Internet dating part 1: The basics

Let’s face it: we’re all looking for love. Some of us already have it, some of us had it and it’s left, some of us are lying in wait longing for it (just a little), and some of us just want a little bit of it for an evening or two!

Now, while you might think that internet dating is for kids, we’re here to tell you that’s definitely not the case. In fact, everyone’s doing it, from the manager down at Pack’nSave, to the woman next to you in your book club, to your boss’s boss.

Many of us have shied away from internet dating, simply because we can’t be bothered with the tech. But that means that we might be missing out on lasting (or fleeting…) connections. So, here’s the lowdown on internet dating – and don’t worry, it’s not as scary as you might think!

Which internet dating site or app should I use?

There are plenty of dating websites and apps out there – it’s finding the best one/s for you and what you’re looking for. For most people, unless you have some highly specific dating requirements (e.g. you actually are looking for a partner from overseas, or you live a kink lifestyle) you will want to head to the platforms where there are the most people. In New Zealand, the big ones are OkCupid, NZDating, and Tinder. There of plenty of others too (with smaller user bases) if you have a hunt around.

What matters here is the type of app/site. For instance, OkCupid matches people based on their interests, etc. NZ Dating is more of a free-for-all experience. And, for Tinder, it’s a picture and see if you match. Each has their benefits, and you might like to try out a few to see which you like best.

Crafting your profile

This is where many of us tend to stuff up – we get so excited to check out who else is around that we rush through creating our own profile. Don’t do this! This is your chance to shine – think of it like your CV for dating.

No matter what platform you are on, the first thing you need to do is have a good picture of yourself for your “profile pic”. This can be a close up picture, or full length, but it should be a good shot, with only you in it (and preferably no one else cropped out). People generally prefer a picture with a clear view of your face.

Next, you will need to fill out any other fields required of the platform. This will usually include things like your location and age, and then some platforms will be quite specific – like OkCupid. Where you have freeform text to do what you want with, make sure to dazzle. Are you funny? Throw in some jokes. Ambitious? Speak up about your life plans. Arty? Reference some works you’d like your future date to know.

Once you’ve got the basics down, come back tomorrow for Part 2 in our series, Internet Dating Part 2: Tips for Communication and Security.