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The first time I ventured into online dating, I’ll admit, I was a bit lost.
Hi there, I’m Praise Sunday, the brain behind teki360, and today I want to share a journey with you. A journey through the maze of swipes, winks, and countless profile bios.
I remember the time I stared at my blank dating profile, trying to fit my entire personality into a few lines and a picture.
And let me tell you, it wasn’t as easy as it looked!
But, as with all things, with time and a bit of research, I learned the ropes.
Online dating isn’t as daunting as it appears; it’s just about understanding the game.
And today, dear reader, I want to be that friend who helped me when I was lost.
So, grab a cup of tea or coffee, settle in, and let’s get into this world together. I promise, by the end of it, you’ll feel more confident and informed.
Ready? Let’s go.
The Psychology Behind Online Dating
Growing up, I was a sucker for fairytales.
Cinderella finding her prince, Snow White awakened by true love’s kiss – these tales made me dream.
But as I grew up, I realized our modern fairytales had changed.
Now, Cinderella might find her prince on a dating app, and Snow White might get that life-changing message notification instead of a kiss.
Now, why do we even go online for dating? Is it just about convenience, or is there more to it?
When I first got into online dating, I did it because everyone else was.
It was new, and it was the “in thing.” But as I spent time swiping, chatting, and occasionally going on dates, I realized that this whole world taps into some deep parts of our minds.
1. The Need to Belong
At our core, we all want to be loved and belong somewhere or with someone. It’s how our brains are wired.
Before the internet, our circle was limited to our neighborhood, school, or workplace.
But online dating? It opens up a world full of people who are also searching, just like us. Every swipe, every message, feeds that hope of finding a connection.
2. The Paradox of Choice
Here’s a funny thing.
While having many choices feels great, it can also be overwhelming. I remember days when I’d find myself swiping for hours, unsure of what I was really looking for.
More options don’t always mean better outcomes. It’s like being in a candy store; too many options can leave you feeling more confused than satisfied.
If you’ve used dating apps, I’m pretty sure you know this is not a cap
3. The Desire for Instant Gratification
We live in a world where we want things now.
Fast food, fast internet, and yes, fast love. The buzz we get from a new match or message?
It’s our brain releasing a happy chemical called dopamine. It’s like getting a reward.
But as I learned the hard way, real connections take time. A match is just the first step.
4. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Ah, FOMO. It’s what kept me up many nights, scrolling and swiping. What if the next person is the one? What if I miss out?
But here’s what I learned: Sometimes, taking a step back is okay. It’s easy to get lost in the what-ifs and forget to enjoy the now.
5. The Search for Authenticity
Among all the profiles, behind all the edited pictures, we’re all searching for something real. A genuine laugh, a shared silly joke, or a love for the same weird food. But realness? It’s a two-way street. We need to give it to get it.
The Right psychology for success
So we just talked about the actual psychology common generally in online dating. But are these the psychology you should have in mind?
You see, let me tell you a short story.
As a kid, I had a bicycle. One of those bright blue ones with tassels hanging from the handlebars.
I remember the day my dad took off the training wheels. I felt a mix of fear and excitement.
The very first ride without those wheels, I fell. Not once, but several times. Each time I’d get up, dust off my knees, and try again. It wasn’t the bike that was the problem. It was my mindset.
In the world of online dating, the stakes are a bit higher than learning to ride a bike, but the principle? It remains the same. It’s all about the mindset.
So what’s the right mindset?
1. Embracing Rejection
You remember that time I shared about swiping and chatting in the world of online dating?
Not every chat turned into a fairy tale. Some didn’t even pass ‘hello’.
And that’s okay. You need to learn that rejection online isn’t about you, just as it isn’t about anybody.
It’s about finding the right fit. Some puzzle pieces just don’t match, no matter how you twist or turn them.
2. Being Genuine
One day, I decided to share a picture of me at my workplaces, surrounded by wires and screens. No fancy filters. Just me in my everyday chaos. And you know what?
That picture got more genuine responses than any perfectly posed photo. Why? People relate to real. They want to see the person behind the profile, not just a polished surface.
