Could your future ‘other half’ be waiting for you to discover them in cyberspace? Avoid these common dating traps and and increase your chances of finding love.

Dating online is a convenient way to find love. You can login and search any time, flick through profiles on your phone and meet more people than at your local bar or in your neighbourhood social circle.

Despite these benefits, finding the right person in cyberspace can still be tricky. But by applying a few clever rules you can maximise your chances of finding a more suitable and compatible match.

We spoke with Matt Garrett from Relationships Australia, to guide you through how to date online.

1. DON’T give out vital personal details
Telling people your profession, your hobbies, likes and dislikes is fine, but you should never give out any really personal information, advises Garrett. That includes your phone numbers, your home or work addresses or your bank details. Keep these key bits of personal information close to your chest and you’ll have a fantastic and safe online experience.

2. DON’T lie about your weight
A well taken profile picture might make you look a couple of sizes smaller than you are, but the game will be up when you meet up and your date is unimpressed. “Being honest about your weight is one of the most important things you can do to come across as a genuine and honest person. If you’re 89kg, don’t say that you’re 62kg because they’re going to say ‘sorry, you’re just not 62kg,’” says Garrett.

3. DON’T have a ‘shopping list’
Listing specific physical attributes you want in a partner can be a real turn-off for a lot of people. It might even mean that you will miss out on meeting attractive people who would otherwise have applied to talk to you. “People are generally going to tick off your list as it applies to them and if there are criteria that don’t apply to them, then they will rule themselves out,” Garrett points out. “Missing out on the love of your life simply because of hair colour could be a real shame, especially if they decide to change their hair colour down the track,” he says.

4. DON’T leave spelling and grammatical errors in your written profile
This is a big distraction for potential partners because instead of focusing on what you are saying, they will be more focused on how you’re saying it. The best way to make sure your profile is squeaky clean is to run it past the spell check in your computer’s word processor and then proof read your profile three times before you post it. Still not sure if your profile is A+ material? Ask a friend or relative to read it – it might just save you a red face when your future date logs in.

5. DON’T tell your whole life story
“If you’re sitting in a bar telling someone your life story, what do you think they’re going to do?” asks Garrett. It’s a good point and one you should consider when filling out that all important profile. Too much information will almost certainly bore the living daylights out of prospective suitors and make them run a mile. Also off-limits in the early stages should be sob stories and stories about your previous relationships. “Keep it light and interesting and you can’t go wrong,” Garrett says.

6. DON’T over accessorise
Over doing jewellery, hats, sunglasses and facial hair in your profile picture can distort your image too much so that people can’t clearly get a sense of how you look. According to Garrett it can also make you look “a bit over-cooked.” Also avoid photos that use props like expensive sports cars or luxury yachts. At the end of the day you want to attract people who are interested in you and not the lavish lifestyle you can provide them.

7. DON’T try to be too funny
It may sound like a given but people do the wildest things in their online profiles Garrett explains. “I’ve seen people wearing silly noses, costumes, party wigs and all kinds of strange things,” he says. Humour can definitely have a place at a later stage, but initially it can cause confusion. “What you find funny, might not be what other people find funny,” he points out. “Sometimes humour depends on delivery and can be completely misconstrued. If you’re trying to attract lasting love don’t dress like Coco the clown. You have to ask yourself, is that really the first thing that I want people to know about me?” asks Garrett.

8. DON’T keep your profile active if you are starting to go steady
This is a very common mistake that a lot of people make, say Garrett. Sometimes it could be an accident “People might just have been too busy to take it down but other times it can be thoughtlessness on the part of that person,” says Garrett. Needless to say, if your profile is still active and you’re going steady it’s not really fair to anyone, to the people searching, or to the person you are seeing. “It’s just a common courtesy and something small you can do that will have an big impact on the person you’re seeing,” says Garrett.

Most importantly have fun!


What articles about dating would you you like to read next on WYZA®? Let us know in the comments section below.