Searching for love online has gone mainstream. But as dating goes digital, singles are confronted with new challenges that don’t exist with in-person flirting. How do you attract the right person with just a few paragraphs? What red flags should you look out for? When do you get offline and go on a date?
As an online dating coach, singles reveal their hurdles of the heart to me. One by one, I help them overcome their profile woes, avoid email disasters and create date night butterflies. But there are consistently five mistakes that I see online daters make in the wink wide web that are avoidable.
Here are the top five things you might be doing wrong ... and how to fix them before dating disaster.
1. Being a negative nelly. Too often, online daters type what they do not want in a match in their profile, rather than focusing on positive traits. Listing your turn-offs can give the impression that you’re jaded and judgmental.
Quick Fix: Avoid phrases like “don’t message me if,” “you should NOT,” and “I’m only looking for.” Turn negatives into positives by considering what is most important to you in a mate.
2. Uploading old photos. Your profile is the first and potentially only opportunity to woo a match. Uploading pictures that aren’t accurate to your look today is a missed opportunity because they won’t attract the right match. And even if you haven’t physically changed much, pixilated and grainy photos are tell-tale signs that your info isn’t current.
Quick Fix: Delete, delete, delete. Comb through your Facebook albums to find some great shots of who you are today, or take some new ones.
3. Staying stagnant. It’s not enough to create an online dating account and then log-off. Some matches will message you but it’s more important to focus on being proactive yourself. After all, if you appear on page ten of your perfect match’s search results, it’s entirely possible they might never come across you.
Quick Fix: Search for matches and email those that send a tingle through your iPad. Empower yourself to flirt with who you find interesting rather than relying on those that come through your inbox.
4. Staying online too long. Good flirting should always result in a date. But one of the biggest questions online daters struggle with is how and when to get offline. Keeping the energy online for too long will almost always result in lost interest from your crush – hello 404 Error!
Quick Fix: After three messages each way, ask your match out. Ladies, I mean you too — remember that chivalry will happen offline.
5. Being too critical. No one is perfect on virtual paper; not even you. When you’re combing profiles pixel by pixel, it can be difficult to separate the yays from the nays.
Quick Fix: Keep an open mind. If a match’s profile elicits a ‘maybe’ from you, say yes — the relationship dynamic offline might surprise you.
Laurie Davis is an online dating coach and founder of eFlirtExpert.com. She helps singles put their best pixel forward. You can find her writing singles’ online dating profiles, decoding their date’s text messages, schooling them in Facebook flirting or inspiring them to utilize new technology.