Dating 101 - Online dating

I believe I have mentioned this before, but I've been dating online since I was 17 years old in the days of AOL chat rooms.  As a matter of fact, my date for Senior prom was someone I met in that very chat room.  Long story short, I had a date who forgot to ask for the day off and I frantically found a replacement. I have several dates, meetings, phone calls and texts under my belt so I have decided to give you pearls of wisdom:

1.  When creating a profile, have a mixture of close ups and full body shots.  I believe you should not give anyone surprises as to how you look.  No guy or girl wants to show up on a date with someone who is 50 lbs heavier or 30 years older.  I think you want to have some sort of genuine relationship and it is never good basing it all of a lie.  It is never a pleasant feeling having your hopes up and being super disappointed.  Also, if you are not happy with yourself, how do you expect to be happy in a relationship.

2.  Less is more.  You don't want to post your whole life story on the internet.  It doesn't leave any intrigue to the person reading your profile.  Also, no one wants to read a 10 page essay on how you're tired of finding the wrong guy.  Be very straight forward as to who you are, your likes and dislikes and what you're looking for.  Keep at maybe 10 sentences at the very max.  See one of mine as an example:

"I am a goal oriented, motivated Latina woman who is always willing to learn more. I've always been told I am very laid back and easy to get along with. I absolutely love dancing salsa. Also, I love to be surrounded by those who enjoy life and never take what they have in front of them for granted. I am a social butterfly and love to be around people. I try to stay as busy as possible so there is never a dull moment. I would like to meet someone who could keep up with my energy. You could say I'm an optimist but life is so much better living when one is happy. I would love to meet someone who is into sports (I love football GO GIANTS and GO GATORS!) and who is easy going. I'm a lover, not a fighter. I would love someone who's not afraid to be themselves and make me laugh. Laughter is one of the most important attributes someone should have. Finally, I need someone who is willing to understand and communicate their feelings. I want to meet my best friend. I believe chivalry should not be dead. It says a lot when a man takes initiative."

3.  Do what makes you comfortable. Some guys online tend to very pushy.  Do not allow someone to get your phone number right off the bat.  When someone gives you a good vibe, you'll know it and let him pursue you.  If he actually makes an effort to have a conversation with you online, then asks for your phone number, then it is okay to move forward.  There are some guys only looking for one thing.  Some are very straight forward about it and some are very very sneaky.  Those sneaky guys are usually just insecure and trying to boost their egos with a conquest.  Don't get overwhelmed with the messages either.  On some sites, they see fresh meat and attack.  Take everything at your own pace.  No one is holding a gun to your head to answer ASAP.  Plus its not that hard to filter.  Someone worth talking to will make an effort in their message, not just say "hi" or "what's up".

4.  Always meet in a public place.  I repeat ALWAYS meet in a public place.  You really don't know this guy.  He could sound great over the phone but the next thing you know he could be a stage 5 clinger.  You don't want him to know where you live.  Your house, apartment, living quarters or where ever is very intimate.  This is the place you call your sanctuary. Don't go to his place either.  Bad things happen when you're isolated.  Trust me.  I'm not saying all guys are bad but I'm saying there are bad eggs out there.  You will feel more comfortable where there are a lot of people around.  Also, let someone close to you know where you are going, just in case.

5.  Have an escape plan (optional) This is a matter of preference.  I will admit, I have done this in the past but I have coordinated with girl friends to call me 30 minutes into the date to make sure I'm okay.  This could be your way out especially if you're unsure about the guy.  If the guy is totally whack, then make up your part of the conversation when your friends call.  Say, "I don't normally pick up calls but my friend doesn't usually call me this late."  or something to that extent.

6.  Be yourself. There is nothing more sexy about a confident woman who knows how to throw her hair back and have a good time.  Laughter adds more years to your life so embrace it.  If things don't work out, no worries, there are more fishies in the sea (no pun intended).

I hope my tips help you in being a little bit more secure with journey into the online dating world.  I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have for this process.  I mean I blog about dating because its something I definitely know.