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Online Dating Magazine > Features > Online Dating Tips

10 Essential Online Dating Tips
by Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine


Every year there are tens of thousands of marriages that occur as a result of people meeting from an online dating service. Online dating is a competitive industry and in order to improve your results, it's vital to enhance your presence.

Online Dating Magazine has assembled 10 essential online dating tips to help improve your experience and your success. Use these tips to better understand the industry, yourself, who you are looking for, and to bring about better results.

Online Dating Tips:

1) Determine what type of service is best for you.
There are five different types of online dating services that you have to select from. Make sure you select the ones that match up with your goals.

The first are General Online Dating Services. These are services that provide you with the ability to view everyone who has posted a profile and are generally aimed at dating. Such services include:, LavaLife, and FriendFinder.

The second are Relationship Services. These are services that match you with others based on compatibility testing and are generally for those more serious about a relationship or marriage. Such services include eHarmony and

The third are Social Network Services. These are free sites that allow you to build your base of friends and potentially find someone to date in the process. Such services include MySpace, Friendster and Orkut.

The fourth are Niche Dating Services. These are services aimed at bringing together people, to date, who share a specific common passion or desire. Such services include Green Friends (vegetarians), Equestrian Cupid (horse lovers), Millionaire Match (rich singles), Age Match (Intergenerational Dating), and Senior Match (older singles).

The fifth are Merging Online Dating Services. These services combine online dating with offline applications. For example, Peek a Bio and Chick n Chit allow you to post a profile then hand out specially printed cards to people you meet in everyday life who you are interested in. Using the card, these people can access your hidden profile to learn more about you.

Decide which service(s) best meet your need, then pursue it!

2) Follow important online dating safety tips.
From the time you sign up for a service through the time you meet on a date, it's important to be safe. Read Online Dating Magazine's Online Dating Safety Tips article for specific things you should and shouldn't do. In a nutshell: never give out too much personal information; never give a home phone number; always meet in a public place for the first date; ask for a recent photo (or how old posted photos are); and trust your gut instinct. Read the article for more safety tips and full descriptions.

3) Build a winning profile.
Your profile is one of the two key elements that will determine if a person emails you on an online dating service (the other is photo - see next tip). Thus it's important to make sure that your profile is lively, fun, and positive. Avoid negatives (I'm lonely, I can't believe I'm doing this) at all costs. Examine other profiles and determine what about it makes you more interested or less interested. Read Online Dating Magazine's Profile Tips article for more advice. If a person finds your profile interesting and not generic then you have increased your chances of someone showing interest in you. Make yours interesting!

4) Post great recent photos.
Face it - when doing a search on an online dating service the first thing that grabs your attention is the photo. This is the single most important element to getting people to view that great profile you've written (see last tip). These days, generic photos won't cut it. You need to determine what colors look best on you, dress nice, be clean cut, and have someone take various photos of you that are fun and lively. When I changed my photo from a posed shot to a shot of me with an Orangutan, the number of people emailing me or showing an interest quadrupled. It also provided a great ice breaker and talking point when someone emailed me. Read Online Dating Magazine's Creating a Better Online Dating Photo article for some excellent tips.

5) Learn effective communication techniques.
Your first email to someone you're interested in is the most important one you'll ever write because it will help determine whether or not they write back. It's important to personalize your introductory email and spend more time asking questions (based on the other person's profile) than providing information about yourself. Throwing a compliment in doesn't hurt either (i.e. "I love your smile" or "your profile is one of the best I've read"). Learn some good communication techniques by reading some of these Online Dating Magazine articles and columns: 12 Keys to Better Online Dating Communication | Dating From the Inside Out | Connect.

6) Always be respectful of others.
By learning to respect others, you enhance your character. Being respectful means not being lewd (in communicating with others) and not "dropping off the face of the earth" when you move on. One of the biggest complaints we receive is from people who say the person they were communicating with just "disappeared" and stopped communicating. It's very disrespectful when you don't send a polite message letting other people know that you are moving on.

7) Avoid white lies.
In the world of online dating, white lies take on many forms, including: posting a photo more than nine months old; lying about your age; lying about your income; lying about your job. The simple fact is that you are likely looking for your soul mate, so at some point in the dating relationship, those lies will come back to haunt you. Always be honest and truthful in everything you say and post. By always telling the truth, you'll never have to remember what you said!

8) Learn how to better identified and avoid married people.
It's a sad fact that nearly 1/4th of people who participate in online dating are married. Whether looking for a way to cheat or trying to see what they "missed out" on, these people are a menace to people seeking true relationships. Married people will be extremely secretive and irregular in their communication with you. If you reach the point of talking on the phone, you'll get their cell phone answering machine a lot and calls will be returned on an irregular basis. They generally won't post a picture or will post one that is dark/grainy. After all, they don't want a friend or family member to come across their profile! Learn more tips by reading Online Dating Magazine's How to Stay Clear of Married Men article. Avoid married people at all costs. As the adage goes: once a cheater, always a cheater.

9) Make the first date memorable.
The concept of success with online dating doesn't end with getting a date. Your actual date is going to shape the other person's opinion more than anything else to date. Thus it's important that you make a great first impression. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression. Be confident on your date. Confidence is one of the biggest attractions you can posses. Learn some great first date tips by reading the following Online Dating Magazine articles: 10 Tips to Getting a Second Date and Beyond | 10 Important Dating Tips for Men | First Date Do's and Don'ts.

10) Avoid becoming a professional online dater.
Online Dating Magazine coined the term "professional online dater" to describe the growing number of people becoming addicted to online dating. The addiction is bad enough that it effects relationships and potential relationships, while hurting others in the process. And hurting others should be the last thing you want to do. A professional online dater is one who is on several dating services, going out on several dates regularly, and always thinking "the next one may be better". If he/she enters into a relationship, they just hide their profile (versus deleting it) and at the first sign up trouble in a relationship, they generally return to the online dating world instead of working out the issues. A professional online dater generally just "drops off the face of the earth" instead of telling you he/she is no longer interested in communicating. For more information, read the Online Dating Magazine article, Avoid Becoming a Professional Online Dater.

By following the above tips, you'll find both your experience and personal character improving. You'll also increase your chances of finding that special someone and eventually becoming one of the tens of thousands of people that marry a year because they met their "soul mate" online.

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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