Once you have completed all the steps toward getting your profile on match.com, what happens next? The first month or so on Match is definitely the most interesting because everyone is new and exciting. This is what you should know as you begin.

Setting up Your Searches

There are a few ways to search through the profiles posted on the site:

1. Match Words – this is a keyword type of search. If skiing is your thing and you want to meet other skiers, you can search on the word ‘ski’ and find everyone who lists that as a keyword. I find this search method faulty. I once searched on the word ‘bike’ and no one came up. The system suggested I use ‘cycling’ instead. It’s too hard to guess what keyword will really get you what you want. Also, unless you edit the keywords within your profile, Match will generate them automatically based upon your profile. You can end up with some weird stuff that way.

2. Keyword – almost the same as Match Words. This one didn’t find the word ‘bike’ either. I find it hard to believe no one has used that word in his profile.

3. Age, Location and Custom Searches – this is the way to go. You can narrow down prospects with the following options:

  • Are you a man or woman?
  • Are you looking for a man or woman?
  • How many miles from your zip code would you like to search?
  • Do you want to see only profiles with photos?
  • Do you want to see only people who are online now?

4. You can further narrow down your searches. This is useful if you are searching only for a tall, non-smoking liberal who has a cat and exercises a lot (three people come up under this specific of a search—they are apparently the three perfect men for me). These are the categories you can use for that type of search:

  • Relationship status
  • Body type
  • Ethnicity
  • Education
  • Drink
  • Smoke
  • Height
  • Horoscope Sign
  • Turn-on’s
  • Appearance
  • Lifestyle
  • Background
  • Values

There a couple other search options, but these are the main ones.

I’ve Searched and Gotten the Results – Now What?

Look through the profiles your search has delivered! Some you will dismiss immediately, some you will find interesting. Get on the interesting ones by either winking or emailing.

Winking versus Emailing

It can be tricky deciding which option to go with. If you can come up with something good to say, emailing is usually the better choice. I like to send short emails with a question somewhere in them. If you ask a question, the person you are emailing has something to say to you in a response. If you wink at someone, he/she will have to think of what to say to you in response. Not that it should be hard to come up with something, it’s just easier to answer a question. I wink if I am feeling lazy or find someone interesting, but can’t come up with an entertaining email.

Hopefully you will hear back from the person you have contacted. If not, you can make yourself feel better by assuming the person does not have a paid subscription. Match allows you to set up a profile without paying a subscription fee. This route sounds good, but doesn’t allow you to email the people you receive messages from. If someone ignores your email, tell yourself that they just didn’t pay. Or they’re stupid. Or both.

The Other Way Around: What to do if You Get Responses from People you Don’t Like

Ignore it! The first and most important unwritten rule of the Match system is that no one uses the ‘no thanks’ option. It’s considered rude. If you receive a wink or email from someone who does not interest you, ignore it. This is what everyone does and it’s expected. It’s also expected that if you are in an email exchange you don’t want to continue, you stop writing. This happens all the time.

Number of Views/Who’s Viewed Me

Match keeps track of the number of people who have viewed your profile. When someone clicks on your profile, the number goes up. However, all the people clicking on your profile aren’t necessarily listed when you look at ‘who’s viewed me’ and each click may not be a unique user.

Only people who are logged into the system will show up in ‘who’s viewed me.’ Even those who are logged in may sometimes not appear. If someone who is logged in clicks on you, but they are far from what you’ve listed you are looking for, they may not show up. The system can be strange as to whom it chooses to show in this listing.

People who are logged in, have their profiles visible, and meet most of your search requirements will always show up in ‘who’s viewed me,’ but only once. If the same person clicks on your profile a dozen times a day, they’ll be at the top of this list, but only listed once.

Keep this all in mind when you click on profiles. If you want to see someone’s profile, but don’t want them to know you looked, log out, then do a username search. I’ll admit that I’ve done this when I want to see if my ex-boyfriend is still active on Match. Sneaky, I know, but I’d be willing to bet hundreds of people pull this stunt every day.


Some people like to talk on the phone before meeting; others just go for it. There’s no set time as to when you should meet someone. Some people are quick to ask about a meeting, some wait a while.

Choose a setting you are familiar with for your first meeting. You’ll probably be a little nervous, so meeting at a place where you are already comfortable may make you feel a little better.

For obvious safety reasons, don’t get a in a car with this person or go to his/her house. You may feel like you know this person, but you don’t. Meeting online, there is also no third party vouching that this person is on the up-and-up.

Match.com: After You Start Dating Someone

Whether or not you continue to log into Match after you’ve started dating someone is a touchy subject. I tend to stop logging in once I’ve started dating someone I am interested in. Other people may not. Keep in mind that the person you’re dating still exists in the Match world and will see your login activity too. This can be interpreted in many ways. If you can, stop yourself from tracking the login activity of whomever you are dating. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything if he/she keeps logging in. I’ve fallen into this tracking trap and it can make you crazy.

Now You’re Set: Go Forth in Match World!

You now can effectively search for people, know more about winking versus emailing, understand ‘who’s viewed me,’ and may or may not have met someone in person. You also know that login activity can be interpreted in many ways and you shouldn’t make too much of it. Good luck with Match world. It can be a strange place, but overall, it’s a good thing.