Online Dating for Marriage Guide

Not everyone in the online dating scene is seeking out marriage, but for those who are there are plenty of tips and tricks for nailing down just the right match who is also looking to say, “I do.” You must really know what it is you’re seeking out in a relationship before you step into the online dating arena. Some people are looking for casual dating or flings, while others may only be interested in long-term dating, but not nuptials.

How do you determine where your online dating match is when it comes to marriage? How do you approach online dating in a way that won’t waste your most precious asset… your time? Read on to learn more about how to date online if you’re looking for marriage.

married couple holding hands

Marriage vs. Dating vs. Flings Online

There is a huge difference between casually dating just for the fun of it and dating to meet someone you can eventually marry. Some people spend years in the dating cycle wondering if they will ever meet “the one.” Read on to learn more about the differences between the different relationships online, and how to find your way to marriage through online dating.


The quintessential American dream is to get married and raise a family in your 3-bedroom, 2.5 bath house with a good school system nearby, white picket fence, and Joanna Gaines as your interior design vixen. Okay, maybe your dream is a little bit different, and you aren’t even sure if your dream exists because you can’t even get a good message reply from any of these online dating matches. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.

Everyone goes through periods of frustration in online dating. Whether you are unfamiliar with the functionality of an online dating site, or you feel like you just aren’t meeting the right people, frustration at some point is completely normal. When frustration hits, you need to remind yourself that it is normal, temporary, and simply just part of the process sometimes. Don’t lose hope, and certainly don’t quit!

When you are seeking marriage in the online dating community, you need to be realistic with your expectations. Do not bend your expectations or settle for less than you feel you deserve, but don’t be too legalistic about things either. If the first line of your profile reads, “If you aren’t seeking marriage, don’t message me and don’t read my profile either,” then you may want to tone it down a notch, or perhaps fifty.

Individuals who are seeking marriage through online dating need to remember to be the type of person whom they seek to attract. What does this mean? Well, if you want someone who is secure in themselves, financially stable, and family minded, then you need to possess these same characteristics or attributes. We ultimately can only attract to us what we ourselves already are.

For most, getting married is the ultimate goal. You want to meet that person whom you can spend the rest of your days with growing old together. When it comes to online dating, it is important that if you are seeking a marriage-yielding relationship and so is your online dating match. If you want marriage, and your match is of the mindset that they are “possibly open to the idea of marriage,” the two of you are on two very different pages, you may even be in different books. Make sure your match is not only in the same book, but they are also on the same page.


When it comes to online dating for marriage the dating part is vital. You need to date first to test the waters and get to know your compatibility with your online dating match. There are a lot of different online dating sites out there, each with their own processes for matchmaking. Make sure whatever site you use, they have a matchmaking process you agree with. Some online dating sites have a philosophy of opposites attract and then attack, while others do not.

If your ultimate goal is marriage, then you have to understand and accept that the dating part is only temporary. Don’t allow yourself to stay stuck in the dating cycle, or the “just dating” mindset. When you know you have met the right person you will want to take steps to begin locking it down. You can start with simple things like determining if you are exclusive or not.

Often our readers ask us this question: “How do you know if you want to marry someone or not?” We simply share with them this, when you realize you don’t want another day to go by without having that person in your life, you’re ready to get married. If you know you want that person to be the one you spend the rest of your life with and couldn’t imagine another person in that role, you’re ready.

People often spend a lot of time trying to get themselves ready to do something, when the truth is, no one is ever truly ready when life happens. Were you ready when you received news of someone near and dear to you who passed away? Were you ready when you had your first kiss? Were you ready when you found out you were going to be a parent? Probably not. Life happens, and often not at a pace we could ever be ready for.

We spend time getting ready to play in the actual game by practicing first. We practice an instrument for hours upon hours before the big performance. Look at dating as the warm-up before the actual game. Dating allows you to learn all the right plays to win the big game… to meet the right person. When it comes to seeking marriage, dating is designed to be temporary not a long-term lifestyle.


