Five Must-Have Online Dating Tips for Beginners

Ready for online dating tips for beginners? Great!  Because these days online dating has become even harder to master.  But it is also the most fruitful way to find a wonderful match. One in three marriages in the U. S. now begin online. And online relationships progress to marriage faster. And they are happier marriages that last longer!

Digital dating has changed the landscape of love.

An estimated 200 million singles globally now use digital dating services each month. Not only have dating websites grown exponentially but dating apps have brought thousands of single men right to the phone in the palm of your hand. Your dating choices are now almost unlimited.

Bottom line: Your chances of finding real soulmate love have never been better.

But when you start out, you are also facing a downside to all these ‘meet’ markets. There is tremendous competition, right off the bat. Ten percent of all new dating profiles do not belong to real people.  Dating companies pad their numbers, especially in the startup phase, so that they can offer a better gender ratio or greater overall numbers.  So you have to know which sites to go on.  Ghosting, where people abruptly disappear on you without warning and for no apparent reason, has become common. But you can avoid almost all these issues and come out ahead in online dating.  In fact you can have the time of your life dating up a storm, meet great guys and finally find the one!

Here are 5 must-have online  dating tips for beginners

#1 Lower Your Expectations!

Yes, you read that right! To lay the groundwork and prevent burn out and frustration you need to do one thing:  Lower your expectations.  This may sound like I am contradicting what I said about the great guys being out there. But I’m not.  Remember, this is a numbers game. You’ll probably need to sort through many guys quickly in order to find the good matches.  Many of the men will simply disappear, as they are also sorting quickly. Ghosting is common. Remember, on apps, 49% who message a match never even get a response. This will take some time. At this point I really want you to avoid suffering by EXPECTING NOTHING. Then when the good ones come along and stick around you will be pleasantly surprised.

Please write down this statement and post it near your computer where you can see it out of the corner of your eye:

I am playfully looking at guys and they are playfully looking at me. I EXPECT NOTHING.

Now let’s get you set up to meet lots of guys.

#2 Your Photo is Everything

Men are visual creatures. When they scan women’s profiles, they sort based on photos. According to, men are fourteen times more likely to look at a profile that has a photo. They can’t help it—this visual scanning behavior is based in their biology. When men look at the faces of beautiful women, the part of the brain associated with dopamine, the all-too-powerful falling-in-love chemical of love we described in the last chapter, actually increases in activity. Men consciously and unconsciously choose beauty because it gives them a better chance at healthy reproduction. Beautiful women are often healthier women with the right amount of estrogen. I know this may offend you, but you can’t fight biology.

You can make it work in your favor, however. First and foremost, you must put time and energy into getting your best photo for your profile. You want a great head shot of you, with no one else in the photo.

If you’re thinking, I’m not exactly Angelina Jolie—there go my chances, think about all those makeovers you’ve seen in magazines and on TV shows: everyone is beautiful; it just needs to be brought out. You have to find your signature look: the hair, makeup, and clothing that make you pop. Find some professionals who can help you.

Creating Your Look

  • Optimize your hair and get your makeup done or do it yourself so that you look and feel your best. Most men like soft, longish, touchable hair and makeup that is not too obvious or overdone. Splurge on getting an updated haircut from a trendy salon. Get your makeup done for free at a high-end department store. (You don’t need to buy their high-priced products—duplicate the colors with drugstore brands if your budget is tight.) Make sure you are surprised and happy about how good you look.
  • No matter whether you have A cups or DD—buy or find a flattering top that has a scoop neckline. You want to show skin up there, although not too much. You want to look beautiful, with a touch of sexiness, as men like a hint of sexuality in a serious partner. However, avoid looking slutty.

