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Online dating has become mainstream. People of all ages from different backgrounds and different lifestyles are looking for their match online.

There are the casual daters that use the apps as a fun way to meet new people. Then there are those ready to put a ring on it and others that want a second chance at love.

There truly is no single box that online daters fit into. What we can say is true for everyone are these 15 general tips for online dating.

Tip #1: Don’t Be Mean

This goes for everyone in life but it is worth emphasizing with online dating. Always remember that by creating an online dating profile people are sharing part of themselves.

Even if someone is the complete opposite of your type, there is no need to put them down. Keep it short and simple: “Hey, you seem like a nice person but I don’t think we’d be a very good match. Hope you find a fun date soon. Bye.” Even the best dating sites have a whole array of different types of people, so it is important to always be nice and polite.

Tip #2: Trust Your Gut

Our gut feeling is actually a subconscious realization. Even if we can’t quite place a finger on what exactly seems off, there is a good chance that something is wrong.

If you ever come across a profile that doesn’t seem right, ignore it and move on. The same goes for strange messages and unusual requests. Block and report them if you have to.

Tip #3: There Is No Need to Lie

Sure, people like to embellish their dating profile a little here and there. However, it is a slippery slope.

Don’t make yourself out to be anything that you are not because it will eventually come up during your date. It ruins all your chances once your date finds out that you have been lying.

Tip #4: Post Enough Photos

Photos are the first thing people look at in an online dating profile. Everything else comes after.

Post at least 3 photos, in addition to your profile photo, and try to show a little of your personality. Nobody trusts a profile without any photos.

Tip #5: Post Recent Photos

This is another very common mistake. For the same reasons why you should not lie on your dating profile, you should not post old photos that don’t look like you today.

Just think about how you would feel if you see disappointment on their face during your first date. Equally, how would you feel about meeting up with someone that looks nothing like their profile?

Tip #6: Stay Open-Minded

Picture the absolute perfect partner in your mind right now. And then let the image go because they do not exist.

You should absolutely have standards for the people you date but this is different from having strict criteria that few human mortals can meet. While you are browsing, be open to swiping right on someone that doesn’t fit your perfect mold.

Tip #7: Go for the Nice Guy/Sweet Girl

The nice guy never wins and that is one of the tragedies of online dating. Ladies, you should absolutely go on a date with the nice guy and gentlemen you should absolutely ask the sweet girl out.

That person with the rocking body may get you hot and bothered but that says nothing about how well the date will go. Chances are that you will have much better conversation and bigger laughs with the nice one.

Tip #8: Shy Doesn’t Mean Boring

Building on tip number 7: give the shy guy or shy girl a chance. Some people just need a little more time to come out of their shell.

You might find that on the second date they have opened up a lot more. Unless the first date was absolutely terrible, give them a second chance.

Tip #9: Keep the First Date Short

A lot of people feel the pressure on a first date. Do yourself a favor and keep the pressure to a minimum by sticking to coffee for the first dates.

Getting coffee are a safe first date because you are not forcing yourself into unfamiliar territory and you can cut the date short if you feel the need. It lets you get a feel for the other person with the least amount of expectations and commitment.

Tip #10: Talk to Several People at the Same Time

Unlike conventional dating, there is no expectation of talking to just one person at a time. The whole point of online dating is that you are able to dip into a bigger pool of singles.

In other words, message with several people at the same time to maximize your chances for a good date. Don’t feel guilty about planning several dates in the same week, either – it is all part of the online dating game.

Tip #11: Don’t Plan More than 1 Date Per Day

Several dates with different people in the same week is fine but don’t go overboard. Going on more than 1 date in a day is quite exhausting.

It also puts your dates on a time constraint which you don’t want if sparks are flying. There is also the risk of that awkward moment of running into a date while you are with the other person. Yikes!

Tip #12: Don’t Get Pressured Into Another Date

So you went on a date but there was simply nothing there. There is nothing wrong with that and you can be honest about it.

Don’t let anyone pressure you into another date if you are not feeling up to it. In fact, that is a red flag that says nothing good about what they are like in a relationship.

Tip #13: Try Different Apps and Dating Sites

Each dating site and dating app attract a certain demographic. There may also be geographic differences. One app being more popular in one city than another, for example.

If you find that you are not having luck on the platform you are using, give another dating site a try. You might find that you were simply looking in the wrong place.

Tip #14: Talk to Your Friends About It

Since online dating has become so normal, there is no reason to treat it as a taboo. Talk to your friends about online dating – they are probably on the apps, too.

Plus, it is always a good idea to tell a friend that you are going on a date with someone that you met online. It is a simple safety precaution that everyone should follow.

Tip #15: Join the Same Dating Site Together

Go one step further and join the same dating site as your friend. This gives you someone to share the experience with which can make it a lot more fun.

Being on the same dating site as your friend also lets you compare notes on how to best use the platform. You’ll also be able to catch the person that sends the same mass message to every single person they come across. Swipe left!

These 15 general online dating tips apply to everyone. No matter your age, lifestyle or intentions. They are not a detailed guide to online dating but they are simple universal tips that can make the experience better for yourself and the people you meet.

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