In today’s world, dating is infinitely easier than it used to be. All you need is an OkCupid, Match.com, eHarmony or Tinder account, or (TheTransgenderDatingSite.com!) and you can connect with other singles in your area in a few minutes.
But with this convenient new type of dating also come a few issues – issues previous generations of daters didn’t have to deal with.
For one, meeting a trans or someone who is interested in trans from the web isn’t nearly as safe as, say, someone introduced to you by a friend or family member. The web also makes it a lot easier for a potential date to misrepresent themselves. They can lie, post fake photos, lead pretend lives and, as the term goes, basically “catfish” you. It’s a risk that just comes with the territory. Unfortunately, this is even more common with transgender dating online.
Online dating isn’t all bad, though. In fact, millions of people across the world have found long-term relationships, partners, husbands, wives and more on the web. As long as you do it safely and carefully, finding success in the transgender online dating world can actually be quite fun!
Are you considering entering the world of online dating? Be sure to heed these dos and don’ts from the very beginning:
- Do be honest and up front on your profile. List your status, your age, a real photo, and make sure to list your intentions, too. Are you looking for something long-term? Or do you just want a hook-up? You don’t want someone to get the wrong impression.
- Don’t meet in private, and never, ever invite an online match to your home or work. When meeting someone offline, always do it in a public place – somewhere that’s neutral territory for both of you.
- Do check for spelling and grammar errors on your profile. You’d be surprised how many people will click away the moment they see a misspelled word or typo. Once your profile is finished, take a few minutes to read through it carefully. You can even run it through spell check in a Word doc!
- Don’t be too available. If he sends you a message, give it a few hours (or maybe even a day or two) until you reply. You don’t want to seem too desperate right off the bat.
- Do update as things change. Dating someone? Moved? Had some other life change? Update your profile to reflect that. You want matches who sync up with your life today – not how it was 2 years ago.
- Don’t be too boastful. Mentioning your doctorate might be nice on your LinkedIn profile, but it’s probably not too important on your eHarmony one. Stick to things that tell people who you are, not what you are.
- Do use a recent photo. Sure, that photo of you at college graduation might be stunning, but if it’s been 10 years, you’ve changed your hair color or you got glasses, use a photo that more accurately depicts how you look today. You want potential dates to know exactly what they’re getting.
- Don’t give out your number. Stick to communicating through your dating site, and steer clear of giving out any personal contact details until you know the person better. You want a date, not a stalker or someone who is just interested in harassing a transgender person!
- Do talk to more than one person. You don’t have to settle for the first online match you get. As they say, “you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.” So play the field, and wait until you find someone who feels like a good fit.
- Don’t use a work computer – ever. This can get you in big trouble with your HR department (and your boss), so always make sure to use a personal computer when dating on the web.
- Do steer clear of sexual innuendos and references when communicating. Too much sexy talk can give your potential new partner the wrong idea – and that can put you in danger should you ever want to meet up.
- Don’t venture too far out of your zip code. Generally, you’ll want to stick to people within a 25- to 30-mile radius of where you live or work. If it gets serious, you’ll be seeing a lot of each other, so you don’t want to have a built-in issue from the very beginning. Unfortunately, in the trans community there aren’t always that mean locals that you can look for, so you might need to venture out and consider a long distance relationship.
Online dating can be a great way to meet people. It takes off some of the pressure, you can vet people before sitting through an awkward, in-person date, and you can make sure you truly have a connection from the get-go. Not to mention, you can also find people from around the world; your true love is out there! Just be sure you do it safely, carefully and thoughtfully, and you’ll find true love in no time.