Online Dating Etiquette
Internet dating gives the user the ability to pick and choose someone without having to meet a multitude of no-hopers.
Choosing your date is much the same as the way you pick dishes from a menu.
It may lack the finesse and subtlety of traditional courtship,
but it opens you up to a world of possibility.
Honesty is always the best policy: being creative with photographs or profiles will lead to eventual downfall when you meet in the flesh. Use the best photograph you have: if the picture isn't up to scratch, potential lovers won't even bother reading the profile. It's a competitive world in cyberspace, and to succeed you have to sell yourself. Steer clear of clichés and innuendo, aim for wit without sarcasm, and avoid excessive modesty as this will invariably backfire.
Keep initial approaches brief and light-hearted. Officially it's rude to ignore overtures, so a response is always appropriate, no matter how brief. Once you have reached stalemate and are no longer interested in someone, tell them rather than ignoring them. Not everyone will abide by the rules of the game, though, so if you are ignored by someone you've taken an interest in, give up graciously after two messages are left unanswered.
If you wish to turn an online interest into reality, one of you must take the leap of faith and suggest meeting in the flesh. Women should not assume that this is the man's responsibility.
Beware: the infinite number of potential partners in cyberspace can easily turn idle curiosity into an addiction. Light-hearted browsing can become a compulsion once you're on the scent of the holy grail, and it's easy for the quest to become an obsession. So take a deep breath, limit the number of online excursions you make each day, and try and get on with living your life in the real world.
If you do strike lucky, and feel confident enough to commit to an ongoing relationship with your internet date, mutually agree to take your profiles off the various dating websites. This is a gesture of faith and commitment; it is also a safeguard. You have both tasted the infinite possibilities of the internet, you may even be addicted to the quest, and there is every risk that you will relapse... Cyber-flirtations or, worse still, clandestine internet-inspired assignations, will kill your new relationship.