If you have been reading up on dating etiquette from a book, chances are that none of these so called rules of behaviour work in the world that we are living today. The dating scene has undergone a number of changes and is nothing like what it was even a decade ago. These days people are more likely to date a stranger, whom they have never met, who they hook up with online. So if you are getting back into the dating game after a while, you have a whole lot of things to catch up on. Consider these new rules of dating online to begin with.
Rule 1: Get Familiar With The SmartPhone
A large number of people look to online dating sites and smartphone apps to find a suitable date. The technology allows you a certain degree of anonymity and a fairly large choice of people to pick from. It would make sense for anyone setting out to hunt for a potential date to get familiar with the general online haunts of single people looking for a date. So sit down with your phone and understand all the features that can help.
Rule 2: Caution is a Must
As any victim of phishing will tell you only a fool will trust what is said by an anonymous stranger online. Exercise extreme caution about the details you choose to share with anyone you have not yet met in person. When trying to make a good impression on a potential date, ensure that your social media accounts do not have anything potentially detrimental on them. This includes embarrassing photographs and ‘jokes’ that may be taken the wrong way.
Rule 3: Honesty is Not Always What You Get
While some online dating sites try and ensure that the profiles of their members are genuine, most of them have little control over the information shared by the members. It is easy for people to lie or exaggerate about matters on such websites and it would be a good idea to not take everything given in a member’s profile as the gospel truth.
Rule 4: Have a Friend Evaluate Your Online Profile
Most of us can never be totally objective when it comes to describing our own self. There can be tendency to either underplay or overplay the personality. While you should not boast or show self deprecation, it is easier for a friend to see how you can best show off your interests and needs. So sit down with a friend whose opinion you trust after you have finished making your profile and allow some editing to take place.
Rule 5: Be Selective of Who You Respond To
As your profile is available on the website there may be someone who contacts you based on it. Go through their profile in detail. If you feel that the person may interest you, feel free to open up a dialogue. However you are not expected or obligated to move forward with this person if you do not want to. The choice is yours. If you are not interested just drop a short message to that effect and do not engage in any more conversation.
Rule 6: Set Up a Selection Criterion
There are some traits that you must seek in a date and some that will absolutely not do. Draw up a list of this and keep it handy when you browse through profiles of members online. Pick someone who has interests similar to yours for a better chance at picking a winner. Initiate dialogue with them. Remember that they too have a choice to respond or reject you.
Rule 7: The Personal Meeting
Once both of you have established an interest in each other online it is time to meet in person. The first meeting is crucial for making a good impression and checking if there is any chemistry involved. Often someone who sounds perfect online is a total disaster in person, so make sure that the personal meeting is in a nice public place with plenty of people around you. Arrange to meet, for coffee or a drink, at a place both of you are comfortable with.
Rule 8: Have an Appointment Immediately Afterwards
Since the personal meeting can go both ways, you should always have an appointment immediately afterwards. This could be work related or have some friends meeting you. If the meeting goes well, you can always set up a date. In case it does not go too well, you should not have to dwell on the unsuccessful landmark too much. Having something to do immediately afterwards helps with this.
Rule 9: Set Up ‘The Date’
Now that you have met in person and decided to take things a step further, set up an actual date where you can meet again. It does not mean that you set up drinks and dinner. This should ideally involve a common interest that you both share. It will give you the opportunity to do something that you usually enjoy with this new person in your life. The mix of the familiar with the unfamiliar will allow you to understand if there is place in your life for the new person.
Rule 10: Repeat and Review
Even after being careful and selective, there can be reasons beyond your control which don’t let the date work out into the meaningful relationship you are looking for. This means you will have to go back to the online dating portals and repeat the whole process. Of course practice makes perfect, and so you will eventually be able to find the right date.
Feature Writer: Cashmere Lashkari
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