Question: Who needs online dating advice? Answer: Anyone who’s interested in improving their chances of meeting a friend or soulmate via the Internet.
Online dating started gaining popularity in the mid-90s, and the release of You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan helped push it over the top. People no longer had to fear face-to-face rejection, and singles could loosen up and let their true personalities shine through. By 2006, more than a thousand online dating sites were available, and U.S. citizens spent $450 million on online dating and online personal ads in 2004 alone.
Online dating tips are useful, as the process of meeting singles via PC is no longer a laughing matter. Every day, people meet on the Internet, fall in love, and even get married, and sites such as Match.com, eHarmony and Yahoo Personals are leading the way.
Choose a Dating Service
Before you can take advantage of online dating, you’ll first need to choose a dating service. This can be a difficult prospect, as there are literally thousands of dating sites to choose from.
Also make sure that the site is geared to someone of your age and ethnicity. If you’re Jewish, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to choose an online dating site which is geared towards Hispanics.
If you’re still unsure of which online dating service is right for you, take a look at one of the many review and comparison sites available. These services offer brutally honest assessments of the pros and cons of each dating site, thus allowing you to quickly find one which suits your needs.
Protect Your Privacy
When you register at an online dating service, you’ll be asked to provide credit card information, your phone number, home address, etc.; it’s important that these details stay private and aren’t shared with an outside party. Reading reviews of a site can help weed out those who might not respect the privacy of their clients.
Also, be sure that you don’t include your email or phone number on your profile. Reserve this information only for those people who you really want to get to know better.
Create a Personal Ad
Once you’ve selected an online dating site which meets your needs, it’s now time to create a personal ad to attract other singles. Here’s some online dating advice to keep in mind:
- Make sure your profile is completely filled out.
- Try to give interesting and original answers to any questions.
- Add one or more photos. Research has shown that profiles with pictures are nine times more likely to get a response.
- Avoid curse words in your profile.
- Emphasize your best traits, but also remember to be truthful.
- Be positive and upbeat.
- Always consider what you’re writing. Sarcastic comments can come across as downright rude when read on a computer screen.
- Don’t seem too picky when it comes to likes and dislikes.
- Be sure to let people know what’s important to you. If you attend church every Sunday, it’s important that a potential partner knows about this.
- Make sure that you indicate how far you’re willing to travel to meet someone. If you’re looking for someone in the same state, don’t lead someone else along. This will only lead to disappointment for the both of you.
Trust Your Intuition
When it comes to online dating advice, this is one that tends to be underrated. Always trust your intuition, even if someone seems really interested in you. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, and always try to understand the meaning behind each email you receive.
In order to help your intuition, it’s also important to keep an eye out for red flags. These are covered in the next section.
Red flags are comments which might make you wonder about the character or legitimacy of someone you’re talking to. Sometimes these are immediately obvious, while other times they will take weeks or months to manifest. Use your intuition and watch out for the following warning signs:
- The person seems easily angered.
- Pressures you about getting your phone number or home address.
- Their background story seems to change from time to time.
- The person seems evasive when you ask them questions.
- People who overstate the importance of financial stability could be gold-diggers.
- The person is unemployed and seems to have no ambition.
- Criticizes you during conversations for no reason.
- Not willing to provide contact information after a reasonable period of time.
- Does not have a photo and constantly makes excuses about it.
- Seems unusually interested in finding someone with children.
- Admits to having served time in prison or jail.
Meeting in Person
Once you’ve met someone online and established a connection, the next logical step is to meet face-to-face. While this can be a nerve-racking experience, taking a few precautions can make the process less stressful.
- Meet in a public location where other people gather.
- Make sure someone knows when and where you’re meeting.
- Call someone when you’re on your way home.
- Meet the person in your own car. Don’t let them pick you up.
- Only meet at a location where you feel comfortable.
- If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t hesitate to cancel the meeting.
- If you travel in from out-of-state, make sure not to share your hotel information. Rent a car so that you can drive yourself to the meeting.