The Go-To Guide to Online Dating

Why do people use online dating sites and apps? Whether you’re on the quest for love, lust or just more friends, the internet is home to a bunch of dating apps and sites to help you find the one (or ones). It’s fair to say online dating has taken the dating world by storm with the introduction of dating sites. The first being, launched in 1995, but it wasn’t until the mid to late 2000s that online dating really started to boom. With the increase in smart technology, online dating has never been easier and more convenient.

With so many different dating apps to choose from, it can get a little overwhelming to find to the right one and navigate them. Whether you’re a seasoned swiper or you’re new to the game, we’ve put together an online dating guide with tips you need to succeed in the wonderful (but also wacky) world of online dating.

Is it OK to do Online Dating?

Oh, absolutely, yes! Online dating apps have definitely changed the way we find love and flings. We can broaden our dating pool beyond the people we might meet by chance in our daily lives.

An advantage of online dating is being able to filter potential matches based on specific criteria. For example, by age, interests, location etc. This can save time and energy compared to offline dating, where you might need to go on a few dates before knowing if the person meets your standards or not. Also, you take things at your own pace before jumping straight into a date. You can message your match for as long as you both want before making the decision to meet.

What are the Best Online Dating Apps?

This is a tough one as there are many dating apps with similar features and gimmicks but also unique ones too. Some apps are tailored to people of different sexual orientations and more niche apps exist to cater to specific sub-communities or sub-cultures. Let’s look at some of the well-known dating apps.


We’ve all heard of Tinder. Tinder is known for its simplicity and its swiping feature that allows you to swipe left for no or swipe right for yes on potential matches. If two individuals swipe right on each other, it’s a match and you’re free to message one another. It’s used by people of all sexual backgrounds but has a reputation of being more of a hook-up site than a place to find ‘the one’.


Bumble works similarly to Tinder, but it has a few differences. The main standout feature is that women make the first move, designed to promote safety. Bumble also allows users to make platonic connections.


Grindr has quite a notorious reputation within the LGBT+ community and is used primarily by gay, bisexual and trans individuals. It offers a geolocation feature that allows users to find and message other users within proximity. It’s known to many as a hook-up app but you can find a partner on it too if you’re lucky.


If you’re a queer woman or non-binary and gender non-conforming person, HER is the app for you. HER is unique in that it blends dating and social media, with groups to join based on your interests and a news feed with queer news and events so you can stay up to date with the latest community news.

As mentioned, is the original dating site. Users of create their profiles, fill out a questionnaire and find matches based on their preferences. The “Daily Matches” feature allows you to browse through profiles that the algorithm has picked for you.


A bit more hip than the other dating apps, Hinge makes you answer a series of prompts in order to complete your profile so your personality shines through. With Hinge, you can swipe through profiles and look at their answers to the prompts and questions. If you like what you see, then give their profile a ‘like’ and if they ‘like’ you back, you can start exchanging messages.

Most dating apps are free to use though most offer a premium subscription fee if you’re wanting to unlock certain unique features. So whilst “love don’t cost a thing” we’re sorry to say love doesn’t come cheap either!

What is the Trick to Online Dating?

There isn’t really a “trick” to be honest. You just need to be open and clear about what your intentions are because, at the end of the day, you’re looking for a partner (unless you’re looking for something else but make sure you communicate that). Create an authentic profile that reflects you. Be patient, be safe and have fun. We’ll help you with this.

Tips for Creating an Online Dating Profile

When creating an online dating profile, it’s important that you show off your personality and interests in a way that is attractive, engaging, and honest. Here are some pointers:

  1. Profile pictures: The first thing people will see is your photos so choose recent pictures that shows you clearly. Then choose pictures that show off your personality. These may be pictures of you at a restaurant, at the gym, hiking or with your pets. Avoid group pictures, old pictures, and photos of you wearing hats or sunglasses.
  2. Writing a bio: The next thing your potential match will look at is your bio. You should give a little insight into your personality and values. Make your profile stand out with some humour and wit. Most dating apps will have a character limit so keep it concise. The most important thing is to be your authentic self and have fun.
  3. Hobbies and interests: A great way to attract people is having similar interests or hobbies which you can use as a starting point and connect with like-minded people. Talk about your passions. Do you like to cook? What are your favourite rom-coms and Netflix shows?
  4. Be specific: Avoid being vague, trying to sound mysterious or using generic phrases about personal traits like ‘honesty’ and ‘kindness’. What do you look for in a partner? Are you looking to date, hook-up or find friends? Getting straight to the point will work out better for you in the long run.
  5. Stay positive: Keep your bio light and positive. Overly negative bios can be such a turn-off. Focus on the things that make you happy and qualities you find attractive instead of listing what you’re not looking for. Don’t take yourself too seriously and show off your goofy side a little. A potential match may appreciate your sense of humour.

