Online Dating Tips for the Socially Awkward

by Jeannieinabottle

There really is someone for everyone. Using an online dating site can increase your chances of meeting that special someone. Check out these tips if you need a little help!

Are you single and considering using an online dating site to meet someone? Are you already using dating sites, yet you can't find anyone to date you? Perhaps you've made it to the first date, but you can't seem to get anyone to date you again. My friend, you might just be a little socially awkward and you need some help!

Just because you are a nerd, a dork, or lack some basic social skills doesn't mean you are undateable. There are plenty of socially awkward folks out there just like you that would like to meet that special someone. You just need some pointers on how to appeal to other online daters.

Create an Awesome Online Dating Profile

The first step in online dating success is creating the best profile possible.  First of all, try to think of a fun screen name when you first begin the profile process.  Try to go with something that really reflects your personality, yet doesn't scare off potential daters.  Complex mathematic equations might seem like a fun idea, but it is not an ideal screen name.  Not only will it be difficult for most people to understand, it could also be difficult to remember.  Go with something catchy and cute, and you will get more attention.

When writing your profile, make sure to list a wide variety of interests.  Also, make sure you are honest, too.  Sure many women might like dating a smart bodybuilder that loves kittens and volunteers at the homeless shelter when he is not working late hours at the law office, but if none of that is true, what is to be gained?  A relationship that starts with lies is not going to last.  Instead, honestly list some of your interests. 

If your interests seem "uncool" when listing them in your profile, why not try some new activities?  Just because you've spent a better part of your life in the basement playing video games and Warhammer doesn't mean that is all you have to offer the world.  You could still try bowling, golf, running, knitting, photography, swimming, etc.  It doesn't mean you shouldn't list all your interests, including some of the not-so-cool activities, in your profile.  I am merely suggesting most folks do a lot better when their interests seem very well rounded.

It also helps if you make sure to put some real thought into your profile.  Make sure to check your spelling and your grammar.  You should also make sure to include at least a couple of paragraphs.  When your profile is poorly written or very short, it makes others feel like you are not putting any effort into dating.  You are a lot less likely to find a date that way. 

Post Some Interesting Photos

One of the most important aspects to online dating is posting photos.  Even if you don't want to build a relationship based on appearances, photos can say a lot about a person.  You need photos on your profile and you should at least post a few.  When you don't post any photos, many members on the site will think you just have something to hide.  Don't be that person!

When posting photos, make sure to choose some pictures that are action shots.  I am not talking about you leaping out of an airplane or anything, but a photo that shows you having fun makes others want to have fun with you.  I understand when one is socially awkward your coolest photos might involve you sitting around playing video games or looking lonesome in front of a webcam.  These photos are not going to work.  You can maybe post one photo like that, but post some photos of yourself actually getting up and having fun. 

Photos at the beach, amusement parks, comic book conventions, dressed up like Harry Potter, or going to a Halloween haunted house are all good examples of activity photos.  Sure dressing like Harry Potter or investigating comic books is taking a chance, but it shows your interests and will appeal to others who enjoy the same activities.  Just make sure not to post 5 Star Trek convention photos and make sure not all of your photos have a Lord of the Rings theme.  It is one thing to seem quirky; it is quite another to seem obsessed.

Don't forget to smile in your photos.  If you are glaring into the camera, you are going to scare dates away.  When you smile, you will seem warm and friendly.  In general, most folks want to go out with a person that can make them happy.  If you look angry or sad, you are not going to attract the most well-adjusted people on the planet.  If you are interested in dating miserable people, then by all means post sad or disturbing photos.  Otherwise, smile for the camera!

Embrace Your Inner Nerd


Send Non-Creepy Messages

If someone approaches you online or you decide to approach someone, this can be very difficult for the socially awkward dater.  Make sure not to scare your potential date away.  Examples of inappropriate conversations are:

  • Talking obsessively about sci-fi topics, academic subjects, or video games.
  • Asking for sex immediately.
  • Telling someone you are a virgin immediately.
  • Discussing hanging out in a parent's basement too much.
  • Mentioning a fascination with serial killers or criminal activity.
  • Obsessing over an ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend.
  • Insisting on meeting at someone's house instead of out in public.
  • Discussing body functions, such as farting, vomiting, sweating, etc.

