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Online dating do's and don't plus online dating hints & tips too!

 

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  There are many things that you should do because it's the right, ethical or polite thing to do and there are just as many (if not more) things that you should not do when it comes to online dating. If you're new to online dating, please keep these recommendations in mind as they will save you time, keep you safe and they're also ensure your online dating experience is a good one.  
     
 

Online Dating Do's...

 
     
 

DO - Try out different dating companies. Try a few different online dating companies to better get a feel for which company has what you're looking for whether the quality or quantity of potential dates, or the features and benefits the dating site provides for you. Joining more then one online dating site also ensures you a larger pool of people, many of which have also joined more then one online dating site

DO - Set up an appealing screen name. When setting up your profile, choose a nice, unique and interesting screen name. A name such as "AdamGuy88273" is not the best choice, however "AdamLooking4Eve"is a screen name with some originality. Avoid making up a screen name that is too sexy or hints at marriage such as "BigBeefSalamiMan" or "LookingForHubbyNow" though screen names like that are entertaining, that's about all they are. Also you should avoid including your name in your screen name, first name is OK but only if you must, however last name - just don't do it. A screen name based on looks seem to work the best for attracting guys and a screen name based on personality seems to work best for attracting women.

DO - Compose your online dating profile with honesty. We all somehow and in someway wish there was something different about ourselves whether it's our appearance, our weight, our income, height etc. etc. For some the online dating profile allows them to highlight their positive attributes while at the same time minimizes their perceived shortcomings. It's a natural occurrence and it happens in many dating profiles in one form or another. In most cases it's not much of an issue, however in the extreme cases a person's profile may not even get close to matching who they really are. So, before you get started on your profile there's really just one thing to remember and also just one thing to ask yourself. Remember that honesty in your profile will attract the type of person that you'll ultimately be the happiest with. Ask yourself if you're willing to eventually meet someone that has read your profile, with you knowing that some of the information in your profile isn't completely true.

If your long term goal is to eventually meet to see if the chemistry is right, then honesty in your profile is the only way to go. Now on the other hand.. do not be so honest that you scare every man or woman within a 2000 mile radius. People do not need to know right off that you talk to dead people, have fantasies related to chocolate whipped cream, or that you can pick a lock in less then 10 seconds depending on how dark it is. True, this information should come out sometime in the future, after there's trust, chemistry and more however, plastering "everything" about yourself on your profile is not required or recommended. A little of the unknown and a tad of suspense is just fine when it comes to your online dating profile.

DO - Include more then one photo in your profile. Having a minimum of one photo listed on your profile is very important as covered in the your online dating profile section of this web site and is a great start  - you go! Now, having more then one photo is a double plus as it allows the person viewing your profile to see different views of you while naturally matching them up to things you may already have listed in your profile. Including various shots such as inside the house, outside somewhere, formal, casual, you doing one of your hobbies etc. is a great way for other people to get to know you much better... even before they email you. Remember that for every man there is a woman and for every woman there is a man, so don't be embarrassed about your attractiveness or worry that you friends will see your online profile, just make sure you get a photo on there to start and more if you want to receive email or increase the response rate to those that you contact.

DO - Keep your emails mirrored but not identical. Many times the length of you email should mirror the length of the email you receive though not always and not exactly. In general online dating email etiquette would require that you respond with a similar amount of time and effort that the person writing to you has invested. If a person was to write you 5 lines in an email with some nice yet interesting small talk, you should write 3 to 7 lines back, no formula here, just close to what they wrote. In some cases this may not be the case, for instance If they wrote you a novel talking about their entire life, then obviously you doing the same wouldn't be possible or warranted, however you writing back a simple "Wow, that's interesting" would be rude. Likewise if they spent very little time composing an email to you (2 lines etc.) then it would not be right for you to write 3 full pages back on all the stupid things you did in your college days. So you expending a similar amount of time responding back to them would be a sign of respect, the same you'd expect from them. If you happen to receive an email, and all they have to say is "wazzup", you might want to go ahead and mirror their email by responding with "deleting".

