When you’re young, a school or college environment makes it easy to meet new people for friendships and relationships alike. One aspect of adulthood no one prepares you for, though, is how much this changes in your 20s.
That’s why more and more people are using their computers to meet new dates instead. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 engaged or recently married couples met online last year.
You don’t have to sign up for every dating site around, either. Social networks like Facebook are great ways to meet dates and spark romances. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it, though. That’s why our experts have put together some tips on how to date on Facebook.
How to Date on Facebook: 10 Easy Tips
Successfully dating on Facebook takes some prep work, and these tips can help you get started.
1. Update Your Profile Often
If you haven’t updated your Facebook profile since 2012, chances are that it’s no longer a reflection of your personal brand. Keeping your town of residence, occupation, interests, and other categories up to date can help potential dates recognize that you have common interests.
2. Make Your Profile Photo an Eye-Catcher
Sure, your photo is technically part of your profile, but this is so important that it deserves its own spot on the list. While your profile says a lot about you, the first things people see on Facebook are your name and your photo.
Your online profile photo should be flattering and should show off your style. Above all, though, it needs to be accurate. You might get more dates with a picture from 20 years ago, but those dates probably won’t lead to a relationship because you started it with dishonesty.
A professional profile photographer, though, can produce a picture that’s flattering to the way you honestly look.
3. Take Advantage of the Digital Divide
One of the most intimidating parts of dating in person is the fear of saying the wrong thing. Sometimes words just come out incorrectly.
In online dating, on the other hand, you have the advantage of being able to think before you send a message. Take as much time as you need to re-read it, think about how it will sound from his/her perspective, and correct if necessary.
4. Join Groups
Look for Facebook groups that speak to your interests, like a group dedicated to a particular type of music or a group for hikers. This is a great way to meet people who already share your interests, paving the way for a fun and lasting relationship.
5. Check Out “People You May Know”
Facebook’s “People You May Know” feature can be your best friend when it comes to online dating. Some people are uncomfortable when they get a friend request from someone they have no connection to, so if you have a mutual friend, it’s a great conversational gateway.
As a bonus, you can ask your mutual friend about the person you’re interested in before you actually send him/her a friend request.
The mutual friend can tell you, first of all, if you’re interested in a real person (we’ve all heard or even experienced a “catfishing” story). They can also tell you a bit about the person you’re interested in, and give you their opinion about why it may or may not be a good match.
6. Get to Know His/Her Profile, But With Caution
Just like the tips above led you to put thought into your Facebook profile, the person you’re interested in has probably done the same. Check out the profile to get to know him/her better and to find out if you have common interests and compatibility.
However, it’s easy to take this too far. If you find yourself scrolling through status updates from eight years ago and every comment he/she has posted since then, you need to take a step back.
7. Catch Up with People from Your Past
Sometimes the best people to date are people you’ve already known in the past. Think back on past flames that fizzled out or just friends and acquaintances in whom you saw potential.
Remember, when you’re approaching someone you haven’t seen in a long time, that social media profile photo is even more critical.
8. Remember That Your Posts are Public
This sounds simple, but it happens more often than you’d think. People indulge in the unfortunate world of Facebook insult battles, then wonder why they can’t find dates online.
Before you post anything, ask yourself, “Is this something I’d say in front of a person I wanted to date?” In reality, potential dates can see what you’ve posted, so pause to think about how your post could affect your image.
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t feel free to be yourself, but you should strive to be the best version of yourself you can be, and that means keeping compassion in your words.
9. Use Facebook As a Post-Date Follow-Up
Facebook has far more uses in the dating world than an initial meet-up. It can also be a casual and fun way to keep in touch between dates. For example, the day or two after your date, send him/her a message about what a great time you had.
10. Make it “Facebook Official”
Everyone talks about the negative effect social media has had on personal communication, but did you know Facebook can help your relationship?
After you’ve been dating for some time and you’re ready to add a layer of commitment, making the relationship “Facebook official” can be the perfect next step. Just make sure you’re both on the same page about it first.
Online Dating in the Social Media Era
As popular as dedicated online dating sites are, people are already spending massive amounts of time on social media, so this can be a perfect dating tool. From mastering your profile picture to following up after a date, the tips above can help you make the most of technology in your search for The One.
For more tips about how to date on Facebook and how to make all of your online profiles reflect your personality, check out our professional profile photo blog. If you’re looking for professional pictures for your online profile, be sure to book our services today.