Couple discovering each other through online dating

We've put together here a super guide to help you navigate the  jungle known as... online dating:


                                               girl online

Online dating tip...

If you've landed on this page, it's probably because you're contemplating entering the online dating scene. Before you jump in,  take the time to think about this, your reasons for doing it, your    expectations, and then put it all into perspective...

Cyber-dating has been stigmatized for a long time. Dating sites were  seen  as arenas for the desperate and lonely. Now, though, it has broken  out... become mainstream, an acceptable way for busy  singles to meet  others. Everybody's doing it! Some sources claim that over 40% of all single American adults (or 50 million) have tried internet dating.

So, there's are a lot of quality people on  these dating sites...and the vast majority are just as nice, curious,  open,  vulnerable, and date-less as you. Approach them with compassion and a sense of humor.

We're all for it, if you go into this with the right attitude... Realize up front that online dating is simply a temporary, convenient, superficial way to be introduced to a lot of singles in a short period of  time...That's all it is! 

And always remember that the computer sitting on your desktop or  lap is...
                                ONLY A PLASTIC BOX!!!!

                    desktop computer screen

Online dating tip...

The internet is wild and wonderful, and has piped into our homes an  amazing, colorful world. And we love it! There's an almost magical  quality to it, isn't  there? And there's a tendency to think it can work magic for us, too.  Well, it can't! It's only a piece of hardware.

Your  computer will not  magically turn you into a popular, confident social animal. Do not look  at the internet as your "Great white hope"  in finding the lover of your  dreams. If you go into it with that kind of attitude, you will surely fail!

Instead, think of online dating as simply a means of introduction. Try  it for a limited time, and make it one small part of your social  life. And  remember that once you get past the introduction, and meet face-to-face, you are back at square one...
                   the old-fashioned dating game.

              ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it
                  DON'T FALL IN LOVE
                   WITH ONLINE DATING!  

Online dating tip...

What is the main advantage of online dating? Anonymity.  The anonymity of online encounters lets you get your foot in the door, when  otherwise,  you might have just been passed by in real life. He or she  is forced to talk to  you instead of rejecting you quickly on a superficial physical level.

Anonymity also makes shy people bold! It's easy to flirt in cyberspace.  And seductive in its own right. It temporarily banishes loneliness, and  you can get addicted to it...Trouble is, it's not REAL. You aren't really flirting, you know?
        He can't kiss you through the modem...

                      picture of modem

Online dating is only a means to an end, which is to find true love. Don't  get caught up in the e-dating lifestyle permanently. Get beyond the  email stage as soon as mutual interest is clear.  We believe it's  IMPOSSIBLE to fall in love with someone you've never met.

There's  simply no way to know if the chemistry is there without a face-to-face  encounter. So it's foolish to let an online "romance" go on and on  without meeting. Lots of emotional investment at  risk,  and probably  a lot of time wasted, too.

Alright, so maybe we got a little preachy-teachy here. We just don't  want you to  fall into the trap...  as many have.

                               computer sitting in the middle of a set animal trap
So, the moral of the story? Get on the phone-- get a real date--- and you're on your way!


But first, we want to side-track you a little bit.  In order to help you keep your whole "cyber-dating" project light-hearted and fun, we have put together a page of true online dating stories, funny dating videos, and an e-dating MINI-FORUM. Join us now at  Dating Online Story.

               ONLINE DATING TIP small love heart with arrow piercing it

Online dating tip...

1. Set up a new email account just for e-dating. Keep it
    separate from your regular ISP. This helps keep your
    identity private and all that mail separate from your
    home email. Yahoo allows  setup of free email accounts.

2. Select a good paying dating site. Check out the ones in
    our "Top 6"  section. Do not sign up at a free
    personals site
. Why? They attract teenagers (no credit
    card) and married men (no billing), and other assorted
    freeloaders and weirdoes. In general, they attract a
    lower class of people. Spend the money.

3. Compatibility questionnaires & search factors: Cast a
    wide search net. Don't limit your selections too much,
    or you may pass right by a gem! You'll be surprised
    at how much you'll bend your "requirements" when you
    fall in love. Unless it's something you are unwilling to
    compromise on, like race, smoking or children, put "ANY" 
    in the search parameter boxes. Read this great bloglet
    on  "The Requirements of True Love".

