Social Media The NEW Online Dating

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re most likely one of the millions of people that belong to a social media site of one kind or another. Facebook, Twitter, MeetUp, FourSquare, MyLife, Google+ ... all of these sites are becoming dominant parts of people’s social life. And though many credit the social media phenomenon with increased difficulty in dating, these sites also offer unique solutions to dating and finding love.

Just like any dating service, you have a profile on your social media sites that describes you, your likes and dislikes. Others can search you or your interests and learn more about you, and you can do the same with others. You make the connection on your own, instead of encouraged by an administrator or representative that doesn’t really know either person in the equation. And, with just a few tweaks to your profile or communication approach, you can enjoy both the search for and the discovery of a new friend and companion.

Begin by making sure your profile is searchable by others. This often means loosening some of the privacy settings on your account, but you can compensate by pulling more personal information offline. Resist the urge to set up a separate account just for dating as this is normally frowned upon by social media sites and sends the message to others that you may be concealing something unsavory. Post a lot of photos of yourself or talk openly about what you enjoy – this is how people get to know you. Resist the urge to embellish or make up details or doctor photos. This always ends poorly. Do feel free to crop photos if you’re worried about privacy and don’t want to reveal specific information about your location, or frequently-visited places. Maximize the possibilities of the network itself. Facebook has a dating component, as does Twitter, and you can join communities like “looking for love” or start using hash tags like #wheresmissright to attract the attention of like-minded singles.

When you do “meet” someone, be polite and friendly. Try and resist the urge to comment on appearance with “you’re hot” or “you’ve got a great rack.” It’s just as unsavory online as it is in person, even if you don’t get the drink poured on you or see the disdain on someone else’s face. Instead, try to start up a chat or conversation based on shared interests. “I saw you like Chinese food. Have you ever been to House of Nanking?” is a much better opener. As the conversation grows, be sure to talk about what it is you’re looking for in a relationship or in a partner. And when you get to this point, you’re probably ready to meet in person. Start with something simple like lunch, dinner or drinks in a public place. Or, take in a sporting event like a football game. Avoid movies as this won’t give you much chance to talk. Afterwards, watch your social media traffic. Nothing ends your chances with someone like a wall post about wishing someone had put out, or a tweet that you went to meet up with another girl later that night. A good rule of thumb is don’t post anything on your social media sites you wouldn’t say to someone’s face, or to their best friend. Nervous about how to get started? Or is the connection a long-distance one? Try a video date on video chat or Skype. You just may find someone with whom you “click.”