01 Februari, 2009

10 things to know about internet dating

1. Don't waste your time. According to the US news channel MSNBC, one third of people using online dating services are married, so learn to read between the lines. If your potential date is “separated” but calls you from a mobile only at odd, or set, times, won't give you a landline number, and can't ever seem to meet you on a weekend night, forget it.

2. Talk on the phone before your date. Voice tone and conversational nuances tell you things that e-mail can't.

3. If you don't like what you hear, question whether it is worth meeting. You should bother having face-to-face interactions only with people who have real intellectual, emotional and romantic potential.

4. Meet promising partners sooner rather than later. It will stop you projecting your fantasies on to them. The more you expect, the less likely it is that a person will live up to your expectations.

5. Tread a sensible line between optimism and caution. While there is every reason to believe that your date is a nice, normal person, meet in a public place, tell a friend where you are, carry a mobile phone and never accept a lift home.

6. Avoid bringing your date to your favourite haunts. If things don't work out, he could turn up uninvited at any time.

7. First dates should always take place in daylight. It's safer because there are more people around.

8. And you can see better. Research from Boston University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology shows that about 20 per cent of online daters admit to deception in their physical profile, but if you ask them how many other people are lying, that number jumps to 90 per cent. Nielsen NetRatings estimates that 33 per cent of online daters lie to some degree. Women tend to be more economical with the truth about their weight, height and age.

9. Sharing an activity rather than a coffee can be an easier way to break the ice, but keep it “kitsch” rather than “competitive”. Go for mini golf, not 18 holes; a trip to the zoo, not a ten-mile run.

10. If your date never returns your calls after meeting you, don't take it as a personal rejection because chances are you've either done the same thing to people you've dated in the past, or will do to people you meet online in the future. The great thing about internet dating is that there really are plenty more fish in the sea, so get back online and start over.

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