WOMEN
04/28/2016 04:00 pm ET

13 Stories For Anyone Who Dates Online

“I probably won’t answer your message but the validation that strangers on the Internet think I’m pretty feels nice."

Let's face it — the online dating world can be daunting. But don't worry, you're not alone in this. We compiled 13 spot-on stories surrounding online dating, ranging from blog posts on personal experiences to expert advice on the do's and don'ts of the game. Thank us later. 

It’s OK to walk away from something and not apologize for it. 

It’s true that a big criticism of online daters — men and women alike — is that they are too shallow and focused on physical appearances. And while it’s certainly easy to write people off in an app, it’s also easy to waste a lot of time dating people you’re not that into. I went out with plenty of men who seemed nervous or shy online thinking that maybe they were really great guys that I’d click with in person. But when we met, I was usually bored to tears. Feeling obliged to give them a shot anyway didn’t do either of us any favors.

You’re boring people to tears in your “about me” section. 

Your front-facing, model status profile pic may be what draws people in, but a compelling “about me” section that shows off your personality is what will land you a date. Describing yourself as a “laid-back guy who loves the beach and getting drinks” is the meh-est of meh descriptions. 

“That pretty much describes 99 percent of singles,” said Platts. “If I tell you I’m going to buy you any smartphone you want, you wouldn’t just say ‘Thanks, just get me one that makes calls and can surf the web.’ No, you’d tell me get the a 64GB iPhone 6 Plus in white. You want someone to want you because of you, not simply because you’re a warm-bodied male or female.”  

Play the TINDER DRINKING GAME:
  • Drink if you get a match.
  • If you have mutual friends/interests in common drink for that many seconds.
  • If you stumbled upon a person you know, everyone drinks INCLUDING THAT PERSON. Invite them over immediately.
This post lists 24 online dating struggles that are all too real.
Antonio_Diaz via Getty Images
This post lists 24 online dating struggles that are all too real.

"Anyone can take one great profile picture — especially if said picture is 5+ years old."

Laura Nowak told The Huffington Post she wanted to “learn what it meant to navigate tinder as a feminist.”
Instagram: @feminist_tinder
Laura Nowak told The Huffington Post she wanted to “learn what it meant to navigate tinder as a feminist.”

No matter which way you swipe, misogyny comes from all angles on Tinder. 

The Instagram account Feminist_Tinder is bringing these dudes into the limelight by highlighting the sexist messages one woman received when she put “feminist” in her Tinder bio. 

Created by Laura Nowak, the account includes screen shots of different conversations Nowak has with men on Tinder and their reactions to her “feminist” About section. Nowak’s quippy and smart retorts make the account educational and entertaining.

Nowak told The Huffington Post she wanted to “learn what it meant to navigate tinder as a feminist.” 

Don’t open with “Hey”

If you’re really, really hoping to get a response from your match, a vague greeting won’t get you stellar results. As far as response rates go, “Hey” performs at average, while “Hey, what’s up” performs at 4 percent above average.

“We’re aiming to help users do better than average, and are thus showing examples of the types of things that do better than a generic opener,” Karen Fein, Hinge’s vice president of marketing, told The Huffington Post. “That said, there are also openers that do far worse than ‘Hey, what’s up.’ ... The poorest performers are typically negative or pessimistic in tone.”

Instead, people are more likely to respond to messages that display a unique question about lifestyle, food preferences or musical taste:

These findings are from a report Hinge published on the best ways to start a conversation with matches. 
Hinge
These findings are from a report Hinge published on the best ways to start a conversation with matches. 

Converse as you would in real life — in complete words, in good taste.

When exchanging messages, it’s important to avoid text speak and physical compliments, says Ryan Jakovljevic, an award-winning relationship expert and couples therapist. Poor grammar and incorrect spelling are also a huge turn-off and make an awful first impression.

So while you may think phrases like “ur hot” and “omg so sexy” flatter the receiver, Jakovljevic says women read these types of messages all the time. If you want to stand out, get more creative and address their interests over their looks.

"Over time, I began to feel like I was losing my true self in the quest to be the girl with the perfect profile.”

 “I was constantly overthinking what I had typed in my profile or what I was sending in a message to a guy. When I would see something in a guy’s profile that he liked in a woman, I would think ‘Hey! That’s me! Maybe? Is it? Yeah!’ I would try to edit my profile to be what I thought guys wanted. I would type, delete, type again, delete, etc., like I didn’t know who I was in real life. Over time, I began to feel like I was losing my true self in the quest to be the girl with the perfect profile, and I decided it wasn’t worth the stress and sacrifice of losing and/or hiding who I am.”

What would online dating profiles look like if people were completely honest? Read this post to find out. &nbs
Sam Diephuis via Getty Images
What would online dating profiles look like if people were completely honest? Read this post to find out.  

No one tells the whole truth about themselves on online dating sites. Why would a potential match need to know about your untameable back hair situation or that you secretly loathe pizza? If everyone went and divulged things like that, we’d all be single.

The folks over on Reddit answered this question: “What would your brutally honest dating profile say?” The responses were a little too truthful. Here are 12 of the funniest.

Happn is an app powered by real life interactions and is location-based.
HAPPN
Happn is an app powered by real life interactions and is location-based.

Looking for someone to Netflix & Chill with? We hear ya. Thanks to Tinder and the slew of mobile dating apps that sprung up since, you can meet new people without ever putting on pants. But which apps should you pursue and which should you delete from your phone? Here's a list of five alternative apps that are worth trying. 

"I learned a lot about myself. One of my favorite realizations was that I definitely have a first date sales pitch," writes S
Ascent Xmedia via Getty Images
"I learned a lot about myself. One of my favorite realizations was that I definitely have a first date sales pitch," writes Stacie Corliss. "And, boy, do I have that sucker down. Now if only I could live up to those buzzwords."

It’s exhausting. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but a date a day is a lot. Even if you’re mildly employed. Mostly because I apparently get schmammered on all of my dates. Remember that part earlier where I said I’m not 24 anymore? Social drinking now requires a very reclusive recovery -- a recovery that lasts longer than 24 hours/isn’t solved by a Bloody Mary brunch. Jumping right into dating a self-proclaimed functional alcoholic didn’t really help the whole cringing liver/loss-of-brain-function situation either.

This post lists the drawbacks of online dating.
Hero Images via Getty Images
This post lists the drawbacks of online dating.

Unlimited options means you may have a hard time finding someone who's willing to commit.

Three words: paradox of choice. Having an unlimited pool of potential dates can not only make people feel less satisfied with their ultimate decision, but it can also lead them to freeze up and not make a choice at all. In fact, that aforementioned 2012 review found that online daters were less willing to settle down and commit to a single partner while they had boundless options literally at their fingertips, a sentiment that 32 percent of Internet users echoed in a 2013 Pew Research Center poll.

“We found people want to contact a person who appears to be accurate in what they are saying about themselves online."
DIMITRI OTIS VIA GETTY IMAGES
“We found people want to contact a person who appears to be accurate in what they are saying about themselves online."

When creating an online dating profile, the usual protocol is, of course, to put one’s best foot forward. But don’t try to make yourself look too good. According to new research, an overzealously scrubbed OKCupid profile may not elicit the adoration you’d think.

Researchers from the University of Iowa found that people are distrusting of flashy or too-perfect online dating profiles. The most successful profiles, instead, are those that feel authentic, and offer a sense of who the person really is.

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
11 Photos Every Dating Profile Must Include
CONVERSATIONS