Nowadays, it's highly likely your next date may be with someone you met online. And while we've learned to be pretty cautious when it comes to getting acquainted with the people behind digital profiles (i.e. have a backup plan in case it doesn't go well!) you can take steps to avoid total online-dating failure by following these tips.
Listing the automatic deal breakers
When it comes to your online dating profile, it's not the best idea to start off in a negative tone by listing all the qualities you're not searching for in a partner, says Master Certified Relationship Coach Amie Leadingham. "Daters might think that by listing that information, they could filter out all the wrong people, but because they are starting with negative words and a negative tone, they might actually attract those people living in a world of negativity (the type of daters we all generally want to avoid)," she says. Leadingham recommends starting and finishing profiles with a positive tone instead, and focus on all the things you do want in life and love.
Not tapering your expectations
High expectations—and low ones—can be problems for daters, Leadingham says. "For example, if you have an amazing phone connection with another online dater, know that this is a great start," she says. "But finding love is about the finish, so slow down this excitement until this person shows you a love connection in person, too." She says good dating is about approaching a new date as a happy single who is confident in the ability to find love. But if it doesn't work out, "Then you simply say, 'No harm, no foul. I'll just move on,'" she adds.
Picking the wrong place to meet
You'll also want to skip the three-course meal and opt for a quick drink instead. "You want to keep it short and simple because if the date doesn't work out, you have a quick exit strategy," the expert adds.
Not exhibiting positive body language
Keep good eye contact during your dates. In other words, don't look at your phone or around the room. "Good eye contact, more than anything, says, 'I am interested in you and our conversation,'" Leadingham says. Also, don't cross your arms while you're on your date. "Doing this can make you look bored, even if you are not," she adds. "Put your arms somewhere comfortable. Show an approachable stance, like putting your hands on your lap if you are sitting."
Bringing up your ex
Overstepping boundaries by oversharing about your previous love life may push your date away, Leadingham says. Also, don't bring up anything on the first date that puts you in a negative place. "Talk about things that make you happy and feel empowered," she adds.