Online dating is good in some ways and bad in others. I have used these types of websites in the past and I see both the good and bad in them. I have come up with a list of what I feel are the most important lessons here. Online dating can be rewarding but there are pitfalls as well.
This should be common sense, but always be on guard. Sometimes we want a decent relationship so badly we pounce on what looks good without checking a prospective partner out thoroughly. I do not mean to simply look at his or her photographs or memorize their profile.
What I mean is find out their location or email and do a web search for them. Type their first+last_name +city+state in the search bar. Include the plus signs to ensure that you get results that match what you are looking for. This will pick up things in their local newspapers if they have been arrested.
By typing in their email address, you see any comments they have left in various places on the internet. I did this for one person who worked for a large computer software company and found where he had left a satisfactory rating on an escort. He was a great catch before I seen that one.
Write a Truthful Profile
This one should also be common sense but many people clearly miss that memo. Do not make yourself sound better than you are. The truth will always come out in the wash as they say, and it is always better to start any relationship off truthfully.
Play up your good qualities but make sure you add a few negative qualities so your profile is correct. Not one of us is perfect, and no one expects us to be. Partners want us to be truthful, not perfect.
Unless you want a bunch of partners interested in only casual sex, make sure your profile states that. I always add a paragraph that I am not looking for any such thing. I want a commitment for a lifetime not a quick roll in the hay.
Also, use a few current photos. Photos say much more than we realize. Attach a facial shot, a body shot as well as one doing your favorite activity. This way folks see the real you and are not surprised if the offline meeting does occur.
Timing Is Everything
Do not be in a hurry to meet someone off line. Get to know them through emails at first for a while. After you have talked through emails and you are comfortable switch to phone calls.
If you still feel comfortable talking with the person after a few weeks go ahead and make plans to meet somewhere public that is local to you. Drive yourself or take a cab so you do not show them where you live.
Another thing that is important to know when you do meet for dinner or a movie. Pay your own way this way neither party expects anything from the other.