DO - Avoid the past and even some of the future. You certainly never want to talk about past relationships, even if they were very important to you, you were hurt, or you have fond memories. Though the other person might be able to relate to what you're talking about, they will without a doubt feel alienated whether they say so or not. Nobody likes to be compared to anyone else, we're all unique, all different with good and bad and what was the past has nothing to do with the present and your new relationship. Keep you memories, and keep you mouth shut. Also, do not talk about marriage, weddings or how many children you want to have in the future as in the early stages it'll simply cloud and interfere with the early stages of dating. Wanting to get married and wanting to have children is perfectly OK, telling the other person too soon is not OK.

DO - Have patience and take your time. Online dating is not speed dating. While we all like to save time with fast food, a broadband connection, and instant noodles... you shouldn't feel that because the dating is taking place online that is has to be rushed or that it has to follow a predetermined "fast" timeline. It takes time to get to know other people, begin to trust them and eventually get the feeling that you want to take it to the next step. What is good for you when it comes to a timeline may not be good for the person you're corresponding with so take it slow for you, and take their speed into consideration during the entire dating process. Though "playing hard to get" seems silly online, as a woman you certainly don't want to start emailing every guy on the site. Set up your profile to depict who you are and post a nice photo (more if possible), then sit back, relax and be patient... they will come.

 
     
 

Online Dating Don'ts...

 
     
 
DO NOT - Blast an email to everyone. You may be tempted to shoot e-mails to all the attractive guys or girls within your zip code or local area to see what kind of responses you get, just don't do it. What you'll actually end up doing is scaring off those guys that want to be the "man" and initiate contact with you and you'll come off as pushy or overbearing. As a man you could come off as hard-up or desperate to the ladies. Be smart, be selective and be patient and contact others a little at a time, not all at once with a shotgun blast to everyone at once.  

DO NOT - Ask or answer personal questions. For some people they want to of they feel the need to bypass all normal dating protocol by "cutting to the chase" by asking personal questions right away. Do you really need to know what "works in an office" means on his profile on your first email to him? Must you know immediately what her weight actually is based on her profile under "life goals" that says "I'd like to lose some weight"? Avoid asking these type of questions in the early stages, save them for later once you've built a relationship and some trust. Likewise, don't ask personal questions either, given time it will all unfold for you.

DO NOT - Include other people in your photo's. As mentioned many time on this site, having a profile photo is paramount to successful online dating. When you post your photo's ensure they're photo's of just you. Some people want to post photo's of themselves in a group setting, possibly showing how social and fun they are. Others will take a digital photo of them and their previous partner, use software to "cut out" the partner and then post the photo to their profile, serious. See that shoulder there, partial arm, half a head, yea... that's the ex. Pictures of your pets, you half nude, drunk, sick, or a family photo with Mom and Dad are also a very bad idea. The people that want to know you better want to see you, not your family, pets, or your car. Here's some more information more on what you should do to tweak out your online dating profile.

DO NOT - Communicate with the insensitive or the rude. Because of the anonymity factor with online dating sites, some people feel they have the right to treat others badly because others do not "really" know who they are. Some people feel the need to "rush" the entire online dating experience. If you come upon someone that is insensitive, rude, or just a plain butt head... save your time while maintaining your sanity by just not communicating with them anymore. If you have a "block member" button within your profile so that they can no longer contact you then use it.

DO NOT - Write back to picture blasters or form letter mailers.  A picture blaster is someone who emails you their picture but says little to nothing of substance. That 6' 2" hunk of a guy with the 6 pack abs, yea, he'll blast you a picture and nothing else hoping his appearance alone will make you swoon. The truth about picture blasters is that's about all they have "a look" and not much else, otherwise they would have taken the time for you and written something to show they're interested in getting to know YOU better. Picture blasters are generally guys that are clueless to what a woman really wants and if a woman is picture blasting then it's more likely that it is not her photo, probably a model's photo, and she just wants a few really good pen pals to fill the void in her life. Form mailers, well they're people who at one time in the early days of their online dating composed one generic email and have used that same email with everyone that they're interested in. You can generally tell a form letter if it's shallow sounding, sounds like it would apply to anyone, and it's not personalized. Here's an example of a form letter "and" a more personal email.

Form letter email: "Hi, I really liked your profile it was very interesting and I believe we have much in common, check out my profile then write me back, you won't be sorry" It should be clear that this person, well, they just don't care and are not truly sincere... they'd rather use the "shotgun method" of emailing, then sit back and hope for the best, whatever it is. Their mindset... "nobody is important, everyone breathing is a potential date, I'm not going to waste my valuable time on you, next.

