How to Find Love at First Swipe: Tips for Online Dating!
"Extra" recently asked for some useful online dating advice from former "What Not to Wear" host and style expert Clinton Kelly and dating guru Devyn Simone. Check out all their tips for having the best online dating experience possible!
What is the ideal profile picture? CK: Head-and-shoulders, somewhere outside for good lighting, with just a bit of background so it's all about you. DS: For a woman, it's a flirty smile with eye contact to camera. For guys, it's a smug look with a slightly side profile.
What are the best photos to have on your profile? CK: Photos of yourself that are actually worth sharing — vacation shots, doing activities you love, hanging with your friends, petting your dog... a nice variety and glimpse into your life. DS: More specifically, you want four main photos: Action shot (showing you out doing something you love), social shot (showing you having fun with a friend or two of the same gender... you don't want people thinking it's your ex), full-body shot (something with good lighting showing your figure), and a headshot (great lighting is key for this one).
What are must-haves in an online profile? CK: A couple flattering photos and enough information to spark a conversation ("You like dogs? Me, too!"). Nothing you wouldn't share with someone sitting next to you on a plane. DS: Definitely agree with Clinton. A short bio/tagline… no one wants to read your whole life story, so don't overdo it.
What are some tips for attracting the best guys on an online dating app? CK: It's not about finding the "best guy," it's about finding the best guy for you, so think about the qualities that are important to you (loves to travel, is tight with his family, owns a yacht) and mirror those qualities with your photos and descriptions. DS: Know what you want. Online dating is full of options, so you're going to get a lot thrown at you. Keep your eye on the prize and only respond to the guys that seem in line with the ideal guy you're looking for.
What are some big no-nos that you should not have on an online dating profile? CK: Boobs. I mean, boobs are fine in moderation. Photos that are out-of-date or misleading — like of you in your junior year of college, 20 pounds ago, or so Photoshopped that you're unrecognizable. DS: Too many sexy photos, excessive profanity, too much sarcasm, negativity, mentions of your ex — stay away from it all!
When looking at other profiles, what are some red flags to look out for? CK: People with just one photo or no personal information, guys who only post photos of themselves with other girls, and spelling mistakes. DS: Did they put thought into their profile? That tells you a lot. Also, do they seem controlling or angry in their profile? If so, that's a pretty big sign.
What should a woman wear on a first date? CK: We have a whole article on that! Short version: A well-fitted outfit that's appropriate to the venue, with a great (but not new!) shoe. DS: Wear something that makes you feel amazing. Just make sure you can walk in whatever shoes you choose with that outfit.
How do we know if someone is who they say they are online? CK: You have to talk on the phone before you meet in person — it's not a guarantee, but it's an opportunity to flag any discrepancies with who their profiles say they are. DS: Google is your friend. Use it! Also do a Facebook and LinkedIn search (just don't tell them you're doing it). Never go on a date with someone you haven't had at least one phone conversation with. That means make him call you before you agree to go on a date with him. It will save you time and keep you safer... trust me.
Is it acceptable to research someone if you know their full name? CK: Sure, why not? Just take it with a grain of salt — there are a lot of John Smiths out there! DS: Uh… hell yes. Even if you don't have their full name you can research them with their phone number (that's another reason why you should have them call you). You can also find some things with a person's e-mail. Use whatever you have to but avoid going into a date completely blind.
What should I do if I see pictures of a guy I'm going out with with his ex online? How should I ask him what his real relationship status is without looking like I was creeped on him on Facebook? CK: People leave up photos for all sorts of reasons (laziness being chief among them), so don't start from a place of suspicion. Besides, it doesn't matter what his "real" relationship status is unless you actually connect and things progress — and by then, creeping on him on Facebook is par for the course. If they're still up there after a few dates, then how you both handle that conversation can be a good measure of how you have difficult conversations in the future. DS: If they're recent pictures and the body language is flirty then you might want to get out of there because he still has feelings for her. If they are old pictures then I'd let it slide. To be honest, I wouldn't spend too much time on it. Guys don't read into things like that the same way women do. You can't expect him to erase his past.
Some guys ask for your number right away before a conversation really takes place. What's the best way to handle the situation? CK: Be straight: Tell them that you want to get to know them better before you give out your number. That's a reasonable request and if he doesn't respect it, then he's a jerk anyway. DS: If you aren't comfortable giving your number yet, then just ignore his request and keep talking to him as though he didn't ask. If he keeps asking you for it just tell him that you're selective when it comes to giving your number. I would say don't drag it out too long though, because a guy who's serious about love isn't looking for a pen pal. When you withhold your number for a long time, it looks like you're just playing games.
If you love Clinton and Devyn's advice, make sure to watch them on "Love at First Swipe," which launches on October 2 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on TLC.