How to Be a Better Dater in 2021

P. J. Aitken

Jan 21 2021

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New Year’s resolutions are like reading epic Russian novels. You begin with 100% commitment, you get all excited about the possibilities, and after a few days, you’ve completely lost track, given up, and moved onto something else.

In 2020, we all made resolutions and promised to follow them, but just as we were faltering, struggling, and preparing to collapse in a mess of self-loathing, the universe grounded us and made us rethink our priorities.

A year later, we all made bigger, stronger, and more meaningful New Year’s resolutions, and considering the life-changing events of the previous year, there’s a good chance that more of these will be kept.

One of the biggest resolutions is to start dating, whether to find a lifelong partner or have a few flings. 2020 was a lonely time for millions of people—they’re now ready to get out there and find that special someone.

If your New Year’s resolution was to start online dating and make a positive change in your love life, take a look at the following steps to ensure you end 2021 happier and more contented.

Step One: Find an Online Dating Site

There are hundreds of online dating sites. It’s a pretty lucrative industry and has attracted scores of apps and sites, the majority of which use underhanded marketing techniques and just aren’t worthy of your time.

For example, some immoral dating sites use fake accounts to message non-paying members and then require them to subscribe before they can read or reply. If you receive dozens of messages from good looking singletons as soon as you join, and you only need to pay a few quid to reply, you’ll be tempted to do so.

When you do, you may discover that all of those members suddenly lose interest and the deluge of messages stops.

We only review legitimate and transparent sites, including the likes of Match and eHarmony.

But there is one other thing to consider.

If you have specific needs, a general site like eHarmony may not be the most suitable. Let’s assume that you’re a high earning, highly educated, 35-year-old professional who wants to meet someone very similar.

The top 5% of the country earns more than £75,000 and there are 13.5 million people aged between 25 and 39, with surveys suggesting that around 35% are single. Based on those figures, there could be just 236.000 people in your target demographic.

But that’s assuming that everyone in that demographic is ready to meet someone new and uses online dating sites. It also disregards the “highly educated” factor and assumes that you date both sexes and don’t care about location. In reality, the number of ideal partners for most daters would be just a couple of hundred.

To increase your chances of finding this small group, you need to use targeted dating sites. In the above scenario, Elite Singles would be much more suitable than eHarmony.

creating online dating profile

Step Two: Spend Time on Your Dating Profile

Everyone is too busy to spend time on their online dating profile. They’re eager to start chatting and don’t have time to waste. But right after skipping the profile creation stage, they spend hours idly browsing other profiles and sending messages, only to bemoan their luck when they don’t get replies.

If you want the results, you have to put the time in.

You can’t expect them to learn everything they need to know by conversing with you, because if they don’t know anything about you to begin with, why would they even reply?

You don’t need to write your autobiography. Keep it short, authentic, and concise.

Include several images and pick your best one as your main image. Research suggests that men get more replies from photos taken outdoors while women get more from indoor shots. Both are more successful when they smile and use well-lit headshots.

Avoid wearing too much makeup, don’t wear sunglasses or baseball caps, and get a friend to take the picture if you can, as many users find posed selfies to be unnatural and false.

It doesn’t matter what anyone says, your photograph is always the most important part of your profile. If they don’t like the way you look, they won’t read your bio or check your interests. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing you should focus on.

Your image gets their attention, your words make them interested. A good profile also helps to break the ice by giving them an icebreaker, a topic of conversation.

If all they have to go on is a picture of a bathroom/bedroom selfie, don’t be surprised if the only messages you get are variations of, “You look hot” or “You need to hire a cleaner”.

Step Three: Fine Tune Your First Dates

Once you find someone that you like, it’s time to arrange that first date and take things to the next level.

first date ideas

Keep the following in mind:

  1. Don’t make it all about yourself.
  2. Don’t talk obsessively about your ex-partners or love life failures.
  3. Put your phone away and focus on the date.
  4. Compliment them but don’t go overboard. You want smiles and gratitude, not eye rolls and sighs.
  5. Prepare some stories about yourself and make sure you have memorized some questions to ask them.
  6. It’s difficult, especially in the beginning, but if you relax then they will as well, and it will make for an easier and more comfortable night.

One of the most important things to remember is that first dates don’t have to be at restaurants and involve alcohol. If you don’t know a lot about your match and are just taking a chance, go for a coffee instead.

If you get there and discover that you don’t really like them and there is no spark, it doesn’t really matter, as you’ll only be there for half an hour or so and won’t be wasting the entire night awkwardly chatting and looking for the exit.

Conclusion: Get Out There!

If your New Year’s resolution is to get out there and start dating, stop wasting your time, sign up for an online dating site, and invest some time creating your profile, browsing through matches, and chatting.

Don’t expect immediate results. The average person messages 16 people and goes on half a dozen dates before finding a partner. It could take several months, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll find your next partner!

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