Let's face it, online dating is probably your best shot at meeting Mr. Right these days. However, you need to learn pretty fast how to sort the wheat from the chaff. Here are some basic online dating do's and don'ts to help you navigate the murky waters of cyber-dating.
Rules for Online Dating: DOs
1. Be honest
No.1 on our online dating rules list: Write an honest description and post a recent photo of yourself. Don't make yourself taller, thinner or blonde-haired just because you assume that's what men want in a woman. Would you really want to be with a man who judges a book by its cover?
2. Learn the lingo.
Learn to translate the language of online dating profiles into common tongue. If he describes himself as “cuddly”, read “chubby”. If he says “I've been told I'm handsome”, read “by his mother”.
3. Do the math.
A very important item on our online dating rules list: If he sounds too good to be true, you would probably get a more realistic picture by subtracting 2 or 3 inches from his height, slicing his income by half and adding 10 years to his age.
4. Get him on the phone.
If you find yourself charmed by his emails, put him through the phone chat test. Do you get a good vibe from his voice, does your conversation run as smoothly as it did in writing?
5. Take it slowly.
This ranks very high on our online dating rules list: Even if the chemistry between you is off the charts, take things slowly. Choose public places for your first couple of dates. If he gives you a ride home, don't invite him in, unless you are ready to take it to the next level.
Rules of Online Dating: DON'Ts
1. Don't assume the same level of honesty.
Online dating rules for the naive: Don't assume that his description and photo are as accurate as yours. He may have chosen a picture taken 20 years before and played around a bit with Photoshop.
2. Don't choose dates based on photos.
A direct corollary of the above. Don't browse through online dating profiles, looking for Gerard Butler-lookalikes. Chances are, they look nothing like it in real life. Give real men (as in men who don't look like a movie star) a chance, you might just find them charming.
3. Don't disclose personal information.
Online dating rules for the naïve part II: Don't disclose your home address or any other personal information. Even if most men on online dating sites are fairly normal, you wouldn't want some crazed sex maniac ringing your doorbell.