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Section 1: The Profile

The most important thing for a date, whether offline or online, is to start it with a memorable first impression.

Use your profile as your appearance! Make sure that it reflects who you truly are. Remember, a date can turn into the cherished life partner you were always searching for.

1.1 Give full and complete information about you as a person. When filling up the profile page, check all boxes that apply to you. This will help a person to search for you based on those parameters. Remember, the more information you provide about yourself, the more likely it is to find someone with common traits.

1.2 Provide a valid email address. Our system automatically will notify you if someone sends a wink or a message to you. You need to make sure that the email address on file is a "real" working address, otherwise you may never find out who is trying to communicate with you. You will also not be able to retrieve your password, shall you happen to forget it. Of course, your email address is kept completely private and is not shared with any other member or other party.

1.3 Fill up the boxes where you are asked to describe yourself in your own words. Think of it as your signature, the personal touch which makes another person actually interested in you. Provide as much information about yourself as possible, but make sure it is all relevant and also without inadvertently providing intimate personal information. You can talk about your career/employment but not the company's name. Mention your main points of interest, your main goals in life, your hobbies, what you do in your spare time, views on marriage and children, and your main personality traits and whether you prefer to party hard or stay home. Of course there are many other things that are of interest to you and who you are at present, which is why the above is just a guideline to help get you started. Just make sure whenever you are writing, you are talking almost everything about yourself but in few words. Providing specific and relevant information on who you are will help others determine whether you would be compatible or interested in them or vice versa!

1.4 Everyone has some unique trait or characteristic. Think about yourself..What makes you special? What makes you different from others? Make sure to include these unique traits about yourself that makes you stand out from the crowd. That unique trait will show the person who you are exactly and will attract the right matches for you.

1.5 Make sure to give a nice, interesting and attractive headline for your profile which could grab attention in just the first few words. There are a million people out there. Stand out from the Crowd. Make it short, interesting and creative so that allures the reader to notice your ad. The best headline actually sums up your entire ad and you as a person, so make it last.

1.6 While writing your personal profile, consider the target reader. Think of whom you would like to date and what qualities you have and would like for someone to have as well. Generally speaking, women and men look for qualities such as sincerity, maturity, and someone with a sense of humor. And it may sound like a cliche, but honesty is the best policy.

1.7 Remember to list qualities that you want in a potential partner. If you only write the list of undesirable qualities, it will have a negative impact on the reader. Do ask for things as basic personality traits, age, children, physical characteristics, etc. But be realistic in asking such questions as you want to attract people who would be genuinely interested in you. Make sure you are clear, specific and realistic about your choice and preferences and the best prospects who will answer your personal ads will be those men or women who can "see" themselves in the description you have provided regarding the type of person you are looking for.

1.8 If possible, include a decent picture of yourself along with your profile. According to recent research, personal ads with photos draw 5-10 times more responses than ads without photos. So don't miss an opportunity. Get a simple picture taken and scan it.

1.9 While writing a personal ad, most people like using the acronyms or abbreviations like SWF, DBM, ISO, MWM. Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations as it not only confuses people but most of them won't even look at your ad. These are quite common and most of the readers these days just ignore it without even having a glance at your personal ad. It would be better if you use the complete words.

1.10 Use simple and effective language while writing the personal ad. Before posting it, make sure you check the grammar and spelling. Never write the whole ad in upper case, however you may use it to stress an important characteristic or feature that you want the readers to notice right away. Be specific about yourself and what you are looking for in your potential partner. Remember, you are in the spotlight .... so state and stress the positives.

Section 2: Using the Emails: Dos and Don’ts

2.1 Never write single sentence emails such as 'Hey there. I'm <blah, blah> I’d like to know you more.' With an inquiry like that, expect no reply.

2.2 Avoid using any sort of humorous pick-up lines in your emails. Be sensible, specific and clear in your reply.

2.3 Never use a 'form letter' for contacting other singles. Although it is done nicely, it is rather generic and you don't want to lose the person's interest. It may leave a negative impression of you and your personality. Think of it, how much do you like talking to someone’s answering machine?

2.4 Never leave the reply to the email for tomorrow. By then, it might be too late and your initial enthusiasm may have diminished. If you've got the time, write some lines if are unable to spend much time on it. Don't be bashful either. You can usually communicate anonymously, so write in a light-hearted tone, but with at least some feeling and a positive attitude.

2.5 Never pour all the information in the very first email. Make it briefly informative and interesting enough to get a response. Brief but interesting information would have a far better chance of further communication.

2.6 Never ask too many questions in the beginning as the other person now wants to know a little bit about you. Nor begin to mention boring stuff about weather or what happened to you that day.

2.7 When replying to personal ads, it is a probably a good idea to have the intentions of "friends first". Then you could be more true and genuine in corresponding to each other and friendlier too. It takes time to get to know someone and you, of course, don't want to jump into any relationship without being sure that he/she is the right match for you.

2.8 Write an email that speaks to that person. Re-read their profile and check out what they are looking for in a partner. If it matches your qualities and if their qualities match your views about your partner, talk about yourself with those qualities and some new ones. Maybe you both will find some more of common interest. In brief, respond to their description of what they are looking for in a partner. Why should you fit that bill?

