Dos and Don’ts of Online Dating

    Anyone who says online dating is painless and easy never tried it; between the slew of online dating sites, filtering through potential daters’ profiles and flirting with perfect strangers via IM and e-mail, things can get a little hairy. On the plus side, you’ve got hundreds of possible love interests right at your fingertips, so don’t give up! Read on for our expert advice on navigating online dating like a pro.

    DO your research.

    When considering online dating websites, consider both larger, well-known sites and smaller niche sites—there are benefits to both. “Niche sites are great because they bring similar people with common interests together, and everyone is starting with a common base, which naturally puts you in a place of confidence,” says J.J. Smith, author of Why I Love Men: The Joys of Dating.

    Broader sites, on the other hand, often have additional features like personal assessment tests. Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D, and chief relationship expert for, says, “Larger sites allow you to meet people you would never bump into on a regular basis. They help you meet people you should meet but might not have been in the right pathway to meet.” Also, look to see if the sites you’re interested in offer a free trial period so you can test-drive them before you commit.

    DON’T pretend to be someone you’re not.

    Online dating is competitive, but being yourself is essential. “If you’re pretending to be someone you’re not, you’re going to end up on a date with a person who is compatible with the person you’re pretending to be, not the person you actually are,” says Lisa Daily, author of How to Date Like a Grown-Up.

    But DO put your best face forward.

    A flattering profile picture is the single best thing you can do for yourself. “Enlist a friend to get an honest outside opinion,” says Schwartz. “You want a happy picture that will really grab people’s attention.” Most important, use a clear photo that shows off your face. Don’t post any pictures of yourself with exes, even if they’re cropped out, as they tend to get significantly less click-throughs. Keep it simple and tasteful and show off that gorgeous face of yours!

    DO screen for e-mail originality.

    Be wary of anyone contacting you with a generic cookie-cutter e-mail that looks like it has been copied and pasted several times over. “There are a lot of online players whose primary goal is to date lots of people at a time; they take on a fake persona, use really hot—but ultimately misleading profile pictures—and send e-mails that read like they could have been sent to any- and everyone…and they probably have,” says Alex Mehr, CEO of dating site

    DON’T give out too much personal information.

    Being aware and protecting yourself at all times is essential to dating safely online. “Don’t give out your home address or have them pick you up, but instead, meet in a public place and provide your own transportation,” says Robert Siciliano, an online dating security consultant for

    DO be specific about your interests.

    Although it’s important to stay safe and not give out too much personal info, what you do share should be detailed. “Give specifics, not generalities,” says Schwartz. “Don’t just say that you like to travel. Give examples of trips you’ve been on or would like to take. Show your passions and interests, as that’s what will make a lasting impression.”

    DON’T carry relationship baggage with you.

    Before you engage in a serious relationship, take stock of your dating history to fully understand what works for you and what doesn’t. Remember the you-must-hang-out-with-me-24/7 guy? Yeah, let’s not go there again. “When you’re online, figure out triggers that will send you down a path you’ve already been down and don’t want to go down again,” says Smith. “If you do that, you can screen potential dates properly and avoid making the same mistakes you’ve made before.”

    DO be aware of scams.

    Online fraud is a serious issue and a potentially dangerous trap. “If you’re in contact with someone who asks for money or claims to be working abroad and unable to access their bank account—and therefore needs you to act as a liaison for their finances—beware,” says Mehr.

    Also, be sure to keep all communication on the site. “Scammers try to take the communication offline into personal territory. You are more protected if you stay on the site’s communication,” says Daily.

    DON’T throw in the towel too quickly.

    Online dating does speed up the courting process (good for your social life, bad for your guilt complex), so try to stick to the third-date rule. “Generally, you will know by the third date whether there’s a spark and if it’s something worth pursuing. People make silly mistakes on first dates. Don’t rule them out just because of that,” says Daily.

    DO establish boundaries.

    It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of new possibilities, but keep your feet on the ground and be honest about your expectations (just because his profile pic looks like Brad Pitt doesn’t make his love of death metal go away). “Your profile is your chance to really sell yourself and find what you’re trying to attract, but you still need to establish boundaries and be up-front about what you’re willing to put up with. Be assertive and show that you have control over your life,” says Siciliano.

Post Title

Dos and Don’ts of Online Dating

Post URL

Visit The Art Muse for Daily Updated Collection

Popular Posts

My Blog List

Blog Archive