Online dating conversations – quick tips on how to get started
Going social via online dates has become the new norm during the ‘stay at home’ period, but how do you make your online chats run smoothly? Here are some useful tips to help you get started.
By Preeti Parashar
If you are planning to join an online dating session, you have to master how to be ‘unique’ to stand out. This is actually easier than you might think if you follow some simple steps.
Hog the limelight by introducing yourself in an interesting and creative way. This will help quickly define your personality to others. Think what you’re going to say in advance. You can add humour to lend an air of freshness. It’s better to ‘Keep It Short and Simple’ (KISS) and sum it up in less than five short sentences, mentioning your name, profession and main interests.
Avoid subjective terms such as “caring” or “kind-hearted” but rather use a real-life example. For instance, instead of saying “I am caring”, say, “I like to feed stray cats in my neighbourhood every day.” This will showcase your caring nature, without you having to boast about it. The key is to use your real-life stories to exhibit your character traits.
Break the ice
Charm them with a pleasant smile. Paying a compliment always works, too. So, go ahead and praise that nice top they are wearing or remark about their stylish haircut. Asking positive and open-ended questions that allow for elaboration is an immediate click, such as: “Which is your go-to destination for a vacation and why?”
You may spruce up your conversation if you have some knowledge about their likes – e.g. talk about a Netflix series you both have watched, their favourite food, the kind of music they enjoy or their hobbies. Talking about religion, money, past relationships and work politics are all a big no-no.
Keep the flow going
Feeling stuck after the introduction? Here’s the magic formula to drive your chat further. Try the “5Ws and 1H” - What, Who, Where, When, Why & How - as a base for your questions. For example: “What do you do to remain fit? Who usually accompanies you for a walk? Where do you go cycling? When is your birthday? How do you like to celebrate it? Why did you choose the profession you are in?”
Listen well and try to craft the right questions depending on the answers you receive from the other person.
Build a bond
Being an empathetic listener can make communication easy. Pay attention to what they say and show concern. Avoid giving too short answers to the questions asked and share something more about yourself. For example, say: “I love to cook while listening to music. I started cooking when I was in school and have developed a passion for it…”
Discussing happy events can add cheer to your talks. Besides positive and open body language, you should maintain a good upright posture and express yourself through your hands. Speak slowly and clearly, not being too soft or loud. To gel well and keep the conversation comfortable, try to converse in the same language the other person uses whether it’s Singlish, English or Chinese.
A date to remember
Ensure your laptop or tablet is charged up and that your environment doesn’t distract with loud background noises. Try setting up an interesting virtual background as this can add vibrancy to your online dating session. Your display picture should help portray your likes and interests.
To sum up, the answer lies in feeling in control of the situation right at the beginning, then letting the online relationship gradually grow stronger.