Online Dating Rules Everyone Should Know

Phone with dating app.

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Jumping into the dating world is always intimidating, but it’s especially scary if you’re not used to the online scene. Check out a few online dating rules everyone should know before they start reaching out to potential matches. You’ll feel confident about meeting new people and finding your next date more easily.

1. Avoid Creepy Pick-Up Lines

You’ll need something to say when introducing yourself to a new match, but there are many bad options out there. Imagine yourself in your potential date’s shoes. Would you feel flattered or interested if you read lousy pick-up lines like:

  • Here I am. What are your other two wishes?
  • You look like you’re busy, but could you still add me to your to-do list?
  • I love that shirt in your profile picture. It’d look better on the floor.

You’d never say things like this to a stranger in the grocery store, so they’re not acceptable on a dating app or website.

2. Dress Well for First Dates

Even if you don’t think much about what you wear every day, your date will look at your clothes and form an initial impression. It’s important to wear nice clothes for every date to demonstrate respect for their time.

Dressing well means avoiding commonly worn clothing that’s more casual, like:

  • Graphic tees
  • Sneakers
  • Sweatshirts

A simple button-down and a pair of slacks will look perfect for more casual first dates. You can always dress your clothes up even more if you’re meeting at a fancy restaurant or another venue.

3. Create a Public Date

If someone asked you to meet them for the first time in their home, you’d be a little creeped out. Always suggest a public venue or a place with plenty of people for your first, second and even third date. You could head to a restaurant or host an outdoor game night with friends if you’d prefer to hang out at your place. 

4. Showcase Your Independence

No one wants to date someone who acts like a child. Your future partner wants to fall in love, not become your parent. Use your profile pictures to showcase your independence, like showing how you meal prep or take care of a garden. Your future dates will never worry that you’re immature or looking for something less serious due to your age.

5. Ask Your Date About Themselves

People love to talk about themselves. It’s especially important to do that while chatting over dating apps or websites. Words are all you have to know each other without in-person body language or vibes. Ask your potential partner interesting conversational questions about their lives, like what they do for a living, what their favorite hobbies are or what they dream about for their future.

6. Watch for Oversharing

Oversharing is always a red flag when you’re online dating. The other person could be trauma dumping on you or vice versa. You’ll also come across as self-absorbed, so watch for oversharing on your part or from your date.

7. Accept Them as They Are

Monitor how you think about someone as you get to know them over dating apps or websites. Don’t go on a date if you’re thinking about how you can change the person or adjust certain aspects of their personality. It’s tempting to meet people just to see them apart from their profile, but they shouldn’t be your next project.

8. Be Honest About Your Priorities

Your dating profile will mention what you’re looking for in a person within your bio, but it’s also essential to bring up your priorities in conversation. Whether you’re instant messaging or video chatting, you should mention what you’re looking for between your initial contact and the first few dates. Your relationship will be much healthier if you both align on things like your religious beliefs and political opinions.

Follow Online Dating Rules

These are a few online dating rules everyone should know before logging into their profiles again. Communication, clarity and honesty are some of the most essential parts of virtual dating. If and when you meet someone in person, you’ll already know if you’re likely good for each other.

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