Websites and apps. Who’d have thought in this day and age that these would be the tools to help you meet a man? I’m constantly getting asked for online dating tips for women, so clearly it’s become such a popular channel…and yet women don’t really know how to own it.
Online dating is different from what happens when you meet someone organically. People behave differently when they can hide behind technology. It can be challenging to be able to read a man’s “body language” when you can’t actually see his body!
If you’ve just recently become single again, you may feel lost in this new world of dating through technology. It’s kind of scary, actually. That’s why I put together this video and article full of useful online dating tips for women to help you gain confidence in this new medium.
Once you’ve mastered these tips, you’ll be dating online like a pro!
I don’t know about you, but I think online dating shouldn’t be called online dating. It should be called “online chatting in order to find an offline relationship.”
But that doesn’t sound as good…
But seriously, when you’re dating online, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of building an online relationship.
What I mean is: if you invest so much energy in talking to a guy for weeks online without meeting him, a) you just have a pen pal and b) you are putting yourself at serious emotional risk. Until you meet a guy in person, you can’t know if you have chemistry. Certainly, you can — and should — get to know him through text or chat before you even know if you want to meet him, but don’t let the chatting go on for too long before you meet him.
After all, we’ve all heard of catfishing! Until you meet a man face-to-face, how can you be sure he really is who he says he is? In 2011, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center had 5,600 complaints from victims of “romance scams.” And those are just the ones reported. I have met countless women who have struck up a conversation with men online who, it turned out, were using someone else’s photos and lying about everything.
Now I’m not saying this to scare you off. There are a ton of legit guys on dating apps, and I know just as many women who have found great partners through online dating. But I do want you to be careful and meet this man before you start to get emotionally involved with him. Put your own safety (and sanity) first!
Okay, now it’s time for those online dating tips for women I promised you!
Online Dating Tips for Women #1: Keep Messages Short and Sweet
There’s a striking difference between how women message on dating apps and how men do. Most women will take the time to read a man’s profile and say something that shows they’re paying attention:
Hey Scott! I love the pic with you on the mountain. Where were you?
Howdy Rob. I love ice fishing too! I went to Alaska last year. Have you been?
Men, on the other hand, don’t come up with something witty nearly as often. A lot of them don’t even bother to read that profile you carefully wrote:
Hi sexy mama.
WTF?? How are you supposed to be impressed with a guy who barely texts an entire sentence? Still, I’m going to say that you should take note of the brevity of men’s texts and do the same. You can say more than hi, but don’t go overboard telling your life story when you first start messaging in the dating app.
The conversation should be two-sided, so always end your response with a question to keep the conversation going.
I work in technology as a project manager. What do you do?
I saw you listed photography as a hobby. What do you like taking photos of?
Also, keep in mind that texting really isn’t the best way to get to know someone, so your goal should be to get on the phone with this guy. Yes, we’ve moved away from talking on the phone as much (a shame, in my mind), but talking to a man you’re considering going out with can help give you a better sense of whether he’s a good match for you, and you can talk faster than you can type, so you can get to know one another faster.
Psychotherapist and author of The Relationship Fix, Dr. Jenn Mann says: “If you have met someone on a dating app, the usual protocol is to first text and then talk on the phone before asking someone on a date. It is important to see if there is good talking chemistry before meeting in person. Most women feel safer after talking on the phone first.”
Keep those messages short so you can encourage him to actually dial you once you give him your number.
P.S. If you’re a little nervous about what to text, practice on MeetMe. It’s a dating app that’s really text-centric. What have you got to lose?
Online Dating Tips for Women #2: View Online Dating as a Marathon, Not a Sprint
It’s easy to get disheartened after a few weeks of using dating apps with no great results. You may have good conversations with men you find attractive, only for them to ghost. You may go on dates with duds. You may find no one that sparks interest. You might feel rejected if you get few messages.
I need you to know: this is all part of it. Online dating is a tool to find interesting people, not a magic wand that will automatically fulfill your desire for a boyfriend. And it takes work. Just like you have to apply for dozens of jobs when you’re looking for a career move just to get a few interviews and hopefully at least one job offer, you’ve got to put in the time on dating apps to make it work.
Some sites prioritize the profiles of people who are online, so if you spend more time online, you’ll get more results.
Look at going on dates, even if they don’t work out, as practice. Especially if you’ve been out of the dating game a while, you can benefit from texting, talking to, and going out with men.
Online Dating Tips for Women #3: Make Him Come to You
One of the best online dating tips for women that I can offer is to know that you are a prize to be earned. That means he drives to meet you, not the other way around. Choose a coffee shop or restaurant close to your home so that you put in minimal effort to go on this first meetup.
However, do NOT have him pick you up at your house!
On a first date (really first meet), you don’t know this guy well enough to trust him with your address. Again, safety should be your top concern. Don’t give him your phone number early on either, because he can use that to find your address.
(An alternative to giving your number is to use a phone and messaging app so that your phone number is shielded.)
If he’s not willing to drive, screw him. You don’t want a man who’s not willing to put in a little effort to meet you.
