This is the 14th post in December’s Top Tens in 2010 Series. This guest post was written by Colin Burns, someone I know through the Social Media Club of Dallas. First I want to say congratulations to Colin and the Mrs for the arrival of their first Mini-Burns this week! Also… how many of you saw this headline and thought a)I wonder if match.com paid for this post b)oh I don’t DO online dating OR c)ohhhh this should be good. As someone who has participated in the online dating world I thought this would be a fun topic to address. To answer your question this is not a paid post, I asked Colin, as someone who works for match.com to contribute this post. With the help of his team members here’s what Colin has to say about online dating…
Online dating is becoming the norm. One in five relationships now begins on an online dating site. In a few short years the original Match.com couples from our inaugural year of 1995 could have children together that will be starting college. And as Gen Y’ers flock to the cubicle, more and more of them are dipping their toes into the online dating space. So I present you a few tips from Match.com on how to maximize your online dating experience.
1. Take a great photo
Smile in your photo – it makes a great first impression. It shows that you’re happy with your life and excited to meet new people. Save any favorite “moody” shots for your secondary photos.
2. Post your photo… and lots of them
Both guys and gals are more likely to look at a profile with a photo than one with out, so upload away.
3. Start with a unique user name and headline
Be as unique and specific as you possibly can. Instead of “Nice girl seeks Prince Charming” which doesn’t say much and is overused, why not try something like, “Lawyer who loves to sail seeks first mate” – it reveals much more about you. When you include aspects of your personality in your headline, you will stand out from everyone else. That’s what’s going to make people want to click on your portrait.
4. Create a great profile
You want your profile to bring out what’s unique—and attractive—about you. Share stories and let your personality shine through. When writing your profile, show, don’t tell. Instead of saying you’re funny, be funny – crack a joke or two. Highlight what makes you different than all the other people out there who love ‘dinner and a movie’ and sunsets…talk about how you love running with your terrier or have learned to cook Pad Thai at home.
5. Write a great email
Take the time to find something in a person’s profile that’s meaningful and significant, then comment on it. Your email should sound like you chatting with a friend, not just say, “Hey, check out my profile!” And please, don’t cut and paste and then mass-mail your emails. People can tell.
6. Talk on the phone
It is important to talk on the phone a few times before arranging a meeting. Many online daters get into a mindset of not wanting to spend too much time on the phone— they look at it as a waste of time. But it’s really an investment. You’re figuring out if this is someone you really want to meet.
7. Meet in a public place
Meet in a place where other people are present, like a café, bar or restaurant. Don’t get picked up at home; always provide your own transportation to and from your meeting place.
8. Keep the first date short and sweet
People can usually tell within the first five minutes if they are interested in someone. If you enjoy someone’s company, you can always extend the date!
9. Use your best judgment
Remember, getting involved with someone online is no more dangerous than meeting them any other way, and you should take some basic precautions in any dating situation. The benefits aren’t just your well-being, but increased comfort levels and confidence—qualities that always come in handy.
10. Relax and have fun!
Enjoy yourself! Remember that dating is a process and you probably won’t meet The One right out of the gate. Enjoy the experience of meeting new and different people – and learning from them. That attitude will serve you well.