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9 online dating tips to remember before you set up your profile

My work as a marriage and family therapist in Scottsdale, Arizona helps to  instill hope and change through the use of techniques including: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Parenting Skills Training, and Brief Solution focused therapy. I u...

If you're only just setting up your Tinder account, keep these things in mind

What can you do to increase the odds of dating success? Start by remembering that it’s a journey. The process of dating can be easy if you keep in mind some anxiety reducing coping tools and mindful practices. Here are my ideas for a triumphant start to online dating.

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1. Authentic dates come from creating real profiles

Don’t fluff your profile to sell yourself — be exactly who you are. Give the details about yourself as clearly as possible while still maintaining privacy if you need that. Be authentic and honest.

2. Use a realistic profile picture

Most people are tempted to use apps that Photoshop or filter photographs to be seen in a better light. The problem with this is that you will not look like that in person. You are not going to show up at some coffee shop with a filter and the person you are meeting will be able to instantly tell you look slightly different.

Be confident in yourself and how you look.

3. Safety first

When online dating, it is best to be bit of a detective. I'm not saying you have to run background checks — even though sometimes it may be helpful (and if your intuition is telling you to run, run!). However, do not have the expectation that all people are honest because it is completely and utterly false. Always be on the safe side and meet for the first time in a public place.

4. Call it a meet up instead of a first date

Take the pressure off calling it a date when it is actually just a meet up with a potential date. Make it something simple like a quick coffee. There's no need to plan a three course meal with someone you do not know yet; save that for later.

More: Why even small lies on your online dating profile mean big trouble

5. Reduce your anxiety and stress

Dating can be a roller coaster of emotional experiences and having a support system of friends or family can help reduce your anxiety.

6. Do not just focus on physical attributes

I would suggest not choosing your matches based entirely on physical features. Not everyone will look like their photos and some people will look better than their photos in real life. If physical attraction is important to you, you might pass up a few profiles that do not stick out to you right away — that can be a mistake. Taking a chance on someone in person can let you get a feel for who they are in real life, not just on paper.

7. Choose qualities over stats

If you are exclusively looking for a male age 34 to 39 with a bachelor’s degree, a house and a love of adventure, then you are missing out on so many potential matches. I believe in being open minded in searching for love and looking for personal qualities, not checking off boxes.

For example, someone with a great sense of humor who is intelligent, honest, caring, loves his or her family and is hard working is going to be a better fit than someone who hits your key demographics.

8. Don't wait on people who don't respond

If someone is taking a long time to respond or appears to become distant, it might just be better to delete that connection and look for someone interested now.

9. Don't put too much pressure on the other person too soon

Try not to message endlessly before meeting. Instead wait until you meet and see if there is an actual connection before you continue to text after the first meeting. If that goes well, there will be plenty time for future communication.

10. Process your feelings

After you meet, it is important to process and check in with your own feelings and see how you feel. If it is positive, then hopefully you can continue to get to know this person.

Give these tips a try and see if online dating becomes a better experience, and then maybe you will be on your way to beginning a successful relationship.

More: How Tinder ignores personal chemistry for instant online attraction

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