I’ve been meeting people off the internet since I had 50,000 friends on Myspace. I know what you’re thinking: There is not one thing in that sentence that I should not be embarrassed about. The internet, as you may already know, has made connecting to people easier than literally stepping out your front door. I’ve met dozens of people from various websites and I think it’s an absolutely wonderful thing.
Using OKCupid or other dating sites can be overwhelming, and I’ll be the first to admit that online dating is a different scene in every city. Unlike sites like Myspace, Tumblr and Facebook, there is no hidden agenda. You’re only on a dating site for dating or “dating”. By creating an account on a dating site, you’re admitting to wanting to meet someone. That kind of honesty is hard, I get it.
If you’ve made an account on one of the magical dating sites, I’m proud of you. You’re strong and deserve as many dates as you can get your hands on. (With consent, of course.) The next step is to do this right. For your convenience, I have made a list of my fav tips for dating success and most important safety precautions while dealing with the wonderful world of meeting a potential partner via the interwebs.
1. Only message / message back people who you are willing to meet.
2. Don’t talk/text/message any longer than 1-2 weeks before meeting. You don’t want to over-hype your feelings for someone, or get to know them TOO too well before you meet. In real life, it is always different. Always.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions before you meet to make sure that you’re safe. Ask them what they’re looking for, what they’re interested in, how many people they’ve met and how well their dates have gone. If they say everyone is crazy: run. Run fast.
4. Look at their answers to questions! OKCupid will give you your match and friendship percent. These are kind of important. If they haven’t answered any questions, and your percentage is 0%, they’re probably just on there for sex. If that’s what you’re looking for, go for it!
5. Stay safe! Try to meet during the day, for one to two hours, with an easy get-a-way strategy. Meet somewhere public and tell a roommate where you’re going. Meeting the right person offline is the perfect balance of taking a chance and being weary of who is behind the computer screen.