Let's face it -- dating in the digital age can be challenging. Whether you're seeking a casual relationship or a more serious one, it's easy to become overwhelmed with all the dating apps and websites available. Need help navigating it all? Here's how to date successfully in the digital age.

Remember that you're meeting a stranger

Remember that you're meeting a stranger

Even if you've spent tons of time talking to someone online, you're still meeting a stranger in-person. Remember that you don't know a potential date that you've met online. Because it's pretty rare nowadays to meet romantic partners through work or friends, finding people online to date is becoming more and more common.

Since a lot of communication quickly happens through dating apps, including texting and sending pictures, this can create a false sense of intimacy. Communicating intensely also creates an urge for immediate gratification. It's imperative that you don't advance things too quickly with someone you're talking to online -- always take things slow and play it safe.

Steer clear of creating a fantasy

Steer clear of creating a fantasy

Chances are, the person you're talking to on Tinder doesn't run in your work or social circles. Because they are a complete stranger, it's easy to create a fantasy of the other person before meeting. Keep in mind, too, that people represent idealized versions of themselves on social media. Depending on how people choose to portray themselves on dating apps and websites will elicit different responses from you. And the more you talk to a person before actually meeting them, the more likely it is for you to create fantasies about them. That's why it's essential to meet up with someone in-person reasonably quickly to see any potential red flags they might have.

Dating is more than just ticking off boxes

Dating is more than just ticking off boxes

Online dating apps and websites allow you to search for potential partners based on height, education, ethnicity, age, kinkiness and more. These filters help you to find people that meet your specific criteria. This, according to Psychology Today, "leads to the idea that you can keep swiping to find someone better or more ideal, reinforcing the notion that there are unlimited possibilities out there." But endless possibilities make it harder for you to discover who is right for you. To date successfully, you have to be willing to invest your mind, heart, and time.

Expert tips for dating online

Expert tips for dating online

Here are some expert tips for helping you overcome challenges when it comes to dating in the digital age:

  • You shouldn't message someone for too long. Instead, limit yourself to a few messages and then move on to talking on the phone.
  • Don't send too many text messages without a response. This can make you feel bad and also make the other person feel overwhelmed.
  • If you haven't heard from someone, feel free to message them, asking when you can get together again. They might answer you rather than ghosting.
  • Evaluate a potential partner's relationships with other people, including their family, friends, and exes. Do they trash talk exes? Are they close with their friends and family?
  • Always be upfront with what you're looking for, whether it's a casual or serious relationship.
  • Remember that you can find what you're looking for with some time and effort.
The odds are in your favor

The odds are in your favor

Because there are so many people dating online, the odds are in your favor that you'll find someone who's right for you. The key to successfully dating online is to take things slow when it comes to texting, meet up in-person within a reasonable timeframe, give the other person a chance, and be upfront with what you're looking for. Follow these tips, and you'll be able to find a partner in no time!

References
  1. "Online Dating Rules: Tips for Success in the Digital Age," eHarmony, n.d.
  2. "The Ultimate Guide to Dating in the Digital Age," Psychology Today, February 7, 2018.

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