Should I Try Dating Online?

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While dating online (and dating, in general) can and should be fun, playing the online dating game can be difficult and disheartening if you’re not finding the right person.

If you’ve been on the dating scene for a while and still haven’t found success, we know how difficult it can be to keep positive and have faith in the apps. So many people find their person online, and it’s a great tool to break out of your comfort zone and get to know people you would have never known otherwise. Still, it can be a complicated world to navigate.

Whether you’ve been on several terrible dates and you don’t know if you can stomach another one, you’ve hit the talking stage with a number of people, but it’s never progressed past that point, or you can’t even find someone that you’d want to match with, dating online is usually not as easy as we’re often lead to believe.

While we don’t have all the answers, we want to help you get on the right path to finding your person online because while it isn’t always as easy as it should be, it also isn’t as terrible as you might think  —  especially if you follow our advice.

As someone who had all the apps, dated multiple people from them, and eventually married her Bumble match, I’ve learned my fair share of dating app losses and wins, all of which I’ll share with you today! Here is our best advice for finding your person online.

Know Your Audience

Because dating apps and dating online are still relatively new, people are still familiarizing themselves with which apps offer what and cater to which demographic. You should do a little research before choosing which app you’ll invest your time and money into.

Don’t worry; we’re not suggesting that you need to create charts or read reports about each individual app. We’re just saying do a quick search about which apps are the best for your type of online dating and who you’re looking for. If you need help, we have a really helpful table on our homepage of all the most popular apps to help you get started!

Once you’ve looked into which apps and websites will cater to your demographic, you can choose whether to get a subscription for one of them or go the free route.

Full disclosure: I’ve never paid for a dating app or website, and I’ve found love on them.

That being said, if you want to invest your money into a subscription-based dating app, the people on those are usually very invested in dating online (both financially and emotionally) in looking for the right person.

There is no right or wrong way to do dating apps. The most important thing is knowing what platform will bring you the most success and introduce you to the most like-minded people.

Dating Online has also skyrocketed in popularity within specific demographics. A study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2020 found that “Online dating is especially popular among certain groups — particularly younger adults and those who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB).

Roughly half or more of 18-to-29-year-old (48%) and LGB adults (55%) say they have ever used a dating site or app, while about 20% in each group say they have married or been in a committed relationship with someone they first met through these platforms.”

These numbers and statistics are not only comforting for anyone who wants to find success in the world of dating online, but they’re also informative, especially if you fit into one of these groups.

That being said, people outside these groups find love all the time; it’s usually on platforms more geared toward their demographics.

Doing some research to familiarize yourself with your options and to see what’s out there is essential.

Know What You’re Looking For When Dating Online

This goes with our suggestion above, but you must know what you’re looking for in order to find it. We’re not asking you to make a detailed list of your dream partner’s qualifications. Still, it might be good to sit down and consider a few non-negotiables and key factors you want your partner to have.

These non-negotiables can be your potential partner’s age, religion, smoking policies, family dynamic, or whatever else you might need when you’re looking for a partner. It’s important to know your boundaries in order for you to glean the most out of the dating online experience and find your potential mate.

Here are a few pages that could help you narrow down your search.

You can specify what you’re looking for on dating apps, and the algorithm will continue to narrow it down for you as you go along. Still,  it is wise to go into the seemingly endless options you’re presented with while dating online with a guide for what you need in a partner.

Most dating apps will let you set your filters to adhere to some of your standards. You can tell the app that you’re only looking for men ages 45-50 or women ages 29-32.

Just be careful with these filters because you might miss something great if you close yourself off too much from certain people.

But vice-versa, if you open yourself up to, say, anyone between the ages of 25-60, you’re going to get overwhelmed, match with people who don’t have anything in common with you, and honestly waste your time a bit.

While we encourage you to use filters to make finding the right person easier, we encourage you to stay flexible about it.

Keep an Open Mind

We’re not trying to give you whiplash here, it’s essential to know your non-negotiables and boundaries and stick to them, but you don’t need to go too far into detail about what you want that you close yourself off to new and better possibilities.

If you’re using a dating app, you have more options, and you’ll meet more people than you ever could have in the ‘real world,’ so take advantage of that! Date people outside your ‘typical’ type, experiment, and have fun when dating online.

Often, dating apps are no strings attached, especially in the talking stage, so talk to and match with as many people as you want, even if you wouldn’t typically date them. Who knows? They might surprise you.

Don’t Overexert Yourself

Yes, have fun dating online and match with as many people as you want, but don’t go too crazy. In the end, you’re trying to find your partner, so you’ll want to put the right amount of time and effort into talking to everyone you actually see a potential future with, and you don’t want to get burned out as soon as you start on the apps.

man dating online on an iphone at a table

Suppose your app is constantly blowing up with notifications, new matches, messages, and any number of other things. In that case, you will get burnt out and no longer want to go on the apps.

