11 Dos and Doníts for Dating Online
For years, online dating seemed to carry a stigma around with it and couples who met online told edited versions of their "how we met" story. But now, as people are spending more time than ever connecting online, looking for and meeting a potential mate online has become a normal part of our everyday lives. So how do you enjoy and profit from this brave new world? Well, there are eleven simple dos and don'ts that will help you to maximize your online experience and, hopefully, have you on the way to finding your perfect match.
Most Internet personal ads and profiles are unlimited in terms of words once you've paid your membership fee but you shouldn't use this freedom to blather. Be as specific and concise as possible. Think about who you are and what makes you unusual, and list both your successes and your failures. Don't wander into abstracts or use trite phrases. No moonlight strolls, walks in the park, or, 'I'm a true romantic'; these descriptions of yourself are meaningless, overused, and silly. Remind yourself that a very focused intent is time-saving, practical, and useful, so be thoughtful and specific.
Use an appropriate photo.
Posting a photo will increase the number of responses increases dramatically. Be sure that the photo you select is actually you and, equally as important, fairly recent. Avoid flattering shots because you want very little discrepancy between the picture and what you really look like. And don't post any pictures of yourself with your arm around anyone of the opposite sex - a picture with a friend is also a mixed message. Be careful about using props like a dog, a boat, or a fancy car. This is about you, so it should be a good headshot of you alone. Most importantly, keep your shirt on.
Make your English teacher proud.
Check and then double-check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Nothing will make you look more like a doofus than misspelled words or incorrect grammar in your ad. Have somebody proofread your ad. If you do not want anyone to know you are doing this, ask a discreet friend to read your listing to see if it makes sense and has no major lapses of logic, taste, or grammar. Always spell check and run it by a supportive friend with good English skills. Another set of eyes will often catch something you've missed.
Keep the lies to a minimum.
Age, weight, and sexual history tend to be the general minefield of fibbing. Keep your age within a few years of your actual age. Make sure any physical description roughly correlates with what your mirror reflects, not what your heart desires. If you're a little heavy, then say, "I'm a little heavy. I can live with it. Can you?" This is a much better approach than lying about your weight. Remember: Sooner or later the intent is to meet face to face, and neither of you should be unpleasantly surprised. As for sexual history, don't go there! Your indiscretions are best forgotten - this is not appropriate for a website with strangers.
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