LBlonde woman typing on laptop and wondering, does online dating work?

It’s now old-fashioned to consider online dating uncommon. Quite the opposite is true. It’s undeniable that online dating is the first preference today for most people that are actively dating. According to the Pew Research Center, the use of online dating sites and dating apps has tripled in young adults since 2013. It’s clear that the stigma should be gone – the days of just meeting at work or through mutual friends is gone. We have plenty of options now. 

But meeting someone is one thing. Does online dating work as far as a relationship goes? Sure, but you also have to step up and use them properly. Like anything in life, you can’t expect your dating site to do all the work for you! 

Unsurprisingly online dating follows the same rules as meeting in real life. It works if you present your true, genuine self. If you are upfront and honest about what you’re looking for, and what kind of person you think will best fit that role in your life. Online dating absolutely works when you are yourself, and hopefully, then encounter someone being themselves. It works when we don’t hide behind a screen and try to be an edited version of ourselves because, at the end of the day, it’s just a stepping stone to meet in real life.

Does Online Dating Work? If You Make It Work

So how do you make it work for you? Here’re some top tips to make the most of your online dating experience…

Be upfront
There’s a difference between oversharing in your profile and completely lying. If you have a child, if you are in the midst of a divorce, if you don’t actually work for Microsoft, but a different, lesser-known tech company – be clear about that! Those are the kinds of half-truths that can really damage the chance of a relationship with someone.

You don’t have to necessarily air all of your dirty laundry on your profile, but as you are chatting with someone and getting to know them, it’s on you to be clear about anything that may affect the relationship. 

Be passionate about your passions
Trying to come across as what you think is impressive will do you no favors in the long run. For example, pretending that you’re way more into hiking than you actually are to impress an outdoorsman will catch up with you when you actually meet. If you’re truthful about your passions and hobbies, you will inevitably find someone to connect over those things with.

If you pretend you run marathons on the weekends, you’re bound to meet someone who will put that to the test. You want to meet someone who likes the real you, so be genuine. 

Use current pictures
This one is quick and easy. Use recent pictures that represent you accurately. Trust me, the first date will go better if you both show up looking as you expected. There is nothing to gain from trying to portray a younger, thinner, fitter or more flattering version of yourself. Once again, you want to meet someone who is attracted to you as you are now, so let them see who that is. 

Put yourself out there
The last piece of advice here is to actually use your dating profile if you have one. It’s relatively easy to sign up, pick your photos, and start swiping. It’s much harder to actually communicate with other people, to put yourself out there, to say, “Hey you look like a nice person.”

Plenty of people use dating apps but panic a bit when it comes to actually initiating or responding to a conversation. If you want online dating to work for you, you’re going to have to have a conversation or two or three. Chatting to different people and getting to know new people is all part of the fun. 

Once you have connected online, let things flow naturally and you will meet when you both feel ready and interested. Some people prefer to meet right away and take it offline to experience the chemistry in real life. Some people prefer to build up a rapport and have a conversation over text for a few days or weeks before meeting.

Whatever works for you and the person or people you’re talking to is fine, as long as you’re using the platform and engaging with the opportunities. Next time you find yourself asking ‘does online dating work?’, remember the power lies in your hands. Good luck out there! 

Jessica Tholmer

Freelance Writer

Jess Tholmer has been writing on the internet for what feels like most of her life. After studying English Literature in school, she has leaned into her degree and is a full-time content writer, social media manager, and freelance contributor to websites like HelloGiggles.com. You can find her @tholmz on Twitter and Instagram!