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10 things you should know about online dating

Finding your next hot date is easy - with the help of the 10 rules that will guide you through the exciting world of online dating!

Online dating is the wave of the future for busy professionals, returnees to the social dating scene, and those who are starting a new career.  Whether you just want to try a chat room or have already seen some profiles that interest you, there are ten rules about online dating that every web surfer should know.1. Know thyselfWhat do you want to gain from online dating?  If you just want a casual relationship, then make it clear to others that you aren't interested in a serious romance.  There are plenty of people using online dating sites who want friends, casual dating, long term relationships, or spouses.  Identify what category you fall under and make it known - this protects you and others from getting hurt.  2. Ask aroundOdds are that you personally know someone who has tested out online dating.  Talk with your friends and coworkers to see where they have found success - and whether their dating needs match up with yours.    3. Pace yourselfTake your time getting to know someone as well as possible.  This may mean that at least a phone call is in order.  Don't let the other person pressure you into a face-to-face meeting too soon when you are not fully comfortable with the situation.  4. Be brutally honestIf you want a successful online dating experience, then be truthful.  Don't lead people on, and show self respect by disclosing things that are honest.  It can be tempting and easy to embellish online, but this does not bode well for the relationship - whether casual or serious.   5. Manage your matchesIn the beginning, keep your correspondences between just a few people.  There are so many possibilities in online dating; it's easy to become overwhelmed.  Identify those who you feel are in the best alignment with your personal wishes, and go from there.  When you prioritize with online dating, you give yourself the best chance to meet someone that's perfect for what you are seeking.    6. Read between the linesUnfortunately, not everyone will be as honest as you are.  It's acceptable to ask for references and check out verifiable information before agreeing to set up a face-to-face meeting.  Don't be afraid to ask for background checks or consult public records.  7. Mind your mannersDo not be inclined to get too intimately involved with someone in a chat room.  Deep, personal discussions can get out of hand when they don't occur face-to-face.  Ask yourself if you would say certain things to someone on the phone or in a social setting, and use censorship.  This will make sure that you do not hurt anyone else's feelings or your own.  8. Upgrade yourselfMany online dating sites charge fees.  You might find more success on a site that cost you a small fee, as other users may have a similar level of sincerity to your own.  Think of it as an investment in your future.  9. Be timelyThe internet allows for instant gratification, whether through email or chat rooms.  If you want to establish an online connection, then you must be connected!  Check in often and respond to messages in a timely fashion.  This is a large part in attracting and keeping interest in you.10. Remember to keep safeIf your online dating experience is going well, the time will come for you to meet someone face-to-face.  Keep your meeting public, and take charge of your own well-being by driving yourself.   It's certainly acceptable to have a friend nearby for backup if you are really nervous.  Use caution on the first datePsychology Articles, and as many subsequent times as it takes for you to feel comfortable.

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Aelicia Anderson is an advisor to the online dating site FlingFinder, and can often be found hanging out in their chat rooms.

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