2.9 Inform the person about yourself in the beginning and then in the end ask a question or two to keep the conversation going. Just 1-2 questions would be good enough the very first time. You want to keep learning about that person gradually, not have a life story presented before you. Divulge interesting personal information, but don't give away too much.

2.10 While replying, be specific, clear and interesting. Make sure to check the grammar and spelling before sending it. Wrong use of grammar and incorrect spellings could make someone lose interest in you.

2.11 Be patient in waiting for another person's reply. Many people don't check their email for 2-3 days or sometimes a week. They may be having a bad time at the moment or under a mountain of paperwork at the office, so give them time before deciding if you should resend. A lot of the time, no response will mean no interest.

2.12 After describing yourself briefly, talk about common interests. If you live in the same area, then that's something to start with. Music is usually another common interest that could be used as a conversation starter.

2.13 Be positive, polite and courteous in everything you write. Always finish with a thanks or regards. End the conversation with a kind reminder of looking forward to talking to this person again which will show interest. Avoid ending conversations jokingly (in your view), one man’s joke may be another man’s sarcasm.

Section 3: Dating Tips

3.1 Use the on-site messaging system (the Instant Messenger and on-site Messaging) to preserve your privacy in the initial days. This ensures that when you inevitably run into the online-creep, you remain anonymous and safe. This is where the net is better than a blind date. Use the anonymity feature to your advantage.

3.2 Your Knight (or Lady) in Shining Armor might be waiting for you somewhere, but you haven’t met him in real life. Being online improves your chances of finding the right person, but still it is advisable to keep your expectations from flying sky high. Statistically more dates are duds than the great ones. Not everyone interested in you is worth your time, nor everyone you swoon over might reciprocate. Learn to take life in your stride; after all you are looking for a good match, so it’s worth it!

3.3 Online dating blurs the distinction between chatting with your next door neighbor and one who is half the way around the globe. You might have found a great sensitive friend, but that would not be advisable for your finances if you have to fly around the globe for each date. Practically, most people do not move more than 50 miles to meet their dates. Utilize the location feature of our messaging system to find someone closer home.

3.4 It is very common to find yourself making an “instant connection” with the online buddy, but treat that with a pinch of salt. Some people find it easy to say things they do not mean while on the net, so go easy. Get to know the person well through messages and emails before thinking of making the call. This acts as a check to see if you still feel safe, attracted and curious about the other guy/girl.

3.5 Remember to be practical. Most often, romantic ideas do not translate into happy situations. You don’t need to reinvent yourself to attract someone you barely know. Let them like what you really are, that makes the most beautiful futures.

3.6 Keep your common sense, wits and instincts about you. It’s the simplest advice, but most commonly disregarded. Better safe than sorry.

3.7 Slow and steady. That is the way to go in online dating too. Take things slowly and only when they feel right, follow your instincts. If the other person is actually as good as you believe, then he or she will understand your need to go at a certain pace, don’t get pushed into unwanted situations. Another safety rule is to talk at least once on the phone before agreeing to the first date. Be sure to ask for a photo if it is not on the profile page. Ask informative questions, to get to know the person better, and any inconsistency in the history or stories of personal life is a big No-No.

3.8 With the existence of caller ID, it is a good idea to use the neighborhood pay phone, or if you must use your home number, use the caller ID blocking code if available. Using a mobile phone is also a good idea. Remember, you do not need to give your phone number unless you are completely comfortable with it.

3.9 Not all net friends are worth meeting, be polite in letting the other person know that you are not interested before progressing to a phone call or a date.

3.10 Use a public place like a restaurant for the first date. Avoid meeting at the other person’s place or to pick them up. Have your own transportation in case you need to travel to some place to meet the person, or have a backup vehicle. Let your friends know where and with whom you are going. Have your cell phone on you, and please keep it charged! If you don’t have one, borrow one for the evening from your friends.

3.11 Be aware of behavioral cues. Look for things that a person can try to hide by being on their best behavior (first dates are generally that way). Some of the tell tale signs of a person you should steer clear are:
• Avoiding issues and answers
• Avoiding eye contact
• Being demeaning or disrespectful to other people
• Inconsistent information like age, education, career, etc.
• Is miles different form the way they have described themselves on their profiles
• Is pushy in things that should be allowed to take time, like touching and kissing
• Avoids phone contact

3.12 Be responsible in your sexual behavior. Ask direct questions about your partner’s background and history, especially things like duration of relationships, intimacy and whether protection was used at all times. It is really difficult to do this if you aren’t used to it, but make an effort.

3.13 Don’t be apologetic. You answer to no one but yourself and at the end of the day you should be comfortable with your behavior. If you are not comfortable with a person or a situation, then it doesn’t make you a bad person, or someone not fit for dating; it’s just that you are not ready.

There are a lot of people waiting to meet you. Keep an open mind, an open heart, a level head and most importantly your common sense.

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   Monday Aug 26, 2013 @ 3:45 AM
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