Do you find it hard to believe that numerous studies are claiming that over 30% of couples say that they met online? Have you ever considered dating online? Where the norm once was to meet at church, matched up by friends, or in a social setting like a club or bar, it is becoming more and more popular, acceptable and economical to meet online. However, there are some basics to keep in mind so that you represent yourself well while also being cautious.
Here are 5 important guidelines that will help you do just that:
1) Be Honest – Be honest about who you are and show yourself in the best light. That is, besides using honesty in speech, also make sure you use a fairly recent picture of yourself and not one that shows you twenty or even ten years younger if you try finding a date online. Even if it’s not intentional, you will be viewed as dishonest.
2) Update Your Appearance – Before you start dating, make yourself look appealing. Looks aren’t everything, but we all know that they do matter and that first impressions have the highest impact.
- Eat right and exercise–you’ll look and feel better, and therefore, be more appealing.
- Update your wardrobe–stylish, not fancy. It doesn’t cost much to look like you’re living in this decade.
- Have a “natural” picture taken of you, either by a friend or neighbor. Natural looking photos are popular these days.
3) Take Your Time – it is comfortable to feel like you know someone after a few exchanges of emails or chats. However, when you are patient, it can save you time and money by getting to know a potential date better before taking them out on date. There are other ways to have face time before actually meeting in person such as Skype or video chat in order to see if the person is a match. You can also see if their picture matches what they really look like and get a better sense of their personality.
4) Protect Yourself – Don’t share your personal information right away, even if they seem really nice. Assert your desire for privacy. Meet in public when you decide to meet someone for the first time, like inside a coffee shop (not in a parking lot).
5) Spend Moderately – You can initially meet by potentially enjoying free events in your community like festivals, free concerts, or other community events. After that, if you decide it is worth a second meeting, you can follow-up with coffee or a picnic lunch.
Meeting others online can be fun, engaging and even safe, especially for those that are a little shy or have difficulties finding ways to connect with others. Don’t forget that even though this is becoming a more successful way to find a date or someone to get to know, caution and common sense is the key. Represent yourself in the same way that you would want the other person to represent themselves to you and always protect yourself. With that being said, if you follow these guidelines, you just might find that special someone you have been searching for!
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About the Author: Relationship Expert, Janie Lacy, LMHC, NCC offers expert advice to Local and National TV News, Relationship Websites and provides phone or face-to-face counseling in the Orlando area. Janie has a relational approach and a unique ability to connect with individuals. Drawing upon her broad range of experience in private practice, not-for-profit organizations, hospitality and the medical industry, she has helped countless people in many arenas of life. She offers keen insight on all aspects of relationships – family, marriage, parenting, dating, and personal growth. Connect with Janie on Facebook or Twitter.