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11 Practical Online Dating Tips for Women

Gabrielle Applebury
With contributions from Dr. Barbara R. Grossman, PhD., Marriage and Family Counselor
Finding love with online dating

If you are having a difficult time getting into online dating, know that you are not alone. Following some simple online dating tips can help you better understand your needs, as well as help you identify emotionally healthy partners. Whether you are looking for a casual relationship or a more committed one, online dating may be a great option to explore.

Online Dating Tips for Women

For anyone who identifies as a woman, online dating can feel like a whirlwind of fun, exhilarating, scary, creepy, frustrating, and magical moments. While online dating may feel daunting or exhausting, there are ways you can improve your experience.

Know Yourself

The best way to attract a healthy partner or date is to understand what your needs are and to prioritize your self-care. Keep in mind that if you aren't emotionally healthy, you aren't likely to draw in others who are emotionally healthy. People tend to attract and be attracted to others who have similar levels of emotional wellbeing. When it comes to online dating:

  • Write down what your personal and relational needs are.
  • Note what type of traits you look for in a partner or date.
  • Understand what type of treatment you'll tolerate (best to look at past examples) and set different goals if you aren't pleased with previous relational treatment.
  • If you don't feel emotionally healthy, what steps can you take to improve upon that?

Show Off Your Personality

So many people look to online dating as a great way to find a casual or serious relationship. Because there are many profiles to go through, make yours stand out by showing off what makes you unique. Think about your favorite personality traits and what your friends and/or family members say are your best qualities and note them on your profile.

Online Dating Tips for Shy Women

If you're shy, embrace it. This is a part of you, so be honest abut it and own it. There's nothing wrong with being shy, soft-spoken, introverted, or slow to warm. For shy women:

  • Check out dating sites for individuals who identify as introverted.
  • Mention this part of your personality on your dating profile. You may find others with similar traits who you may click well with.
  • Go with what you're comfortable with communication wise. Remember there's no need to change yourself or be someone you're not, especially when it comes to finding someone compatible.

Go With Your Gut

You're going to encounter a lot of people on dating sites, and chances are, you will come across someone who sets off the alarms in your head. Listen to your gut. Most of the time, it's right on when it's warning you that something feels off. Your gut may also sound off when someone feels genuine and kind-hearted. Think of your gut as the first line of defense and always continue evaluating whether what your date or partner says matches up with their behavior.

Be Mindful of Your Dating Choices

It's important to think about your past relationships to better understand what you're looking for, what your needs are, and what your unconscious relational patterns tend to look like. If you've been in unhealthy relationships in the past:

  • Think about the underlying similarities that your previous partners had in common.
  • Note if there are any early signs of unhealthy relational behavior that you can look out for.
  • Set appropriate boundaries for yourself and know that whether you are in a casual or committed relationship, you deserve to be treated with respect.
  • Make a list of behaviors that you will no longer tolerate in a date or partner.

Avoid Lying on Your Profile

Because your profile is the first impression you're going to make, it's important to be honest. It's not fair to you or those looking at your profile to be dishonest and pretend to be someone you're not. Being dishonest may also block truly compatible individuals from taking an interest in you.

Tryo Out Different Dating Sites

There are so many different options when it comes to dating sites. Take your time exploring different sites and noting which ones you like the most. Take note of:

  • What age range tends to use a particular site
  • What the user experience is like on the site
  • If the site is free or if it costs a monthly or yearly fee

Reframe Rejection

Rejection is a part of the dating process that you may experience. Rejection may feel painful, but it actually offers a huge opportunity for growth and reflection. If you feel rejected during the dating process:

  • Think about what aspects of the rejection felt most painful and why.
  • What did you learn from that particular dating experience?
  • How can you use this experience to learn more about yourself and your dating needs?

How to Stay Safe

Dating comes with certain risks. To help keep yourself as safe as possible:

  • Get to know someone a bit before meeting up in person.
  • Always meet in a public place and take your own transportation there and back.
  • Let a friend or family member know your location (can use your phone to drop a pin if possible), when you arrive, when you're heading home, and when you're home safe.

Know that you can only do so much in order to keep yourself safe, and you are never at fault if your date chooses to be inappropriate. You are only responsible for your behavior and have no control over how they choose to act.

Enlist the Help of Friends

When creating your profile, enlist the help of a trusted friend to share their thoughts on words they'd use to describe you and your best attributes.

  • Based on my profile, what kind of relationship do you think I'm looking for?
  • Is there anything you think I should change or work on?
  • What catches your attention first on my profile?

Keep It Short and Concise

Rewrite and edit your profile information or introductory messages so they are concise but still show your authentic self. Instead of launching into an essay about all your interests and how you participate in each of them, list your top few hobbies and interests. As your relationship progresses, you can get into more details.

What Is the Etiquette for Online Dating?

Tips for online dating etiquette include:

  • Be patient with their response time. Sometimes it may take a few hours before they get back to you.
  • Be honest about being interested in them or not. Nobody likes to get ghosted.
  • Be mindful about giving out personal information.
  • Connect with them on other social media sites before meeting up. This can give you a glimpse into their personality a bit more.
  • Block the individual and/or notify the dating site if you are sent an inappropriate message.

Is Online Dating Really Successful?

The definition of what makes online dating a success will depend on each user. While some individuals are looking for more casual relationships, others may be committed to finding someone to spend the rest of their life with. About 12% of those who use dating sites note being married to or in a committed relationship with someone they met through a dating site.

Tips for Online Dating Conversations

With online conversations, you'll have a little more time to edit your thoughts than you would in person. When chatting online:

How Do I Get Better at Online Dating?

It takes time to get used to online dating and to figure out what type of dating schedule works best for you. Be kind to yourself, always go with your gut, and set appropriate expectations when it comes to finding the right relationship for you.

11 Practical Online Dating Tips for Women