Pauline Plott

Pauline became a dating guru after learning the psychology behind modern romance and signing up for every dating website in pursuit of relationship bliss.

Are you looking for love?

Have you been unable to find that special someone?

Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Each year, hundreds of thousands of couples who met online tie the knot and five percent of married Americans say they met their partner online. With figures like these, it is clear that online dating is effective when approached correctly.

That’s where I come in.

The gang at DatingSpot.co.uk has created the ultimate online dating resource, providing you with everything you need to know before embarking on one of the most important journeys you will ever take.

With everything from reviews to tips and guides, I aim to be your go-to person for all things dating.

Choosing The Right Online Dating Service

The matchmaking process actually begins before you even create a profile. 

Finding the right dating service for you is vital to optimizing your experience. 

Although I can’t tell you which site would suit you best, here are some things you should think about before settling.

Niche or General?

Jdate niche dating websiteA niche dating website caters to people looking for a certain quality that they have in common. This can range from the practical, with sites dedicated to serving specific religions or sexualities, to the… silly, with sites that connect golfers, gluten-free singles, and people with herpes (seriously). 

A general dating website caters to anyone. These sites usually have massive user bases and can still be used by those seeking specific niche characteristics.

Added Features and Services

Dating websites often include added features to help their users meet one another.

These can manifest in the form of specialized AI mechanisms that automatically match you to individuals who you are likely to connect with, games that you can play with others as a means of breaking the ice, and even mixers which you can attend to meet fellow members in person.

If you prefer to search on your own, you may want to consider a website with a rich variety of filters. 

Free, Freemium, and Premium

free dating websites in the UKMost dating sites enable users to use their service for free. This often comes with limitations, however.

These restrictions can range anywhere from being limited in the number of users you can contact on a daily basis to being unable to contact them at all!

This is called a freemium model, where you are required only to pay for specific perks. Most people are fine without these perks, but many opt to take advantage of them in hopes of increasing their chances of meeting the right one.

There are also fully premium dating sites that require payment to use them at all. These tend to be niche sites that cater to an exclusive clientele. 

It is worth noting that paying for a dating website neither increases your chances of meeting someone nor guarantees a better overall experience on any given platform. In fact, users tend to score free dating sites slightly higher.

Dating Site Price Members Usability Rating
 Match.com  13.6 Million BEST ★★★★★
 Elite Singles  290,000 GOOD ★★★★
 eHarmony  4.1 Million GOOD ★★★★
 Cupid.com  —  OK+ ★★★★
 PlentyofFish  100 million  OK ★★★
 JDate  271,000  OK ★★★
 Chemistry.com  5.2 million  AVRAGE ★★★
 Zoosk 3.8 Million  AVRAGE ★★★

Your first dating website choice may not be everything you hoped for and if it’s just not working, you should feel free to try another site. 

The process might be exhausting, but eventually, you’ll settle in and once you do that, you can work on…

Making a First Impression

Much like in real life, you usually have just a few split seconds to make an impression on an online dating site. It is, therefore, important to focus on optimizing your profile.

Create an Elevator Pitch for Yourself

match.co.uk dating website

Your online dating profile is like your elevator pitch. It tells people what makes you unique and why they should be interested in you. It also makes them curious to learn more about you.

You can garner interest by sharing anecdotes that provide people with a rich image of who you are.

For example, instead of writing that you enjoy playing guitar, you should instead describe what kind of music you prefer playing and how you learned to play.

All of this should be conveyed with a happy and optimistic tone. Nobody likes a Debbie Downer! This can easily be done by avoiding sarcasm – even if you love employing it – because it is difficult to read.

Some other topics to avoid sharing in your profile include politics, religion (unless you are on a religious niche dating site), and alcohol or drug use.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with a bit of humor, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Although online dating should be light and fun, you definitely don’t want to give off the impression that you don’t take the process seriously. Especially if you are looking for more than a casual encounter.

Painting Your Profile Canvas

Standing out in a sea of potential suitors is difficult without a profile photo. If you don’t have one, you are unlikely to attract anyone.

That is why a profile photo is a must.

But having a photo often is not enough. It is important to select the right photo by conforming to these general rules:

1. Smile! 

A smile can have a deep psychological impact on you and those around you. It can lift people’s spirits and can even make you look more attractive.

