Internet dating the rules

"I equate online dating to looking for a job," says Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating."You'd want a rock star résumé for your perfect dream job, and you should feel the same way about your online dating profile." And the profile is just where it starts—we have plenty of expert tips, from sending the perfect first e-mail to picking your first date location."Online dating used to be a strictly matrimonial endeavor," says Spira."You'd go online, find your husband and get offline.Instead of saying that you like to cook (which plenty of people will do), describe in detail what your favorite meal to make is.

If someone is new to a site, his or her profile is often featured in the community and the person becomes inundated with e-mails.

Ok Trends, the data-analysis blog for the dating website Ok Cupid.com, says that self-shot photos can actually be very effective in attracting partners, most likely because they are approachable, casual and make the viewer feel close to the subject—all good things! Your Profile Your goal should be to create an engaging profile that piques people's interest and makes them want to know more about you.

To do that, "talk about yourself in anecdotes," says Gonzaga.

So, assume that your interest hasn't had time to open your message.

But if there's silence after two e-mails, cut your losses and move on. Taking the Relationship Offline The time to take your relationship beyond the boundaries of the dating site will eventually come.

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According to Spira, the tone should be uplifting and happy. "The problem is that because you don't hear people's voices, it's hard to tell if they're being sarcastic or being rude." If you write something and are afraid that it might be taken the wrong way, it's probably best not to post it. Take Advantage Dating multiple people at a time is a strange habit to get used to, and can often seem irresponsible, but when it comes to online dating, meeting a variety of new people at once is a smart move. "I know people who go on dates three times a day, every day!

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