Ladies, this one’s for you. Whether you’re new to online dating and just trying it out, or you’ve deactivated and reactivated your eHarmony account about a hundred times, you could probably do with a little advice on how to catch a good one.
Read on for our top tips on how to find someone to write home about:
Filter out the deal-breakers
Don’t underestimate the filters! They’re there for a reason. But don’t get carried away with them, either. Filter too little, you’ll end up finding guys who aren’t really for you. Filter too much, you won’t get results and you won’t get noticed by the right guys. It’s all about finding a happy middle ground.
Here’s what I’ve found to work:
Think of the 3 biggest deal-breakers for you. What would make you unhappy in a relationship and you should therefore say no to straight from the start?
Example A: Maybe you find yourself wanting to cut some slack to guys who smoke, even though you’re not a smoker. Especially if they’re trying to quit. However, you know from past experiences that you’ll get upset every time they smoke and they’ll end up getting annoyed at you for pressuring them to quit. If that’s the case, then smoker is your deal-breaker No. 1. Look for non-smokers only.
Example B: Another no-no for you may be someone that has different religious beliefs. You’d like to think that love is stronger than religion, but you’ve learned that it’s hard for you to connect with someone at the deepest possible level if you don’t have the same core beliefs. Your values are important to you, and someone who doesn’t share the same values as you… Well, that’s your deal-breaker No. 2. Search for people who share the same religious beliefs as you only.
Example C: A third seemingly obvious important filter for you might be something as simple as location. You don’t want to have another long-distance relationship, but you want to be open to possibilities, and would not give up your Prince Charming just because he lives across the ocean. However, you’ve learned from past mistakes that you’re just not capable of having a long-distance relationship – you both end up being miserable half the time. It may work for others, but it doesn’t work for you. There’s no need to give it another chance if you know it’s not realistic – Someone who lives far away is your deal-breaker No. 3. Look for guys who live nearby only.
Keep in mind that everyone’s deal-breakers are different. Make sure you find the ones that are most important to you, and don’t compromise on them. If you do, you’ll end up wasting both time and emotions.
Make sure your profile shows the real you
Looking for a serious relationship? Show it. You may know you’re only after something real, but if all you write about in your online profile is how fun you are, you may attract guys who aren’t serious.
It’s not always easy to tell who’s in it for the long haul from a profile, so maybe you’ll be disappointed by someone you had hoped wasn’t only looking for a fling. But at least you can control what vibes your own profile give off.
It is black and white – you’re only looking for a serious relationship, so state it. That way, more players will stay away and you’ll attract more good guys, one of whom could very well be the right guy. If a guy is really ready for something genuine, he won’t be scared off by someone who is upfront about trying to find The One.
Just as the writing in your profile should reflect what you’re all about, so should your pictures. If you’re passionate about nature and your family is important to you, for instance, try posting a picture of you doing something outdoorsy as well as a picture with your family.
Trust your instincts
If something seems off about someone, it probably is. Use your intuition. If a guy looks like a supermodel, but there’s just some look in his eyes that rubs you the wrong way, he’s probably not for you. Maybe you get the feeling from his glamour shots that he is completely full of himself or only interested in sex. There are enough nice guys out there for you not to have to waste your time on creeps. Don’t let his sultry eyes sway you. Maybe he’d be a good choice for a fling, but that’s not what you really desire.
Other than the vibe you get from their pictures, your instincts can be applied to their messages as well. Pay attention to what kind of effort they’re putting in to reaching out to you. If they write you a generic message that’s obviously copy-pasted to girl after girl, that’s not too impressive.
Personally, I would rather get a simple “hi” than a long, funny message that has nothing to do with anything you displayed on your profile and is a clear copy/paste. A “hi” is at least respectful and can be a little opener to a conversation that turns out to be really interesting. Alternatively, guys that start with something like “hey sexy” probably don’t even deserve the time of day.
Take matters into your own hands
Who says you need to wait for the guys to come to you? It’s 2016! If you spend some time searching for potential matches and sending messages to ones that seem special to you, you’ll get much better results than by sitting on your arse and letting the randos flood you with inane messages. You know what you want, now go find it instead of hoping it‘ll come to you on its own. If you’re active about online dating, you’ll be pleased to find more could-be-keepers.
Give people a chance
Don’t worry – I’m not telling you to give every Tom, Dick and Harry who reaches out to you a chance. God forbid! You’re probably getting swarmed with messages and finding it overwhelming enough to go out with just anybody. Make sure they seem like a somebody, of course. But at the same time, don’t write them off just because they don’t look like Brad Pitt or because they couldn’t think of the perfect opener.
Someone who’s not your exact type looks-wise may in fact be irresistible to you when you meet them in person. (Just be sure you don’t find them repulsive and the thought of kissing them makes you gag. No chance needed there.) Likewise, a guy not knowing the funniest thing in the world to write to you right off the bat may end up surprising you when you get to know them a little better.
Now that you’re more prepared, go ahead and find your keeper! Good luck!