Real and sincere email: "Hi Sandra, I busted a gut when I read in your profile about all your kitties. Wow, you have me beat since I only have 3 but they're just like my kids. If you'd like to check out my profile I'd be honored, however if you happen to read the part about how I can't cook, it doesn't mean that I don't know how to use a microwave or anything. Good luck on your culinary school, it sounds like it could be some big time fun. I look forward to hearing back from you. Sincerely, Steve" It should be obvious to you that Steve read your profile, he is sincere (and whoo-wee can use a microwave) and seems like a nice enough guy that took the time to let you know he is writing to YOU. Hit respond and send him a short but very nice email back, he's for real and he could be your next best friend and your next make you scream in gibberish lover.

DO NOT - Have your first meeting in a non-public place. Your first meeting after weeks or months of online correspondence and phone calls should never be anywhere but in a public place. More of the details are covered in the sound online dating judgment area however the bottom line is your safety. Meeting in a public place such as a coffee shop, outside cafe or local restaurant are all good choices so that if you decided you wanted to leave you could. Don't put yourself in a position of being alone with someone who is still a stranger to you. This also means no meeting for the first time at their place or their friends house!  

Note: You should consider the fact that this is a first date and if does not work out do you want to be stuck at their place, do you really want them to know where you live?

DO NOT - Have your first meeting in a non-public place. Your first meeting after weeks or months of online correspondence and phone calls should never be anywhere but in a public place. More of the details are covered in the sound online dating judgment area however the bottom line is your complete safety. Meeting in a public place such as a coffee shop, outside cafe or local restaurant are all good choices so that if you decided that you wanted to leave you could. You do not want to put yourself in a position of being alone with someone who in reality is still just a stranger to you so that means no meeting for the first time at their place, their friends house, or them coming over to your place. You should consider the fact that this is a first date and if does not work out do you want to be stuck at their place, do you really want them to know where you live?

DO NOT - Respond to people that you know are not a good match for you.  This might sound crazy, but you will receive emails from people that clearly did not read your profile and they either have nothing in common with you, they are looking for someone different then who you are, or they do not even come close to matching the type of person you are searching for. In these cases it's not rude for you to ignore their email, delete it, and go on to read the next email. You do not have to waste your time apologizing or explaining yourself to them, shame on them for not reading your profile! If you are a 3 pack a day cigarette smoker and this is clearly listed in your profile yet someone writes to you anyway and their profile mentions that smoking should be banned from the world completely, don't waste your time, don't explain - delete. Likewise if you are looking for a well educated man between 27 and 32 living in US state of Maine, then when the 57 year old high school drop out from Arizona sends you a glowing email about how you'd like him regardless of what your profile says you want... yep you got it girl, delete!

DO NOT - Frustrate the people you are emailing. There are some things that might make the people you're writing to frustrated and stressed out whether you realize it or not. First, never type in all capital letters... YES IT REALLY DOES MEANS THAT YOU ARE YELLING AND THAT YOU ARE A SOCIAL RETARD.

Even though you might not see it that way, it is a form of shouting in the world of email and chat and should only be used (sparingly) to exaggerate a word or phrase however, it's not to be used in anything longer then that. Most people do not type in all caps because they want to yell, the truth (and this my tidbit of psychological insight for you) is that they are simply lazy people, period. They can click that little [Caps Lock] button on their keyboard and never (gads) have to hit the dreaded shift key while typing away and all the while thinking they're saving time when in reality they're telling the world... I'm socially retarded and I am not going to put any effort into capitalizing the beginning words in my sentences or any of the proper nouns, deal with it.

You can also expect these same people to cut other corners in their lives, even those corners related to you.  Also when you write an email, be sure to avoid ambiguous, open ended and unclear statements.. Instead of saying "I'm flying to Vegas this weekend to entertain some of the guys for the night", it would best to be clear and concise by saying that's more descriptive of the actual events such as "I'm flying to Vegas this weekend, as the lead singer in a classic rock and roll band I'll be singing at my little brothers wedding". So take the time in your emails (and chat windows) to fill in the blanks or rest assured they will be filled in for you.    

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