Lifestyle, Love, Relationships

How To Win At Online Dating – Vanessa Tai

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According to dating agency Lunch Actually’s recent survey results, online dating is on the rise in Singapore. 51 percent of the 788 respondents from Singapore said they used online dating platforms to find a potential mate. This is a huge jump from a mere 26 percent in 2009. Considering how upwardly mobile and tech-savvy society has become, these results don’t come as much of a surprise. However, even with online dating becoming more prevalent, it seems there are many people who haven’t quite figured out how to make it work for them.

Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but my few months of dabbling with OkCupid have given me some insight into the Do’s and Don’ts of online dating.

DO … have an interesting profile.
There are a gazillion profiles out there with same-ish bland introductions that read, “Just a simple guy,” or “I enjoy hanging out with good friends but I’m also comfortable being alone.” Online dating is similar to being at a party … how are you going to stand out if you present yourself to be just like everybody else? You don’t have to go on and on about your likes and dislikes; honesty and a good dose of humour would work better. Here’s a screen shot of what a more interesting profile looks like:

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DON’T … be a creep/be corny.
I once received a message from a guy where the subject header was, “10 reasons why we should be f- buddies.” Just no.

As for being corny, I’m just going to leave this self-explanatory screen shot here:


DO … make the effort to come up with an interesting introductory message.
Too often, people get caught up with “dating being a numbers game,” so they mass-send the same message to scores of profiles, hoping a few will reply. Not only is that insincere, the recipient will know he or she is receiving a mass message and will be less likely to respond. A better idea would be to comment on an interesting point (or photo) on the person’s profile and ask them about it.

DON’T … put all your eggs in one basket.
Online dating is now just not confined to the web. It has gone mobile through different mobile dating apps like Singapore Singles Around Me and Lovestruck. With this added convenience, it’s easy to become addicted to scrolling through the seemingly endless profiles, hoping you’ll click on The One. However, it’s probably healthier to view online dating as just another avenue to get to know new people. If you really want to expand your network, go out and join interest groups, sign up for new classes or attend singles’ parties!

About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 26-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. She loves reading about people’s hilarious online dating fails. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.

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3 thoughts on “How To Win At Online Dating – Vanessa Tai

  1. So true! I like how you compare the online profile to standing out at a party. That’s a great analogy! I did think the corny princess message was a little cute. Maybe because the little girl inside me wants to be called a princess by her knight in shining armour 😉 and you’re exactly spot on about coming up with something interesting to say to stand out. I give this advice to my single guy friends who do online dating and I tell them it’s also very applicable in their daily life (relating to your comment on diversifying the egg basket portfolio). Striking up a conversation with the person in line next to you, or waiting to cross the street, or on the subway, and not even necessarily only with people that you’d like to date, but just to get comfortable talking with people and noticing them is helpful to practice initiating contact with someone you would want to date, whether you meet them online or in person. It sounds intimidating, but noticing what is special about someone else, what is interesting and what is beautiful about them makes it easy to say something. It usually makes people so happy to have the interaction and to feel like someone noticed them in some way. Then it makes you feel good because you see how your actions affected the other person. Besides, you never know what kinds of uncanny connections the universe will orchestrate, and it could be that someone you just randomly noticed and started talking with leads you to your next big love!


    • Hi

      You’re absolutely right! I think many people – myself included – tend to categorise people in our minds (Potential Romantic Partner or Not) when we should actually approach everybody with the same level of enthusiasm and friendship. Thanks for the timely reminder 🙂


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