Taking the Photo

  • Have a friend who is a fabulous photographer take over a hundred head shots of you to find one that is so good it surprises you. Make sure you take at least one hundred; although it sounds like a lot, the whole process will get you over the hump of holding back or being shy on camera. You can also have your photo done by a professional photographer who knows how to interact playfully and help his or her subject to be real. If you take this route, make sure your photo looks casual.
  • If you are having trouble loosening up, deliberately take some “bad” photos where you are overly serious or silly. This technique, used by professional models to warm up for a shoot, will get you into play mode and guarantee that some good pix will be snapped.
  • Make your photo warm and inviting. As you look into the camera think about your love intention, something like I give myself a warm, loving life partner. Or imagine that a man you really love is giving you the biggest compliment! Think about whatever brings a twinkle to your eyes and gives you a real smile. Men rate women who make eye contact and smile in photos as more beautiful. For example, on an app, a smile increases your chances of being right-swiped by 14%. Finally, try heightening the contrast to make your photo pop.
  • Take a second or third picture that shows you in your element—whether that is at the top of a mountain or with your beloved pooches. Again, do not include photos with others.
  • Take some full-body shots that are flattering to your figure. Experimentally add the best one to your profile to see how that affects your responses.

Do I need to go through all of this?

Okay, I know putting all this work into photos or profiles may make you annoyed or squeamish about having to sell yourself. But this is what it takes to go for it. You need to shine and distinguish yourself from others. It’s what you did it to get into college or grad school. You did it to get the job you wanted. So now do it to get the love of your life. Because if you want to ditch your single days you have to put your best self out there. Period.

The truth is, when our clients do this process, they can become quite smitten—with themselves! Liz puts it this way:

I worked on my hair, makeup and got a gorgeous outfit to have my photo done by a professional. When I saw it I was blown away! I’m a hottie now! Still go back and forth sometimes, but the hottie comes out more and more and is here to stay forever (at least until I’m 90)!

#3 Your Screen Name and Profile Need to Pop and Promote Engagement

To differentiate yourself from all the other women out there, your screen name and profile have to be real, upbeat, engaging, and clever representations of who you are. Ask three of your best friends to write up a one-paragraph description of you, highlighting your unique and wonderful qualities. You will work off this assignment and put together an optimal screen name and profile that is 100 percent you and stands out.

Sizzlin’ Screen Names

Dos: Screen names like BubblyBritRioGirlinNYCRareYetWellDoneLovingSmartNFun all pop. Because they give guys a vivid picture of your personality. Try variations on these examples, or other positive and creative examples you can see by logging on to a major site as a guy looking for a woman. Also, appeal to men’s hobbies and interests in a clever way. FoxyFootballFanILuvGolferss, or MatchPointMatch will catch the eye of a guy who shares your interests. Similarly, you can create screen names that appeal to baseball enthusiasts, lawyers, doctors, or Sudoku players.

The Perfect Profile

For the profile, start by working off your friends’ write-ups. Be honest and lead with your most inviting and wonderful qualities. Are you funny? A people person? Do you have a quick mind? Are you creative? Write about it. Then throw in some quirky, endearing, or funny specifics. For example, you can say that you are a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle person or you love music from the eighties. List your interests that men would be likely to share. For example, you might mention hiking with the Sierra Club, wine dinners, or your favorite sports team. Ask a question about these interests to invite a conversation.  Barbara, a people-person Realtor, writes:

I have that approachable quality where people think I’m someone they know. I’m a fiercely loyal friend and a good listener who loves storytellers. I also love the thrill of the deal, am pretty handy in the kitchen and a great speller. I love peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, baseball games, stand-up comics, kissing and spur-of-the-moment road trips, especially to Big Sur.  Love adventures, large or small. What adventures call to you?

 Less is More When it comes to Describing Your Ideal Match

When you write about an ideal match, make it short and general. Less is more—you don’t want the man feeling like he can’t measure up to a long list of qualities. Also, remember that you are going to be filling your Dating Program of Three dance card, which will include guys who at first are “not really your type.”  End this section with a beautiful vision of the love future you are creating for yourself and your special guy. Something like the following works fine:

Looking for a good-hearted, successful man who wants an extraordinary committed, joy-filled relationship with his best friend and lover. We will make each other happy, we won’t be bored, we will create & discover things.  Being with you will feel like home.

