It’s a new ball game out there for people dating. Everyone’s doing it online. Well, “doing it” may be an unfortunate choice of words, but there is some validity to the comment. Many people go on line not because they want to date, but because they’re looking for a hookup. Sex. Physical intimacy. Someone to keep the bed warm. That said, regardless of whether or not you’re looking for a quickie or a long time squeeze, there are some rules you should abide when you begin online dating. These rules are designed to keep you safe, not sorry, and out of the police blotter.
Pick the guy who can write in plain English, not the guy whose picture you most like. Men usually lie in their picture anyway. That picture is either old or it’s not him, unless you’re very, very lucky. You can’t fake writing, though. What you read on the page: That’s him.
Text and talk before your first meet. The guy may be a genius at profiling himself on a dating site. You won’t know if he’s a mensch or not until you talk to him.
Arrive at the date on your own steam. You want to have your own wheels (or cab) if you need to make a fast getaway.
Call a friend 15 minutes into the date to say where you are and who you’re with. This not only gives you a chance to relate and process your first impressions to someone who matters, but is a security precaution. Just sayin’.
Dress up, but not too much. It’s nice to put your best foot (and face) forward, but unless your date is with an heir to Harry Winston, don’t reveal too soon that own a lot of genuine bling.
Ask him some questions about himself, including how long he’s been online dating. You want to find out if he’s a player or is serious about finding a long term connection. Also, ask him about his last serious relationship and why they broke up.
Don’t tell him where you live. Again, this is just a security precaution. You don’t have to lie. Just be politely evasive.
Bring cash money to pay for your dinner or drink. A lot of women expect to be taken out, and if he offers, that’s nice. But when you don’t pay, you’re a bit beholden. Going Dutch makes for a more level playing field.
See how he minds his manners. It’s not just whether or not he pulls out your chair. How does he treat the server?
When you say goodnight, say goodnight. Even if it was a really great first date, don’t hang around and linger. And definitely don’t let him get in your car until you really know him. Confined space, and all that. When you’re having fun, you don’t think about the danger. The internet is full of nice people, but it’s also full of criminals. Alas, the difference isn’t always important.
Eve Marx is the author of eight sex books. Her titles include "Whats Your Sexual IQ?," "Flirtspeak: The Sexy Language of Flirtation," "The Goddess Orgasm," and "101 Things You Didnt Know About Sex."
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