Picture this: You’re at happy hour with friends and start talking about your dating lives over drinks. Downloading a dating app and creating a profile might sound like a fun, harmless thing to do at the time. So you choose your five best photos and write a bio to post. Next thing you know, you have countless matches and an inbox full of messages (after all, you are a catch).
But not so fast, before you download an app, there are things to consider. Don’t just jump into it without any thought. Here are seven things to square away before posting a dating profile.
1. Prepare for Intimacy
Online dating might not be the conventional way to meet someone. But just because you’re not meeting someone organically doesn’t mean something very real can’t come of it. Just like in the traditional dating world, anything can happen in the online dating world. You could have a one night fling or meet the love of your life, you just never know.
Before you jump into dating of any kind, it’s important to take precaution. When you’re going out on dates, one of those dates could very well turn into a sexual partner. It’s smart to start taking birth control prior to dating. If you’re looking for a quick, hassle-free solution, online birth control is a great option. You’ll still be treated like a patient, it’s just less of a headache for you.
2. Check Your Mental Health
You know what they say — timing is everything. Even with the best intentions, you won’t find your person if you’re not in the right place. There’s some truth to what they say, you have to focus on yourself first. You can still focus on personal growth while in a committed relationship. But remember, you attract what you are. You’ll attract better relationships for you, if you’re at your very best.
If you feel like your mental health isn’t where it needs to be right now, there are actions you can take. The route you decide to take will depend entirely on your personal preferences and what you’re currently struggling with. Maybe therapy is the best option for you. Or, maybe you just need a meditation app to help you feel calmer and more at peace in your everyday life.
3. Figure Out What You’re Looking For
Online dating offers an advantage that you don’t get with traditional dating — a larger pool of people. On any night of the week, you could be swiping on hundreds of singles in your city. A larger pool means you can be picky with who you date. You can have preferences and seek out people who you actually feel compatible with.
When you create an online dating profile, you’ll be asked questions about yourself (age, height, where you live, hometown, etc.). You can also add more personal details about yourself if you choose. Your potential suitors will have the same ability to personalize their profiles. What is it that you’re looking for in a person? Think about it, and keep your eyes peeled for those things.
4. Ask Yourself What Your ‘Why’ Is
This is an important step and one that so many people often forget. Before you start going out on dates, ask yourself why you even want to in the first place. Everyone has different reasons for dating. Are you looking for something more serious or more casual?
You also need to be prepared to communicate your ‘why’ to anyone you’re dating. Over time, people grow up and get tired of games. That’s why it’s best to be upfront and honest about how you feel. Tell potential partners where you see things going and what you want. They’ll appreciate the transparency and neither of you will have to suffer as much hurt in the long run.
5. Consider All of Your Options
Maybe Tinder was the first dating app that popped into your head, but is it the only option you’ve considered? There are quite a few dating apps out there, and the best one for you will depend on your preferences. Make sure you consider all of your options before you rush and download one of the apps.
Also, consider if online is the best place for you to meet someone. While online dating is a fun way to meet new people, it’s not for everyone. Think about where you’re at in life and how you’d react to certain situations that might present themselves. How would you prefer to meet someone? What type of person would you like to meet? These are important questions to ask yourself.
6. Ask Friends for Advice
When considering all of your options, it’s not a bad idea to get input from friends. Many of them have probably been around the block a few times themselves. Ask friends not only for dating advice, but for advice on how to meet people. Whether your friends are in relationships or single, it’s great to hear everyone’s perspective and learn from other experiences.
Some friends might recommend certain dating apps over others. Other friends might suggest meeting people organically. The people in your circle care about you and want the best for you. Take their advice to heart and use it before beginning your dating journey.
7. Have an Open Mind and a Positive Attitude
What’s the last thing you should do before starting to date? Make sure you have an open mind and positive attitude. If you are pessimistic about the entire experience, no good will ever come of it. It will be a waste of your time, and you might end up wasting someone else’s time.
First, make sure you have a positive mindset going into it. You need to know that you’re a catch. You also need to know that something great can result from online dating. Second, keep an open mind as you date. Don’t write people off for the small things, give them a chance. As long as you’re being safe, there’s no harm in doing so. You might be surprised!
If you feel strongly that you’re ready for online dating, that’s a good sign. But it’s not the only thing you should look for. Before creating an online dating profile, make sure you’re ready. The more prepared you are for what’s ahead, the better off you’ll be. With the right preparation, who knows? A swipe right could lead to something special.