You want to cast a wide net to capture men who are interested and then do the picking and choosing. And you want to see who vibes with your vision of love. When you do start sorting through your responses, you can then choose men whose profiles indicate that they are in the correct age range, successful, and are looking for your kind of long-term relationship and children, if you want them.

End With a Call to Action

You want to come across as inviting and suggesting connection at the end of your profile.  When you message in this way, it helps a guy take action in your direction.  For example:

Does this resonate?  Message me.  I’m looking forward to seeing the twinkle in your eyes.

Or if you have just described an amazing vision of love, you can refer to that.For example: Our relationship will be full of laughter, full of love and full of understanding.  It is going to be a great life! “Yes?” Let’s get started.

If You are Using an App, Use these Key Tips to Bond with Guys and Create Conversations

Because there so many choices and you can only put a brief profile on an app (for example, Tinder only allows 500 characters), your profile needs to stand out so you catch a guy’s attention and engage him immediately. You want to invite conversation from the get-go. Playfulness, a bit of silliness, or revealing your own little quirks and details about your life work well.  In addition, be sure to ask a question to get things going between you.  For example, you can ask, What’s your hidden talent?  Or, So here I am. What are your other 2 wishes? Or, Excited about scuba diving in the Bahamas. If you have any tips let me know!

Hinge reports that answering the question Most Spontaneous Thing I’ve Done increases your likelihood of getting a response by 61%.  For example, you might say, Most Spontaneous Thing I’ve Done: Took off for Burning Man the day after I realized I could!

Another option that works well, especially with the 35 and over crowd on apps, is to just go with the general guidelines I gave earlier for longer site profiles. But on apps you must do so in an abbreviated way.

Online Dating Tips for Beginners: Sample App Profile

Profession:  Nursing and loving it

What I bring to the table is caring, girl-next-door charm, smarts & a sense of humor that catches you off guard!

I’m all about following my heart. Always root for the underdog. Can get freaked out by heights but still leap. Make bucket lists & love crossing things off.  Love travel & working out.

You’re looking for an amazing relationship with a true partner in sublime & you’re up for slow dancing in the living room once in a while

So here I am. What are your other 2 wishes?

Note:  These first three tips for your digital dating photo and profile creation are pivotal keys to you finding a wonderful soulmate match.  Feel free to copy a phrase or two from the sample profiles if they describe you.  There are so many people in the digital dating world that it won’t matter!

#4  Work a Larger Site and One App or Boutique Site

Below are the top online U.S. and U.K. dating sites and apps.  I would like you to be a paid subscriber on two: one large site, such as Match, or Eharmony, and one app like Tinder or a specialized site like JDate,, or Browse through different sites, reading the profiles. But, no matter what, go with your intuition in picking a site.

#5 Master the Search Engine Secrets & Get More Results

A highly ranked profile can increase your visibility and generate more responses. When men run a search for women and you meet the criteria, you will land at the top of their search results, ahead of other women, just by following a few simple rules. For example, some sites allow you to pay a bit extra to boost your profile.  So definitely take advantage of this feature. On a number of sites recently updated profiles are ranked higher. You don’t have to do much to qualify. For example, just tweak your info, changing your ideal first date or hobby frequently.

On some sites, you will come up as “New” all over again if you simply delete a sentence in your profile and then replace it. Though these are easy ways to update your profile, it’s also a good idea to experiment with your photo, screen name, and profile to see if making some changes pulls in better guys.

On some sites, you have to log on repeatedly to show up in the most active searches list. So log on in the morning and leave the computer on all day. And you’ll end up netting more men by the evening. Another hack is to trade e-mails with friends to boost your activity level. But if you don’t like your yield, complain to customer service and they will send you more matches.

Note: Experiment with these techniques when you log on to other sites as well. Because if you use all 5 must-have online dating tips for beginners, you will be very pleasantly surprised at the results!