4. Be totally honest in your online correspondence . This
    is one of the biggest complaints about online dating; false
    promises. Tell the truth about your age, marital status,
    body size, smoking and alcohol habits, and whether you have,
    want or dislike children. Be honest, be yourself, meet
    some nice people...your time will come. And you will
    win points for having been honest in the first place.
    Honestly, we can't understand why anyone would lie in
    their profile... unless they don't plan to meet in person...

5. You may be overwhelmed with tons of email responses,
    especially at first.  Limit the volume or you'll become
    confused, and the whole process will soon turn into a
    chore. Quickly weed out the ones that aren't for you.
    Pick out the best 6 prospects, and respond to them.
    Then deal with only 2 or 3 at a time. If one of these
    doesn't click, then you will cast a new net later, and
    start over. Keep a written list of all their names, or you
    may find yourself writing to repeat offenders.

6. Found a likely prospect? Go slowly at first. Email for
    a week or two, and don't reveal your real name. Find
    out his age, occupation, hobbies, whether he was ever
    married or has children (& custody), likes and dislikes
    in music, food, etc. If it feels right, then talk by
    phone. Be patient. Build some rapport and trust your
    instincts. Never press for a quick meeting. Let things
    unfold naturally. Make a date to meet if and when the
    time feels right.

                                                 girl online and talking on phone to her internet date
7. P.S. If a man is reluctant to give you his home phone
    number, or only calls you from work, he's probably
    married...beware! (More on security below)

                    ONLINE DATING TIP small love heart with arrow piercing it
                  SAFETY ON THE 'NET  

Online dating tip...

Yes, my dear, there are definitely some  unsavory characters on the  internet, and dating sites are prime happy hunting grounds for  them!  A small percentage of the men you meet online may be married, pimply-face 14 year olds, exploitive fortune-hunters, weird stalkers,  or sexual deviants. Honest.  Weasels on the web!

But, guess what? The whole world is like this. A stranger met in a bar  or coffee shop carries just the same risk. If you are street-wise and  careful in your day-to-day life, just carry it over into your internet  world. Be smart and careful, and trust your instincts. And you'll be just fine.

That being said...we've come up with some really smart tips to help you  enjoy a fun, rewarding, and safe online dating experience:

            ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it
               YOU'RE THE BOSS!  

Online dating tip...

You are in control here... the one calling the shots. Go slowly,  collect  information gradually, take your time in making decisions. You can choose if, when and where you will meet. That's another advantage  to online dating--- you are anonymous, and under no obligation to take things offline. Ever. If it doesn't feel right...don't meet in person!

And we know that you have heard of it.... online sex! Can you believe it? Well, it really happens.  Read what happened to Scott and Sarah when they met in an online chatroom.  (Keep it light, guys!).

               ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it
               PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY  

Online dating tip...

In the beginning, you will converse under screen names via email  service provided by your dating site. Email this way 3 or 4 times before going any further. NEVER reveal your real name, phone number, home address, personal email address,  or place of work  in the beginning.

You want to be able to make a clean break if you need to. When it comes time to talk on the phone, ask for his number,  and you call him. It's only later, when your instincts tell you he is  to be trusted, that you will gradually provide more contact information.  Once again, take your time with this.

              ONLINE DATING TIP  red flag waving
                    TRUST YOUR GUT

Online dating tip...

Your common sense will help you with this...
and watch for these red flags:

  • Contradictions, inconsistencies, exaggerations, evasiveness-- Is he too good to be true? Do you think he's lying? He probably is...
  • Do you feel pressured, uncomfortable, even a little bit afraid? Is he odd or strange? Forget him.
  • Too intimate, personal, talks about sex in emails or uses the word "discreet"... Discreetly delete him from your list.
  • Long cyber-dating history = loser.
  • Angry, demeaning, disrespectful, controlling... who needs it? Lucky you found out early.
  • Request a photo, if none was posted on his personal ad, or ask for more current poses of him. If he refuses to show you a picture of himself, he's hiding something. And it probably ain't pretty.

            ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it

Online dating tip...

Look at the first date as a quick check to see if there's any chemistry between you. It's usually pretty easy to tell from an hour  over coffee or cocktails. Don't get stuck in a 3 hour dinner date with  a  total loser... a waste of your time and his money. Follow these  guidelines:

  • Make a one-hour date at a public place for drinks (busy restaurant or coffee shop). You can always stay longer if he's hot!
  • Tell a friend about the date, his name, phone number, and where you're going to meet. And check in with her when you get home. Hopefully you will never have to rely on this precaution.
  • Drive to the meeting place in your own car. You don't want him to know where you live (yet). If your date jives, and you decide to go on to dinner with him, drive there in your own car, not his.
  • Booze---drink moderately. You must keep your wits about you, and there's nothing attractive about getting sloppy drunk on a first date, anyway. If he shows up drunk or proceeds to polish off 5 rum & cokes, let this be your last date with him (unless you like to take care of alcoholics).
                                                   cocktail with evil green serpent rising from it
  • If things do not feel right, or you are afraid of the man who's shown up, excuse yourself and leave. Who cares what he thinks? There's nothing embarrassing about safeguarding your life. And if you truly feel in danger, talk to the manager and have him call the police.

             ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it

Online dating tip...

So you've been out on a couple of dates now. He seems nice. You want  to continue the relationship, but you really don't KNOW him yet, do  you? Want to put your mind at ease? Do a little digging in the public  records, or have a background check done on him, just to be sure before you invest too much, emotionally, in the relationship.

Go to your online search engine...type in (your county) county (your state) public records. It may be linked to the Clerk of Court's office. Once  you get to the right place, you should be able to  type in his name, and  up will pop public records on him... marriage,  divorce,  property  transfers,  arrests, court judgments... pretty  revealing stuff, and all  a matter of public record.

Most counties are up-to-date and online.  If not, you can visit the county seat and  access  the  public records that  way. They can guide you in your search. It's  really not hard. And usually free.

For a  real eye-opening adventure, check out the local sex-offender  listings online... this is good information anyway. You can find out if a convicted rapist lives next door. Sex offenders are required to register where they live, and it's accessible information.

Go to your  search engine and type in (your county) county (your state) sex  offender registry. That should take you right to it. If  not, type in  (your county) county sheriff.  It may be listed with them.  Don't use  a pay site. This is free public information.

The registry allows you to  look up offenders by name, and some have a "neighborhood search".  Pictures and everything... sobering. Hope your great new hottie  doesn't  pop up in there!

And if you want to pay hard cash, you can have a professional background check done on him... and why not? A potential employer does it to you to protect his interests. Why not protect your love interests, too? Type in "background checks" in the search box.  We've  never done this before, so don't have any sites to recommend.  You're on your own! 

Had enough of "online dating tip"?

Okay, I guess we've covered all the bases. Don't let all these safety rules scare you away! You gotta take a chance if you want  to find true  love---just be careful, keep your head screwed on straight, and listen  to your head  as well as your heart!  
Happy hunting!

                             girl and guy hugging at the beach with sunset

             ONLINE DATING TIP  small love heart with arrow piercing it

   book meet me dont delete me online dating tips    
"Meet Me, Don't Delete Me.
Internet Dating: I've Made All The Mistakes So You Don't Have To",
             -by Bev Bacon

Jump start your online love life with this funny, informative guide.  Loaded with interesting real-life cases and specific how-to advice,  it provides the female slant on cyber-dating. The author reveals  some of the mistakes she made, the hilarious situations she found  herself in...and shares it all with you, so you can hopefully avoid the  same pitfalls. A fun and helpful read!

 book on successful internet dating    

"I Cant Believe I'm Buying This Book:
A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating"
        -by Evan Marc Katz

E-dating from a man's perspective (but enlightening for women, too).  Specific practical advice revealed in a fresh, entertaining  manner. His  premise is that you are doomed to fail in the game unless you post a quality personal profile,  then follow his tried- and-true advice and  techniques to assure success off-line. We like this guide!

Online dating tip...

Ready to write your personal? Check out more free online dating tips and guidelines to help you write the perfect  online personal ad...

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