What exactly is a fling? Many people may be involved in what they believe is a dating situation when it is actually only a fling. A fling is when either one or both people involved are not interested in seeing each other more than a handful of times, or sometimes even only one time.

Flings usually have an expiration date. If you are on vacation or holiday for the summer and met a hottie during this time, the two of you are probably aware of the limited amount of time you will have together. Most people know the fling will not last once they part ways.

Flings are not designed to be marriage material. If you are having a fling, then be aware of its expiration date, and don’t get too attached. If you are involved in a fling, and ultimately want marriage, then be aware that flings are formed in lust and do not last in the real world once the honeymoon phase has ended.

If you want to get married, then starting off a relationship as a fling is not recommended. This is the reason why relationships created on reality shows such as The Bachelor or Bachelorette do not have much of a shelf life. You are on vacation all day and night, so it’s all fun and games until it’s back to the boardroom on Monday for the weekly P&L meeting.

How to Steps to Find a Husband or Wife Through Online Dating


There are strategic ways to find a husband or wife through online dating without dealing with all the muss and fuss. You have to be willing to take the initiative and know that you are ready for this life step. You have to believe in yourself and not have a wishbone where your backbone ought to be. You have to put on your game face, so people know you mean business. Read on to learn more about what it takes to find a husband or wife through online dating.

Have Your Life Together

The most attractive thing in the world is when someone has their life together. They know who they are, they know what they want, they know where they are going, and they know how they are going to get there. That. Is. Sexy!

Can you answer those simple questions about yourself? These may seem like elementary questions to you, but they are super important, and sometimes extremely difficult to answer based upon where you are in your life. Marriage is not where you find your identity, you need to be your own person first and foremost.

It is always when you have your life going full steam ahead when a wrench is thrown into your plans, right? You have your career going great, you are eating well, and maybe you are even working out at least a few times a week, and then BOOM! Something happens. Maybe it’s untimely news, or amazing news, or even a new love interest.

The Law of Attraction states you will attract to you what you are and whatever you spend the most time thinking about. If you spend a lot of time thinking about success at work, ultimately you will become successful at work and so on and so forth. We aren’t saying you should be thinking about getting married 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but you should know that this will be your next step.

Also, it is worth noting that if you are a hot mess, then you will attract to you a hot mess. People perpetually wonder why they attract losers or creepers to themselves without ever taking a hard look in the mirror. You know when someone says, “It’s not you, it’s me…” well… we are here to tell you the truth, it sometimes is you.

We aren’t saying that if you don’t have it all together, then you will always be stuck dating losers, but you have to be self-reflective enough to know what your own strengths and weaknesses are. If you know you’re a mess, then don’t expect to meet someone who has it all together. If you do meet someone who has it all together and they disappear on you without a trace, or “suddenly” are no longer interested, then they probably realized your mess was too big for them to handle.

If you know you have issues (we all do), then take ownership of them, and put some serious effort into working on them. When other people see you making a real effort, they take notice of the fact that you are no longer rolling over in the corner and wetting yourself. They see a difference in you when you make the decision to put your big boy or big girl pants on and get to work on the most valuable asset you will ever own… yourself. This sort of go-getting action is attractive, even if you don’t have it all together.

Know When You’re Ready

Having your life together is a huge factor in your attractiveness to other people, and the next step is knowing when you are ready to do something as serious as getting married. We have to know when we are ready to jump out of that airplane to free fall 10,000 feet, or when we are ready to try a piece of raw fish for the very first time (mmm… sushi sounds so good right now). Just like all things in life, we have to know when we are ready to take the first steps toward a marriage filled relationship.

The trick is that you are never really going to be ready… yes, we just contradicted our self. Ask anyone who is about to be a new parent, or who is about to start college, or who is about to go to a foreign place where they don’t speak the language, you’re never going to be ready, you just have to jump in. This is not to be confused with fools rushing into marriage Elvis Presley-style.

