#1 Make sure they’re serious about finding love
One way to do this is by choosing a site that’s a bit of a financial investment and that requires a longer questionnaire/application process. That will help screen out the people just looking for a quick hook-up.
#2 Make sure they’ve done their homework
Have they read your profile? Are they interested in you? If they’re just sending you a mass mailing, or worse a “wink,” they’re making you do all the hard work. Why waste your time, if they haven’t bothered to get to know a little about you before contacting you?
#3 Make your profile uniquely you, but keep your boundaries!
Remember, it’s like a resume or a job interview. You share all the important information, but you also present yourself in your best light. (And of course, don’t share your address or other identifying information until you’re further along in the dating process.)
#4 Be aware of the messages you’re sending and receiving!
You don’t want to accidentally introduce sex into the conversation with your profile name, descriptions, photo, etc. You may be a sexy thing, but they can find that out later on. If that’s what you lead with, you’ll attract people who are looking for sex, not a relationship.
#5 Look for clues to make sure they’re ready for love
Do they mention the “ex” anywhere? Are they “separated?” No matter how they try to sell it, separated is not divorced. If they’re not divorced or if they’re still talking about the “ex” they’re not ready for a relationship with you, no matter how great they are or how great you are.
#6 Don’t fall in love with a fantasy
Don’t do a lot of emailing or talking on the phone, before you meet. Keep it to a few short emails and a quick call to set up the date.* And I know this is a hard one, but don’t let them get into the habit of texting you all the time! Because if you don’t hit it off in person, it’s like breaking-up, even though you just met!
(Note: This is one reason long-distance online dating doesn’t work. There’s too much calling and emailing and texting. And the fantasy gets way ahead of reality.)
#7 Be good and have fun!
Be smart about the fact that you really don’t know them yet. Meet in a public place, during the day, for your first date. Tell someone where you’ll be and when you’ll be back. And trust your gut! If something doesn’t feel right, pay attention! But, if everything seems to be checking out, give yourself credit for doing your homework and enjoy getting to know them!
Watch for my next article, “Red Flags You Don’t Want to Miss when You’re Dating Online!”
p.s. Thank-you Andy Whaling, MFT for sharing that you should limit it to 3-6 emails before you meet!Dr. Vonda ("Vondie") Lozano is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She offers counseling, hypnosis and free workshops to help you have the life and love you really want. She's been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio.
Vondie's been in L.A. for 20 years and now she's in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard. Ventura is also accessible from Santa Barbara, Moorpark, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village.