Smiling is truly contagious and is a really easy way of instantly increasing your chance of being noticed.

2. No Group Shots

A dating profile picture should be of you and only you. Nobody should have to guess which person in a photo is you and if it’s difficult to identify who you are, potential matches may just move on.

You may use a group shot in your supplementary photos.

3. Make it High Quality

The era of grainy digital photos is over and if you’re still using one for your profile, it may give people the wrong impression.

Make sure your profile photo is well-lit and of high quality.

4. Post Three to Five Supplementary Shots

Your profile photo is obviously going to be one of you looking your best, but people want to see what you look like with other lighting and in different scenarios.

It is important to share additional photos, but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to give too much away at once.

5. Include Your Body

Adding a full portrait to your supplementary shots serves several purposes. Not only does it provide an overall view of what you look like, it also conveys confidence and provides the impression that you have nothing to hide.

There is no need for this photo to be provocative in any way and you definitely don’t need to have an ideal figure (nobody does).

6. Use Selfies

Self-taken photos convey approachability because they are casual and make the viewer feel a sense of closeness.

There is nothing wrong with using a selfie as your profile photo — just try to avoid duck face!

Once you have these basics down you can begin…

Navigating the Modern Romantic Landscape

 

tinder online dating

Modern romance is completely unlike anything people grew up with just a few decades ago.

The age of the smartphone and instant communication has created new ways of meeting people, but also new frustrations.

Thankfully, there is heaps of research that can help you gain an edge in this new reality and help you avoid common mistakes.

1. Be Swift

Online dating sites are an amazing resource of literally thousands of potential matches. But as the saying goes, too much of a good thing can be bad.

Instead of letting the possibilities confound you and lead you to browse endlessly, do a quick take and ask anyone who interests you out on a date.

Even if you don’t get responses, you will avoid becoming overwhelmed and you can simply try your luck with others.

2. Avoid Texting Mistakes

When speaking with someone in person it is easy to gauge a reaction because it’s instantaneous. The same cannot be said for text messages.

This can lead to individuals taking more aggressive or forward steps, which can instantly kill any kind of connection.

It is vital to understand the medium and think twice before pressing send. You can easily make up for a verbal gaffe in person, but on the internet, everything is permanent.

3. Consider Chemistry

Chemistry is responsible for couples that get along despite indications or expectations of the contrary.

This can be lost in online dating, especially if you rely on filters to find people who are similar to you or who fit a mold that you believe is right for you.

Some of the strongest relationships are often built by two people who don’t share much in common and even have conflicting beliefs.

That is why it is important to consider chemistry and avoid reading too much into online profiles. As a general rule, if you find someone attractive, that should be enough to at least drop them a line.

4. Lower Your Standards

Often when I tell people to lower their standards they take offense. After all, you deserve the best!

But lowering your expectations doesn’t mean settling.

Today people confuse a relationship with something that it never was, is, or will be. They expect a partner who fulfills them in every way, communicates flawlessly, and shares all of the same beliefs.

Oh, and, of course, they have to have supermodel looks.

This simply does not exist and the only way to find someone who you can truly connect with is to stop looking for it. Instead, focus on finding someone who makes you happy, but who are also worth the tremendous effort it takes to build a relationship.

The perfect person is out there and they probably are nothing like you expect.

5. Understand the Drawbacks of Freedom

Modern dating has brought us the freedom to date dozens of people, have unlimited experiences and avoid worrying about marriage until our late 30s.

This unprecedented level of freedom has its drawbacks, however.

When there is always something better waiting around the corner, people often lose sight of a good thing when they have it.

There is a lot to be said for those who can appreciate what they have and being able to do so is paramount to…

Finding the Ideal Partner

Online dating how it works

Part of the quest to finding an ideal partner is realizing that you will never find the ideal partner. Instead, you will find someone who brings out the best in you and with whom you have the best chance at building a relationship that will last a lifetime.

Getting to that point, however, takes time, and there are several things you can do in order to facilitate the process.

#1. Make a Checklist

Before you begin you should have a strategy. 

This includes knowing exactly what qualities are most important to you and the kind of person you are looking for.

This is not to say that you should be pedantic about it, but rather establish a ground from which you will begin your search.

The checklist should contain things that are non-starters, like children, where you will live, and even religion, but should also include your own personal wishlist.

