Online Dating Tips For Inexperienced Individuals

Updated June 13, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

If you’re new to the online dating world, it can feel hard to navigate and even overwhelming at times. Dating on its own can be intimidating, but when you add the complexities of dating apps, dating sites, online profiles, and messaging, it can feel even more daunting. But online dating can be a great way to meet new people and help you find what you’re looking for, so if you’re eager to make the most of online dating and dating apps, read on for a few tips to consider.

Online dating can be intimidating and confusing

Think of your profile as an advertisement and extension of yourself

Figuring out what to put in an online dating profile can be difficult, but try to think of it as a quick, honest view into who you are. It may help to think of some of the main traits about you that you want others to pick up on when viewing your profile, and then let those inform the content and photos you select. For instance, if you love the outdoors and enjoy making others laugh, you can try to infuse humor into your bio, and then include photos of you doing some outdoor activities you love. This can allow others to get a quick sense of some of your most important qualities by just visiting your profile. 

Be clear in your communication with other people on the platform

When you start communicating with someone you're interested in on an app, try to be very clear about what you're looking for. If you're trying to have some fun over a couple of dates, you may want to tell the other person that in the beginning. If you're looking to start a serious, long-term relationship, you can communicate that to your potential date as well. The same works for the other person as well. Try to keep communication honest and open, and this can help the process go more smoothly. 

Take safety precautions when meeting in person

When meeting up with someone in person after meeting online, it can be smart to take some safety precautions, as you don’t yet really know this person. Here are a few safety tips to consider:

  • Let A Friend Know When And Where You Plan On Meeting Someone: No matter how safe you feel, it can be wise to tell a trusted friend about your plans. When you decide to meet with someone you met online, consider giving your friend the details of where and when this meeting will occur. Also, you may want to keep them updated as the date continues, and then let them know when you have made it home safely.
  • Only Meet In Public Places: When first meeting someone, it can be safer to meet in a public place, rather than at someone’s home. You can recommend that you meet somewhere very public where there will be plenty of people to keep an eye on you as the date progresses.
  • Use Your Own Transportation At First: When meeting someone for the first time, it can also be smart to use your own transportation to get there, rather than having them pick you up. Instead of getting in the car with someone you don’t know, you could drive yourself, take a taxi or Uber, take public transportation, or have a friend drive. 
  • Practice Safe Sex If It Happens: Some people may choose to have sex on the first date. If this happens, it can be important to be prepared to practice safe sex to prevent STDs and other unwanted outcomes.  

Be yourself

Dating can be nerve-wracking, and it can make sense that you want to do what you can to impress your date and make a good impression. But, if you are looking for a genuine connection or long-term relationship, it can be very important to be your authentic self. Try to allow others to get to know the real you, so you can see if the two of you would make a good match. If you focus on being yourself, you are likely to connect with others who like you for who you really are. 

Give a relationship time before you move on

First dates can be awkward, and oftentimes, it can take some time for both people to feel comfortable. You may not hit it off with someone on the first date, or even the second. But, if you are interested and you have a sense that you two might be a good fit, consider giving the person more of a chance. It may take you both a few times of seeing each other before you both feel comfortable enough to really be yourselves and connect more deeply. And if it doesn’t happen, you can continue pursuing other people. 

Be confident and have fun

Dating can be intimidating and confusing at times, but it can also be very fun and exciting. It is a chance to put yourself out there, meet new people, flirt, see who you connect with, and maybe even meet someone amazing. As you explore the dating world, try to be confident in yourself and what you have to offer, and remember to let yourself enjoy the process. 

Online dating can be intimidating and confusing

Get support in therapy

If you’re still feeling nervous about online dating and would like additional support, connecting with a licensed therapist online can help. For instance, as mentioned earlier, having confidence in yourself can be very important when navigating the dating scene, but this is often easier said than done. Research has found that online therapy can be effective for improving self-esteem.

Plus, as you explore the dating world, you may find that you have questions, concerns, or realizations that pop up at random times—like the moment you match with someone new. With online therapy through Regain, you can use in-app messaging to reach out to your therapist at any time, and they will respond as soon as they can. 


Online dating can be intimidating, but it can also be a great way to meet new people. If you’re new to online dating, you can consider some of the tips detailed above to help you navigate the scene. For additional support with these and other dating concerns, online therapy can help. 

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