The 10 Commandments of Online Dating

Joseph Oliveto

Nov 16 2020

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Online dating websites and apps have helped countless people find everything from casual partners to their soulmates. They could do the same for you.

That doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to have an ideal experience just because you signed up for an online dating service. You need to remember certain essential dating tips to maximize your odds of success. These are 10 of the most important:

Online Dating’s 10 Commandments: 10 Dating Rules You Must Remember

1. Thou Shalt Not Use Boring Openers

Online dating platforms have made it incredibly easy for people to find virtually any type of romantic relationship, whether they’re looking for long-term love or casual fun.

That said, it’s no secret that some people complain about not having ideal experiences using online dating sites or apps. There are many reasons this may be the case, but often, they complain that few people actually respond when they send messages introducing themselves to matches.

However, many of these people, when pressed, will also admit that the opening messages they send are very generic, consisting of “Hey” or “What’s up?” most of the time.

Matches often don’t even notice such messages. For a message to stand out, it needs to be at least somewhat unique.

That doesn’t mean you should resort to corny pick-up lines! Instead, it’s often best to open with a message that touches on some aspect of the match’s profile. This shows you took the time to actually try learning something about them before reaching out.

2. Thou Shalt Not Get Angry

Being rejected is never a pleasant experience. That said, the feelings you struggle with when someone rejects you on an online dating platform don’t justify lashing out at them. You’re not doing anyone any favors by letting your anger dictate your behavior.

This isn’t just an online dating rule. It’s an important dating rule in general, whether you met someone online or not.

3. Thou Shalt Not be Impatient

This ties in with the dating rule covered above. On most (if not all) online dating platforms, communication with a match begins when you send messages through the platform itself. Eventually, you and a match may be comfortable enough to exchange numbers. In the meantime, though, they’ll need to be actively using the online dating site or app to both see and respond to your messages.

That means you shouldn’t necessarily expect them to respond the moment you send a message. People have different schedules and lifestyles. People also use online dating apps differently. Some people check and respond to messages multiple times a day. Others may go days or even weeks without checking for messages. If you give up on someone simply because they haven’t gotten back to you yet, you might miss out on what could have been a genuine romantic opportunity.

4. Thou Shalt Not Lie

This should go without saying. Sadly, according to surveys, lying is more common than it should be in the world of online dating.

It’s tempting to make yourself appear more desirable to potential matches by lying about your income or lifestyle. However, if this tactic does get someone’s attention, once you get to know each other, they’ll eventually learn you’ve misrepresented yourself. Don’t expect them to “give you a chance” anyway once they find out you’re not a multimillionaire tech entrepreneur!

man using online dating app on phone

You should also try to be as honest as possible about the “little details.” Sure, pretending you’re passionate about art to impress a match who loves art is less serious than pretending you just landed a record deal or invented the next Facebook, but if you lie too much about your interests and tastes, you may end up wasting your time pursuing someone who isn’t a good match for you.

5. Thou Shalt Not Send Sexual Messages (without Consent)

Getting angry when someone rejects you isn’t the only way you can harass someone via online dating apps. Sending unwanted sexual messages or images is another form of harassment some people encounter when using these platforms.

It’s entirely okay to send all the sexual content and pics you want if you and a match know each other well enough to be comfortable with those types of exchanges. Of course, you also need their consent. Until you’ve reached that stage, sexting is out of the question.

6. Thou Shalt Not Expect Much if Thine Profile is Boring

Just as you shouldn’t be surprised if someone doesn’t respond when you message them with the words “Hi” or “Hey,” you also shouldn’t expect potential matches to realize what a catch you are if your profile doesn’t give them much to go on.

You may very well have a lot to offer a romantic partner. But, if all your pictures are generic selfies, and your bio is essentially empty (or it doesn’t say much about you that makes you sound any different from everyone else out there), how exactly is anyone supposed to realize that?

Impressing matches through online dating platforms takes a little bit of work. Luckily, following this dating rule is not exactly hard work. All you have to do is demonstrate why you’re interesting and unique. Since most of us (whether we’ll admit it or not) like talking about ourselves from time to time, that shouldn’t be too difficult.

7. Thou Shalt Keep it Casual (at First)

You might connect with someone through an online dating platform who’ll eventually be the type of partner with whom you can share your deepest secrets, desires, and thoughts.

woman using online dating site on computer

However, when you first start messaging with someone you’ve met online, most of the time, it’s best to stick to lighter topics. If a conversation naturally turns more serious, that’s fine, but you don’t want to force the conversation in that direction. Doing so may scare off a match.

8. Thou Shalt Research Your Options

Choosing the wrong platform is another reason some people have negative experiences with online dating.

Research your options to make sure you’re not wasting your time. For example, if it’s important to you that your romantic partner be a Christian, you might have the most success on Christian Mingle. If you want to limit your matches to people over the age of 50, SilverSingles might be a better option.

9. Thou Shalt Move On When It’s Time To

Don’t assume you’re handling a rejection well simply because you didn’t throw a tantrum. You can still make someone else’s online dating experience a lot less enjoyable than it should be if you keep asking them to reconsider once they’ve rejected you.

Following this dating rule will also help you ensure your own online dating experience is as pleasant as possible. It’s highly unlikely someone will change their mind and agree to go on a date with you because you begged or pestered them.

You’ll get much more from online dating if you accept their decision and move on. There’s someone out there. There may even be several! Someone who rejects you simply isn’t one of them.

10. Thou Shalt be Honest About Thine Intentions

This is another online dating rule that has to do with being honest. Again, people have different reasons for using online dating platforms. Some are looking for a soulmate. Some are looking for casual hookups. Some are interested in casual dating, but they’re open to a more serious relationship if they hit it off with a match.

Remember this essential dating rule as soon as you sign up for a dating website or app: you should have a sense of what you’re looking for from the start. You also need to be honest about what you’re looking for when getting to know matches. If you’re attracted to a match, but they’ve made it clear they want something long-term, while you’re only interested in hooking up right now, don’t lie. You’ll just be wasting both their time and your time.

Finally, don’t let these dating rules intimidate you. Online dating can be extremely fun! When you keep certain dating tips in mind, it’s more likely to be.

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