Internet Dating Etiquette

~Put Your Best Self Forward, Safely~

Internet dating etiquette is vital when putting yourself out there in the online dating world. Putting your best self forward will allow you to be confident as you navigate your way through this arena.

Internet dating has brought many people together that would never have met otherwise. It is a powerful medium that allows you to interact with so many people throughout the world. You will meet people who share your same interests and some who are completely opposite. 

One of the most important aspects of Internet dating etiquette is safety. After safety, it is honestly describing who you are and what you are looking for. Following a few simple guidelines will help you in both areas.

Online Dating Safety

Keep your identity safe. In this world of computers, your identity is out there. Taking precautions with your personal information while dating over the Internet will ensure your well-being.
  • Do not give out your first and last name initially. As you progress in some of your relationships, you may feel comfortable enough to reveal this information. Wait until that time.
  • Avoid sharing your home phone number and address. This makes it too easy for you to be tracked, as well as unknowingly giving access to your financial information. Again, wait until a trusting relationship has been established.
  • Once the relationship has been established, use a cell phone, Skype or another phone service to speak directly to your 'date'. Again it is a way to keep you and your personal information safe.
  • Create an email account specifically for this purpose. This will help you remain anonymous. Free email accounts are fantastic for this.
  • Be sure to use paid online dating services. Free services are an invitation to those types of people who have no business in the online dating world, whether they be married, criminals or just plain creepy. This is not a definite safeguard, but it is another layer.
  • Meet in a public place for your first few face-to-face encounters. Make sure that your family and friends know where you are going to be, when you are going to be there, how long you are planning on staying and if you change locations. 
  • Last but not least, trust your instincts! They are there for a reason. If something doesn't feel right, IT ISN'T. Get out of any chats, dates or areas that you are feeling uncomfortable with. It is not okay to justify a person's actions, because you really don't know them.

Your Profile

Other than a picture, people will know you by the words you use to describeonline dating yourself. Online dating etiquette is shown when you are honest with your picture and words. Make sure to use a catchy headline, as that is what they see first-after your picture.

Your picture should be of the real you. Glamor shots can do so much to enhance the way you look, however they do not show what you really look like. Be who you are in your picture. Smile (this is good Internet dating etiquette).

Use good dating etiquette online when you describe yourself and your interests. Make sure that you include the things that you enjoy doing and things that you would like to try. Use classy language, never profanities. Do not over exaggerate things that you have done to make yourself look better. Living in the truth will make you so much happier.

Internet dating etiquette will have you be honest about your age. However, it is good to avoid topics that are highly controversial, such as politics, past relationships...etc. These always blow up in your face...

Meeting People

When you have found someone that you are interested in, be sure to take notice of their interests and hobbies. It is easier to have a good conversation when you mention one of these things. It shows good dating etiquette internet style when you have taken the time to know what they are about.

As you are 'on a date' be sure to keep the conversation light. Be informative, but be careful not to reveal too much about yourself. However, if you feel that the date is not going so well, as some dates tend to do, it is okay to politely end the date. You are not showing bad Internet dating etiquette by doing so.

What if you have sent a message informing someone that you are interested? If they reply that is great, cautiously move forward. If they do not reply, simply move on. It is not the end of the world... There are plenty more fish in the sea.

What if someone has sent you a message and you have no interest whatsoever in them? This is when you use your e-mail etiquette and politely tell them that you do not think that you are compatible and you wish them all the best. Quite simple really.

If you are on a date and the person you are with begins to harass you or becomes abusive on any level, "leave the room". It is not good Internet dating etiquette and you do not have to sit there and 'listen' to profanity or unwelcome suggestions. These people are not top dwellers and not worth your time.

Last but not least, if you feel like a person is hiding something, THEY ARE. The unfortunate thing about the online world is the ease of hiding things like husbands/wives, criminal records and so forth. Avoid these people.

I had a conversation with a friend the other day. She was telling me of a guy she met online that she was going alone to meet in another state. I asked her about him and she said that once you get past his creepy story he is a good guy. There were many red flags that went off in my head..."creepy story" "another state" " going alone"... Use your head and STAY SAFE.

Online dating etiquette is here for you to enjoy yourself while navigating through a literal sea of potential mates. It is a way for you to get the most out of your profile. Staying safe is the key to making the most of it.   

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