“Have you recently found yourself single and thinking about online dating?”
“Do you wonder about how to get started?”
“Are you worried that you may meet someone dangerous online?”

“Do you have concerns that there may be a stigma attached to using dating sites?”

“Are you confused about which type of service to use?”

“Do you get scared off by the whole technical side of internet dating?”

Being single now means you have the option of going online to date a variety of different people. For some, they may just be looking for a casual fun encounter, while for others they want a life-long partner that they can grow old with. Whatever the case, dating websites can meet the needs of just about everyone, and they’re here to stay. The stigma has now gone, and there are thousands of success stories of couples that have got married as a result of meeting online.

Yet for many who find themselves single, this type of dating is totally foreign to them. You may find the whole process daunting as you don’t know where to start or how to make a great first impression. You may be confused about the rules of the game, when to meet someone in person, and how to keep yourself safe? What type of personal details do you give out, how honest should you be and how important is your picture to the whole process? Well there a number of key strategies to remember when looking to go online to meet someone.

5 keys to successful online dating:

1) Decide on the type of site and your motivation

There are an overwhelming number of internet sites out there for you to choose from! From fun and flirty, or sex only, to matchmaking sites that look to put you in contact with compatible long term partners. What do you want out of your online dating experience? Is it casual or is it serious? Do you want help and support or do you want to explore it all on your own? You need to be clear about your motivation for going online, and then start doing some research. Ask people that have experience, and choose sites that have a good history, lots of numbers, and a support service if possible.

2) Have a recent photo and interesting bio

Online dating is based around making connections with people from what you see and read on their bio. What this means is that you need to take time in crafting this presentation of yourself. Old photos are a no-no, and boring bland biographies lose you in the mix. Instead, make sure you have a recent photo, one that is accurate and makes you feel good about yourself. As well, spend some time writing a bio that is honest but also makes you stand out. Get a friend to write this with you, and this will make it a bit easier to sell yourself – and no spelling mistakes!!

3) Hold off on sex

If you want to meet a long term partner on the internet, you must hold back from having sex too soon. The internet can attract some people who are only looking for conquests and will simply lie to get you into bed. Make it clear right from the word go that you’re not going have sex with someone until you’ve got to know them for at least 4 – 6 weeks (maybe longer !!!) This shows you respect yourself and want something serious, and it will flush out the players from the stayers.

4) Stay safe

Keep safe at all times with the online dating process. There are dishonest people out there that may have other motivations. So never give out your personal information (e.g. home phone number, residential address, financial details, intimate/ naked photos of yourself etc.) and don’t talk about topics that you feel uncomfortable about. Set up an online email account that is safe and not related to your workplace, and have plenty of email and phone contact before agreeing to meet them. When you do have face to face contact – do this in the day time at a public place like a café, have your cell phone with you, tell a friend where you are, and put a time limit on it.

5) Be patient and selective

Online dating is about choices and getting to know someone at your pace. It’s a numbers game, and you will talk to a lot of dates along the way. You need to be clear about what you’re looking for (right type vs. wrong type), and be selective. Don’t waste your time with someone who you’re simply not interested in. As well, understand that you’re in a process of sifting through the bad to get to the good. That means dealing with some setbacks along the way. Don’t take this personally, you’re simply eliminating the bad to get to the good. Use the support of friends as well to keep you positive along the way.

For more advice and free relationship tips go to www.johnaikenadvice.com