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If you recently decided to get back into the dating game and are trying out online dating, you may feel a little lost. While there’s unfortunately no guidebook for love, you can at least use some advice to get you started.

Online dating for beginners: Be selective

When you’re first starting out in the online dating world, consider your options. There are websites and apps specifically catered to your wants and needs. Think about how long you are interested in experimenting online, how much you are willing to pay for services, and what kind of relationship you want. Be selective in which service you use, as well as selective with who you connect with through the website. Maintain your standards to ensure you find the best possible match. You may just find someone who checks all your boxes.

Online dating for beginners: Be honest

Psychology Today reports that 53% of online daters admitted to lying about some aspect on their dating profile. A silver lining to this is that the older daters in the surveyed group were the least likely to falsify information on a profile, so you may be better off than young men and women first starting online dating. The most common alteration people over 50 make is adding photos from a younger age in life. This may initially draw in more suitors but it’s always better to be honest about who you are, what you are looking for in a relationship, and what you look like. Start on an authentic foot!

Online dating for beginners: Be realistic

Finding a connection may take some time, so don’t get bummed out if you don’t immediately find your soul mate. It’s hard to tell how long it will take you to make a connection or if you will even find someone you wish to date. While it is certainly an exciting time for exploration and taking chances, maintain a realistic viewpoint towards online dating. Some people instantly match with a great suitor, while others find their perfect match after months of casual online dating. There’s no equation for perfect results since every relationship is unique.

Online dating for beginners: Be safe

When it comes to meeting new people on the Internet, you may need to use more caution than when your friend sets you up with a new acquaintance. It’s great to enter a relationship with a clean slate and willingness to get out of your comfort zone, but remain vigilant of your safety. First dates should happen at fun, public places where you can get to know the other person in a safe atmosphere. After55 recommends Starbucks as a great first date spot that can easily turn into a longer date if it goes well. Also remember to be wary of any scams. If someone you have not met in person asks for private information like your bank account number or specific home address out of the blue, think twice before providing details. Always look out for yourself first, and trust your instincts.

Online dating for beginners: Be open

Perhaps you never considered dating a widow or widower before, or maybe you have no experience with stepchildren. Try to be open to new things. Maybe you were previously married to a doctor and now want to date an artist. The possibilities are greater when you open your mind to new things. Online dating and flirting may even bring back a side you forgot you had! Embrace the differences and enjoy the ride.

By: Diana Michel

Sources: Psychology Today, After55