So you’ve decided it’s time to try out a few online dating sites or services. You’ve signed up to one or more, and you’ve filled out your profile in full. Now it’s time to start looking for that one love you’ve always dreamed of, right?
Or at the very least, you’d like to start meeting people that could be the one. So the first step is to use the profile search tools your online dating service provides. On some dating sites you can simply browse using basic criteria such as age and gender. Most sites will give you some form of advanced search ability though, so you can give it very specific search criteria.
Depending on how specific your search criteria is, you may find yourself with just a few profiles which match. In other cases you might have hundreds to browse through. But browsing is what you must do to get to the next step: Making contact with someone you’re interested in.
When you find a profile that catches your attention and interest, you should contact the person directly. In most cases, the online dating service will provide you with a private and secure contact method. This could be a site based email inbox, or it could involve sending email to a site controlled email address. With these contact types, the dating site acts as an intermediary for you. Anything sent through that address will be delivered to the person you want it delivered to, yet they won’t be able to see your actual email address and you won’t be able to see theirs.
Keep in mind that on some online dating sites, you will not be able to actually send full messages if you’re using the free trial option. You usually need to be a paying member at some level first. Since online dating services cost less each month than going out clubbing does, this is a good investment if you’re serious about finding dates.
It’s best to introduce yourself by email instead of chat or instant messages too, because this gives you time to think about what you’re writing or absorb what the other person has said. It also makes the other person more comfortable, because they don’t feel as if they’re “on the spot” when someone new contacts them out of the blue.
You need to realize first impressions really do count. A lot. When you first make contact with someone who’s profile interested you, introduce yourself. Don’t write your entire life’s story of course, but also don’t send just a brief sentence or two. Write a few intelligent paragraphs that summarize you.
Also let them know what it was about their profile that caught your interest. This lets them know you actually took the time to look over their information, and you’re serious about getting to know them better.
Keep things light, upbeat and friendly in your email. If you fill your email with depressing commentary, complaints, or intimate details of problems in your life you will not likely get a response. Likewise, don’t be overly flirtatious or sexual in your first contact email, because this can also turn people off, so you won’t likely get any response.
Be sure to ask questions about them too. This will prompt them to respond to you and help keep conversations going.
Use your real first name but don’t divulge other personal details such as full name, address and phone number – particularly with first contact.