Based on my own compilation of my findings from male and female online daters that I have had the opportunity to interview, below are some rules that can not only help you decipher the online dating etiquette but more importantly can also keep you safe ! Keep in mind that these rules are for women who are seeking a serious relationship however, some rules can apply for all women to stay safe.
Rule #10 – Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Most dating sites have the option to select requirements such as age, sex, religion, etc. I implore you to utilize these options for requirements that are of great importance to you. I do suggest that you only use this feature for mandatory deal breaking requirements and not for superficial or physical descriptions as those areas you may be surprised at what your future husband may look like and you do not want to rely solely on the descriptive perception of someone else.
For example, football players can describe themselves as muscular OR stocky, if you excluded stocky from your search you may be excluding someone who is actually fit and healthy if that is of importance to you.
Rule #9 – NEVER put full body photos in your profile.
"You want to make sure that your profile is read and that men chose you because they think you are a great match. "
There are several men who will hate this rule, however, this rule is for a reason. Attraction is extremely important but when looking for a long term mate it is more important for them to connect to you because of who you are. This is one of the areas that online dating can have an advantage. You want to make sure that your profile is read and that men chose you because they think you are a great match. Leave it to your head shot for them to gauge basic attraction. Providing a full body photo may distract someone from choosing you for the right reasons.
Believe me, I understand that you want someone to find you attractive but you do not want it to be the ONLY reason that they chose to contact you. Of course, there is no issue with exchanging full body photos after contact has been made (hopefully it is not the first thing that he request) but initially you want to make sure that he is interested for the right reasons.
Rule #8 – Read the profile BEFORE you look at the photo.
This is a very tough rule to follow as women as well as men want to be physically attracted to their partner. However, you will find that both women and men have physical biases that you may not know that you have. Some women are attracted to basketball player physiques and may disqualify someone like a football player on the stocky side. Women also disqualify the fact that some men are attractive and become more attractive based on how much you have in common to make you disregard superficial description.
For example, though you may want someone with blue eyes, you may read a profile that makes you smile, laugh and intrigued and then look at the picture and find out he has green eyes…totally something you could accept.
Rule #7 – Don’t make emotional decisions.
Just because your profiles both say that you like unicorns and Pepsi does not mean that you are a perfect match. A match is deeper is than superficial looks and interest. When looking for a long-term partner, you need to make sure that what you have in common is just the basis for discussion. Don’t read this profile and start making wedding plans as you still do not know his personality and how his personality works with yours.
Rule #6 – Have a telephone conversation for more than a week before your first date.
Because of the movies and television people feel like true love has to be spontaneous or instant and that is not always the case. It is best to have a conversation with someone on the phone before meeting them in person. There are certain things that you can already pick up in these conversations that could save you a lot of heart ache and time. You can find out things as simple as this persons work schedule which you may not already agree with if they work long hours and don’t have much time for you, patterns of how often they call you, the things they say, the way they talk, finding out additional information about who they are and what they do on a daily basis.
It’s funny to me that people take more care in interviewing someone for a job than they do for someone to enter their lives. I actually suggest that you have a telephone conversation for at least two weeks but I know that this is tough to do for everyone. In addition, you have given him the opportunity to see what you are like on a daily basis and chose to walk away if he does not like what he hears. Now I know women don’t like this but the truth is we have to stop acting desperate.
"Stop being afraid for a man to walk away if he doesn’t like who you are."
When I was dating, it never mattered to me if I stopped talking to a man or a man stopped talking to me…for whatever reason we didn’t work and it didn’t matter to me who saw it first. Stop being afraid for a man to walk away if he doesn’t like who you are. You are not just looking for a body to lay next to you at night. There is no feeling like having a man that wants to be there because you are special.
Rule #5 – Never have your date meet you at your home.
This is a safety rule. Though it is quite charming to have a man pick you up at your house and whisk you away it is also dangerous. Unfortunately these are different times and you need to avoid this at all cost. You don’t know who is on the other side of that screen and/or what you are getting yourself into. It is easy to give out information like your phone number and address however it is extremely tough to get it back.
Rule #4 – Always inform someone of your date and communicate any important information about your date to someone.
It is very important that any date you go on with someone from online that you provide ALL of the information that you know to someone else. Prior to the date let someone know where you are going and everything that you know about him. Once you have arrived if possible text/email the license plate of the vehicle that your date arrived in, etc. Just be smart.
Rule #3 – Always meet in a crowded place.
I think this is pretty self explanatory. Never take a chance with your safety. Never park directly next to your date in a parking lot. If possible park as close to the front of the establishment as possible.
Rule #2 – Date in phases.
This is a lost art of dating. I don’t understand why women excuse certain behaviors and hope that they go away or get better when they just met someone.
- If you don’t like something about him on the website then move on and do not give him your phone number.
- If you don’t like something about him that occurred over the phone then why continue and go out on a date in person.
- If you don’t like something that occurred on your first date that is not superficial but something that is a deal breaker to you, then move on and don’t go on a second date.
- If there are no sparks when he kisses you then what makes you think that if he is the one and you get married that the sexual relationship will be better.
Do not feel desperate and feel as if just because he wants to move to the next level, though your intuition or instinct are telling you that something is not going to work continue on because someone wants you.
Rule #1 – Don’t give up your number in the first conversation.
Giving up your number in the first conversation online is the equivalent to having sex on the first date. Remember that you are online and you do not know who you are dealing with on the other end of that computer. In some instances, your phone number could be just as important as your social security number. There’s tons of information that can be gathered from a phone number. It’s easy to give out a phone number but it’s not easy to wish you could take it back.
In addition, men take into consideration that anything that you are willing to do with them you would also do with other men. With that in mind some men may not take you seriously if they think that you give any and everyone your number freely. Get to know someone online the best you can before providing them with your information.
Keep in mind that there will be quite a few men that chose to walk away because they don’t see the point in waiting but just like if you met them in person and they didn’t want to wait until you are ready to have a sexual relationship, these are the men that you need to let walk away. You provide your information when you feel comfortable and a worthwhile long term mate who may not necessarily agree with you will still respect your wishes and wait until you are comfortable.
If he doesn’t respect your choices now on something as simple as a phone number he won’t respect your comfort meter on bigger issues.
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