Aside from staying away from the topics listed above, it is important not to be too aggressive.  Many online daters will send message after message without receiving a response.  Not only is this creepy, it will probably make the other person block you.  Another big no-no is obsessing over one person you'd like to date.  On many dating sites, a member can see how often a person visits his or her page.  If you are online stalking someone, that person is going to figure it out and not want to date you. 

If someone does reject you, don't make a big fuss over it.  You can't talk someone out of not wanting to date you.  The more you argue, the scarier you are going to seem to that person.  It doesn't matter if you love pugs and he has two pet pugs.  This is still just some dude your met online and having one thing in common does not make you soul mates.  When a person rejects you, accept it and move on with your life.

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First Dates Can Be Great

Once you do get through the initial communication process, it is time to actually go out on a date.  Remember some basic rules for online dating: meet in a public place and plan a very basic first date.  There really is no need to plan a day trip with someone you barely know.  For that matter, it is probably not even a safe idea.  The longer the date, the more pressure you put on yourself and your date.  Simply meeting up at a coffee shop is a perfectly safe acceptable date.  This way, if the date does not work out, no big deal.  You spent a little time at a coffee shop, spent a little money, and now both of you can go your own way.

If you are feeling bold and brave, you could opt to meet for dinner or lunch.  I would only recommend that type of date if the two of you have been communicating for a while and not just online.  If you feel comfortable on the phone with that person and you know you have great conversations, a dinner date can work out.  If you barely know anything about the person sitting across from you, the date can be super awkward. 

While on the date, remember to be on your best behavior.  Do you remember the list we discussed above?  Those topics are still not permitted while on a date either.  It is OK to let your inner nerd show some during the date, but don't overwhelm your date with too many boring details.  It will make you appear obsessive. 

Since we are on the topic of inappropriate conversations, you should also avoid inappropriate behavior.  Don't try to start hanging all over your date when you don't know each other that well.  After a simple coffee date, going in for a kiss is probably too much.  However, a hug is not that unreasonable.  Insisting on making out with a date is super creepy, especially if your date looks disgusted if you bring it up.  For that matter, as a general rule, if your date looks disgusted by anything you do, stop doing it!

If you follow some of the basic rules, I believe you will be on your way to online dating success in no time.  Just because you may have some personality quirks doesn't mean you are undateable.  Plenty of nerds, freaks, weirdos, dorks, and uncool people find someone special.  It is actually cool to be uncool right now, so embrace your inner dork and go out on some dates!


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Updated: 10/29/2012, Jeannieinabottle
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frankbeswick on 10/25/2016

You are not alone, Ricky, for there are others like you. Here is some advice, don't try too hard to meet someone,just wait until you meet the right person. Be aware that meeting the right one could take some time. Don't over-value appearance, for it is character that counts. Wishing you all the very best.

ricky on 10/25/2016

im socially awkward and am slowly becoming what i wanna be in life but i want a woman worth sharing it with i cant do the online dating thing because i dont know whos reall or not on the web right now im looking for female friends or companionship to help me be more comfortable in my own skin its a shame to say but im not the muscle toned pretty boy and what not but id treat my woman fairly

Jeannieinabottle on 11/15/2012

I've tried online dating on and off. I've never had too much success, but yet I have meet some interesting guys. It simply works better for some people rather than others. As long as you can do OK in a pub, you might not need a dating site. :-) Thanks for your comment!

QuantumLouie on 11/14/2012

I have never tried online dating but I know some people who do and have obtained good results. I am a little socially awkward but manage to have fun in crowded places like pubs.

katiem2 on 11/04/2012

I agree :)

Jeannieinabottle on 11/04/2012

Thanks, katiem2.... I feel like online dating is great for the socially awkward, too. Sometimes they just need a little help.

katiem2 on 10/30/2012

What great tips and advice, it seems online dating is the perfect platform for the socially awkward. :)K

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