Perhaps you’ve only just exited a long-term relationship and have never had any reason to consider online dating before. Or maybe you have friends who  visit site after site in their search for a partner, and while they have suggested you join in the fun, you have always resisted, unsure of what you’d be letting yourself in for. Well, the time has come for you to at least wise up to what your buddies are on about when they discuss meeting singles online in chat rooms or uncovering amazing profiles. Here is your guide to the online dating world.

Honesty is the best policy

A common mistake made by newcomers to the world of Internet dating is to present a distorted version in order to try and attract interest. Whether this means posting a 10-year-old profile photograph or being economical with the truth in your descriptions, the intention is to deceive other site visitors. This is obviously a big mistake. The cornerstone to any relationship, off-line or online, is honesty. Always keep in mind online dating is merely about an introduction. Assuming you get on really well, you will be meeting up with this person at some point, so you need to ensure there will be no surprises!

Keep your descriptions succinct

When you are describing yourself for a potential partner, there is no point outlining detailed aspects of your life. This is not a CV you are writing, but you need to provide a concise list of attributes which will attract the many people who will undoubtedly alight on your profile.

If you want to really take advantage of this powerful platform for attracting prospective partners, make sure you have every chance of coming across as someone who is going to be compatible. Summarise your best qualities. If you particularly enjoy listening to Beyonce while eating Indian takeaways, mention this. Seriously, whatever aspect of your private life is most meaningful to you in terms of your leisure pursuits and passions, use these as bait to try and attract someone who has similar interests. This will help stoke that all-important sense of chemistry.

Exercise your ability to choose

Never be tempted to settle for the first person whose profile arrests your attention. One of the major positives of the dating world is you have so much choice, literally at your fingertips. If that is the case, why would you continually opt for second best? If you feel you are communicating with someone online who just isn’t hitting the right spot in terms of appealing to your sense of humor or is just not on your wavelength, then simply move on.

Think carefully before moving offline

The whole point of Internet dating is to put you in touch with a prospective partner. Of course, there are some people who use this facility to widen their friendship circle by dropping into the chat rooms for random conversations. But for the most part, this activity is a precursor to actually meeting up with someone in the real world. But this is something you have to think very carefully about.

You don’t want to rush into anything until you’ve really got to know the person you have been chatting with. Once you have developed a strong rapport, suggest actually embarking on a proper date, perhaps in a bar or restaurant. Always make sure the location for your initial rendezvous is in a public place and if at any point you feel you are not connecting with the person, make an excuse and leave.

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