This is one of the untold reasons behind the trend of men posting pictures of them holding fish.
It worked, till it didn’t work. Yep, you got it right — it was overused till it was no longer unique. And less unique is equivalent to less genuine, which is against the initial reason behind the “strategy.”
New to the dating world? Just be you.
Online dating is a stage, but it’s not a play. You’re not an actor. It’s a space to be genuine, to be real. It’s not just about putting your best foot forward but putting your true foot forward.
3. Patience is Key
Remember how I said everything nowadays is about the ‘now’?
The truth is, real connections don’t come with a fast-forward button.
There will definitely be days when you feel like giving up, thinking maybe this online dating isn’t for you.
But you see, this thing isn’t just you. It happens to literally everybody, especially men.
If you can’t motivate yourself, you’ll fail.
Good things, real things, they take time.
Starting off: The Strategy for Success for Online Dating
1. Choosing your dating app
Back in my early days of dating online, I once tried downloading five different apps in one evening.
By the end of the night, my phone was buzzing with notifications, and I was overwhelmed with where to start.
From that experience, I learned an essential lesson: it’s not about the quantity but the quality of the app that suits your needs.
Here are my top tips, along with app recommendations, to help you find your perfect match:
1. Define Your Intent
Before you even start downloading, you need to be clear about what you’re looking for. Is it a long-term relationship? Casual dating? Or perhaps you just want to meet new friends?
- For Serious Relationships: Apps like eHarmony and Match.com have built their reputation around creating lasting connections. Their algorithms are designed to help you find compatible matches based on shared values and interests.
- For Casual Dating or Hookups: Tinder and Bumble offer a more relaxed and casual approach. They’re ideal for those who want to meet people without too much pressure.
- For Making Friends or Networking: Bumble BFF and Tandem are fantastic for expanding your social or professional circle.
2. Look into the Demographics
Each dating app attracts a certain type of crowd, be it based on age, interests, or cultural background.
By choosing an app that caters to your demographic, you increase the chances of finding someone you’ll click with.
- For Young Adults and Millennials: Tinder and OkCupid are highly popular among younger users.
- For Mature Singles: OurTime and SilverSingles cater specifically to singles over 50, offering a platform where they can connect with people in the same life stage.
- For Specific Cultural or Religious Backgrounds: Apps like JSwipe (for Jewish singles) or Muzmatch (for Muslim singles) provide a space for individuals who are looking for partners with similar cultural or religious beliefs.
3. Consider the User Experience
A well-designed app that’s easy to navigate can significantly impact your online dating experience. Test out an app for a few days before committing.
- For User-Friendly Interfaces: Both Hinge and Coffee Meets Bagel have simple designs that guide you through the process without overwhelming you with too many options.
4. Check the Security Features
Online dating can be fun, but it’s essential to remain safe. Before signing up, research what safety features the app offers.
- For Safety and Security: Bumble takes the lead with features like video call verification to ensure you’re talking to a real person. Similarly, eHarmony has a rigorous sign-up process that filters out potential scammers.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Invest
While many apps offer free versions, sometimes investing in a premium account can offer a better experience and increase your chances of finding a match.
- For Premium Features: Apps like Match.com or Tinder Gold give premium members benefits like seeing who’s viewed your profile, additional matches, or an ad-free experience.
2. Expert Approaches to Creating a Profile
1. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Let’s start with profile pictures because, let’s be honest, it’s the first thing people notice. It’s not just about looking good but also about reflecting your true self. Don’t be afraid to show your quirky side or your passions.
- Include Varied Shots: A close-up, a full-length photo, and a picture of you doing something you love.
- Authenticity: Skip the overly-filtered pictures and show your genuine self. If you love hiking, show yourself on a trail. If you’re into painting, a picture of you with your art could be a great conversation starter.
2. The ‘About Me’ Section is Your Story
Writing about yourself can be tricky. I remember struggling with our ‘About Us‘ page on teki360. But your ‘About Me’ section is where matches get to know you beyond your pictures.
- Be Honest: If you’re serious about finding a match, honesty is key. Talk about your likes, dislikes, and what you’re looking for in a partner.