Online Dating Tips for Women #4: Assume He’s 50% Less Attractive Than His Pictures
Look, we all do it. We put our best pictures online. Hell, some of us even doctor our photos to make us look even better than we actually look!
Men may post pics from high school because they’re too embarrassed to post recent pics that show they’re balding and overweight. It’s silly, because clearly, you’re going to find that out when you meet him, but he’s hoping you’ll have fallen madly for him by then and will overlook the little white lie of photos that don’t quite tell the whole story.
There’s also the opposite situation to be aware of: some guys just take bad photos. They’re not the selfie queens that women can be, so they can be clueless when it comes to posting photos that actually look good.
So another online dating tip? Don’t put so much stock in his photos. He’ll look different in person, so if he seems even remotely attractive, he may be even more so in person. If the information in his profile interests you, it’s worth getting to know him. Worst case is he ends up just being a friend.
Online Dating Tips for Women #5: Don’t Lie
If you expect a man to be honest with you, whether it’s by showing photos that accurately portray him or being real in his profile, how can you expect to get away with lying yourself?
It really goes back to the confidence thing: if you are secure in who you are, there’s no reason you should fudge your online dating profile. You’re a sexy, rockin’ lady, and any man would be happy to have the opportunity to take you out.
Online Dating Tips for Women #6: Don’t Be Shy With That Block Button
I wish I could say that every man who tries to get your attention online will be a quality dude, but the fact is, there are a lot of scummy men out there. I said it earlier: people like to hide behind technology. They feel they can say things they would never say to your face because there’s a degree of anonymity online.
But remember: you are in control. You do not have to put up with men’s bad behavior online.
If a guy sends you sketchy photos…
If his opening line is what’s your favorite position?
Online Dating Tips for Women #7: Prequalify Him Before Meeting
While a few tips ago I told you not to spend too much time online with this guy before meeting him, I absolutely encourage you to have prerequisites for you to decide a man is actually worth meeting. Again, you have all the power, so decide what’s important to you.
Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about when I say you need to prequalify him:
You want to have had a phone call before you meet (then you can tell if he has an annoyingly shrill voice and save yourself the trouble of meeting him in person).
You want a man who asks you questions, not just talks about himself.
You want a man who takes initiative and texts you regularly.
You want to know at least basics about him, like where he works, maybe high-level details about past relationships (divorced? kids?), and what he’s looking for.
Make a list of these requirements and before you agree to meet, make sure the guy hits everything on your list.
But also realize that you don’t need to know everything about this guy before you meet him. That’s what makes those early dates so much fun: when you sit face to face and get to know each other, you’re already starting to bond. So don’t turn your beginning texts into an inquisition! Save something for later.
And if he pushes you to meet sooner than you’re ready, you probably won’t like this guy anyway. Don’t agree to meet him until you’re ready.
Online Dating Tips for Women #8: Consider The First Date a First Meet
I tell my clients this all the time: a first online date is NOT a date. It’s a first “meetup”. Here’s how I see the difference:
A date happens between two people who already know they have chemistry and like one another.
A meetup is what you do to see if you have that chemistry. Chatting online is not the same thing as being in one another’s presence, and without being together in person, you can’t know if there’s opportunity for a relationship to blossom.
In an article on Bustle about chemistry, relationship and dating expert Margaux Cassuto said:
“Romantic chemistry is an effortless attraction between two people that can feel magnetic and addictive. It’s to blame for many second dates. It can come in the form of a physical, emotional, or even intellectual bond. Scientists believe that chemistry is a result of the chemicals in your brain determining compatibility.”
Shifting your mindset from “date” to “meet” can take some of the pressure off. Have absolutely zero expectations about meeting a man you’ve been talking to online. Even if you two hit it off via text, you don’t know that you will hit it off romantically. You’re just two people meeting over coffee. If the conversation takes off, great. If not, give it an hour, shake his hand, and move on with your life.
Online Dating Tips for Women #9: Have a Sense of Humor
Men like women with a sense of humor. Research published in the Journal of Psychology showed that individuals with a sense of humor were rated more attractive than others. So if you’re witty, let it shine both in your online dating profile and in your texts.
Keep in mind that, especially early on, you are being assessed in everything that you say. If you had a bad day and really want to vent about it, realize that you don’t know this man well enough to do so, and you might come off as negative if you do. Instead, find a way to make light of your bad day.
Him: How was your day?
You: Oh, you know. The usual. Had a flat tire. Spilled my coffee all over me. If I can make it to bed without getting run over by a semi, I’ll consider today a success!
And let him know that he’s funny! Men love making you laugh, and it’s a great indicator that you’re interested.
Hopefully, these online dating tips for women show you that dating apps and websites aren’t something to be feared, but something to have fun with. Don’t take it so seriously! Enjoy the sport of flirting online and looking at photos and profiles of hot guys.
And don’t rely solely on online dating to meet a man! Get out there and participate in activities or go to places where you’re likely to meet men to maximize your opportunity.
What has your experience with online dating been? Do you have other online dating tips for women to pass along in the comments below?
Before you leave, make sure you check out the Men Love Confident Women ebook. There are some pretty amazing bonuses that I include that will step up your dating game.