Casual Fridays: Online Dating Dos and Don'ts
This week, let's take a look at the ins and outs of online dating. It can be tricky trying to set up a profile that is unique, interesting, and truthful. Knowing the basic etiquette of web-based romance is the first step toward making a successful profile, so as you're logging in, keep these dos and don'ts in mind.
Do post a picture that shows who you are. Using a picture from five years ago could end up disappointing people when you meet up in real life. Instead, find that flattering pic that still represents the true you.
Don't post personal information that shows where you are. Under no circumstances should you post your real phone number or home address. If you'd like people to be able to contact you, but you want to keep your personal life separate from your online endeavors, list a virtual mobile number or a dummy email address.
Do share interests that make you stand out. Are you a cinephile with a penchant for bad horror movies? Maybe you're bake a mean rhubarb pie or enjoy pickling vegetables. The more specific the better - this is your chance to let your personality shine through.
Don't share interests that make you sound like everyone else. You may love camping, traveling and long walks on the beach, but these tired cliches aren't going to get you noticed.
Do respond to all polite messages. Even if you can tell right off the bat that the person who sent you a message is not your type, it's polite to respond. A simple, "Thanks for the message, but I don't think we're a match. Good luck!" is both friendly and honest.
Don't respond to messages that sound too good to be true. There are a lot of fraudsters out there who specifically target online daters. If you get a message from a beautiful multimillionaire who needs you to wire over some cash, chances are he or she is less interested in love, and more interested in your mobile identity info.
Do delete your profile once you're off the market. Once you're in a committed relationship, it's respectful to your partner and your fellow online daters to take yourself off the site.
Don't give up hope after trying one site. If you're finding that the online love is slow coming, try not to panic. There are a number of social sites out there, so try your hand at a few before you log out on web love altogether.