So, are you really ready to take the online dating plunge? Sure, youve found a site that suits you, and have started posting your pictures and creating your photo profile, but do you really know how youre supposed to act? There are no real written rules in online dating, but success (and enjoyment) is based entirely on you. If you start with a negative attitude, treating people rudely along the way, odds are good you will receive the same (if not worse) in turn. Carrying yourself properly then is the key to a successful, and fun experience online.
Here then is some online dating etiquette.
Leave fear and self-consciousness behind
Feelings of fear and self-consciousness are normal whenever you put yourself up for judgement in new environments. However, if not kept in check these sentiments can mushroom into negative habits that will only hurt your chances for love later on. Always remember that you are not alone in your online dating adventure, and that every available single you encounter has at some point dealt with similar emotions. Embrace what you fear, and focus on being as optimistic and courteous as you can. Keep in mind that those who are most positive are usually those who are the most attractive.
Do on to others
The major rule of online dating etiquette is simple and as old as the bible itself. Essentially, you have to treat other singles with the same respect you yourself would like to receive. If every correspondence you have begins with this positive framework in place, youll help create a caring atmosphere where you may find both your perfect match and scores of online friends. Remember, even if youre not attracted to someone, there are no real wasted correspondences, as at worst, youve made a new friend.
Quality over quantity (being gregarious and fun)
It is a good idea to chat with as many people as possible when you start online dating, but try to keep the number of simultaneous chats to a minimum. Even though meeting a lot of new people at once increases your odds of finding a match, keep in mind that the quality of your interactions also goes a long way towards forging a strong and exciting relationship. Do what you can to be talkative, and try to avoid responding in monosyllabic, yes or no answers. You may be sizing up other singles, but remember, they are checking you out too!
Ask the right questions at the right time
Because chatting is the name of the game (and because people may not always be what their profiles claim) you cant be afraid to ask questions. Without them, in fact, youd be hard pressed to find out anything about more than superficialities. Still, its important to keep the feelings of other singl es in mind. For example, it might not always be a good idea to ask personal questions the first time you chat with someone. Certain topics, specifically those relating to former partners or the deaths of loved ones, often need time and a level of trust before being comfortably broached. Use your best judgement, and remember to always apologize if a question offends or bothers someone.
Honesty is the only policy
If you cant say something nice, dont say anything at all
Instigating, mocking and insulting other singles is the easiest way to isolate yourself from the rest of the online dating community. No one likes a bully, and fittingly, acting this way can easily derail any ambitions you have to finding a perfect match. Put simply, if someone does not interest you, look elsewhere and keep your opinion to yourself.
Always stay friendly
If for whatever reason you fail to hit it off with anot her single, do what you can to keep relations friendly. If youre not interested, its always best to be upfront about your feelings. Explaining things simply and without negativity will always be appreciated, and it can help foster online friendships. Its also a classy touch to wish people good luck on their search. You may not have been his or her true love, but someone else just might.
Keep nudity and sexual talk to a minimum
Sure, sex is a big part of online dating. No one is denying that, and no one is asking you to hide your sexy side. However, there is a time and place for everything, and keeping sexual talk and imagery to subtle minimums is the classiest and most effective way to highlight your sensuality. Furthermore, overtly forward language and imagery may also open yourself up to those who do not have the best intentions in mind. Have fun, but be careful to pick your spots.
Anything can happen in the exciting world of online dating, but usually your own attitude and behaviour will set the tone for your experience. The Internet strips away a lot of inhibitions, but it should not take away your respect and manners. Remember to treat everyone the best you can, and undoubtedly your search for a perfect match will be a happy one.
Mitch Conway is the author of The Go-Getters Guide To Finding Your Soulmate, the first dating guide designed to help singles save time and become more proactive at meeting people. To find out more, visit www.gogettersguides.com.
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