The Do’s & Dont’s of Online Dating

How to Play for Keeps

If you’re looking for a relationship, then the rules for you are sometimes harder to play by and require effort beyond what you’d give for a simple, “hook-up”, or goodtime.  While I’ve always been a proponent of “keep a pair, with one to spare” and think it’s healthy to date more than one person until you spot a potential partner, many of us let our hearts lead us right into trouble.  So if you are playing for keeps there are rules you need to abide by in order for the potential partner to recognize you as a good catch, instead of just another easy player.

Do error on the side of elegance instead of trashy-while we all enjoy a hot and steamy conversation, if you find yourself in one with someone you haven’t met, then it’s a clear indication that they are out for a good time, and not a relationship.  It’s ok to say hey, I’m enjoy sex as much as anyone, but am selective, and prefer to know someone relatively well first.

Don’t post more than 3 photo’s of yourself.  Doing so appears narcissistic, as does posting one that shows skin where there should be clothes.

Don’t post photos of things you own.  It’s fine to say you love to ride your motorcycle, or you enjoy boating, or driving your performance car, but to post of photo of any of these screams “I need to compensate for what I’m not”.

Do be honest in your profile.  Don’t try and be something that your not.  Everyone feels uncomfortable in writing their own advertisement, you are better off saying your uneasy about it , “but here goes”, than to try and play like you’re all that.

Don’t give a list and litany of what you’re not looking for.  It’s a complete turn off and you come off like a bitch.  And if you have and you get people that are attracted to that, they have issues and you don’t want them anyways.  Being bitter is not attractive.

Don’t post a list of requirements about your mate.  No one is perfect and you just may attract someone who is humble and feels they don’t measure up to your expectations so they don’t respond at all.  If you have certain must haves, it’s ok to tactfully say you prefer someone with your equal level of education, not, “if you don’t make 100k a year, I’m not for you.” Can you say gold digger?

Don’t write your profile like your wooing someone your sitting next to.  Bearing your soul is only appropriate in time when you’re with someone exclusively, until then appear as though you’re a complete person, despite the fact that you haven’t yet met that special someone.

Don’t ever use the term “soul-mate” and don’t agree to go out with anyone that has.  While we all want to feel an elevated connection with someone special, someone searching for their “soul-mate” telegraphs that they are not complete without someone else.  You don’t want to be someone else’s lifeline.

Don’t sleep with someone before the fifth date. That is if you are really interested in having something worthwhile.  While you will undoubtedly be told, “It must be you because I would normally never sleep with someone on the first date.”  Don’t believe it.  It’s one of the oldest lines there is, and only suckers fall for it.

Don’t compromise on must haves.  While you don’t want to have so many requirements that you find yourself with no one who measures up, at the same time it makes no sense to go out with someone who has five kids if you don’t want to be a parent.

Don’t go out with someone a second time who goes on and on about their ex.  Clearly this person is not ready to move on, and if you assume they are just having a moment, it will come back to bite you later.  Hold out for someone who is actually past their last relationship and ready or at least open to entering into a new situation without bringing a cargo plane full of emotional baggage.

Don’t offer your phone number in your first correspondence.  In fact if you’re the femme, don’t offer it ever, and only give it once asked.

Don’t call them, let them call you. Again this applies to the femme in the relationship.  The one with the male dominant energy has to be the one to pursue, otherwise you establish a pattern that you’re the pursuer, and this never works out.

Don’t ever admit you have nothing going on.  Even if it’s true, lie and say that you haven’t heard back from your friends as to if it’s a go for Saturday or not.  Say you’ll know in the next day or so and get back to them, but if not, next week is open.  If they bolt then they weren’t really interested, but if they think you are worth it they will be glad to find another night.

Don’t fall for the perpetual excuses of why they can’t meet.  These people either don’t know how to say no, in which case they again, have issues, or they live with someone or are married or both.  There are plenty of online addicted emailers who live vicariously through an online charade.  Ultimately they will have every excuse as to why they can’t meet in person, but will undoubtedly turn the email conversation towards sex.  Steer clear.

Do take it all with a grain of salt, and remember you are not perfect and neither is anyone else.  Trust your instincts over your desire to be with someone and know that anything worth keeping takes time to develop.