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12 Keys to Better Online Dating Communication
by Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine

If you are in the market to find true love online, there are several things you may want to know about improving the communication process. The following 12 tips below are designed to help you improve the communication you portray when building your profile, communicating via email, and meeting in person for the first time:

When Building Your Online Dating Profile

Key #1:
Improve Your Matches by Being Clear on What You Want

The first step to improving the type of communication you receive from others is by clearly stating in your profile exactly what you want.

Let's take the example of Mary, a 25 year old female from Phoenix, Arizona. Mary's first profile was pretty generic, stating a little about herself and that she was looking for someone fun to get to know better. Soon Mary's mail box was flooded with messages from men all around the globe, including Gerald, a 65 year old retiree from Florida.

The problem for Mary was that because she didn't specify exactly what she wanted, her profile was left open to the interpretation of the reader. So she began to receive a lot of communication from people who she would never date (due to distance, age, or whatever).

Be clear in your profile about what you are looking for in order to weed out others. If Mary only wants to date local men who are within 3 years of her age then she should clearly state:

"I'm interested only in communicating with 22-28 year old men who live within 20 miles of Phoenix, Arizona."

While many men will deem themselves the "exception" to Mary's new rule, others will fully respect what she is looking for and leave her alone if they do not fit into that category.

Be very clear about what you want.

Key #2:
Use the Subject Header as a Filter

If you can't think of anything to say in your profile subject header that many sites require, then use it as a filter. Let's go back to our Mary example. She has already clearly stated in her profile the type of person she wants to communicate with. Yet some men apparently don't know how to read when it comes to profiles. Therefore the subject header is a good place to reemphasize what you're looking for. Here's an example Mary might use:

"Looking to chat with men near Phoenix, 22-28 years old"

Now Mary is using one of the most visual parts of her profile - the subject header - to let men know which ones should continue reading and which ones should move on.

Of course, creative types may still want to use the subject header to show their creative or funny side. Be sure to review funny subject headers and clever subject headers to get some ideas.

Key #3:
State What Action You Want Interested People to Take

Many sites these days have hotlists, smiles, virtual flowers, Friend lists, etc. Since there are so many ways to express an interest in others, it could help a potential match if you told them what to do should they be interested in communicating with you.

For example, LavaLife allows people to send "smiles" to let others know there is an interest. They also allow users to send "collect call emails" that the other person pays for in order to read. Now if I'm a guy on LavaLife that doesn't mind receiving "collect call" email messages and I see smiles as a sign for me to take action, then I might state the following at the end of my profile:

"If you're interested in communicating, send me a smile and I'll send an email your way. I also accept collect call emails."

By adding that statement, I've taken the pressure off women who may find my profile interesting, but they aren't paid members. A woman viewing my profile now knows that sending me a smile is a sign that she'd like to hear from me and if she'd rather initiate the email then she knows I don't mind paying for it.

When Communicating Via Email or Chat

Key #4:
Use Proper Communication Grammar

Many women are turned off by men they don't know who, out of the blue, start referring to them in slang terms like "babe," "sexy," etc. As one woman stated in her profile:

"I have a name and unbelievably it's not 'hottie,' 'cutie,' 'sexy,' 'baby' or any other variation."

Refer to the person by their profile name (or first name if given in the profile).

Key #5:
Be Respectful

It's amazing how many people change when communicating through the "anonymous" nature of the Internet. Many times, manners and respectability seem to just fly out the door.

When you're communicating with someone via email or chat keep in mind that there is a real person on the other end with real feelings. Be respectful with the words you use.

In addition, if you are no longer interested in communicating with the person, don't just "fall off the face of the earth". Send them a short and respectful note that you are pursuing some other matches and wish them the best of luck. It is the respectable thing to do.

Key #6:
If You're Enjoying the Communication, Let Them Know

One of the reasons that books like Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus are so successful is because of the large communication barrier between men and women. This barrier causes a lot of "guessing" to go on in the minds of both people. Thus, if you're enjoying the communication you are having with another person, let them clearly know:

"I'm really enjoying our chats"

"You're an amazing person. I'm glad I met you."

A little line, like the above, tacked to the end of one of your messages clearly lets the person know how you're feeling and makes it easier for the process to move forward.

Key #7:
After Answering a Question, be Sure to Ask Questions

Have you ever sent an email to a person you were interested in, asking 4-5 questions and when you get an email back there are only answers to the questions and nothing else? This happens more than most people realize.

Be sure to ask questions in your email responses to others in order to make it easy for the communication to continue. An email void of questions creates a potential stopping point in the communication process.

Key #8:
For Conversation Ideas, Closely Reread the Person's Profile

One of the keys to good communication is talking about something that interests the other person. You can get amazing clues to their interests by carefully rereading every aspect of that person's profile and by closely analyzing the background of any pictures they have posted.

For example, if someone says in their profile "I love to travel" then that is your cue to ask questions like "what's the most fascinating place you've ever traveled to?"

By showing an interest in the other person's interests you are improving the communication that the two of you share.

When Meeting in Person for the First Time

Key #9:

Leave the Sexual Aggression at Home

Many women who are quality "catches" have been turned off to online dating from the remarks or sexual aggression of the guys they met. All you have to do is read a few online dating experiences to see exactly what I mean. Remember to treat your date with respect. Constantly wandering eyes and comments on the female's anatomy could land you in the "block" column back at home.

Key #10:
Keep Your Attention on Your Date. Men, this Means Eye Level!

Women are not stupid. They are very observant, in fact. If you are taking quick glimpses at other females, your date will notice. She may not say anything to you, but it will make a negative impression on her.

For both men and women, remember that you are here because of the other person. This means constant eye contact and not letting the eyes wander below the other person's chin! Give the person your full and undivided attention to make the maximum impression.

Key #11:
Steer Away From "Past Relationship" Conversations

The first date is not a good time to talk about past boyfriends or girlfriends. You are meeting for the first time and it is a fresh beginning for the two of you. Bringing in old dating baggage just clogs the enjoyment of the evening and can create early feelings of being uncomfortable.

It's best to keep the conversation on a bright and fun note because a lot of "first impressions" are being formed during this date - the most important date that you'll ever have with this person. Talking about a rash of serial murders hitting the city is a good way to dampen a good conversation. Try to refrain from all negative subjects and keep things on a positive and uplifting level.

Key #12:
Tell Him/Her if You Enjoyed the First Meeting

If you had a lot of fun and feel that you "clicked" with your date, be sure to let him or her know that you "had a lot of fun". This is vital, because it reveals an important part of how you felt about the date to the other person without making them guess after the date is over.

Be Safe
Ladies - due to the "anonymous" nature of the online world, it's always important to make sure you are in a neutral and comfortable environment for the first date. This means meeting your date in a very public place and making sure that others know where you are at and who you are with.

Online dating is a lot of fun when meeting the right type of people. Improving the flow of communication will help that magic begin.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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