As a millennial, the stigma surrounding online dating has never been a big deal with my generation and is becoming nonexistent now since meeting online is fairly common. If you still feel embarrassed about online dating, keep this in mind: couples have met in more embarrassing ways. The strangest one I've heard? A couple meeting at an S&M Club (she did The Rules and played hard to get as well. Not kidding). Anyway, online dating and apps are a great supplement to your dating strategy- especially on top of weekly social actions, asking friends to set you up, going to singles events, and leading a full and exciting life! While effective, online dating is definitely to be looked at more as a supplement.
My recommendation is to go on three to five apps or sites. If you're naturally pretty free during the week, going to a lot of singles events, and outgoing, three is fine. However, if you're shy or have a crazy schedule, I would suggest five. Some coaches suggest eight to ten but, I discourage that for two reasons. First, if someone sees you on more than one or two sites, that could be a red flag that you don't have a life. Secondly, that's a lot to keep up with and it's easy to miss messages.
While there are hundreds of sites and apps out there, the following are sites that I have either used or sites that friends have used:
- While it has a bad reputation as a hook up app, Tinder is actually a pretty effective way to get dates. In fact, I met my last serious boyfriend on Tinder! All you have to do is swipe left or right. The downside is that there are some very high quality people and very low quality people. However, I would recommend giving Tinder a shot.
- OkCupid is another site that I have used and actually where I met two serious boyfriends in the past. It's a pretty standard dating site. The only thing that's different is you can answer quiz questions and it will help you match with people. My advice? Answer them but keep it private.
- Plenty of Fish is another site I have used. I'll be honest- the set up isn't great BUT you will meet people and go on a lot of dates (I certainly did!).
- Mutual is another dating app I have used. It's basically a Mormon version of Tinder. So, if you aren't in that demographic, it won't really help you. But, if you are, CHECK IT OUT! It's free, easy to use, and highly recommended. The only downside is that there aren't a ton of people on it right now outside of Utah, Idaho, and other places with a large number of Mormons. However, the app is growing and I'm a big fan.
- LDS Planet is another site/app that I have used. It's not that great BUT can get the job done. It's a Mormon dating site so, like Mutual, it won't help you much if you aren't in our demographic. You have to pay forty dollars for three months. If you're really desperate to meet someone and am having no luck, go ahead and try it. But, unlike a lot of other faiths, online dating hasn't caught on much with us.
- EHarmony and Match are other sites where many people I know have met their match. They are paid but, from what I have heard, the quality is higher. So, while I haven't tried it, I highly recommend it.
- While not my demographic, JSwipe and JDate are Jewish dating apps that friends have met someone on. So, if that's your demographic, go ahead and try it. I don't know a ton about either app, but, have heard good things from friends and other Rules girls.
- Christian Mingle is another site that sounds cheesy but, Ellen and Sherrie recommended it. So, if that's your demographic, give it a shot.
- Despite the fact that their commercials are ridiculous, I actually have a friend who met his wife on Farmer's Only. It's geared more towards those in rural areas but, things really seem to be going well for them!
There are a few things to keep in mind though. First, no texting, swiping or answering anything from Friday after 6:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday (although I personally wait until Monday). Secondly, stay local. If they live more than an hour away, I would avoid that since they are most likely looking for a buddy to chat with.
As far as what should be in your profile, there are a few things. First, have between two and four pictures where you look good (half of your face, half full body). I highly recommend getting a photographer to take them. But, if you can't afford it, just get a friend to or find good ones on Facebook. Make sure that they are recent as well.
Secondly, put your height in your profile regardless of how tall you are. A really tall guy most likely won't date a really short woman (ex. if he's 6'6 and you're 5'1). If you're a tall woman (like me), the last thing you probably want to do is end up towering over your date. While some women don't mind this, most of us do. Another note: if you're tall and want to only date taller men, that's totally fair! If anyone tells you otherwise (especially shorter friends who say you're being too picky), don't listen to them. For example, Ivanka and Melania Trump are around five foot eleven and Lisa Leslie is six foot five. ALL of them are married to taller men. So, it's not an unreasonable expectation. Personally, I'm between 5'8" and 5'9" and won't date anyone shorter than me. Although he would have to have a winning personality and be my preferred look if he was under 5'10 or else I couldn't do it. Now, some will argue this is shallow but, guess what? Most men wouldn't date a woman who was really heavy or that they weren't attracted to. So, if you're a tall woman who isn't attracted to shorter men, don't worry! Many models, athletes, and other tall women find taller husbands with no problem. However, there are women, like Nicole Kidman, who notably date (and marry) shorter men.
As far as build, that's apparent in your photos. Don't post pictures of yourself from when you were younger, thinner, etc. When you meet someone and don't look like your pictures, they will resent you for it and the same would happen if you met someone that didn't look like their picture. I have been in that position and I was incredibly disappointed.
If you are heavier, you are going to have a harder time. Men don't necessarily expect (or prefer) super thin but, do expect a woman to take care of herself regardless. But, there are a few things you can do. I would recommend wearing Spanx and a good push up bra that brings the attention to your boobs. In your profile, be mindful of what you write in the "body type" section. If you're naturally curvier (bigger boobs and butt, more or less hourglass shaped), go with that. If you're heavier and not really in that category, just put "average". While I recommend that everyone- regardless of gender- eat healthy and work out, there are some times when we're heavier and not feeling so great about ourselves. I'm personally in the process of losing the final 20-30 pounds out of sixty pounds (I gained about forty when I got really sick and had 15-20 I had tried to lose prior). Sometimes, things are out of your control and there isn't much you can do about it. For example, some of my friends have PCOS and Thyroid issues and have a really hard time losing weight. Some of my other friends can't look a potato chip without gaining five pounds and didn't get great genetics in this department. There are other times when you get sick, injured, take a medication, etc. and gain weight. If this is the case, don't worry about it- just do what you can. Overall, work with what you have and don't worry about it- there's someone for everyone. Regardless, dress well, work out, eat healthy, put on make up, do your hair, etc. and do whatever you can! There are plenty of men who like bigger women (even really big women). So, don't stress yourself out.
Thirdly, write a three to five line bio. Nothing crazy- just the basics: interests, hobbies, job, and where you're from. If you're wealthy, don't lead with this- you want to make sure he's after YOU, not something he could potentially gain. There are a few things that I would recommend a client to disclose in a profile but, talk to me first about this. Overall, be honest but mysterious. Two examples I can think of would be if someone was transgendered or had children from a previous relationship. As far as whether or not you want kids, most men will ask within the first few dates or put it on their profile if it's a huge deal to them. If it's an option on a dating site, you need to be honest and fill it out. But, if not, don't worry about it.
Remember not to make the first move or get involved in a crazy text fest! They have up to 4 exchanges to ask you out. If they don't, ignore. If they are that interested, they will ask you out. Also, use basic safety measures and meet in a public place.
Also, if you need help, feel free to book a consultation. I'm very familiar with online dating and dating apps. So, I can help you craft the perfect profile!