Man holding a tablet displaying online dating.

Online Dating 101: What You Need to Know to Succeed

19 October 2023

Fall is a great time to get back online and put some effort here. It’s also a great time for Online Dating 101 because the “cuffing season” is approaching and men and women desire to settle into their homes with that someone special – hopefully for the long haul. 

So here are my Online Dating 101 recommendations to get you jumpstarted back online.

  1. Refresh your photos

    Look at your photos. How old are they? Would someone recognize you and say you look better than your photos in person? Did you change your hair color or style? Maybe you lost 25 pounds and look great.

    A top rule in online dating 101 is that you need to look like your photos and be current, as well.

    To help you really get what I’m saying, put the shoe on the other foot. How would you like someone to show up with photos 5 to 10 years old?

    Having great photos taken is one of your best investments when it comes to the online dating process!
  2. Lead with your dating goal

    I always recommend you lead with your goal for dating upfront – so someone can quickly pass your profile if they want different things out of life.

    So if you want marriage and a family, say so upfront! Don’t have it buried in the middle of your profile. People don’t always look for the baby carriage symbol lower down in your profile. 

    This is critical for when you’re following the online dating 101 rulebook!
  3. Review your profile and see if it still fits you

    If you’re getting back online after a hiatus, then I suggest you review your profile and see if it’s still true. Are there things that changed for you? Do you no longer desire to take long, strenuous hikes or travel to exotic places? Did your job change or did you retire since you wrote your profile?

    And remember, it’s always good to get another pair of eyes on your profile. Someone who knows you may have some great suggestions to improve it.
  4. Be inviting and illicit curiosity

    Having a profile that’s inviting will get you more likes and people reaching out to you. And also, don’t be compelled to share everything. Leave a sense of mystery or something to be discovered when someone reaches out to you. Only tell about the things that will attract the right person to you. Half the fun is getting to know one another by messaging, then talking on the phone or by video chat, and finally having that face-to-face meeting!
  5. Share what’s special about you to help you stand out.

    We all have talents or something unique and special about us. That means you do too!

    Online Dating 101 recommends that you highlight what’s unique about you that you think someone would appreciate. Think about how you would stand out from the pack!

    Do you have a special cooking talent, are you artistic, do you have a wonderful singing voice, are you a good dancer, or do you volunteer at a local charity? The right person will appreciate that about you.
  6. Be honest and upfront about the direction of your life currently and in the next 5 years if you see any transitions.

    This is very important. Having aligned life goals is basic to online dating 101. And if you want different things, then it’s best not to waste one another’s time. 

    Sharing your life goals, such as, “I’m retiring in a year and looking to move closer to my children in Boston,” gives someone the facts they need to decide if that’s okay for them. People generally don’t like surprises when it comes to where you’re going in life. 
  7. End with an invitation to connect and share your expectations around how you prefer to interact.

    Last, and most important with online dating 101, is to invite someone to connect with you. You can do this by sharing how you’d like the next steps to go. People appreciate knowing how best to contact you or communicate with you and if your styles are similar. 

    You may say, “After a couple of messages back and forth, if you want to get to know me better, let’s not play games and have a phone call (or meet by video chat). I’d much prefer to hear your voice and have an IRL conversation.”  This will show you two things. First, if they actually read what you wrote, and second, if they’re willing to honor your requests!

Here you have it. My online dating 101 suggestions. As a dating and relationship coach for 20 years, with my clients dating online for that timeframe, I have seen what works and what doesn’t. 

And with 80% of my successfully coupled clients finding their life partners through online dating, I hope you’ll follow some of my suggestions if not all.

And if you need help through this process, reach out. I’m happy to discuss how I best work with my clients to get the results they’re looking for — a perfect match!

If you’re looking for your perfect match, reach out and tell me you want better dating results!

I can show you how to have them easily and effectively. Sometimes it only takes a month or two!

PS: If you haven’t checked out my website – do so now! Grab my new free gift: a new checklist – to see if you’re ready for love to come your way.