February 10, 2016


image via unsplash.
I am by no means an expert, but after trying it out, I've learned QUITE a bit when it comes to online dating and since I'm a blogger, I figured I'd better share it all with you, too. So here are my top 10 tips for online dating from one girl to another.

1. BE PICKY AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. I reached out and asked two close friends for advice in the online dating world and both had this as their first piece of advice. And I wholeheartedly agree. I got smiles from guys who I just knew were not right for me. I felt bad for not responding, but I didn't want to mislead them, either. So just because you get giddy from receiving a smile or being asked questions, don't feel obligated to continue conversations, especially if you don't feel comfortable doing so.

And before I even created my profile, I sat down and wrote a list of what I expected and wanted from a relationship. And then I referred to that list as I created my profile and looked at other profiles. You need to stick to your standards, even if the guy is really hot!

2. BUT ALSO BE OPEN-MINDED. Don't limit yourself to people who you think are "your type." There's so much more to a relationship than just the physical attraction to the person. So don't limit yourself to people who have a chiseled jawline or look exactly like your celebrity crush. Be willing to look outside of your parameters and look more into the person themselves, not just their appearance.

3. BE HONEST. There's really no point in stretching the truth just because it makes you look better--because if you do pursue a relationship with this person, they'll quickly learn that you weren't being 100% honest. So be honest about who you are and what you're looking for in a relationship.

This is especially important if you're an introvert. When creating my profile, I made sure to note that I was looking for a man who not only loved Jesus but who would respect my introversion. I've known too many people who want to change that part of me, and that's not going to happen. So be upfront with people and don't be ashamed of who you are! 

4. TAKE IT SLOW. Even though you may be interested, there's no need to rush anything because the guy who waits and respects you is worth it in the end! 

5. PRAY AND SURRENDER THE RELATIONSHIP TO GOD. This was, by far, one of the HARDEST things for me to do. It was so easy to jump to the future; thinking about if our names went well together, if he had a great smile, if he wanted kids, etc. But surrendering it all to Him allowed me to go through my days freely, not feeling like I had to constantly check my inbox for a reply or email. So let God in and let Him write your love story.

6. ASK FOR A SECOND OPINION. I didn't tell my family right away because I didn't want to tell them until I was sure about a guy, but when I was, I let them know and the internet stalking began. It was nice to be able to bounce things off of my family and friends to make sure I wasn't seeing things from one side (or through my hormones or emotions!).

7. ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION. Let's be honest, there are weirdos out there. I didn't release my name until after some back-and-forth emails and didn't even tell the guy what city I lived in until I felt comfortable with them. I tend to err on the super-cautious (aka paranoid) side, but once you let some information out, you can't take it back.

8. ASK QUESTIONS. AND LOTS OF THEM. When I was getting to know a guy, I made sure to ask LOTS of questions when we were communicating. I didn't go into this looking for something casual so I made a list on my phone and added to it as time went on. It created an open conversation and allowed us both to get to know each other, too.

If you need some ideas, here are a few I'd recommend:
  • What are your goals for the future? Where do you see yourself in __ years?
  • What are your pet peeves? Quirks? Bad habits?
  • How important is your faith?
  • What is your Myers-Briggs personality type? 
  • What is your love language?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are you looking for in a relationship?
  • Do you prefer big cities? Suburbs? Small towns?
  • What is your relationship with your parents/family like?
  • Do you prefer being a planner or procrastinator?
  • Are you a morning, afternoon, or evening person?
  • What are your fears? What makes you nervous?
  • What are your thoughts on gender roles?
  • Do you consider yourself a spender? A saver? 
  • Who is your hero?
  • What do you like to do on the weekends?
  • What would you do on the first date?
  • Would you consider yourself a neat person?

Of course, you probably don't want to ask them all at once. You don't want to interrogate the guy, after all! But do think about what's important to you and what you're looking for, too.

9. PRAY FOR THE GUY. It's important to pray not only for the relationship, but for the other person, too. It's easy to let emotions get the best of us, but it's really important to me that the man in my life is serious about God. So I prayed that God would lead him and guide him through his life--our relationship included.

10. THINK ABOUT THE PHOTOS YOU POST. I think this is an important one for both guys AND girls. Personally, I would avoid group photos because it can be confusing for the viewer to know who is who, including if you post a photo of yourself with someone of the opposite sex.

And also think about how people will perceive you in the photos. Think about who you're trying to attract from your photo and what it says about you. Does the angle of the camera reveal too much? Is the photo recent or from 5 years ago? Do you feel genuinely happy in that photo?

Lastly, take some photos of yourself actually looking at the camera. Humans are visual people and we want to know what your smile looks like, so look at the camera. You can add an additional artsy photo, but we want to know what you look like, too!

Are there any other online-daters out there? Any success stories? Would you ever try online dating yourself?

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall