Online Dating Tips: How to Date More Effectively

Nina Livelo | 19.04.19 | 0 Comments

Many people look back at their romantic histories and wonder why they wasted so much time with certain partners. Maybe they made you change who you were, or maybe they had goals that just weren’t in line with yours. Eventually, these relationships didn’t work out, and at what cost? You’re bound to experience heartbreak on the path to finding the one, but it doesn’t have to become a trend. From now on, save yourself the time and the heartbreak of mismatched relationships with these online dating tips.

Start with a self-assessment to determine what you’re looking for in a partner and if you’re even ready to date. Next, learn how to pick your dates wisely. Finally, review each date using a series of dating questions to give each of them an honest evaluation. Only once you’re able to be truthful with yourself and your potential partner, will you find the right match for you.

Step One: Do a Self-Assessment

If you’re seeking out online dating tips, chances are you’ve been having a hard time finding the one. One reason you may find yourself dating all the wrong people is that you haven’t paid enough attention to yourself. Stop wasting time wanting to be wanted and spend more time determining what it is you want.

Faced with so many potential partners on dating sites, it’s easy to lose sight of what matters most. So, before you get back to browsing, ask yourself these questions to help you stay on track.

dating self assessment

What are your dating goals?

Reflect on the person you hope to find and the future you hope to build together. Make a note of these reflections along with a list of the qualities that are most important to you. When screening new profiles, use these notes as a reference to determine whether you can imagine a future. Be honest with yourself and don’t make concessions because you find someone attractive that might otherwise be a bad match. Remember, you can’t expect anyone to change for you. These false hopes will just lead you to heartache more quickly.

Are you happy with yourself?

When people are unhappy with their lives, they sometimes seek relationships to fill a hole within themselves. Yes, we all need love in our lives, but we need to start with self-love. Until you love yourself and are happy on your own, you won’t be able to find lasting happiness in a relationship. You’ll find yourself clinging to your partner, potentially suffocating them and driving them away. That’s not all; the happier you are, the more others will be drawn to you and the happier a relationship you’ll be able to build. One tool that can help with cultivating happiness is meditation. Studies show that meditation clears the mind of worry and anxiety, leaving more space for happiness.

Are you ready to date?

This is about more than being happy. This is about examining your life as a single person and determining whether it is fulfilling. You are ready to date once you realize that, while you want a partner to share a life with, you don’t need one. You are perfectly capable of living a well-rounded and happy life on your own.

What are your boundaries?

As long as you set boundaries and stick to them, dating is easy. A major issue that serial daters run into time and time again is that they lose sight of themselves. Never pretend to be someone you’re not in an effort to be more desirable to your partner. Never pass up spending time with friends or on hobbies that you find fulfilling. Don’t forfeit your dreams just because they don’t line up with your partner’s. And above all, don’t be afraid to say “no” when you need to. Without boundaries, you set yourself up for failure. Look for a partner who not only respects your boundaries but has their own as well. This is a sign that they are ready to be in an honest, respectful relationship.

Step Two: Read Between the Lines

So, you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in a partner and you’re ready to start dating with purpose. One benefit of online dating is that users have multiple chances to assess matches before agreeing to a first date. Sites like PlentyOfFish and eHarmony allow users to create curated profiles and provide secure chat lines. This way, you can get to know someone before meeting face-to-face.

However, not everyone uses online dating for the same purpose and not everyone makes their intentions clear online. One of the most important online dating tips is to look for signs they have dating goals that are similar to yours. Do this before you meet for a first date. You don’t want to go out with someone you like, only to find out they’re not looking for anything serious. You should also look out for signs that indicate the person may be sleazy or have bad intentions. Often, these are written between the lines.


Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Flakiness – If they are constantly rescheduling, it could be a sign that dating is not a priority. It could also be a sign that they are habitually unreliable.
  • They call you “baby” right away – As innocuous as this may seem, it may be a sign that they are only looking for a physical relationship.
  • They are impersonal – Unfortunately, many dating sites are home to liars; often people seeking extramarital affairs. Studies show that liars tend to behave more impersonally than others. Dating is about getting to know someone. If they don’t make an effort to get to know you or share information about themselves, be suspicious.
  • They flood you with messages when you don’t respond right away – This is a sign that they are insecure and thus not ready to date, much less be in a healthy, happy relationship.
  • For a first date, they suggest going to their place at a late hour – This person just wants to hook up.

Step Three: Grade Your First Date

Once you’ve found someone whose profile and banter check all your boxes, you decide to go on a first date. After your date, check in with yourself to assess how it went and if you want to continue seeing them. Make sure you’re making good dating decisions and aren’t wasting your time. Don’t rush through the process or get caught up in feelings, you might just miss some red flags. Ask yourself these dating questions to be sure.


How do you feel about this person?

Remember that in order to have a healthy relationship, you need to have a fulfilling single life. This is true for your partner too. Are they happy, confident, positive, and honest? Did you find yourself growing more interested in them as the date went on? If you did, you should go on a second date to see if the trend continues.

Does this person share your goals and dreams?

Unless both of you are able to pursue your individual goals and dreams side-by-side, a relationship will not work out.

Did this person listen?

Your partner should show interest in you. This means asking meaningful questions about your life and interests and listening attentively. They should demonstrate that they are listening by asking follow-up questions. If they keep turning the conversation toward themselves, it’s a sign they are self-centered and not worth a second date.

Was there eye contact?

Eye contact is both a sign of confidence and an indicator that the person is comfortable around you.

Did you feel safe?

Trust your gut. If at any time you felt like you were at risk or that the person may have been lying, don’t see this person again.

Rate the date on a scale of 1 to 10.

If the date receives a 6 or higher, try going on a second date. However, if the idea of another date with this person feels more like a chore than like fun, say “no.”

You Have The Tools…

Now, put them into action! Just because you haven’t had the best track record doesn’t mean you can’t still find love. By taking stock of your own goals and asking yourself targeted dating questions, you put yourself on track for love. Use these online dating tips to stay focused and before you know it, you’ll find the perfect partner for you.

Nina Livelo

Born in San Francisco, Nina Livelo has spent the better part of the last decade hopping from city to city around the globe. She is an experienced lifestyle brand writer. When she's not working as a freelance writer, you can find her looking for the most unique local bite to eat.

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