Socially Single: Guide to the world of online dating

Kelsey_1By Kelsey Foster

Chances are, if you have been single any time in the last 10 years, you’ve tried or at least considered online dating. In my opinion, for the over 30 crowd, online dating is one of the best ways to meet new people. There are a plethora of dating sites, from general (i.e. to specific (i.e. with many wonderful people looking to meet someone new. However, meeting people online isn’t without its drawbacks. Here is a quick guide to navigating the wild world of online dating.

Keep your profile concise: Your profile should be easy to read and just give people an overview into what makes you so great. No need to go into tons of detail about your hobbies, interests, deal-breakers, or career history. Save that information for when you are dating and getting to know someone. Keep it to under 300 words and a few short paragraphs. Also, include one or two unique things about yourself that will make your profile memorable. Everyone likes walks on the beach and romantic dinners; stand out by writing something different!

Post flattering and current photos: Of course we were all thinner and less wrinkled 20-plus years ago. However, you want to show prospective dates what you look like now. If you don’t have any photos that you like, why not invest in some new ones? Many photographers will do headshots and give you a few options to choose from for under $200. Or grab a friend and camera and head to the beach. Spend 30 minutes taking a bunch of photos using the gorgeous Edmonds waterfront as a backdrop.

Be safe when meeting: Yes, dating protocol in the past included the man picking up his date at her home and driving together to the date. But times have changed and it is much safer to agree to meet your date at the selected venue. I recommend meeting at a public place the first several dates. Only after gaining trust and learning more about this person should you disclose your home address. This goes for both women and men! For the first couple of dates, I also recommend having a friend or family member know who you are going out with and where you are meeting. Agree to check-in during the date and once you are home via text or phone call.

Online Dating Red Flags
Now, some of the things to be aware of…while the majority of people out there on online dating sites are genuinely there to meet, date, and possibly fall in love, there are many dishonest folks who use these sites for other reasons.

Unfortunately, there are married people who use online dating sites for everything from a little confidence boost to outright cheating. If someone doesn’t have a photo on their profile, won’t disclose where they work, can only email or text and not talk on the phone, there is a strong chance they aren’t being totally honest about being single. Proceed with caution if at all!

For some people, they like the anonymity of the Internet and use dating sites as a way to portray themselves as how they wish they were rather than who they really are. If someone wants to endlessly email back and forth but has reasons why they can’t meet in person, be wary. A good rule of thumb is to email back and forth a few times, then move to a phone call. After one conversation a date to meet in person should be planned. If not, proceed with caution!

Before meeting in person, I think there is nothing wrong with asking to see a person’s LinkedIn profile or some other form of proof that they are who they say they are. Only a person with something to hide will balk at that suggestion!

Do you have questions about online dating? Share them below! I hope these tips help you in your adventures with online dating. Have fun and be safe!

Kelsey Foster is a dating coach and author in Edmonds. She is releasing a new book this month titled Adios, Heartbreak. Find out more information on her website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.