Friday, August 04, 2006


Meeting Someone Special – Online Dating

Going from anonymous emails to getting an actual date can be exciting. But from the moment of initial attraction, starting from a look at their picture, to exchanging "send a smile" and emails -- it takes time to build trust, to get to a first real date - - to an actual face-to-face meeting. It's important to take your time – for personal and emotional safety.

Let's see how the process of online dating generally works at its best.

What to do? Here's how to start:

* Meet your date Online
* Edit your profile to have more fun
* Chat with your favourites
* Email Others

Five Practical Tips to Get Email and then to Live Dates:

* Talk on the phone first. Ok, the other person's picture looks fine - so let's take some time getting to know the other person on the phone. It may be that they look great, send nice emails, but are hard to understand, or sound like "something's not right." Pay attention to your instincts. Talk to them on the phone, at least a few times, before agreeing to meet them in person, in a very public place.

* Questions to get started with? Here are a few icebreakers that you'll want to know about in your emails and phone call to that other person: 1) What do you like to do on your weekends? 2) Do you like to go out a lot, or stay home? 3) What do you like best about someone you're dating? 4) When you eat out, where do you like to go? What foods do you prefer?

* Ask them upfront: After a few emails and a couple of phone calls, you may be ready to meet them in person. It's up to the both of you. If they are evasive or hesitant to meet, ask them why. It may be simply that they're shy. As long as you can phone them without problems, that may be fine. But, also look for red flags. (Example: is it a cell phone number, no home number (maybe the person is married)?

* You may want to ask them upfront, how they'd like to go about this first meeting to see what their ideas are. After talking on the phone a few times, you should know whether or not you'd like to meet. Make plans, in a safe public place. See our safety tips for ideas. Then, have fun meeting them at a local restaurant or mall.

* Being ready for romance and getting started in a new romance is both thrilling and a time of great uncertainty. Try planning on finding a person who's both a friend and someone you’re attracted to. Getting from a photo and description, to "first contact" by email, to phone call and then meeting in person, can be lots of fun. Remember though, being ready to meet someone also means you may need to juggle your schedule a bit. Dates take up time when you're having fun on the town with that new person in your life!

* How often should you email or call them? On the one hand, you don't want to seem overly desperate. Then again, you don't want them to think you're not interested. Finding a middle ground depends on what each person feels comfortable with. Remember, one person may want to send emails twice a week; another, every day. Each person expresses himself or herself differently, and works on a different schedule.

* Getting emails or calls? It's disappointing if an email isn't returned within 24 hours. It also looks over-eager if emails are returned within 2-3 hours. So, find a middle ground. Same with phone calls - always return calls within 24 hours, but don't call back immediately, unless you're on familiar ground with that special person you're talking with.

So enjoy your online dating opportunities. Become a good dating partner and find out with whom you're compatible. Then adjusting your style to fit the other person's in a compatible manner for both of you.

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