Similarly, if too many people are messaging you and you’re trying to talk to all of them, you will not be able to.

While we don’t suggest you start a monogamous relationship on the Bumble app, try not to have too many conversations at once, or else you might not be able to put the correct amount of effort into each conversation.

Match with as many people as you want, but feel free to unmatch with people or discontinue conversations you don’t see going anywhere. You don’t want to waste your or anyone else’s time when dating online, and you want to save all your energy for the right people.

Only Open Up to People Who are Worth It

In a similar vein, you don’t need to tell everyone your life story when you match with them while dating online. If someone’s interested in pursuing you, they’ll let you know. And they’ll ask the questions they need to feel comfortable about moving forward with your relationship.

Just because you’ve matched with someone and even if you’ve had a wonderful conversation with them doesn’t mean they’re your one true love, and you don’t need to overshare with them. Instead, keep an air of mystery about you and only answer personal questions when they ask or if a topic comes up naturally.

You can also set personal boundaries and only talk about certain topics and subjects in person, perhaps on the second or third dates instead of during the casual talking stage.

Tell People Who You Are in Your Profile

Making your profile can be a lot more complex than some people make it out to be. While you shouldn’t stress about it too much, this should be fun, remember? You do want to put effort into creating the perfect profile that shows who you really are while avoiding some of the major profile mistakes.

While we could go into further detail about how to craft the perfect profile (and we will don’t worry), the main thing to remember is to put the effort in, answer the questions and prompts on the app, and always provide good-quality photos.

While you might not think everyone will read your profile (and not everyone will), the people who want to get to know you the best will, and they’ll want to see who you really are.

There’s no right or wrong thing to put in your profile, just be yourself when dating online and have fun with it. You don’t have to treat your dating app profile like a Linkedin page or a personal diary, either. Add some fun and original content and let people know the real you.

Ask Questions When Dating Online

Even though it seems obvious, this is one of the crucial steps many people forget to take dating online. They’ll match with someone and say, ‘Hey,’ and then the conversation will go nowhere.

I’ve seen many people put something in their bio that gave me a reason to match with and message them immediately. I took the bait and asked all the right questions, which led to more conversation.

If you want to do that, here are some excellent ideas to put in your dating app profile:

  • Two truths and a lie.
  • If you guess my height, I’ll Venmo you a dollar.
  • Asking a riddle.
  • Let me know if [this specific thing] applies to you.

If you’re not going to give up your precious bio space for a question, start asking questions when you’re chatting with someone. Many people see messaging on dating apps as the pre-talking phase, so you can really get to know a person without too much fear of forming a connection with them that has strings attached.

Ask them questions to see if they fit into your non-negotiables. Ask them how they like dating apps. Ask them questions that relate to their profile. You want to get to know a person before you ask them out, and this is the time, place, and way to do it.

All that being said, please remain respectful of them and their privacy. If they seem uncomfortable with any of the questions, move on or table the topic for later in the relationship. Many people don’t feel comfortable sharing their deepest, darkest secrets with someone they’re messaging online, and you probably wouldn’t either.

Practice Makes Perfect

You won’t make a perfect pancake on your first try, and you probably won’t find the perfect match, have the perfect conversation, and go on the perfect first date on your first attempt at dating online. While it might sound a little harsh, you’re allowed to have ‘practice’ attempts when it comes to dating on dating apps.

Unfortunately, dating apps and websites are usually a numbers game. Not everyone you meet will be the one (hence the title, the one), so you don’t need to treat each match as your only shot at finding love. Instead, be casual about it, and don’t put too much pressure on each person that comes your way. It’s okay to make a few practice pancakes and see what happens.

Dating apps are also a fantastic opportunity to get back into the dating game if you’ve been out of it for a while.

This is a low-pressure high-numbers place where you can fail at many conversations and always have another opportunity with someone else. Don’t get cocky about it, but also understand that you’re allowed to not take your dating apps too seriously.

When Dating Online, Patience is Key

It might take more time than you necessarily want to dedicate to finding your person, which can be frustrating. From personal experience, I understand how frustrating it can be to keep matching with people and then realize that they are not ‘it.’

Dating apps and constantly matching and unmatching with people can also be very lonely. It takes a while to establish a good connection with anyone. If you’re always talking to new people and never finding someone with who you have a deep connection, it can make you feel pretty hopeless and isolated.

But dating apps and websites are sometimes a necessary evil; you might have to buckle up for the long haul if you want to find your match on the app.

It might take days, weeks, or even months, but if you keep your mind and heart open, we’re sure you’ll find your person and have a fantastic story to tell about dating online.

Of all of the tips and tricks we’ve shared about dating online, this is the most important one. Keep to it! It can be frustrating and might not be the quickest experience, but if you are patient and have an open mind, we’re confident you’ll find the right person on the apps

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