Modern dating can feel intimidating. The old rules of dating no longer apply in an age when technology makes it so easy to stay in touch with people around the clock and to find out so much about people with just a few clicks. If you are struggling to navigate the dating world in the modern age you’re not alone. Use these 5 tips to make modern dating a little less confusing and increase your chances of finding that perfect relationship:

Google With Caution

Nothing ever really disappears from the Internet. Keep that in mind when you are Googling a new dating partner. Don’t judge them too harshly for old partying pics that pop up, or questionable fashion choices from years ago. Take everything that you find on Google about your date with a grain of salt, unless Google reveals something showing they might be potentially dangerous. You will probably find an employment history, some old blogs or social media posts, and other random items. Take into account the age of the stuff that you find.

You should assume that your date will also Google you. If you are worried about what they might find you can take some steps to have old information removed from some websites. If you want to raise your online presence you can start a blog or submit posts to popular websites so that those sites show up first in Google. You can also add a Google alert to your calendar for your own name so that if anything new pops up on the Web about you the alert will let you know what it is..

Be Wary of Social Media

It’s not a good idea to reveal a lot of personal information on social media. Posts on Facebook or Twitter about your date can have unintended consequences later on. Don’t change your relationship status right away, even if you really like the person. It can be really awkward when your date friends you and sees posts you made about the date or about the potential relationship. Not everything has to be posted to social media right away.

Don’t friend your date on Facebook or follow them on Twitter until they bring it up. Maintain a little personal privacy until you are in a committed relationship. If you want to check out your date’s social media accounts to see what are like you can scope out anything they post publicly without adding them or following them.

A Text Isn’t Good Enough

Texting is very convenient but it’s not very personal. When you are asking someone out, or following up with them after a date, pick up the phone and call instead of emailing or texting. You want this person to know that you’re invested and that you want to see them. That should warrant a phone call instead of a casual text or email. After a date if you want to let them know that you had a good time you can send a short text but any really important communication should be done by phone.

Throw that rule about waiting three days before contacting your date right out the window. In the modern world people are connected around the clock. It would be weird if you waited as long as three days to ask someone out again.
You also shouldn’t send a bunch of texts if your phone calls aren’t returned or your emails aren’t answered or they don’t respond to your text right away. Even though most people have a cell phone on them most of the time your date might be too busy to return your texts or calls or emails. Sending more of them won’t make the other person respond faster it will just make you look desperate and a little creepy.

Keep Your Options Open

In the modern world it’s a lot easier than ever before to meet a huge variety of people. If you have a strict checklist that potential dates must meet before you will go out with them you could be denying yourself the opportunity to date someone really great. Be willing to go out with people that are older than you, or younger than you. Be willing to date a bigger range of people in order to increase your chances of finding someone that you have a real connection with.

Manners Still Matter

While a lot of the old rules about dating no longer apply in the modern world it’s a good rule of thumb to remember your manners and put some effort into a date. Instead of asking someone out for a casual hang out by text take the time to plan an actual date. Get a reservation at a restaurant. Arrange for a cab or a car service if necessary. Dress nicely and treat your date with courtesy and respect. Good manners never go out of style.