This is some great advice that were lucky enough to get from Craig Robinson- the CEO of the brand new Heartbroker.com service.
More and more people are turning to online dating sites to meet new people and look for love. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you may be tempted to give it a go yourself. Or perhaps you’re already using an online dating site but could use some hints to improve your experience. If so, read on to find out how to choose a good profile picture, write a compelling profile, send a great introductory email, and stay safe.
Choosing a good profile picture
Choosing the right picture for your profile is very important. The picture is the first thing potential matches notice, so you want it to highlight your best qualities, but it also sets an expectation. If that expectation turns out to differ from reality, you will not only disappoint your match (when you eventually meet in person), they may also take your deceptive picture as a sign that you are willing to lie to get what you want. Therefore, when choosing a picture it is important to pick one that accurately reflects what you look like now.
Don’t use a picture that is:
- more than six months old
- taken at an odd angle to hide certain physical characteristics
- dark or blurry
- contains other people
Do us a picture that is:
- well lit
- provides a good view of your face and torso
- shows you smiling
Writing a compelling profile
Writing about oneself is very hard for most people. It’s difficult to be objective and, if you’re humble, it is difficult to highlight your strong points with out sounding like you’re bragging.
A great way to address these problems and build an accurate and compelling profile is to ask your friends and family to help you write it. Pick three to five of your closest friends or family members and ask them how they would describe you to someone else. Have them to describe your best qualities and quirks. Ask them about a time when they saw you very happy or excited. Summarize this information and you will have the makings for a compelling, accurate, and objective profile.
What to say in your first email
You’ve got the perfect picture and your friends have helped you build a great profile. You see someone you’re attracted to online and you want to send an introductory email. What do you say?
You need to say more than “Hi”. Find something on the person’s profile that you are interested in or have in common and use that as the basis for starting a discussion. Have they’ve traveled somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit? Did they graduate from the same university as your sister? Do they enjoy mountain biking or romance novels? You should be able to find at least one thing to start a conversation. If not, perhaps you shouldn’t be contacting them!
Also, make sure you use proper spelling and grammar. While it is generally OK to use more casual language and punctuation when communicating with friends, it’s important to put your best foot forward in an introductory email — you wouldn’t wear shorts and a t-shirt to a job interview, would you?
While it is important to keep the language proper, you should keep the conversation casual. Ask a few questions and provide a little information about yourself. Don’t come on too strong and don’t be too shy.
You’ve met someone really fantastic — great! Now it’s time to get to know them better. But don’t move too fast or be careless. Online dating sites are attractive venues for criminals because they offer a degree of anonymity. There are two main types of dangers to be aware of when using an online dating site, financial and physical.
Financial danger comes in the form of the “romance scam” where a criminal poses as a potential mate and manipulates their victim into sending money or exposing financial account information. To protect yourself from this scam:
- Never send anyone money that you met online
- Don’t accept money or agree to deposit checks or perform other financial transactions
- Don’t provide them with your personal financial information
These scammers are very good at convincing their victims that they have noble intentions. Don’t fall for it! Decide in advance that you will not fall prey to this scam.
You expose yourself to physical danger when you agree to meet an online acquaintance in person. In order order to protect yourself from this danger:
- Choose the time and place of your date wisely. Meet in a public place at a decent hour during which lots of people will be around. Lunch dates work especially well.
- Limit alcohol consumption or abstain entirely until you know the person better.
- Use your own transportation, even when meeting someone who lives a great distance away from you. It’s never a good idea to get into someone’s personal vehicle on a first date. Wherever possible, drive yourself or take a taxi.
- Tell at least one friend or family member about your plans, and arrange to check in with them after each of the first few dates.
- Carry a fully charged mobile phone with easily accessible emergency numbers.
- Leave personal belongings such as purses, wallets, or jackets with pockets that may contain items that could reveal personal information about you, such as a driver’s license, credit cards, ATM receipts, etc.
- Meet at your house or place of work or give that information out until you have had a good opportunity to know the other person better.
- Incur large expenses on a date without first discussing how the cost will be divided.
- Go home with someone, even if it feels like everything’s going great. You have not spent enough time with them to assess whether your safety is at risk.
Online dating is a great way to meet people and find love. By following the tips in this article you can improve your chances of having a safe, successful and fun online dating experience!