Things that people tend to look for in a mate include personality, sense of humor, intelligence, cleanliness, attractiveness, sexiness, voice, profession, and money.

#2. Prioritize

Once you have a checklist you will have to determine the things that matter to you most.

You may prioritize by ranking the items on your list by most important to least. Of course, there will probably be multiple things that you are inflexible about, so only rank the things that you are willing to compromise on.

As you go on dates, you may find this list becoming less important, but it’s a good way to get started.

#3. Get Online

With a checklist in hand, you can begin your search.

Online dating sites (or dating applications) make it easy to filter through the user base, enabling you to start off from your list of musts and then manually whittle down the results to only those who meet your highest criteria level.

If nothing comes from this initial search, expand your horizons and consider people who don’t meet each of your specific desires.

Before you know it you may find someone who you deem worth reaching out to and thus begins a completely new part of your online dating experience.

Online Icebreaker Tips

meet someone with online dating

Twelve percent of first messages men send turn into a date, while women have the advantage of a 30% date conversion rate. No matter what your gender, however, you can increase this rate with a good opening message.

Your initial communication will make or break a potential connection. As shallow as it sounds, we’ve seen people get it wrong too many times to ignore.

The number one mistake people make is beginning a conversation by talking about jobs. Not only does this make you come off as opportunistic, it will also make people question why you are on a dating site.

DO NOT talk about your job in your icebreaker.

Instead, I recommend introducing yourself and even employing a bit of flirtatiousness and charm. 

Here are three ways to help elicit a response:

1. Use Emojis

There is something about emojis that signal a sense of enthusiasm and cheeriness. They also help call attention to your message.

You can play it safe with a simple wave (👋) or try something more creative. Just don’t overdo it and definitely don’t send anything that can be misconstrued. 

2. Ask a WildCard Question

The most common icebreaker on a dating website is a simple “hey, how are you?” Not only does this lack creativity, it also looks like a boilerplate message that you send to everyone. 

You can mix things up and convey a bit about your personality with a wild card question.

A wildcard question is anything that is obscure enough to make someone look twice and respond out of sheer interest and curiosity.

The unexpected is always memorable.

3. Tell a Bad Joke

Telling a terrible joke is a great way to introduce a little levity into a conversation. 

It instantly tells a potential match that you can be silly and is generally considered to be a cute way of opening a dialogue. 

If you don’t get a response or if you get a negative response, you’ll know that person was never right for you anyway.

Before you know it you will be arranging your first date.

Making (Another) Good First Impression

first impressions in online dating

An irony of online dating is that it serves as an additional layer in the dating process. For something that is meant to streamline the process, it can also serve to make it more complicated.

Not only do you have to make a good impression on your first time reaching out, you will also have to make a good impression on your first time going out.

Everything you work to build up online can be destroyed by a bad first date. 

Luckily, there are five things you can do to – at the very least – improve your chances.

1. Be Punctual

Nobody likes waiting. Especially on a first date.

Not only is being on time a trait that many see as attractive, it also demonstrates respect and caring for your date. 

If you can’t make your meeting on time, you’ve already blown it.

2. Mind Your Manners

Although this one may seem obvious, I have heard countless stories about a date failing to say a simple thank you.

Beyond that, make sure you maintain proper etiquette and decorum if you go out to eat.

Finally, no matter how tempting it may be, DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE until the date has ended.

3. Don’t Be a Showoff

A date is an opportunity to tell someone else all about who you are and what you do. This can be awkward for some people and it can quickly lead to acting garish.

Always practice being humble in front of your date and try not to get caught up in the details of your bank account.

Impress with who you are and not with what you have.

If you get awkward talking about yourself, it never hurts to ask questions of your date.

4. Avoid TMI

A first date is an opportunity to try to connect to someone new on an extremely basic level. 

A first date is not a therapy session.

No matter what kind of baggage you’re carrying, leave it for another time and another person. Keep the conversation light and never mention previous partners.

5. Be Excited!

You’ve worked hard to reach this point, so make it count!

Instead of thinking about it another first date, view it as an opportunity to really build something. 

Have a positive attitude, smile, and go in a winner. 

Whether they are the one or not is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is the impression you give, and the impression the date takes.

With that, I leave the rest to you.

I encourage you to explore more of the site, including our reviews and our selections of the top UK dating sites.