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Online Dating- 5 Tips

It's fantastic you are thinking about dating! There are probably 1000 common mistakes every day people make that cost them matches with people who actually would have been a great partner. My job as your dating therapist is to give you the inside scoop on how to have a better time. In my time dating, in an attempt to be attractive, I've probably made every mistake in the book - I want to save you the same suffering. 

  1. Beauty wins the day - so maximize your looks

Ironically, it's an ugly truth - since 2014 we've had data* to confirm that the people on online dating who get more matches are indeed those with beautiful features. Is this depressing? It doesn't have to be. In fact, it's very actionable. Does your profile show you off at your best? Do your photos show you putting in your best effort? Do not half-arse your beauty - statistically, it's your most important investment in the game of online matching. 

*Unconventional daters' success: Christian Rudder, Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) (New York: Broadway Books, 2014)

2. Focus on 1-2 matches at a time, don't be greedy

You've done amazing, now you're bringing in matches, and you love it! Your ego feels great, and it's swelling! You want as many matches as you can get, you want to be swimming in it! Stop. You're about to sabotage yourself. When 5 people are talking to you, no matter how attractive all 5 are, you will not be able to enjoy talking to them, it's too unnatural and taxing. In a bar, you wouldn't hold 5 conversations literally at the same time, and if you did, it wouldn't be present for any of them. I'll tell you what's going to happen: all those matches will burn out, seem less attractive to you, you'll seem less attractive to them, and ALL of those matches will be wasted, and you'll be left with none of them - AND YOU'LL HATE ONLINE DATING. The solution? Slow it down. Give your full attention to one or two people at a time, and if they go nowhere, then start swiping again.

3. How to start a conversation? The old weather test. 

Do you know why it's a timeless cliche for two strangers to talk about the weather? What's the point of stating something so obvious as "windy day today isn't it"? 

Well, I'll tell you the reason - it's not actually about the weather. Instead, it's a test, designed to measure how each of you are feeling. If you beamed back "Oh yes! Beautiful day isn't it! I love it when it's like this!" you have actually communicated "I'm happy and enjoying this attention" whereas if you said "yeah, it's alright, better than last week" you have actually communicated "I'm not feeling great, my mind is on the past, and I'm not very enthused to be talking right now."

The point is, this test can be used online. Test how your match feels and who they are. Their response will show you a lot. Are they sharing a lot, are they happy, do they let you into their day, are they sociable, are they miserable, do they take forever to reply, are they clueless, etc, etc. If they give a rubbish response, consider that an early sign to run, and find someone instead who can talk properly.

4. Posting a group photo? Don't be the ugly one. 

Did you know that 'attractiveness' is highly affected by context - that is to say, if you are around someone much more good-looking (your competition) YOU will look worse than you would in a vacuum. Alone, you would be ranked as a 7/10 (I don't love rating people, but go with me) - however, stood next to a 9/10, you would actually be perceived as a 5/10. This is true for people, as it is for products, as it is for art. In my work I research a lot of dating profiles, male and female: you would be amazed how many people post pictures with their better-looking friends, and how rare it is that they are the good-looking one. Why? I have no idea, it's bonkers, it's so consistent. Do not make this mistake. Take photos of you alone.  

5. No pickup lines - you are seeing it wrong

If you believe that your job in the opening message is to impress him or her enough to give you their time... you have misunderstood the dating process. Think about the frame you have set - you have acted like a court jester, amusing the royalty of someone far above you, as you sweat nervously if they will give you thumbs up or down. Why would they want someone within that frame? "Okay, your joke was good enough, I deem you intelligent enough to talk to me, I'll allow a conversation now." That's not how humans work. You don't prove your worth with an opening sentence, that's mad! What they want (male or female) is for you to be relaxed and their equal. Normal and comfortable. You two want to talk to each other, so how do we do that? "Hey!" And if that's not good enough for them, I promise you, a pickup line wouldn't have won them over. At best, instead of silence, you may have got a "hahaha" and then nothing. You didn't have a chance. You are worthy as you are, you don't need gimmicks. 

There are lots more tips to come! If you would like to have Dating Therapy with me personally, I encourage you to take action and get in contact. 

For more tips be sure to follow me on Instagram as @DatingTherapyUK

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