Navigating the online dating world 101: Discover love app-tually once and for all

25 February 2019
By Fashion Quarterly

Because WTF does DTF mean?

There is no denying that waiting for Mr. or Mrs. Right to appear feels longer than the excruciating wait for your Uber Eats to arrive when you’re hungover past the point of patience.

In the world of dating, the process is nothing at all like in the movies. So when there’s no dreamboat standing outside your window with a  boom box blasting your fave song, turning to the digital world for a helping hand to find the one can seem like a good option to hurry along Prince Charming.

It’s not like the good ol’ days your mum harps on about “when she was your age”. There are terms, etiquette and behaviours that are constantly changing with more frequency than an iOS update.

Luckily, missing out on all the action isn’t such a bad thing, ’cause digital dating methods have been tried and tested, many times before you. So, sitting back and letting the trial run its course while you did you, has in essence, worked in your favour. If in doubt, scroll what not to do via @tindernightmares.

Here’s the advice you need to know to help you navigate the online dating world – without making the same mistakes everyone else made:


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Your profile:

First impressions count and when you’re doing digital, they’re your difference between a swipe left or a swipe right — AKA everything. Online dating is a hub of convenience, so don’t make your short window to be seen an understood harder than it needs to be during someones swipe fest.

Do: Fill in your bio with brief but interesting information about you. A bio littered with emojis describing you doesn’t count!
Do: Have a variety of candid images of yourself, keep it to 3 maximum. No bikini pics, please!

Don’t: Use your profile to promote yourself e.g. ‘follow me on Instagram!’  in your bio. You’re looking for love not followers, right?
Don’t: Include negative statements: “looking for an upgrade from my ex” or “hot people only, please” – a bad attitude will just scare everyone off or attract the wrong people.
Don’t: Upload images with other people – you might look amazing in that pic with your nan, but you don’t want any potential suitors getting you two confused!

Keep reading: Online dating terms everyone should know


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Starting the conversation:  

When you’ve made your first match, it may seem as if you’ve struck gold ( finally), but be sure to approach the conversation all light-hearted and with ease. The initial conversation sets the tone for the type of person you are, so make sure you don’t paint a picture that you’ll regret later. Remember, it’s a dating environment, not a job interview.

Do: Start the conversation. You can’t always expect your phone to be blowing up with messages. You are allowed to be the one to make an effort and say hello first.
Do: Use your sense of humour. Create an environment that’s not serious or intimidating by having a laugh. You’ll say some awkward things or send some awkward typos, treat others the way you’d want to be treated in those situations (and hopefully, they’ll do the same too!)
Do: Keep in mind that this person is a stranger, so be sure to not give away too much information that jeopardises your privacy

Don’t: Expect them to message you back straight away and/or get annoyed if they don’t.
Don’t: Ask them about what they’re looking for, query about their ex, or ask for any intrusive information.
Don’t:  Act too keen – keep your cool, there are plenty of fish in the sea and you haven’t even met yet.


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Maintaining manners:

Regardless of whether you fancy the person who you’re chatting to or not, maintaining a polite disposition is essential to practising and maintaining a safe digital presence – your future self will thank you for the habits you form online! Trust us. 

Do: If you’re not interested, politely let the person know. Leading someone on for your own agenda is a big no-no
Do: Be genuine, kind and respectful – always. Remember that there are only two degrees of separation in New Zealand, ladies!

Don’t: Put down, insult or try and force the other individual to disclose information.
Don’t: Be the girl blowing up his phone when they’re clearly not interested. Handle rejection like a boss and swipe your way closer to a better catch.

Words: Maxine Fourie
Images: Getty Images, Instagram


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