With the exception of its disappointingly complicated dating scene, NYC has the best of everything.  So even a socialite can use all the help she can get.  When people finally find dating success, it’s always customary to pay it forward with priceless advice.  One of Sparkology‘s success stories recently released the top 6 lessons she learned that are bound to turn the nightmare of online dating into a dream come true.

Lesson #1: Make sure your profile truly reflects you
Your profile is a very limited snapshot of who you are; but, as a potential date’s only view, you want to make sure that it is a good and honest depiction. This could seem like a daunting task, so don’t be afraid to get help and second opinions. Bouncing your profile off a good platonic male friend can be invaluable – he’ll offer you insight into what your target audience is looking for and how your profile comes across.

Lesson #2: Go ahead and send a smile or two
As I come from a very conservative background, the idea of “making the first move” by sending a smile made me really nervous. However, I’ve learned that if you see a guy that really sparks your interest, you have nothing to lose by sending him a smile. Thinking about it from a male perspective, wouldn’t you be really nervous about sending a spark (Sparkology’s term for message) to someone with the possibility of being rejected? He may not have seen your profile yet, and sending a smile will let him know that you’re interested. I have done this a couple of times, and ended up with really sweet and excited responses. And it’s not like I had to make the first move ALL the time – the guys took the lead in asking me out and setting up the date after I sent the initial smile.

Lesson #3: Give the guy that spent a spark on you a shot
Despite Lesson #2, any guy that makes the first move by sending a spark on you gets extra kudos. (Ahem to any of the gents out there!) He must have been nervous sending that initial message, so unless he completely turns you off, you should really give him a chance with a first date. You have nothing to lose and never know until you meet someone in person. Wouldn’t you want the same consideration if the shoe were on the other foot?

Lesson #4: If it doesn’t look like the conversation’s going offline any time soon, you may want to reconsider
I learned this lesson the hard way after a month of seemingly great messaging back and forth with a guy in the hopes of meeting in person for a date. “Scheduling conflicts” kept getting in the way, and a final message seemed to go off into space. Though this was certainly not a pleasant experience, the definite lesson learned was that if it doesn’t look like you’re going to meet in person some time soon, it could be a red flag. Based on feedback from my best guy friend, guys are usually pretty impatient to meet a girl after a bit of good back-and-forth messaging.

Lesson #5: Go in with the right mindset
My first couple of dates, I was super-nervous about whether or not I was acting like a girl my date would like. This was the most counterproductive thing I could have done – it prevented me from carrying a good conversation and being myself. Even though I can’t say that I don’t still get nervous, I’ve learned that the date goes much more smoothly if I try to turn that anxiety into excitement. A date is a great opportunity to meet someone new and interesting, not a test on whether you can meet someone’s expectations.

Lesson #6: It’s okay if he wasn’t Mr. Right
For whatever reason, you and your date may not end up being compatible. It doesn’t mean that something’s wrong with either of you. It just means you didn’t click romantically. I’ve been on both ends of the stick – the one no longer interested and the one my date’s no longer interested – and both feel crummy. If you’re the one being let down, your feelings will be a bit hurt, but it isn’t any indication of you as a person. It also feels bad if you’re the one doing the letting down, but definitely don’t ignore the guy and leave him hanging. You will probably be on the other side of the stick at some point, and would like the same courtesy extended to you. But as bad as both scenarios feel, you’re giving each other the chance you deserve to find someone who’s completely nuts about you.