When you think of online dating, there’s a certain image that pops in your head. Maybe it’s the one where the date is just beginning and both people are trying to get that first awkward moment out of the way before they go out on their first date. Or maybe you envision yourself sipping wine while you talk about your favorite bands with your new potential love interest.

While it may not be as romantic as I’ve described, online dating has changed the way we look at relationships. People who would probably never consider going on an actual date can now find someone they might want to spend time with. If you’re looking for something real, then online dating might be for you!

Whether you’re a seasoned online dater or you’re just getting started, there are some things you should know when using online dating sites. Click here for more information.

1. Be Yourself

Don’t try to pretend to be anyone other than yourself. While many people will tell you that online dating is all about finding “the right person,” this isn’t really true. You’ll find people who are more compatible with you if you are comfortable being yourself.

People who use online dating sites tend to have a specific type of personality that they’re looking for in a partner. Don’t try to fit into that mold; instead, let your personality shine through. If you don’t like any of the people who come up to you on the site, then move on to another site! Nobody wants to go on dates with someone that they don’t even want to meet in person!

Online dating sites aren’t meant to be places where you try to fit in with others. They’re designed so that you can be yourself and find someone who likes those very same things about themselves.

2. Use Your Head

There’s no need to sit down with a list of questions and start asking people on these sites what kind of relationship they’re looking for. Instead, think about what you’d like in a partner and what you don’t want. Use your own judgment to decide how serious you want to get with someone.

If you want to go on a lot of dates, but you don’t feel ready to commit yet, then maybe you should stick to online dating sites until you’re ready for a deeper connection.

It’s okay to take things slow if that’s what makes you happy. However, if you only ever end up going on a few dates and you still feel like you’re missing out because you haven’t found someone special, then it’s time to stop wasting your time.

Even though online dating sites might seem like they’d be great ways to find a long-term partner, don’t rely too heavily on them. It could take months or years for you to find a match, and even if you do find someone, you shouldn’t make yourself wait too long to see if things work out.

3. Ask Friends for Advice

One thing you should always do when you’re using online dating sites is ask friends for advice. You wouldn’t approach someone you barely knew by yourself, so why would you approach someone else on a website?

Instead, talk to people you know and trust. Even if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere with a particular person, you can at least learn from their mistakes. If you’re constantly giving up on people who don’t seem to be interested in you, then you might want to rethink your approach.

4. Create a Profile That Reflects Who You Are

Your profile should reflect who you are as a person. There’s nothing wrong with sharing information about your interests and hobbies, but it’s also important to include information about the type of person you are looking for. This will help people who are browsing the site figure out whether you’re a good match for each other.

For example, if you’re a vegetarian and someone you’ve matched with claims to be a vegan, then that’s something that would give you pause. You wouldn’t want to go on a date with someone who doesn’t agree with your values, so it’s best to take that into consideration when creating your profile.

Just because you’re able to post a picture of yourself does not mean that you should post a picture of yourself, especially if you don’t want to share anything personal about yourself. If you want to keep your privacy, then you should definitely choose not to upload a photo of yourself.

5. Set Goals for Your First Date

You might be able to find someone on an online dating site without setting goals for your first date, but it’s better to set some expectations beforehand. For instance, if your goal is to go on a few dates and then forget about it because you didn’t find anyone you wanted to pursue further, then that’s fine. Just be honest about how you feel and what you expect from each other.

However, if you’re hoping to go on a couple of dates and then go back home together, set a goal for the first date. Whether that means saying you both want to go out somewhere fun after the date is over or you plan to hang out on the couch and watch Netflix, set a goal for your first date.

After you’ve set some expectations, then you won’t have to worry about being disappointed if you don’t get exactly what you were hoping for. You can relax and enjoy your date instead of stressing out about whether you’ll have a second date or not.