Online dating rules you should obey
Given the instant access to the internet, your next date, boyfriend or husband-to-be might just be a click away. But caution remains the watchword if you are daring enough to brace the territory of online dating.
Because your quest to meet a man will definitely take you to the internet, you shouldn’t be surprised that you will find many guys online, all trolling for dates. On the other hand, you have to be prepared to spend time learning how to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Below are some of the rules of cyber dating you should follow:
DO post a recent photo, and write an honest description of yourself. You have to be real. There’s nothing more demoralizing for a potential boyfriend than to see a different body from what he has repeatedly seen in your online profile. Men who meet you should be relieved and delighted to see that you simply look like your pictures.
Be authentic and genuine. Be truthful. Your online self needs to match your real-life self. After all, you have real-life relationships with many of the people you are friends with online. The internet never forgets.
DON’T naively assume that his photo is as up-to-date and accurate as yours. You can accept a date with a guy whose head shot looked perfectly human, even normal. In the flesh, he could have passed for Dracula, with a mouthful of rotted, brown, pointy fangs. Never underestimate the power of photoshop.
DO learn the lingo of dating profiles. If a guy describes himself as cuddly, it means he is chubby. If he writes that he has been told he’s very handsome, it means his mother does that.
DON’T get taken in by corny, overused come on lines like, “Looking to spoil the lady of my dreams with flowers and candlelit dinners.” And beware of perfect strangers who promise to “snuggle with you in front of the fireplace” and “enjoy sunset strolls on the beach.” These guys have one thing on their minds. That’s why they took a course on What Women Want to Hear 101.
DON’T choose your dates based on photos. It’s all too easy to scroll through Internet profiles, selecting the Brad Pitt look-alikes and bypassing the rest. Remember, real men lose their hair and grow love handles, yet if you met them in person, you just might find them charming. Besides, if you’re anything like us, you probably don’t look that much like Angelina.
DO move the conversation along from email, Facebook, Instagram to cell phone. Some people are great writers or even have a friend ghost-writing for them. In a phone chat, you will get a better sense of whether your personalities click. Plus you will find out if he even has a personality. It’s a bad sign if, during his monologue about his latest outing or most recently seen movie, you are checking your watch and praying that you lose your cell-phone signal.
DON’T disclose where you live or for that matter, any personal information that could lead to your address, such as your home phone number, last name, or an email address that includes your last name. While most men on the internet are just as normal as you are, you don’t want an unscrupulous man ringing your door bell or endangering your life because you want a date.
DO take things slowly, though the chemistry may be magnetic. Arrange to meet him in a public place for the first couple of dates. When you know more about him, he can pick you up and drop you off at home, but don’t invite him in just yet – even if he pleads that he urgently has to use your bathroom.
DON’T behave like a kid in a candy store full of online temptations. If you have met a nice, sincere guy, and you are having a good time dating him, don’t fly to your computer the second you get home to flirt with a dozen new seductive suitors. On the Internet, it’s easy to get distracted by many smooth-talking guys, only to lose sight of the one who just might be Mr. Right.
DO keep online-dating emails to a minimum. When you first meet someone through an online dating website, you want to exchange a few emails before you meet them in person — say two to five. But the idea is to meet in person, not be an online pen pal, so get out there and go on a date.
DO look for common interests. When getting to know each other in those first few emails, you want to give your best impression of yourself. Don’t make too many comments about physical appearance, especially ones that may be perceived as too intimate. And don’t talk about politics too much right away. Instead, look for common connections, which are usually positive and not divisive, such as activities you can do together when you do meet. Keep the tone positive or neutral, at least until you understand each others’ sarcasm and humour.
DON’T sex text. Just don’t. It will send the wrong signal to the other person. It may even plant such thoughts in their heart even when it is not their real intention.
DO put away your phone during the first date. Never let your attention be divided or make your date perceive you as unserious. Focus on him or her and maintain eye contact. Pretty self-explanatory!
DO wait to friend each other on Facebook. Once you are dating, wait until a little bit into the relationship to friend each other on Facebook, and even longer to friend each others’ friends. Before becoming Facebook friends, you should have a conversation about your relationship and about whether it’s okay to friend each other. If you feel too awkward to talk about it, that’s not a good sign.
DON’T jump to conclusions about celebrating your love story online if you have both committed to each other without the consent of the other person. It should be a mutual arrangement to let the world know you are seeing each other.
DO ask before tagging each other on Facebook. If you are going to put up any type of photo that implies you are in a relationship, you have to be 100 percent sure you are in a relationship. Asking “Is it okay if I post this?” is always a good idea. And of course, never share other peoples’ personal information online, whether it is private photos or something they have said to you in confidence. That is a relationship killer. It means you have just betrayed their trust.