The most popular dating sites will probably inform you about the increasing popularity of online dating, or the use of dating sites. Everyone will have an opinion on which site to use and why, but also about some lessons they have learned along the way. These lessons will help serve you as you journey on and reach your 30’s. Below, I describe the top ten lessons you may experience while using an online dating site before you turn 30.

1. Expect to go on MANY first dates

You can’t expect to get everything right for the first time, and even if you did, you may want to explore your options. This is because mistakes are bound to happen, and you may stick around out of pity or fear. So don’t feel bad trying, again and again, to set things right and to find someone worth your time and energy. Online dating may reduce your matches, but that doesn’t mean that you should only date a few people in your life.

2. Don’t assume anything about your likes or dislikes when you go on a date

Always date knowing to expect nothing about your preferences until you have tried it. You may settle for something less otherwise. Or, you may settle for more than you bargained for, and you don’t want to feel like it is too late to change your mind. You can always compromise or leave the situation. This is why it is important to know your limits.

3. You may not like online dating even if many people you know use it

Online dating isn’t for everyone. If you prefer going out to bars, clubs, cafes, parks, etc. for dates, then you shouldn’t feel pressured to keep trying online dating if it isn’t for you. You may have less opportunity to meet people, but at least you will get to meet them in person first if that is what you like more.

4. For women, it is best to search earlier than 30 for a mate if you want kids

Women have a finite amount of time to choose whether or not they want kids. So if you want kids, it is best to search earlier for dates and to make your desire known to your dates early on so that you do not waste time. Unless you change your mind, your date may not have. So be sure to talk things over and to come to an agreement before things get too serious.

5. You may have to try MANY online dating sites to find “the one” (dating site, that is, and of course the type of person you want to date)

There are more and more online dating sites being created these days for different purposes. Some are specific to age group, others to sexual preferences, others to religion, and even ones you have to pay for. You may have to try them all before you find one that suits you. You may feel discouraged during this process, but it will allow you to find a date that you like faster.

6. Always exercise caution

Just because it is online dating does not mean that it is the safest option. You may be able to find out if your date uses social media, can be found through friends, etc. Not everyone is who they say they are online, so be very careful. Also, be careful about giving away your own information. You need to build trust with whoever you send any information to.

7. Don’t feel bad if any relationship you had with someone from an online dating site did not work out, even if they were a 99% match

You have to meet your date in person to really get a feel for who they are. There may be some people you are a 50% or lower match and you may find you enjoy their company more. Everyone is different, so don’t assume a higher match percentage equals the best match for you. Another reason is that they may not have filled out their profile completely, so their match percentage may be lower than if they had.

8. Always look and act your best, because, after a while of dating, you may get lazy

Don’t slack off whatever you do, because no one wants to date a loser or someone who won’t make an effort. All dates matter, whether it is your first or last. If you do find yourself slacking, try thinking about how you would like your date to look and see if you come close to the ideal image.

9. Always know and love yourself first

This is one of the most, if not THE most, important lesson to learn. Without knowing and loving yourself, you may always be single. To attract love, you must show that you are not only capable of receiving love from others, but also from yourself. It is hard to love someone who can’t feel any love because they can’t feel pain either. Pain and love are part of the same equation, but love triumphs every time.

10. Don’t fear rejection, rather think of it as a lesson

You may have heard people who say that they are “done with love”, but that is because they are afraid of the rejection they suffered when they opened themselves to such a deep and magical experience called romantic love. Online dating isn’t a race to getting anything or anywhere. Online dating can give you lessons you never dreamed of, and some of the best lessons are also those centered around rejection, so don’t fear it, just embrace the lesson.

There may be many more lessons to learn about online dating from even the most popular dating sites. These lessons are what will set you up for a positive experience before and after you hit 30. With the right mindset, you may be one of the lucky ones who go after what you are searching for with an open heart and mind, and who isn’t afraid of the unknown. Embrace these lessons and embrace the time before and after 30. Online dating is just dating, after all, you need not fear it.

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