Image: 123rf

Dating ain’t easy. And for some people (not naming names) it’s a whole new game that they have never played before. And for someone who has never dated before, it’s a tricky terrain to navigate. The reasons for starting to online date are varied – bored, curious, looking for a soulmate, forced into it by friends, etc, etc. But what the hell, sometimes you just want a blog post out of it.

Personally, I’ve I’ve got no idea where to start, so if you’re like me, let’s figure out where the fuck to start.


1. Pick your poison


We all know that online dating usage has skyrocketed over the past few years. There is no longer any stigma attached to meeting and going out with anyone you met through technology – as, of course there shouldn’t be! The only downside of these developments is that you are now spoilt for choice.

For speed, you’re going to want to opt for one of the apps out there, and these are more suited to casual hook-ups and dating rather than finding a long term relationship. These are perfect for if you don’t have a concrete idea of what you’re looking for.

If you are looking for something in particular, you may want to choose one of the more “traditional” dating sites. There are a few of them out there, but it’s easier if you are looking for someone in particular – like, for example. You’d be surprised at how many niche dating websites there are out there; whatever you’re into (honestly, WHATEVER) there is a dating site out there. Whether you want to filter by ethnicity or occupation, tall or short people, or hair colour. Do you love people in uniform? Beards? Book nerds? Disney? Star Trek??

Honestly, there is something out there whatever you like.


2. Perfect your picture


Given the online dating boom, science has taken a massive interest in what attracts us to one another. Yeah, you heard me right, there’s actual SCIENCE behind your profile pic – so now there’s no excuse not to get it right.

You’re going to want to smile, so bare those teeth, baby. Don’t pull any stupid faces. And absolutely no Snapchat filters – they’re stupid, I’m saying it. And there should be no one else in the picture, at least in your main one. Nothing puts a person off like having to figure out who you are – it’s an immediate turn off.

You also want to think about the location. The car is a no go – make the location interesting like a beach, a restaurant or somewhere amazing you’ve been on holiday.


3. Nail your description


When it comes to telling people about yourself, as a general rule of thumb, keep it short and sweet. Don’t blabber on for too long and let your best qualities come shining through. Channel your inner Shakespeare and take some time to write descriptively, but don’t use any words you don’t know the meaning of – ya know why.

Oh, and one final thing… Do a spellcheck. Spelling and grammar mistakes are a huge no-no for a lot of people. Take the time to check everything is where it should be – it’s not just for grammar nerds like me.

And for the love of god, steer clear of the whole “I like long walks on the beach” nonsense. It’s become a cliche and there’s a good reason for that, so leave it in the romantic comedies where it belongs.


4. Decide what you’re looking for


And make it clear! If you’re looking for a long term relationship – make sure you put that in your description. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a hot one night stand and nothing more, make sure you include that.

You may feel a little uncomfortable putting it out there, but it stops you from wasting a lot of time on the wrong person, time that you could be putting to better use.


5. Strike up a conversation


Once you’ve matched with someone or found a guy or gal you’d like to date, it’s time to start that conversation. First things first, NO cheesy chat up lines or creepy comments about her ass. I’m fucking serious.

Take a look at their profile, that way you can start talking about something specific. Maybe their profile picture shows them in front of one of the wonders of the world – talk about that! Or maybe you have similar interests listed; that’s fab – talk about that! Talking to someone is easy – don’t overthink it and just start a conversation with them.

Now remember, these are just the basics – I’m not doing all the hard work for you. You’re on your own from here. Some general rules for carrying on from here: 1 – don’t act like a dick. 2 – don’t ghost. EVER. 3 – do plenty of fun stuff.

Good luck, gorgeous.