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Internet Dating: A Refresher Course in Etiquette


While it was once considered taboo, internet dating has become a remarkably successful romantic adventure for millions of singles around the world. No longer confined to the bar scene or fix-ups by friends or family members, men and women can now find dates, relationships and potential life long soul mates at their leisure from the confines of their computer. And while the convenience factor and climbing success rate make internet dating an enticing option, there are some basic rules of etiquette that should always be followed when embarking on those first few in-person encounters. Below is a refresher course on how to manage your internet dating life.

Internet datingís three Sís

It's best to keep your initial in-person internet date short, safe, simple. After all, you're meeting a stranger for the first time. Opt for an afternoon coffee date instead of a romantic dinner. And always meet in a public place. Tell a friend where you're going and when you're meeting your internet date so that someone knows where you are. And be sure to call that friend after you've left the date (you know how friends worry!).

Internet dating isnít meant to be faster

For your own safety, do not reveal too much personal information to anyone you meet via internet dating too soon. Details like where you live or where you work should not be exchanged until you feel comfortable with the person you're dating. At least hold off until you've moved past the internet dating stage and established a rapport.

When dating online, take your time, physically speaking, too. Rushing things physically may create a false sense of security in a relationship that might otherwise be shaky. Listen to your gut. And be honest with your potential partner about your comfort level. That way, you'll both be on the same page.

Internet dating demands honest communication

Not every person you meet via an internet dating site is going to be Mr. or Ms. Right. And as difficult as rejection is, it's a natural part of the internet dating process. So be honest. If you're not comfortable being honest in person, call them on the phone or send them an email. Let them down gently and fairly (remember, it's tough out there!). Besides, you don't want any bad internet dating karma coming back around to you, right?!

If at first you don't succeed in finding love via internet dating...

You know the saying - try, try again. Well, internet dating is very similar. So that blond cutie never called you back. Don't despair - that brunette with the shy smile just might be a better match. Give it a chance. You never know!

Internet dating is full of opportunities

If you're in any way unsatisfied with your experience on any internet dating site, don't get discouraged. There are plenty of internet dating sites out there, sure to cater to whomever - or whatever - you're looking for. Just keep looking until you find the site that works for you.

Good luck!

Lisa Steadman, AKA The Relationship Journalistô, studies relationships and dating for a living.
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