1. Have realistic expectations.
As much as singles wish there were a magical algorithm-based shortcut to love, the truth is you have to do some legwork to get a date. Online dating makes it easier to find potential love interests, but no website or app can gift wrap a happily-ever-after for you. You have to use those high-tech tools to showcase your charming self and get your crush’s attention.
HIV positive women should expect to do their part in the wooing process. That means knowing what you want, being an engaging conversationalist, and, yes, even sending the dreaded first message to someone you like. Although men are more likely to send the first message on most dating platforms, HIV positive women actually get better results than men do when they have the courage to start the conversation and show interest from the get go. Female online daters are 2.5 times more likely to receive a response to a first message than men are, so go ahead and initiate a chat next time someone catches your eye. The odds are in your favor!
2. Ask around.
Anyone new to the online dating scene shouldn’t be too quick to commit to the first dating platform you see. Many brand new apps or free dating sites don’t offer a safe and scam-free environment for women. Ask your friends which HIV dating sites they’ve used and which ones they’d recommend. Search online for full reviews of the top HIV dating apps written by dating experts. Look into customer testimonials, membership demographics, and any other information you can find before deciding which HIV dating sites or apps are best for you.
3. Add more than one photo.
On a dating site, a selfie speaks a thousand words. You don’t want yours to say, “I use Snapchat too much” or “I took this photo in my car and put zero effort into my profile.” You should have at least one non-blurry, unfiltered photo of yourself on your dating profile, but more is always better because it shows you’re a real person with many facets to your personality. Your photos are often your first impression while online dating, so make the most of it and showcase what makes you who you are.
According to Positive Singles’s internal stats, four is the magic number when it comes to online dating photos. Members who uploaded four or more photos received the most messages. That’s right, you can get guys to message you more just by adding another selfie to your profile. If you have pictures of yourself traveling abroad or doing something awesome, use them to catch a guy’s attention and make your dating profile stand out. Make sure your face is clearly visible so people know you have nothing to hide.
4. Don’t rush but don’t take forever.
Every woman has her own pace when it comes to dating. Some people are anxious to skip the small talk and start planning a date right away while others are content to spend months trading messages before even mentioning meeting in person. You should find the middle ground between these extremes so you don’t wind up on a date with someone you haven’t vetted at all and don’t waste your time talking to someone who has no intention of ever meeting you. I typically wait a week before agreeing to a date because that helps me weed out flaky guys who can’t keep up an interesting conversation.
If it’s been a week of chatting and he hasn’t asked you out, ask him out yourself! Say something like, “We should continue this conversation in person,” or “Are you doing anything this weekend?” His response will let you know what his intentions are, and then you can either go on a date or move on to someone else.
5. Be authentic.
Don’t lie on your dating profile. Don’t even fib. The whole point of joining a dating platform is to find someone who likes you—maybe even someone who loves you. So be you.
It’s common for HIV positive women to lie about their weight and age. Single women may want to hide their curves and their gray hairs while online, but guys are going to see them in person eventually and then feel cheated and deceived. That’s not a good first impression. If you’re honest about who you are, you’ll wind up in better quality relationships based on a real connection.
6. Don’t be discouraged.
Online HIV dating is basically a numbers game. You might hit it off with someone right away or you might have to talk to dozens upon dozens of guys before finding the one you’re looking for. It can be frustrating to continually get your hopes up for someone who turns out to be so not worth it, but giving in to your frustration isn’t going to help you succeed the next time. Just keep going and keep it light. Dating is supposed to be fun, so don’t take it too hard if things don’t work out the first or second or hundredth time. You can always conduct a new search and try again tomorrow.
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