Ten Top Tips for Online Dating
- Avoid free online services. A quality individual who really wants to meet you will pay for it. The free sites tend to attract the dregs, the dishonest and, worse, the dangerous.
Be a Little Anonymous
- Avoid revealing too much personal information in your profile. Don't use your full name. It's OK to just say that you live in Kansas; you don't have to mention what town. Never use your home phone number. People can learn a great deal of personal information about you just from your landline number alone.
- Look at other profiles. You'll notice that many of them use the same old catch phrases. Make yours stand out by being different. Lots of people like movies and long walks on the beach. If you prefer film noir, make the distinction. If you don't mind a little rain during your beach walk, say so.
- Make sure that whatever you say about yourself won't come back to haunt you. Making an initial connection with someone is only half of the process. If you eventually meet, he'll find out soon enough if you lied about anything, whether it's your weight or your job. You'll end up embarrassed and your suitor will feel deceived. Post a recent photo, not one more than nine months old.
- Proofread whatever you write, whether it's an email or a website posting, before you click the mouse to send. Poor grammar and spelling errors can be a turn-off for some.
- Never post a profile or respond to one when you're feeling a little tipsy. Your guard will be down, you might be feeling silly or maybe even sorry for yourself. Either way, you won't be presenting the real you.
- If you're on the rebound and feeling a little bitter, depressed or angry, either curb it or wait for a better time to try to match up with someone online. Your mood can bleed through your words, and it will discourage those who don't believe that spending a first date in commiseration makes for a good time.
- Not everyone you meet online is going to be exactly who they present to be. Unfortunately, a good percentage of those using online dating sites are already married. Learn to sniff them out so you don't waste your time. They may access their account at the same time every day while their spouse is elsewhere or always do it from work. They might use an old, grainy photo, so no one recognizes them, or none at all. Be alert for anyone who doesn't seem entirely forthcoming.
- When you reach the point of actually meeting someone, never let him pick you up at your home. Arrange the meeting in a public place and drive yourself there. Make sure a friend knows where you'll be and give them all the same information about the guy you're meeting that you know.
- You're probably going to meet a lot of toads before one shows any promise of becoming Prince Charming. Online dating is no different from real life in that respect. Don't set your sights too high, and don't feel compelled to communicate with everyone who reaches out to you.