Engaging with Your Dating App Matches

Once you’ve got a match, it’s time to see whether there’s chemistry between you and the way you’ll do that is if you can hold a conversation. Let’s look at some online dating conversation starters and how to keep the conversation flowing.

  1. Instead of starting the conversation with a boring and monotonous “hey,” or “how are you?”, start the conversation by complimenting a photo. For example “Hi, you have gorgeous eyes.” Or comment on their bio, let them know you’re intrigued by something or that you have something in common like your love for a band or TV show.
  2. Keep the conversation light. Remember to keep things fun and playful. Don’t be shy, crack a few jokes but keep them appropriate. If you can make them smile and laugh, then you’re going to be in their good books.
  3. Try and be creative with your questions, for example, if you’re intrigued by a hobby or interest or share something in common, ask questions about that.
  4. When your match messages you, respond with light humour and wit. Try not to overdo it but a little bit of banter shows your match you’re still interested in them and the conversation doesn’t become stale. Some playful and good-natured teasing is sure to make them smile.

What Are Some Red Flags of Online Dating?

Oooft where do we begin with online dating red flags? As with traditional dating, online dating comes with its fair share of red flags. You’re talking to a stranger behind a screen essentially so it’s important to trust your gut if you begin to feel uncomfortable at all. Don’t be afraid to hit that block or report button.

  1. Overly negative bios: if they spend much of their character count talking about their turn-offs and not enough about what they enjoy, it’s probably not a good sign.
  2. Long list of requirements: we all have our standards but if they have an endless list of requirements similar to a job listing, ask yourself whether you want someone who obviously holds themselves in incredibly high regard.
  3. Boundaries: disrespecting boundaries is an absolute turn-off. So, if your match starts asking you invasive or insulting questions or they’re pushing to meet before you’re comfortable, protect your peace and nip it in the bud.
  4. Personal details: do not share your phone number or any personal details with anyone until you have met them in person. Keep chatting on the dating app.
  5. Date location: avoid secluded areas. If your match asks you out on a date, make sure it’s in a public location like a restaurant/café or the cinema for at least the first few dates.
  6. Cancellations: if someone keeps cancelling dates without a good excuse like a family emergency or appears to be flaky, move on. It’s not worth your time.
  7. Risqué pictures: don’t let a person pressure you into sending nudes if you’re uncomfortable. If they keep pushing, make use of the block button. No one likes a pest.
  8. The L word: now if you have been dating for several months and you’re both getting on swimmingly, your date professing their love to you shouldn’t be much of a surprise. However, if they use the L word before meeting you or after a couple of dates, you’re heading into red flag territory.
  9. Dodging questions: if your match or date begins evading questions without a good reason, they could possibly be hiding something, they might not even be the person in the pictures. Trust us, this is commonplace on some apps.
  10. Online dating scams: from catfishes to money scams and bots, online dating apps are full of these. A tip for avoiding getting scammed, look for a verification tick (if the app has this feature) and ignore blank or faceless profiles. If their images are poor quality, it’s best to avoid them too. And if they declare they will ‘send pics after matching’ your alarm bells should be ringing.

What Are Some Unspoken Rules of Online Dating?

While online dating may have its own rules and regulations based on the specific app, there are generally a set of rules and etiquette users have developed within the culture of online dating. Let’s take a look at some.

  1. 1. Respect: quite an obvious one, treat others as you wish to be treated. Be respectful towards your matches and be polite.
  2. 2. Honesty: honesty is the best policy. As aforementioned, if you’re looking for your life partner, you’ll need to present yourself and your intentions truthfully if you’re wanting success (which you probably do).
  3. 3. Ghosting: we’ve all heard about ghosting. If you’re not interested in someone, it’s better to let them know instead of just blanking them, especially if they’ve been nice to you. Whilst we all love Casper, it’s rude and hurtful to ghost.
  4. 4. Oversharing: although we mentioned being honest, it’s also important not to overshare. Keep your privacy protected and avoid sharing sensitive details about yourself, at least until you’ve gotten to know them better.

We hope our comprehensive guide on how to do online dating will have you swiping like a pro. Not to mention, you getting swipes too. Whether you’re a newbie or you’re just not having any luck, our top online dating tips will help you improve your game and find success.