Whether you’re single and ready to mingle, or happily coupled up but the person you care about lives far away, using Facebook as your primary means of dating can be a great way to meet new people who are also interested in dating.
However, there are plenty of other ways to meet potential love interests in real life. If you’ve already got another dating website or app set up, it might seem redundant to have a secondary one that’s only accessible through Facebook.
But if you don’t have any other dating profiles, then maybe it’s time to hop on board with this new fad in order to broaden your horizons and expand your social circle. As with anything that involves the sharing of personal information and photographs, remember that caution is key when setting up your profile and meeting people via a platform like Facebook Dating.
Take some time before starting to use the service so that you know exactly what you’re getting into and won’t regret it later on. Here are 9 questions you should ask yourself before using Facebook Dating
1. What are your dating goals?
Before you start swiping for love or friendship, you should put some thought into what you’re hoping to get out of this experience. Is dating something you’ve been wanting to explore, or are you just doing it out of curiosity?
Are you looking for a short-term or long-term relationship? Are you willing to date someone you don’t know very well just so you can meet new people? When you’re dating, you can’t expect everyone to read your mind and figure out exactly what you’re looking for.
Some people might be open to a casual hookup and others may be looking for a long-term relationship; the sooner you can figure out what your goals are, the easier it will be to weed out the people who don’t match with your expectations.
2. Are you comfortable sharing your personal information?
One of the biggest benefits of dating apps is that you can see each other’s location, which can help make meeting up much more convenient. However, if you don’t want anyone to know where you are, it can feel like you’re being stalked.
If you’re not comfortable sharing your location with someone you’re dating, then Facebook Dating isn’t the best idea for you. If you don’t want someone to know where you live, it’s a good idea to meet in public.
If you don’t want to share your location, it might be a good idea to avoid dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hater, as well as Facebook Dating, as they all rely on location.
Depending on how you fill out your profile, you may have to give out quite a bit of personal information. When filling out your bio, try to keep it as non-specific as possible in order to protect your privacy.
Facebook isn’t the only platform that’s hacked or misused, and you don’t want someone who’s not even interested in dating you to have access to your home address and phone number.
If you have an ultra-specific job, like you’re a surgeon or a pilot, that may be fine to include, but keep the rest of your profile as general and non-descriptive as possible. When it comes to your photos, Facebook allows you to choose which albums to share and which ones to keep private.
Make sure that you only choose the ones that you’re comfortable having potential matches see. Some people may want to add pictures of you when they weren’t expecting to, so try to keep your dating photos to ones where you’re alone and/or in a public setting.
3. How will you feel if you don’t match with the person you like?
Whether you’re looking for a potential hookup or a long-term relationship, the likelihood of matching with someone you’re interested in is slim. No matter how great you are, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t click with you.
If you’re hoping to meet one specific person, you’re probably going to be disappointed. Even if this person is also using Facebook Dating, there’s no telling how many other people they’ll match with and what they’ll do with those matches.
For every person who doesn’t match with you, there will be someone else who does. There are plenty of people who use Facebook Dating, and if you don’t match with the person you’re interested in, there are plenty of other people to choose from.
4. What are the red flags for you?
Dating is always a little bit scary, and there are definitely some red flags you should keep an eye out for. How do you feel about people who are married or in long-term relationships?
While it’s not technically against Facebook Dating’s terms of service for people in a relationship to use the app, it’s definitely not something you should be comfortable with. If someone you’re interested in shows up as married or in a relationship, you should definitely swipe left.
Even if their partner is fine with them using the app, you shouldn’t be interested in pursuing anything with someone who’s unwilling to leave their significant other behind. How do you feel about people who are dishonest? Those who try to deceive you are usually only interested in themselves, and no one wants to date someone like that.
5. How will you feel if someone you’re not interested in requests to chat with you?
Someone who isn’t your type requesting to chat with you isn’t the end of the world. They may have been trying to match with you and couldn’t find anything in common, or they could just be desperate for attention.
There’s no need to be rude to these people or ignore their requests, but don’t let them get under your skin. As soon as you can, politely decline their request and move on. If you respond to one or two of these types of people, you’ll definitely find someone you’re interested in chatting with eventually.
You can also take advantage of Facebook Dating’s settings and block anyone who isn’t your type. If you’re receiving messages from people that you’re not interested in, you don’t have to respond to them.
However, it can be a bit disheartening to have to ignore someone who is eager to chat with you, especially if they seem like a genuinely nice person. If you’re not interested in talking to anyone, then Facebook Dating might not be the best idea.
Dating apps that are focused on a specific goal, like casual dating, are better if you just want to meet and date people, but don’t want to commit to anything serious yet.
6. How will you feel if someone you’re not interested in messages you?
Someone who isn’t your type may message you, but you don’t have to respond. Even if they send you a super long message and expect a reply, it’s okay to just ignore them. All you have to do is not respond, or you can message them back with a polite statement about not being interested in meeting up with them.
You can also take advantage of Facebook Dating’s settings to block anyone who isn’t your type.
7. How will you feel if someone you’re interested in messages you?
Someone who you’re interested in could message you, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a date. It’s possible that they’re just as nervous and unsure of what to say as you are, so don’t hold it against them if they don’t get in touch right away.
While you should definitely be proactive and message people who you’re interested in, don’t be offended if they don’t respond right away. They may just be really busy and not have had a chance to read your message yet.
Try not to be too persistent if they don’t respond right away. Remember that the other person may be just as nervous as you are, and you need to give them time to respond.
Sometimes, people who you don’t know will try to message you on Facebook Dating. If this happens, you can either ignore their message or report them for being inappropriate. If someone who you don’t know tries to message you, it can feel a bit threatening, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
You can choose to only accept friend requests from people you actually know, and you can also report people if they are being inappropriate or sending unwanted messages.
8. What do you hope to gain from using Facebook Dating?
Before you sign up to Facebook Dating, it’s important to consider what you hope to gain from it. If you’re more interested in casual dating than finding a relationship, Facebook Dating might not be the best choice for you.
Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble are better suited to casual dating, as they focus on your looks, rather than your personality, which is much more important in finding a long-term relationship.
If you’re interested in finding a long-term relationship, try to find out as much as you can about the success rate of Facebook Dating before you sign up.
While you’re busy swiping and matching with people, take a minute to think about what you hope to gain from this experience. Do you want to meet new people who you can befriend and possibly meet in real life? Or do you just want to find someone to date? What’s your relationship style?
You can’t expect everyone you match with to turn into your best friend, but you can expect them to be polite and respectful. And while you’re hoping to find someone you can date, you also don’t want to jump into a serious relationship too quickly. Make sure that you’re both on the same page before starting a serious relationship.
9. Could this lead to a real relationship or just a hookup?
You never know what you’re going to get out of using Facebook Dating. While you might be hoping to meet someone with whom you can have a meaningful relationship, you might also end up matching with someone who wants a casual hookup.
As with anything that involves the sharing of personal information and photographs, remember that caution is key when setting up your profile and meeting people via a platform like Facebook Dating. Taking a bit of extra time to consider what you want from Facebook dating.