Knowing when you are ready to get married is not about already having your wedding planner on speed-dial when you haven’t even met the person you are going to marry. Simply put you have to know marriage is what you want. Only about half of the US population is married, and people have very different views on marriage nowadays, so you have to know your end game.

Fill Out Your Profile (Well)

What an important step this is! Filling out your profile is crucial when searching for a truly great online dating match. If you don’t fill it out completely, then other users may believe you don’t take the process seriously enough to make a real effort. If you fill out way too much information in your online dating profile, it could have the reverse effect and give off the vibe that you might be desperate or too much work.

Fill out your profile in a way that you are answering all of the questions (if open-ended), but not too well. Give a sentence or two in response to the questions, but not five paragraphs. When submitting a job application, an employer spends on average only 10-15 seconds reviewing your resume. When it comes to properly filling out online dating profiles, you get a little bit more time, but not by much, about 15-20 seconds is spent in total on online dating profiles users actually click on.

You need to get to the point without a lot of fluff. If you only get a few seconds don’t waste time with generic opening statements in your “about me” section of your profile. Have a great one-liner that isn’t cheesy? Have a cool mantra you like to live your life by? Awesome! Use that as the opening statement. Try to not be generic or boring and don’t use sayings or quotes that need to be retired already For example, YOLO, Namaste, or any of the signature Gandhi quotes.

You need to make sure things are spelled correctly as well, incorrect spelling will make someone leave your online dating profile page immediately. Grammar is more important than you might think, so maximize spell check if spelling is not one of your strengths. Ask a trusted friend or family member to review your profile for you as a second set of eyes always helps.

Use proper syntax, so you have sentences which properly flow versus a mashup of incomplete thoughts. Fragmented sentences are not your friend. Another bonus is using good word choice, for example, knowing the difference between the use of your and you’re can go a long way when making a good first impression with your profile. You show your level of intelligence through your profile answers, so you don’t want to be too pompous or too dumbed down.

If you are naturally a funny person, then use this skill to your advantage and place some humor in your profile, just don’t use too much as it may come across as sarcasm. Sarcasm is known as a defense mechanism for people with low self-images, so be leery of overdoing it on the jokes. Humor is a common ground for most people and serves as a great icebreaker if done well.

Selfie Check

One of the most important areas of your online dating profile is your uploaded photos. Not having enough photos or a lot of inconspicuous photos could make other online dating users think your profile is fake. If all of your photos look like they may have been taken with a potato camera, then other users may run for the hills.

There are some pretty basic rules for your photo selection when it comes to your online dating profile. You want photos which clearly show you and your face, as well as photos which show your full body. Photos should be in good taste, so no nudity, obscene cleavage, vulgar language, or inappropriate acts such as performing a keg stand. Photos should be no more than one year old.

You should be the only person in your photos, so avoid having other people in your photos unless they have given you their strict consent, even then we really don’t recommend it. Having a lot of group photos on your online dating profile may make you look like you have a lot of friends, but it will actually just confuse other users. They may not be sure which person in the photos you are, and they could accidentally think you were someone else… causing an accidental catfishing situation.

Also, avoid those pictures where you obviously cropped out other people next to you. Whenever people see those overly cropped photos, they instantly start to think its a “photo with the ex.” Do yourself a favor and make sure the only person in your photos is you. If you need to take new photos, then do it.

Don’t overdo it with the filters and editing on your photos. We all know you have wrinkles and crow’s feet, so don’t edit them out to look more attractive. This sort of photo editing is, in fact, a form of catfishing since you are making someone think you look like something you obviously don’t. Remember, you can’t edit out your crow’s feet in real life.

Don’t Give into Deal Breakers

When it comes to online dating for marriage, you cannot give into deal breakers. For example, if you are not interested in a relationship with someone who is a sports fan. If you enter into a relationship with someone who is a huge sports nut, then you will find yourself watching or even attending sporting events every weekend. Stick to your guns, because those deal breakers will continually rear their ugly head throughout your marriage and could cause more grief than they are worth.

Knowing what you will and will not accept is important in all things, but when it comes to marriage, you need to know all of your deal breakers. There’re more than the personality deal breakers to keep in mind, there are also deal breakers in religion, politics, or even lifestyle choices such as being vegetarian. We have never seen a successful marriage between a vegetarian and someone with a meat-eating diet.

Giving into deal breakers during the initial dating phase will ultimately not fare well for you once you are married. Stick to your guns and go for what it is you truly want and desire in a lifelong partner. You will be much happier in the long run if you don’t give into deal breakers.

Message Like You Mean Business

When it comes to sending messages to online dating matches you need to have a different game plan when it comes to desiring a relationship which can lead to marriage. You need to use respectful and tactful methods of communication. You need to be clear about your intentions.

One of the biggest mistakes you could make is sending naughty pictures of yourself to your new crush. Chances are they are going to assume you do that with everyone and here’s a news flash… they won’t want to marry someone like that. Why would they want to buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free, right?

Don’t come right out of the gate with a strong message declaring that you are only interested in marriage, this won’t be received well. You need to be clear with your online dating match that you’ve been around the block before, and you have experience in dating relationships but use grace and tact. Let your new crush know you are looking “to build something” with the right person.

Be Authentic

We get that you want to get married, but don’t act like something you are not in order to make that happen. You need to be true to yourself no matter who that person is. Whether you’re a Stars Wars loving nerd, or a Wall Street wolf, just do you. There is someone out there who will get you and will love you for who you are, and not for who you pretend to be.

Being authentic can seem challenging in a society of perfect models photoshopped all over magazine covers and television ads, but you don’t need to be like them, just be like you. There will only ever be one of you… that’s crazy! No other person on the planet is like you, this fact alone makes you so cool. Embrace what makes you uniquely you and celebrate those things.

No one is perfect, we’re all human at the end of the day, and we all put our pants on the same way. You don’t need to lose that weight, or grow your hair, or get eyelash extensions… just own who you are, being authentic and loving yourself for who you are is the most attractive quality you can possess. Online dating matches who are looking for marriage are going to be more attracted to that than anything else.

Don’t Hide the Playbook

If you are seriously looking for marriage, then don’t hide this fact from your online dating match until you have had 12 dates. You also don’t need to come out swinging on the first date but make sure whenever the topic of marriage comes up you are open and honest. If no one has made mention of it by the second date, then be sure to bring it up… casually.

There is no point in trying to hide your moves from your online dating match, no need to hide the playbook. Being honest with what you want and how you feel toward them is going to serve you much better than trying to hide things. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable because sharing your feelings and being that honest can be scary, and sometimes it can hurt (really bad) when it’s not reciprocated.

If you are seeking a marriage relationship, then you will have to be a bit gutsier, because building a relationship which can lead to marriage is more challenging than a regular non-marriage relationship. When you are married and have an argument, you have to work through it, and there’s no playbook for that. You have to be willing to go outside of your comfort zone in order to find someone whom you would be willing to fight for.

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Author: Matt Seymour, MSF

Matthew J. Seymour is a dating industry expert with over a decade of experience coaching singles, reviewing dating apps, and analyzing trends within the industry. Matt is a published author with his most recent work “Get More Dates: How to Master Online Dating Apps” that hit shelves in 2023. With a Masters of Science in Finance (MSF) degree from the University of Florida and extensive knowledge of the innerworkings of the online dating industry, Matt frequently serves in an advisory role to some of the largest dating apps on the market. In Matt’s current role with Healthy Framework, he leads the interview team that regularly interviews key dating industry leaders, and leverages his financial knowledge and dating app experience to review and share what singles need to know to get the most out of dating online.