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online dating -
what you need to know

heart - online datingInternet dating has, of course, become one of the most popular - and indeed successful - ways to meet that significant other.

While only a few years ago there was a certain stigma attached to online personals, it's now perfectly acceptable and thousands use such services to meet potential partners.

However, there are a few really important points to bear in mind

High dating hopes

A common problem with internet dating is an unreasonable sense of expectation.

While it's great to know that you're doing something very positive about your search for a partner, expect too much too quickly and you may well end up feeling let down.

So what's the right perspective?

Well, it's important to see internet dating as a tool; a way of meeting many more people than we usually do in our everyday lives. Which also, of course, subtsantially increases our chances of finding someone special.

But don't expect to meet a steady succession of totally perfect potential partners. How many people do you meet on a day to day basis that really float your boat? One in twenty? Less?

Sure, with online dating you're increasing the likelihood of a reasonable match through 'pre-screening', but not everyone will appeal equally.

Set your hopes way too high and you're almost certain to be disappointed; it's just not likely you'll meet your love-match straight away. But the more people you do meet, the more chance there is that it will happen. Just give it time.

Stick with the facts!

Another issue with internet dating is the fact that virtual online 'meetings' are very much open to personal interpretation.

Yahoo! Personals Swapping messages or chatting obviously isn't anything like doing this face to face, but if you feel you've hit it off with someone virtually, it's difficult to avoid 'filling in the gaps' to build up an imaginay picture of the person involved.

That's when fantasy starts to take over, and it's way too easy to construct an image of an ideal partner that somehow the real date will need to fulfil.

Many online daters speak of disappointment when meeting for the first time, and this is one of several possible reasons why.

So try to keep a really open mind about whoever you're communicating with and stick to the facts. Their messages might make you laugh, you may share similar interests, but resist the temptation to elaborate any further!

Admittedly, this is very difficult to do and if you meet, the person in front of you may seem very different to the date you imagined.

Again, try to keep an open mind. Even if you don't feel the spark you expected, if you get on well that's a very good start.

One tendency with internet dating is to write off meetings that are less than perfect (which again, has a lot to do with the high sense of expectation we've mentioned).

But rather than return immediately to that quest for the totally ideal other, sometimes it's worth taking enjoyable dates a little more seriously. Meet again a few times in order to really make up your mind.

Many people happily admit that their much-loved partners weren't the kind of person they regarded as a perfect match at first.

Relationships often grow from unexpected beginnings, and the best partnerships of all tend to start as friendships. So keep an open mind.

Yahoo! Personals - Give Fate a Nudge

Get your profile right (our advice might surprise you)

jerk alert!

Apart from all the real benefits we hope you get out of internet dating, like anything, there are elements that can sour the fun while you're online.

The anonymity of the internet means that people may not always behave as courteously or fairly as you'd like.

Someone you've been exchanging messages with regularly may suddenly disappear without trace, for example. Or you send a greeting to someone and receive no response at all.

These are exceptions rather than the norm, so don't let the possibility put you off - just be prepared for the fact that it could happen.

Rude behavior occurs online simply because it's easy to get away with. There's not much anyone can do to prevent it, but it's important not to feel overly hurt or angry if it does happen - after all, it's not aimed at the real you!

better dating

In the long run, however, it's worth choosing your dating site with care. Paid-for sites are likely to attract a more serious clientele than free ones, although you can always sign up to free services as well to see how they work for you.

If paying, sign up for the cheapest trial period, which usually costs just a few dollars. Even if a yearly account works out better value, this way you'll be able to change site if you wish without wasting significant amounts of money.

The 'look' of the site will also give some indication as to who uses it. If it emphasises fun and flirtation then it's probably not right if you're looking for serious, long-term commitment (and vice versa!)

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