|Here are the dozen do's of online dating:
1. Offer a complete & honest profile. 2. Have an inviting screen
name. 3. Post your photo. 4. Respond to others promptly. 5. Be
light & humorous at first. 6. Pace your sharing. 7. Ask
stimulating questions. 8. Give detailed answers. 9. If you're
not interested, say so. 10. Handle rejection gracefully. 11.
Move to the phone soon. 12. Take precautions before meeting.
Romance Coach,Leslie Karsner, PhD, offers her thoughts on the
1. OFFER A COMPLETE & HONEST PROFILE The extra minutes it takes
to fill out a really winning profile will save hours in helping
you find the most ideal matches. It would normally take two
people in the offline world several dates to find out all that
can be condensed into a profile. If you want to have kids, love
physical exercise, perhaps you smoke occasionally, let's get
that out in the open right off the bat. If you don't fill out
your profile fully, it may appear that you're indifferent,
uninvolved or just plain lazy. Don't fudge on your physical
traits or financial situation based on what your goals are,
however realistic they might be. If you knock a few years or
pounds off, you might end up missing someone who is seeking
someone exactly as you truly are. Not sure how to describe
yourself? Ask a friend, not your mom.
2. HAVE AN INVITING SCREEN NAME Who says you can't name
yourself?! A dater's screen name can reveal some taste or trait,
but if it's too forward or too intimidating, you may lose
unexpectedly wonderful prospects. On the other hand, an
in-your-face screen name might get you just what you want! The
point is, you'll have plenty of space in your profile for
sharing your extraordinary and even outrageous qualities. If I
had any advice on the matter, I'd have to suggest going with a
modest, easily remembered name, since it's not only the initial
hook but also something you and those you date have to live with
for a while.
3. POST YOUR PHOTO Looks matter...in a good way! We all have
certain physical features that others find attractive. By using
a pic of your face as it really looks, you'll boost your odds
for quality, genuine matches. Some people worry that if they put
their picture up on a dating site they might be recognized by
friends or family...even though this is hardly any different
than being seen at a club. Take the "blind date" factor out of
online dating by displaying (or e-mailing) a clear, recent pic.
And shoot it with better lighting than you get in a club.
4. RESPOND TO OTHERS PROMPTLY You don't have to respond to
initial e-mails from those interested parties who contact you if
they don't appeal to you. But once you are interacting with one
another, prompt responses keep things from falling flat. Just as
you'd return a phone call in a timely manner, so should you
respond to your online prospects - if only to let them know
you're busy and will have to catch up later. Some great matches
will never be made because one person got impatient with the
lapses in the other's response times. Momentum can matter here.
5. BE LIGHT AND HUMOROUS AT FIRST Starting things off on a light
note, humming with humor, can be more pleasant and naturally
engaging than getting too heavy too soon. Many of the weighty
matters have already been detailed in your profiles, freeing you
up to have fun with the initial interplay. If someone senses
that you are singularly focused on the goal of finding a mate,
and not having fun along the way, it could prove off-putting
unless you're both similarly intense. This isn't a job interview
- it's an adventure whose ending you shouldn't try to control!
Focusing on the playful, lively process rather than idealistic
goals will help you find true romance. And that's what leads to
a great mate.
6. PACE YOUR SHARING Don't overshare. Divulging intimacies too
soon can cause regrets later. Similarly, aggressive probing into
personal matters can alienate your prospects. Take heart that
you'll come to know certain things eventually as trust builds.
You're more likely to arrive at a full, honest disclosure on
matters if you don't rush things from the start.
7. ASK STIMULATING QUESTIONS The best way to get to know someone
is to get them talking about themselves. This is easily done by
asking questions based on what their profiles reveal. If you
initially interact via e-mail, try to incorporate some real-time
chatting early on via an instant message service.
8. GIVE DETAILED ANSWERS Some people respond to courting e-mails
with curt, one-word answers. If someone is trying to engage you
in an interaction, you'll want to provide them with enough
details to move the communication forward. Offer up thoughtful
responses, and try to end your response with another question.
Interactivity is how you get to know someone, not just by flatly
answering their questions.
9. IF YOU'RE NOT INTERESTED, SAY SO Nobody wants to be strung
along, so it's better to let someone down sooner than later. If
you've been contacted and don't feel that you're a match based
on the suitor's message and/or profile, you have two options.
Either ignore it like most people, or politely and kindly convey
your disinterest in a response back. Mince words all you want,
but let them undeniably spell out "pass".
10. HANDLE REJECTION GRACEFULLY If a prospect turns you down
amid the daily flood of new subscribers, there is no reason to
fret for long. And there's never a need to ask why there is no
interest, since that's rude, pointless and there are thousands
of other profiles for you to explore. When you take someone's
disinterest with grace, you're more likely to have that person
refer someone to you who might be better suited down the road.
Take this opportunity to review your own profile and make sure
that the descriptions and criteria you display are still right
on the mark.
11. MOVE TO THE PHONE SOON If you're both feeling that there's
some real chemistry here, you'll want to move things to the next
level. Talking on the phone will broaden your impressions of one
another. When it's mutually comfortable for your first
face-to-face meeting, you'll know it, however long it takes.
12. TAKE PRECAUTIONS BEFORE MEETING Many people have an
additional phone number just for online dating. If you only have
one number, don't give it out just because someone is upset that
you won't share it; exchange numbers once you achieve true
comfort together. Before you meet in-person, choose a public
place and alert a friend of your plans along with a time to
expect a call, page or message from you after the date. Use the
same care as if you were to go out on a first date with someone
you had met at the market - or anyone you don't really know yet.
Whether or not you've met in person, if you don't know people in
common, you should always proceed with caution.
I strongly advise online daters to meet in-person before
developing any emotional attachments for one another.
Enjoy online dating wisely and in moderation, and if you find
true love, don't be embarrassed to tell friends how you actually
About the author:
Romance Coach Leslie Karsner, PhD, author of The Long Distance
Romance Guide, has been coaching people about romance all of her
life! Editor of Love
Letters Now! LoveLettersNow.com, Karsner also writes a
weekly ezine filled with tips for heightening romance. Visit her
on-line at GoRomance.com
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