The world of online dating is filled with excitement and limitless prospects, since the internet serves to close the geographical divide that once prevented people from “meeting” others the way it’s now possible. But just like anything else in life, there are a certain number of do’s and don’ts you should follow when it comes to venturing into the virtual dating scene to ensure that you get the most from your online experience.
DO: Do create an email address explicitly for the use of your online dating adventures.
DON’T: Don’t ever give out your regular email address – or even worse, your work email address.
DO: Do use your cell phone when it comes time for exchanging phone numbers instead of your home phone until you get to know a person quite a bit better.
DON’T: Don’t immediately exchange numbers with everyone who seems remotely interested – rather take the time to develop a friendship via email or instant messaging first.
DO: Do casually ask for more than one recent picture of a prospective date – it’s not uncommon for people to use someone else’s photo and claim it as their own.
DON’T: Don’t act like if you’re from the FBI and request a photo of them holding today’s paper, just to prove the pictures they’ve sent in the past are indeed current.
DO: Do create an interesting user name or log-on name that will attract the type of people you would be interested in.
DON’T: Don’t ever create a suggestive sounding name – like “HotLips989” – unless you’re fully prepared for the onslaught of responses that are sure to follow.
DO: Do choose a dating service that has a reputation of happy customers.
DON’T: Don’t automatically assume that a free online dating site is a smarter choice – they rarely offer the same benefits that a membership-based website would.
DO: Do go into the online dating experience with the right mindset in terms of expectations and your overall attitude. Dating should be fun!
DON’T: Don’t ever apologize for using an online dating site or service – instead, be confident in your choice to expand your horizons and the decision you’ve made to look for that special someone.
DO: Do take your time finding the best online dating service or site for you, and then be patient when it comes to weed through profiles and responding to inquiries. Ask polite questions during your first “encounter” and take careful note of the person’s response.
DON’T: Don’t make the mistake of being fooled by a sweet-talker who seems just a bit too eager to get to know you better, as you can be sure that if someone is acting this way with you, they’re also behaving that way with someone else.
DO: Do be completely honest about yourself and your intentions when it comes to dating and relationships.
DON’T: Don’t give out too much personal information – particularly about past involvements – until you’ve spent some time chatting online or over the telephone first.
DO: Do plan on meeting for the first time in a public location and always tell someone at home where you’re going, what time, with whom, and when you expect to return.
DON’T: Don’t follow your heart and meet someone right away after speaking with them online or on the phone for a few times, regardless of the connection you think you may have, or how perfect they may seem. Now’s the time to pay complete attention to your head and your gut as there’ll be plenty of time for listening to your emotions later on.