- Keep it Light: Infuse humor and positivity. A dash of fun can make your profile stand out and show that you don’t take yourself too seriously.
3. Your Interests are Your Hooks
Interests and hobbies are not just tidbits about you; they act as hooks for engaging conversations. Be specific. Instead of writing ‘I love music,’ perhaps mention a band or a singer you adore.
- Unique Details: Maybe you have a peculiar hobby like star-gazing or collecting vintage stamps. These unique bits can grab attention and spark curiosity.
- Interests as Connectors: Mention things that can act as connectors for shared experiences or activities. It could be a love for coffee, hiking, or books.
4. Make Your Intentions Clear
One of the pitfalls in online dating can be misaligned intentions. Making sure your goals and what you’re looking for in a relationship are clear can save you and your potential matches from disappointment.
- Transparency: Mention whether you’re looking for something casual or seeking a long-term relationship.
- Respectful Disclosure: Be straightforward without being too intense. A gentle mention of your intentions is enough without making it the focal point of your profile.
3. Initiating and Maintaining Conversations
Initiating a conversation online might seem daunting, even more so when trying to maintain it.
On teki360, I’ve witnessed a myriad of stories from individuals who’ve faced hurdles relating to this.
Drawing from those experiences and my insights as a seasoned dating blogger, here are some tried-and-tested strategies to spark and sustain meaningful conversations.
1. Break the Ice with Authenticity
Starting a conversation can feel like standing on stage with all eyes on you. But remember, it’s not about performing; it’s about connecting.
- Avoid Generic Openers: “Hi” or “How are you?” can get lost in the shuffle. Instead, comment on something specific from their profile, like “I noticed you love hiking. Do you have a favorite trail?” Note that using generic openers isn’t necessarily a no, but should be personalized as much as possible.
- Ask Open-Ended Questions: Questions that elicit more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can keep the conversation flowing. “What’s the story behind that photo of you in Paris?” can open doors to topics you don’t even imagine.
2. Listen Actively
On teki360, one of the reasons our community thrives is the active listening and engagement we foster. Applying this in personal conversations can make a world of difference.
- Respond Thoughtfully: It’s not a race. Take your time to read, understand, and then reply. A thoughtful response shows you care and are genuinely interested.
- Pick up on Cues: If they mention something in passing, like a recent movie they watched, circle back to it. “How did you find that movie? I’ve been considering watching it!”
3. Dive Deeper Without Probing
Maintaining a conversation requires a balance between curiosity and respect for personal boundaries.
- Follow their Lead: If they share a personal anecdote or experience, it’s an invitation to delve a little deeper. However, if they’re reserved about a topic, steer clear and switch gears.
- Share About Yourself: Conversations are a two-way street. Share stories or experiences from your life. It not only gives them insights into who you are but also makes the conversation more reciprocal.
4. Introduce Light-Hearted Topics
While deep conversations can be rewarding, not every chat needs to be a soul-searching endeavor.
- Current Events: “Have you caught the latest episode of [popular TV show]?” or “What’s your take on the new [music artist]’s album?” can be engaging.
- Playful Challenges: A light-hearted debate on “pineapple on pizza – yay or nay?” or proposing fun hypotheticals can introduce humor and playfulness.
5. Know When to Take a Break or Move On
Just like we sometimes need to step away from social media or a blog, recognizing when to pause or end a conversation is crucial.
- Quality over Quantity: It’s okay to not chat every day. Sometimes, taking a short break can lead to more refreshing conversations later on.
- Respect Their Time and Yours: If a conversation feels forced or you sense disinterest, it’s okay to gracefully end it. Mutual respect is foundational in any budding relationship.
Many evenings, I’ve found myself sitting in front of my laptop, going through messages from readers of teki360.
Stories of first dates, the flutter of a new message notification, the nervous anticipation of uploading a new profile picture, and sometimes the sting of an unanswered text.
If there’s one golden nugget I’d love for you to take away, it’s this: Be authentic. Just like each blog post on teki360 that resonates most is the one that comes from the heart, in online dating, your truest self will always be your best self.
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