Dating Online Safely

So you’ve taken the plunge and set up a profile online…

(If you haven’t, what are you waiting for!)

What now? Sit back and wait for the messages to flow in, or go looking, the choice is yours. Whatever you choose to do, here are a few practical guidelines to think about.

Flirting, chatting and dating on-line is no different to doing it off-line, just a lot safer and easier if you do it right. Most of the ettiquettes or ‘rules’ are common sense. Your mother was most probably right – you just don’t have to admit it.

Create The Right Impression
Make sure your profile is not misleading. Give the wrong idea and you’ll be sure to get the wrong response or no responses at all.

Think About What You Say
When contacting another member of for the first time or responding to a message, think about it. As tempting as it may be to walk up to a stranger at a party and place a hand on their sexy butt, chances are you wouldn’t. So don’t do it online, unless of course there is a large sign that says ‘Touch Me!’

Personal Details
The advantage and greatest thing about being online is the safety and privacy it affords you. Just be careful! When you start corresponding with people don’t give out your personal details too early. Build up a sense of mutual trust first. Keep your last name, telephone number, email address, place of work and exact family details private until you are ready to share them.

Don’t be Pushed
Be wary and watch out for people pressing you for your personal details too early and too often. Also, hang back on meeting off-line until you are ready.

Keep an eye out for changes in content and style in the messages you receive. If Mr Loving Kindness suddenly starts sounding like Carlos the Jackal on testosterone it may be an idea to back off or move on.

Meeting Off-Line
This is the big one! You mailed each other, chatted and are ready to take the plunge and meet for real. Whilst taking your brother from the commandos with you may ensure your safety, chances are your date may get nervous, or prefer him to you!

Make your first few meetings in public places, ideally at lunchtime if you can. If you have a mobile phone take it with you and possibly take a pre-arranged call. Tell someone where you are going and try to have plans for after your date – don’t be caught out with “so what are you doing after dinner?”. Have your answer ready. Don’t give out your home or work address and don’t give in to pressure.

And guys, all this applies to you too. The chances of being taken for a ride by women may be less, but don’t discount it.

Most importantly, relax, have fun and keep things safe.

Winning Dating Profiles

How do I get people to see my dating profile?

It’s all about getting noticed!

Here are a few tips to get the most out of flirting or dating online:

Your ProfileThink about it from the other side – if you were going out hoping to meet someone, chances are you’d take a bit of time to dress up or down depending on your style and the type of person you’ll be looking to meet. The same goes for your online profile.

The old saying about first impressions was never truer than now online; you may only have a few seconds to make the right impression. So take a while to get it right. Most importantly, be honest. If you claim to be Arnie in The Terminator and turn out to be a stand-in for Mr Bean, chances are you’ll not be off to a great start.

Let’s look at the basics:

Your Screen Name and Profile Headline:
Choose something that says something about you and possibly the type of person you’d hope to get in touch with. If you call yourself JacuzziBabe, don’t be surprised when you get hundreds of messages from guys not interested in a home with 2.4 kids, garden fence, a dog and station wagon. However, if you’re after a bit of bubbly fun, then you’re spot on.

Your Profile Content:
You’ll notice that most questions have the option of not being answered. Think about those that you leave blank. You may prefer not to answer a specific question (your religion, for example) but leaving some others (say, eye-colour) tends to just look like a sloppy profile. When it comes to the ‘narrative’ section, take some time over it. We can’t all be Oscar Wilde, but a few well-written lines will go along way to getting noticed. Even how you complete your profile can say a lot about you.

It’s a fact: profiles with photos get much more attention. Choose photos that are clear and uncluttered. Ideally, use photos that have you as the only person in the picture to avoid confusion. Besides, your friends and family might not want to be published online, so respect their privacy.

Update Your Profile Often:
Not getting the attention or responses you’d like? Review your profile regularly and update it every now and then. Keep it fresh!

A few simple ideas and you should be off to a flying start.

Dating Opening Lines

What is a good or rather, successful Opening Line or statement?

When it’s time to contact someone for the first time, what’s the best approach?

It’s all a question of style: your style. Some people opt for an enigmatic “Hello, how are you” and leave it at that, whilst some choose to rewrite the collected works of Shakespeare and include a complete medical history as well.

Our advice is to find a happy medium in between. If you’re hoping for a reply, which we assume is the idea as that’s what it’s all about, we suggest a paragraph or two with something about you and possibly some reference to their profile. Invite a reply by asking an appropriate question or two.

Avoid the negative or testing approach: “We’re not a match because….”. If that’s the case, well then why are you bothering to contact me?

Put your best foot forward. Before you hit send, review your message. Bad grammar and spelling are a major turnoff. The same goes for your profile – whenever you edit your narratives, have a look at your Profile Summary to make sure you’re happy with how others will see you.

Exercise caution. Be careful when including personal details in your message, especially in a first contact. Including an email address may expose your name, place of work, etc, so it’s best to play it safe in the beginning. While we’re pretty confident that there aren’t any axe murderers lurking amongst our members, we have it on good authority that some people can be a tad persistent about sending you mail once they have your real email address.

First impressions go a long way to the second…

First date or message

How do you start off an email love affair?
What do you talk about on a first date? While first impressions do count towards a relationship, long term success comes from getting to know each other. The problem for many of us is the inane way we date. Going to a movie for a first date whilst easy, may leave you feeling a bit empty. After 2 hours of sitting in the dark with a stranger, chances are you’ll still be in the dark about your prospective new partner.

The best way to get to know someone is to talk to them and get them to talk about themselves.

Here’s our top ten list of things to discuss (they may reveal a lot more than you expected!):

• Whom do you admire? Why?
• Tell me about your family: is there anything you would have changed?
• What, if anything, is your most prized possession?
• What’s your greatest achievement?
• Is there anything you’ve dreamt of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it yet?
• Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
• What’s your greatest strength? … and weakness?
• What makes you angry or depressed?
• What type of relationship are you looking for?
• Where would you like to live?

Take it easy, with just one or two questions per email or date, possibly discussed in detail – you don’t want to it to sound like an interrogation. Good luck.