The Best Online Dating Tips for People Hesitant to Create a Dating Profile
I’ll be honest with you. When I first started online dating, it was only to get people off my back. Once I jumped in, I went hard. I got every online dating app and account I could. I linked my social media, uploaded pictures, came up with witty bios and checked them religiously.
But despite my gusto, I didn’t see success. So I deleted them all in one fell swoop, just as quickly as I had created them.
When I finally tried again, I fixed my head space. The second time around with online dating, my experience changed. It wasn’t a distressing process. In fact, I met some nice men!
Online dating requires as much attention and effort as dating face to face. If you’re feeling hesitant to enter that world, here’s some advice for you.
1. Pick one online dating service
Part of my problem was casting my nets too wide. Dating became just another inbox or social media to manage, instead of a place to seek genuine connection.
Instead of just choosing the most popular dating site or app, spend time researching and discern which of them you’d want your partner to choose. That’s a good way to figure out where you have the best chance of finding them.
Understand also that different dating services have different reputations and expectations. If you’re looking for authentic, long-lasting connection, avoid the apps you know have a hook-up reputation.
Obviously, I’m partial to Catholic Singles—but when you’re weighing options, just keep these things in mind to find what’s right for your lifestyle.
2. Set a goal for yourself
Just like with all new endeavors—eating right, getting a new job, moving to a new city—you need a plan or you won’t succeed.
I’ve already shared that my goal was to silence the bad advice of well-intended friends. Since that was my goal, my results didn’t include any quality matches or good dates. That’s not where my focus was!
Only you can decide what you want to get out of online dating. Maybe you want to just see what’s out there, meet a few new people, or maybe you’re ready to find your lifelong partner.
Whatever your goal, if you approach online dating being aware of it, everything on your profile can be in service of that goal. It will drive your pictures, your bio, and your conversational topics.
3. Don’t share more than you’re comfortable with
I have no idea when we made the shift from “don’t share anything personal online” to “pour your heart out behind your keyboard.” But in my opinion, it was not a good move for us.
We need to be comfortable with being mysterious. Just because you’re dating online does not mean you owe any personal information to the person you’re talking with. If something feels uncomfortable or invasive, it’s entirely okay to say so or walk away from a conversation.
Check out this article on how to determine how much is too much to share.
4. Be open with trusted friends or family
In the past, there has been a stigma about online dating—and it’s not a very positive one. But in the age of doing pretty much everything else online, it is entirely reasonable that we’d use social media or apps to meet new people, too!
So don’t shy away from it—share your experiences with family and friends. They’ll be able to understand you better, share victories and disappointments with you, and you may even feel safer.
5. Be brave
What is it that’s holding you back?
If you’re afraid of rejection, set realistic compatibility expectations. Remember that rejection is a part of dating. You and your future spouse will have to reject people in order to find one another. It’s not a rejection of you as a person, but of a path that neither of you are called to.
If you’re afraid of vulnerability, decided ahead of time what you’re willing to share in the app or on social media—and what you will wait to reveal face to face.
If you’re afraid of awkward pauses, try our tips for better conversation!
If you’re afraid of sharing your picture, settle on one picture you love of yourself where you feel truly confident. You’re not required to add a bunch of photos! It’s fine to use just a singular favorite.
Any call that God has for us is going to draw us into a new, slightly uncomfortable place. Pope Benedict XVI famously said, “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort.” Put your faith into the Lord to give you courage as you approach online dating.
6. Give yourself a break
If you’ve made it through this whole blog and you’re still feeling really hesitant, don’t ignore that feeling. Maybe you’re just not in the right place to start online dating. And that’s totally okay. Until you are, just keep praying and discerning what kind of relationship you want and are being called to.
Erin is a Catholic writer living on the windy plains of Kansas. She loves reading, dark chocolate, sunflowers, and learning to cook.