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Tips for successful online dating

By Paul Nelson | Posted - Feb 14th, 2014 @ 9:47am

SALT LAKE CITY — Fifteen or 20 years ago, people may have looked down on the concept of someone meeting their significant other over the Internet. But a growing number of people say they’re finding love online.

Some dating coaches say there are things people can do to increase their chances of finding the right person.

According to Pew Research, 23 percent of online daters say they’ve met a spouse or their significant other online. So, chances are you know someone who has done this.

Take, for instance, one of KSL's engineers, Barry Squires. He’s very happy he met his wife online. In fact, once you get him talking about it, it’s hard to get him to stop.

He said the first time he met his wife online, she didn't like his picture.

"She said, ‘I don’t want to date you. I’m not interested in you.’ Straight out,” he recalled.

They met on a dating website that isn’t around anymore. Despite his profile pic, he convinced her to meet him when he came into town for work. Luckily for him, he didn’t look exactly like his picture.

“We dated for six and a half months. It was long distance. I was in Idaho and she was in Tooele,” he said.

We don’t have time in this report for their entire story, but be assured that it’s great.

  • 66% of online daters have gone on a date with someone they met through a dating site or app
  • 23% of online daters say they have met a spouse or long term relationship through these sites
Source: Pew Research

With the thousands of people that are also looking for love online, those who are successful have to stand out somehow, said Amy Stevens with

“You can’t afford to have a profile that says, ‘I cannot believe I’m doing this. I don’t know what to say. This is so awkward.’ You wouldn’t believe how many people start out their profile that way,” she said.

Turns out, there are several ways to do this, and a lot of them revolve around what people shouldn’t do.

Don’t take it personally

Stevens said people need to leave their emotions out of the process. Someone might send out dozens of messages but only get a few responses. This could be disheartening for some people. There could be a lot of reasons why someone doesn’t reply, and many of them don’t have anything to do with the person who sent the message, Stevens said.

“Some [people] have their profile out there and they’re not even logging on to the website anymore.," she said. "Or, they’re dating someone or focused on someone else.”

Don’t focus too much on one person’s profile

A lot of people see another profile that they really like, which is good, Steven said. But they fixate on that one person and miss opportunities to meet other people.

Don’t talk about what you don’t want


Have you ever seen someone start off their profile by saying something like, “I don’t like women who play mind games, “ or, “I need a man who can handle a strong woman?” Don’t do that. Dating Coach Alisa Goodwin Snell said you shouldn’t start off with a list of demands. This can scare away potential dates.

“She needs to tell people more about her hobbies and her interests and have a positive outlook and talk about how she’s enjoying this process and looks forward to getting to know you,” Snell said.

Don’t divulge too much about your personal life

In real life, you might be a proud single father of two beautiful daughters. Or you could be the mother of a very bright boy. But when people log on to a dating website, they’re not looking for a single father of two beautiful daughters or the mother of a very bright boy. Snell said you should present yourself as a person who wants to meet other people. That’s it.

If you find someone you like, Skype with them as fast as possible

Snell said you should never, ever trust another person’s profile picture. It could have been taken 12 years and 70 pounds ago.

“Don’t plan any kind of a long-distance visit or buy any tickets until you have had a Skype visit where you can see them and you know what they look like,” Snell said.

There are also some people you should avoid forming a relationship with, Snell said. If someone tells you about their financial problems, they could be planning to hit you up for money. Also, she said you shouldn’t give in to someone who pressures you to meet them too quickly.

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