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Are you looking for someone new, but want to avoid going to bars or clubs? If so, you may think about going online. You aren’t alone – in fact, up to 40 percent of Americans have tried online dating at some point.

If you are ready to venture into the online realm of dating, make sure you know what to expect. Even more important, be sure you don’t make some of the most common mistakes made by online daters. Whether you’re in the category of men seeking women or men seeking men, these tips will help. Keep reading to find out what these are.

1. Avoid Going Crazy Over Pictures

When you’re online, it’s easy to become “nitpicky” and maintain extremely high expectations. After all, with “instant decision” dating apps such as Tinder, you make a snap judgement of another person based on their picture alone.

While that sense of being in charge and being able to choose is appealing, it is one you should try to fight. If you want to develop a real connection with someone – a relationship that has the possibility of turning into love – then you can’t “judge a book by its cover.”

2. Don’t Get too Obsessed Over the Details

Online dating profiles are meant to give you a glimpse into another person’s life. This glimpse is, by no means, a full picture. As a result, you can’t become too worried about the particulars – such as their taste in movies or music.

A better attitude is to consider the bigger picture – for example, do they live nearby? Do they like to read? Do they seem intelligent? Try not to become overly consumed with whether or not the person has all the same likes and dislikes as you right away.

3. Don’t Ignore the Tone of the Profile

When you begin evaluating someone’s profile, be sure to think about the tone. You want to gain a sense of what the person is really like, which is admittedly challenging when going off of an online profile.

The key is to read between the lines. Does the individual seem friendly, pleasant and well-adjusted? Is it someone you would be drawn to if you met face-to-face? Try to watch for signs of bitterness, snideness or boastfulness, too, as these can be indications of insincerity. Paying attention to the tone of the profile can help you determine if you have found someone you would like to learn more about.

4. Don’t Pay Attention to Claims About Personality

Something you need to understand is that most people aren’t reliable self-reporters. As a result, if they make a claim that “they have a great sense of humor about themselves,” or that they are an optimist, take it with a grain of salt.

That isn’t because they are liars (in some cases this may be true), it’s usually because each person sees themselves differently than others. Instead read their profile to see if there are any hints of humor or positivity that come to the surface in a more subtle and natural way.

5. Don’t Become Attached Based on Profile Alone

Online dating is unique, as it’s possible for anyone to create an amazing profile, but this doesn’t mean this is going to shine through in person. Don’t get attached based on their profile alone. This may leave you disappointed if you ever do decide to move forward and meet.

As you can see, there are several things you should avoid doing when you are trying out online dating. If you avoid these things, you will have much more success and may even find a great person to form a relationship with.

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