Sophisticated Love Rule #6: Online Dating Rules

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Online dating has it's etiquette or common courtesies. Online dating also has it's rules. The rules have nothing to do with whether it may be the best way for you to find a soul mate and how to handle common courtesy.  Online dating rules deal with the most important lesson, safety.

Although, I discovered  online dating is not my preferred way of meeting people, below are a few personal rules that I developed while I was dating online:

Basic Online Dating Communication Rules:
- Don't exchange phone numbers until a place and time is planned
- Tell them enough about yourself where they might be interested in you
- Any more than four or five e-mails, without a hint of meeting up
- For safety reasons until you get to know them don't tell them:
   - Where you work (What you do for a living is okay)
   - Where you live (Specific address)
- Don't talk about getting married within the first few e-mails or first date
- Be honest about yourself when writing your profile
- Post pictures that are representative of who you are
- If you like someone without a profile ask for one

When meeting someone you have been talking with...
-  Meet in a public place
-  Make sure the public place is well lit and not in an unknown location
-  Don't have your date pick you up. Meet them at the public place.
-  Bring your phone and make sure it is has enough battery power
-  Tell a friend where you will be
-  Listen to your intuition*

*A bad online date can end a lot worse than a bad date with a person you knew before. The only exchange you've had with someone you met online are e-mails and phone calls. Face to face interaction can speak volumes since XX% of communication is non-verbal

While dating online, be wary of the relationship ending when...
- The other person doesn't e-mail you back
- Someone doesn't want to meet you and continues to e-mail
- They live out of state and after two e-mails are ready to travel to see you or
- They live out of state and after two e-mails want you to visit them

Now, should you "friend" someone on Facebook who you are meeting up with or e-mailing over Match. com or eharmony. It depends. In my experience, for those men who I was planning to meet up with I would check up on Facebook and friend. If they didn't have a Facebook page, then I would be a little more curious or a little more nervous. Facebook has become so commonplace, not to have a Facebook page even if it's not looked at makes me wonder what that person has anything they want to hide.  

Whenever friending someone on Facebook, be aware that your new friend may be removed if the date goes badly. On the other hand, while you date online, the positives of friending on Facebook include:
- Gaining more insight into the person a.k.a. seeing more photos
- Being aware of what they are hiding such as a spouse or girlfriend
- Gaining an actual friend*

*If there is no chemistry but you had fun you are have gained another friend to keep in touch with who could be a business contact. If they could be a business contact don't friend them on Facebook rather connect with them on 'LinkedIn'

The number one when it comes to online dating is "Be Safe". Online dating is 100% nonverbal until you talk over the phone and more importantly meet the person. Bad dates can turn into bad experiences or tragic circumstances if you are not careful. 

Anyone who has ever experienced receiving spam e-mails, done social networking, or lived in the 21st Century, knows that there are dangers and dangerous people out there waiting for you to find them. Pedophiles, stalkers, and worse exist. Dating sites are no exception. No matter how many people date online and how commonplace or safe it has become there is always a remote chance that you could be a statistic in the negative sense.