to follow them on every social network they have a profile on. They will also never meet you, because they are simply on there for the ego boost and not to actually meet people.
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