Finding a Soul Mate in a Sea of Strangers

By Cassandra C. Poculan
Photo: Associated Press
Illustrations: John Gilbert Manantan

 

ONLINE dating has become more common in recent years. Bringing with it its fair share of success and horror stories, it may be one of the quickest ways to score a date but it sure isn’t easy to weed out the bad ones. From large and broad sites to niche apps, there’s something for everyone. It just requires patience and following the customary code of online conduct or, as how they call it these days, netiquette.

1. Be your truest self.

Sure, you want to stand out as it can get competitive out there but remember that the end goal is to date someone who’s compatible with who you truly are, not with who you’re pretending to be. So fill out your profile as honestly as possible, even if it means admitting how many times you’ve watched The Notebook and cried each time.

2. Put your best photos forward.

Most sites or apps allow you to upload five to 10 pictures on your profile. Make sure these have a decent quality so avoid using those from which you have to crop yourself out. Also, do your potential matches a favor and take the guesswork out by not uploading group photos. Some tend to swipe you left or right based on your primary photo alone, so make it a good one.

3. Beware of generic openers.

Just because the person looks every bit like your dream partner, does not mean you should believe every line on his bio or in his first message. A lot of online daters craft seemingly special messages that sound like they were meant only for you when they’re actually sent to dozens of other matches. If it’s you making the first move, try being more authentic by saying how you like this or that part where the person mentioned a recent trip to South America, and asking a little more about it.

4. No divulging of personal information.

While you can list down all your likes and dislikes and even describe each as little or as much as you want to, it should go without saying that home addresses, personal numbers, and bank account numbers should be left out. Scammers are everywhere, and they may try to talk you into taking the communication offline or into another messaging app, or pretend to be stuck in a remote area where they can’t access their account and therefore ask you for help.

5. Be specific about what you want.

Establish your boundaries, be assertive on what you can and can’t put up with, and let them know from the get-go what you’re truly looking for. This helps you filter out Ms. or Mr. Right from Ms. or Mr. Right Now.

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