We use the internet for everything short of brushing our teeth for us, so why not use it for searching for someone with whom to share a meaningful relationship? Maybe dating the conventional way has been less than successful for you and the idea of venturing into cyberspace for that special friend has crossed your mind…so if you’re ready to give it a try and dive head first into the massive online dating pond, be sure and check out the top five secrets to making the experience of fishing for the perfect catch worthwhile:
Secret #1: Post a picture. Let’s face it—faces are important, and no one wants to end up with what’s behind mystery door #3. A clear, up close, solo photograph of yourself is the first thing that singles will notice and it will guide them to check out your dating profile. In fact, online singles with a profile picture get about eight times the response of those who don’t post a picture. So even if you’re uncomfortable about your looks, this will be your chance to be brave and get over some of your insecurities. You can find some decent human beings who will be interested in what you have to offer on the inside—not on the outside.
Safety tip: Never meet an online friend in person if they don’t have a picture. It’s important that you know what your date looks like to be sure that they are who they say they are.Secret #2: Just be yourself. One of the most important rules when it comes to dating by any method, being yourself is going to be your best bet when trying to get lucky in love. Remember that honesty is the best policy—this means don’t tell someone you drive a Ferrari when you’ve got a Ford Focus sitting in your garage. Be truthful when disclosing pictures, info on your profile, and through exchanges with cyber singles. If online communication should happen to flourish into an in-person meeting, you’re going to feel pretty ridiculous when trying to explain the extra 50 pounds that you photo-shopped out of the picture on your dating profile. Remember, the truth always comes out in the end.
Safety tip: If you are engaging in contact with someone via online dating site, watch for inconsistencies in their stories and information. If you pick up on any lies, it is best that you cut the communication—you don’t want to fall into the trap of a lying, cheating con artist.Secret #3: Keep the communication cool. Online dating offers many unique tools that you can use to interact with internet singles—online chat, email, webcam chat, etc. In these first communications with someone who could be a potential match, it is important to treat the conversation as you would on a traditional first date. Make sure to keep the topics light—don’t cover anything heavy such as your ideas on how to handle the country’s debt crisis, your crazy ex or the diagnosis from your latest doctor’s visit.
Safety tip: When chatting up singles on the web, be sure to never give out personally identifying information. This includes your home address, place of business, phone number, personal email address, etc.Secret #4: Know when to call it quits. Most online singles will engage in communication over the internet and phone for about three weeks before going on their first face-to-face date. If you find that you’ve been going strong for three months and there’s no sign of taking things to an in-person level, there’s a good chance that you’re never going to see your online friend offline. So if you’re looking for more than a pen-pal, consider saying goodbye.
Safety tip: It is important to watch for signs of an online scammer who is looking to gain access to your wallet or someone who may have a wedding band around their left ring finger and a spouse and kids in the next room. If anyone should make you feel uncomfortable or give you a shady vibe—listen to your gut and cease communication. Anyone pursuing you for the right reasons will understand and respect your need for protection.Secret #5: Go on a safe first date. With the millions of singles signed up to online dating sites, there is a good chance of meeting someone who is legit enough to hang with the likes of you. That being said, there is also a chance of running into someone who would better the world by being locked up in a padded cell. So when the time is appropriate to stage a first in-person date, your chances of success grow when you play it as safe as possible.
Safety tip: Always meet in a crowded, public place and be sure to let a friend or family member know where you’re going and who you’ll be with. Remain aware of your surroundings—as much as you think you might need a cocktail to soothe your nerves, be sure to keep the alcoholic beverages to a minimum. And lastly, have fun and enjoy your date!Question: Have you tried internet dating before? If so, what has your experience been like? Is it easier than the traditional dating scene? Care to share any success or horror stories?