online dating

Image: Charles De Luvio/Unsplash

Five online dating mistakes: Here’s how to steer clear of them

Increase your chance for lockdown romance by knowing which online dating pitfalls to avoid.

online dating

Image: Charles De Luvio/Unsplash

If you avoid these common online dating mistakes, you’ll be on your way to kissing singlehood goodbye in no time.

As South Africa moves into Level 2 of lockdown, online dating is still the preferred choice of many to find a romantic partner.

However, whether you’re new to online dating or been at it for a while there are certain mistakes to avoid.

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Be careful of over-filtered images when you are dating online. Image: Ernan Solozabal/Unsplash

1. Don’t post over-filtered pictures

Those Instagrammable pictures with filters that make us look so much better are not suitable because they are deceptive.

According to a university study, 86% of online daters have encountered a candidate they believed had misrepresented their appearance.

Many of those in the survey identified this deception as a huge “turn off”.

It is therefore wiser to use normal pictures that are a true representation of how you look in person.

2. It’s about being you

If you’re thinking of treating your online dating journey like a job interview then you are on the wrong path.

The same study suggests that the desire to appear likable or competent makes it more likely that someone will change their true self just to secure a partner.

However remember that even though being desirable is normal, it is important to provide a truthful version of yourself.

3. Don’t use the same message every time

Deciding to copy and paste the perfect message to every candidate is setting yourself up for failure.

The notion of tailoring your clothes for a perfect fit shouldn’t just be applicable to clothes. You should also begin doing this in the online dating context.

“The perfect first message doesn’t exist because tastes, preferences and opinions of the people you’ve swiped on are as varied as those faces flying left and right,” says

Rather play around with details in your candidate’s profile to create a unique first message.

online dating
Don’t rely only on text chats when dating online. Image: Markus Winkler/Unsplash

4. Facetime, facetime, facetime

Engaging in small talk via text for days won’t help you determine if you’ve found your right partner. You need to see the person as well.

In her online dating study, the University of California’s Jenifer Gibbs suggests meeting a person shortly after initial communication.

This will help to avoid building a fantasy persona of your candidate based on the limited cues of text.

During lockdown you may have had to replace a physical meeting with online communications. However at least chat over voice, and preferably via video, where you can see each other.

Facial expressions and verbal cues can help you deduce if there’s actually a spark.

5. Don’t assume everyone is the one

Expectation is the root of heartache.”

William Shakespeare

Thinking you’ve met your partner for life after the first glance can lead to utter disappointment.

It’s best to avoid believing you’ve found the one based only on your candidate’s profile.

Rather be patient and allow time to reveal if you’ve indeed found your romantic partner.

Online matchmaker Paul Brunson also gives his tips on finding love over lockdown in this brief tutorial: