Monday, September 8, 2008

Online Dating Do's & Don'ts

There are many online dating sites out there and everyone is doing it. If you are single these days…and you’re looking for a date or relationship, if you’re not dating online, you’re missing out.

The more comfortable we get surfing the web, the more comfortable we get dating online. It is just not as weird and mysterious as it once was…and the stigma is no longer there. In fact, there is more of a stigma if you aren’t dating online...”you are just behind the times”.

But, what is great about online dating is also what is not great about online dating. Your options are endless. So, there are those that just can’t stop looking and perusing their options. Why pick just one…when each day brings someone new to your computer screen. I mean, how great is it to be bombarded with compliments from strangers telling you how beautiful you are, while you read their gushing emails in your dirty t-shirt and sweat pants? It can be addictive. But, it doesn’t have to be. If you are online dating with the simple goal of finding a relationship, then there are basic things to do, not to do and red flags to look out for.

Number one: Take your time and fill out your profile completely.

Number two: Be honest, but, not too honest (it’s a profile, not a therapy session).

Number three: Don’t say that you are looking for someone intelligent and then have misspelled words in your own profile Or misspell intelligent. I have seen that more times than I can count. Always, use spell check!

Number four: Put up at least 3 recent...recent photos. One a bit closer and two body shots..or vice versa. NEVER post photos with your kids, or another person..or God for bid a head shot or you with a celebrity. Win them over with you….just you…an accurate you. I even prefer to “under sell” myself online.... because, if they like what they see online, when I show up in person..they are pleasantly surprised. I think underselling is always best. If you look too great in your picture..or if it is old or has been photo shopped…you are in for getting your feelings VERY hurt when you meet the date in person…and you have to see the look of shock and disappointment on their face. It is true.

Number five: Be open to meeting people outside of your usual “type”. After all, that is the beauty of online dating, you are able to meet people that you might not otherwise ever meet in your day to day life. So, take advantage of the fact that you can explore options that you had never considered before. The nice guy or girl, the geek, the older man or woman, the younger guy, the person with a child. The goal is to find someone with the “inner” qualities that you are looking for first. So, make that the top criteria, when searching the endless profiles. This might help narrow the search substantially.

Number six: Choose wisely and look for red flags. Here are just a few:

Someone who doesn’t have a picture posted and I don’t care what excuse they give you.

Shirtless photos or anything that indicates that they will be WAY more into themselves that they will be ever be into anyone else.

Whe someone emails you for the first time and they don't reference anything specifically about you or your profile. Chances are they’re just shooting fish in a barrel and doing the “copy and paste” to any and everyone that is new or halfway decent.

If they say, “average body type” beware. This is your first clue that they are probably a bit overweight. And that is fine, but just know that going in.

Number seven: Don’t let the emails go on forever. You don’t want to have this great imaginary email relationship…if A) It never produces a real date or B) When you finally meet the person..you suddenly discover they aren’t the person that you let your mind build them up to be…..then it is just a very awkward and disappointing situation for both of you.

Number eight: A few good email exchanges, followed by one brief phone conversation to pick a time and a place to meet…and then cut to the chase. Meet at a neutral public well populated place. Keep this meeting short and sweet, no more than 2 hours.

Number nine: After the date, (if you’re the man) follow up with an email to say if you want to see the person again. If you let her believe you were interested in seeing her again, but, you aren’t…then make sure you send an email to clarify. The same goes for the ladies. DO NOT mislead anyone. There is no point, since you can always be honest in an email. Be honest.

Number ten: If you want to be in a relationship, then do not have sex with anyone that is still actively looking online. Dating sites allow you to see when the last time a person was on the site, use this information to your benefit and be cautious.

There are many many more tips, do’s, don’ts and red flags. Email me if you would like me to help you fine-tune your profile or help you search for that special someone.

Online dating can be a great way to find “the one”, but only if you are playing by the rules and giving it your very best shot.

I’m here to help.

14 comments:

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