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Online Dating: Do’s and Don’t’ses

on Oct 25, 12 • by • with No Comments

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In the early days of the internet, there was a stigma attached to online dating. Like, if you needed to use online dating services, you were admitting incompetence in the long-established rites of courtship (most often including liberal doses of cosmetics, alcohol and self-delusion).

But that was ancient times – way before MySpace, Facebook and Tila Tequila made it totally okay to put your face, identity and ass online, respectively.

Just ten or fifteen years later, online dating is ingrained into our culture and mating rituals. Today sites like Match.com, eHarmony and ChristianMingle contribute to make online dating a $4billion global industry. And if you include “mingle sites” like MeetMe and Tagged, the numbers get even higher (as do your chances of contracting an STD).

But just because online dating is commonplace does not mean the rules of engagement are self-evident. Before you make the leap into the digital quest for love, take a moment to review Banner Ad Confidential’s list of Online Dating Do’s and Don’t’ses below.

Do: Speak the Language:

Each dating site has its own special angle to help their users find what they’re looking for. Here’s a sample of user tag-lines from respective dating sites:

  • Match.com: “I’m  young, attractive and have a positive outlook. Let’s talk.”
  • Christian Mingle: “I love God and want to find a spouse who shares my values.”
  • MeetMe:  “Just a Juggalo lookin’ for a Juggalette.”
Keep in mind each site’s nuances when asking out another user. It might go something like this:
  • Match.com: “I’m working late all week. Can we go for a hike on Saturday morning?”
  • Christian Mingle: “Let’s grab coffee after Bible Study on Tuesday night!”
  • Tagged:  “Sumbuddy needa take me to Six Flags.”

Do: Choose a good screen name

  • Men – Women generally don’t want to see or hear about your dick right off-the-bat. So it’s generally a bad idea to include in your username the words “hung,” “mule,” or “Mandingo.” (unless you’re on Tagged, where it’s required)
  • Women – Men tend to avoid profiles with names like “LithiumLaura,” “DonutGirl22,” or “3rdTimesTheCharm.”
 Do: Write compelling descriptions of yourself.
  • NO (women):  45+ manic depressive with rosacea, bad credit, and man-hands, seeks companion (sex-free sugar-daddy) to take place of absentee father.
  • YES (women): Radiant, manually-endowed cougar seeks playmate, partner to build nurturing relationship that will sustain life’s ups-and-downs.
  • NO (men): Balding, unemployed man-child, with yellow toe-nails and a Hello-Kitty fetish seeks enabler to nurture his mild but persistent addiction and delusions of grandeur. Let’s bone!
  • YES (men): Distinguished, independent and young-at-heart gentlemen with appreciation for Eastern culture seeks companion in adventures, dreams and romance.
Do:  Take profile pictures witha  grain of salt.  Apparently some sites offer access to a super-secret, CIA-grade version of Photoshop that isn’t available to the general public. You might ask out someone who resembles Blake Lively or Brad Pitt on their profile, but the person who shows up for your date looks like Shrek-with-a-Unibrow.
Do: Avoid anyone who lists his/her favorite musicians as Amy Winehouse, Elliott Smith,or Cat Power. This person is obviously going through some heavy shit, and you don’t need to deal with that. It’s got nothing to do with you, but that’s not how it’s going to feel.
Do: Avoid bargain dating sites like www.Leftovers.com. Yes, it’s a little cheaper, but let’s just say it’s not the freshest produce in the store.
Do:  Note that dating site LivingPositive.com is a very different proposition than the site LiveStrong.com. Its focus is not just about living an optimistic lifestyle. And unlike LiveStrong, it’s not based on decades of lies and deception.
Don’t:  Be scared off by religious sites like Christian Mingle. Those chastity vows might not be as restrictive as you think.  Just sayin’.
Do: Use protection for casual sex partners. Studies show that the false intimacy of online dating may lead to greater transmission of STDs. But even if there’s still only a small chance you would catch a little sumthin, think about it like this:  would you rent bowling shoes and not wear socks?
Don’t: Worry if a guy doesn’t have a picture posted. It does not mean he’s ugly – it just means he’s married.

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