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Developing Online Relationships

Updated on July 26, 2011

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I have been dating online for over a year now. Over all I would say, this is definitely an avenue worth exploring for yourself if you want to start dating again. There are many different dating websites and I have tried several. Most allow you to browse for free but will charge you around $30/month if you want to do any communicating back and forth. A free one that I have used quite a bit is I have had a variety of experiences, both good and bad that have taught me a few things I would have done differently if only I had known earlier. Here are some highlights of some of the things I have learned. Both men and women run into bad experiences on these sites. So you will find that both sexes have a hard time trusting new people that they are getting to know online. Even if the initial attraction is there, take it slow.

Be cautious

1. Set up a specific dating email that is not related to any personal emails you currently use. And use that when you apply to the dating website or start emailing someone new.

2. Explain in your profile that you take your time getting to know people well before you meet them.

3. Never give out bank, credit card information, SS# or offer to send someone money or pay for a plane ticket. - I hope this is a duh, knew that moment!

4. Do not give out personal information until you have developed a level of trust. I let them know I have 2 kids and their ages but I don’t give out their names right away. Keep the information more general at first.

5. Take your time getting to know people. Exchange messages on the site, exchange emails, Instant Message using gtalk or yahoo or pick any other favorite client. Just make sure your ID is one you have set up prior and just for these new dating experiences, not a personal one you already use. Many also have voice chatting or even video conferencing like Skype or gtalk. So if you use headphones with a mic, you can see who you are talking to in real time which I enjoy much more than just talking on the phone. Be aware that not everyone is proficient at typing or has the computer experience to use some of these programs. But they are easy to download and it usually takes less than 20 min to learn how to use them. My personal favorite is gtalk from Google. And most laptops already have a built in mic.

6. You can call the other person and block your phone number from coming up on their caller ID if you punch in *67 first. Some people get a little defensive about this, but if they’re a keeper, they will respect you just wanting to be safe with the first few phone calls. Tell them that it is much easier to change an email address than a phone number. And as far as I know texting does not have a way of doing this so save that for later imo (in my opinion).

7. Always meet at a public place for the first few dates, and make sure friends know where you’ll be. Yes a restaurant is often chosen, but you could pick an ice cream parlor or even putt putt golf. Movies are not as good for a first date unless you go somewhere to talk before or after.

8. Set up a Buddy call with a friend that occurs during the date. Have a code phrase that tells your buddy I’m having fun, it’s going great or this person is loser; please call me back with an excuse to get me out of here. Two of my personal code phrases are, “Were you able to drop those cookies off at _______? Yes went smooth or no I burnt a batch still have to make a doz.” Or “Did you find a shirt and tie for your son’s concert? Yes at Yonkers or no got the shirt still have to find matching tie.” As you can see the answer leaves an opening why you might have to leave early. And your buddy should call you back to make sure you do.

Be honest and insist on honesty in return

1. First of all be honest about whether or not you are available and ready to start a new relationship with someone you meet online. Are you really open to starting a new relationship? You might want to step back and wait if you still haven't gotten over that old flame, or have a hard time getting past trust issues or any other baggage that you might have that would hinder a new relationship.

2. Spend some time filling out your profile; make sure it reflects who you really are (interests and appearance) and what kind of relationship you are looking for. You want the person you meet for the first time to be able to say yes he/she was exactly what I was expecting.

3. Submit a current picture or put the year it was taken on the one you submit, until you can get a current one up.

4. Ask lots of questions of each other. Ask how old their picture is. Find out each other’s favorites. You can sometimes make a game out of it. One of my newest questions is do you have all of your own teeth? Yes I had a date with someone that was in process of getting dentures and had had half of them pulled. But of course he didn’t tell me till after we had set up the first meeting. Yes my bff (best friend forever) and I will be laughing about that one for years to come. My worst question while on the first date, in a public restaurant I might add, “Is your money maker carpeted or linoleum?” Before he said money maker, I actually thought he was asking about the flooring where I worked. And yes sometimes I can be that naïve! Lol Well, I didn’t even stick around for the buddy call in that instance. I just excused myself and told him how inappropriate that was and that he wouldn’t be hearing from me again. And yes he did try to contact me again asking if I was too good for him. And no, you do not have to reply to every message you get!

5. I always try to answer every person that tries to contact me. If it is someone that you really don’t want to meet, be courteous but don’t get their hopes up by keeping the messaging going. And ok this is the one time I may not be completely honest, but I have discovered that if you tell them, “I just met someone and I want to see how that goes first” it is the easiest way to let them down gently. And if the answer is really true, but there is still a slight interest, I also inform them that they can check back later to see if I’m available in a couple of weeks/months.

6. And as you are getting to know someone be honest with yourself about how many red flags you discover about that person. Sometimes it can feel like you really hit it off. It’s fun, they make you laugh, you feel like there is a real connection, but there may be things that pop up in your head saying red flag for you. You may have caught an inconsistency with a story or caught them in a lie, they may not make as much money as they first led you to believe, or they may have been in more marriages than they first told you about. Keep track of those red flags or have a friend remind you of them. If the number starts climbing especially to four, five or six really take a second look and reevaluate this person and your relationship with them. How important are these issues and being honest in a relationship to you?

I hope some of this advice is helpful and applicable. Much of it you may have heard or read before, but I hope I have given a few tips that you have not and will definitely use. Dating online has been both fun and heartbreaking. But I think it is worth the risk. Finding mr. right is a process and in the mean time, I have still developed many friendships that I wouldn’t have, had I not taken the chance. And yes most of my dates have been fun and with interesting people I had the pleasure to get to know. Just make sure you have a great bff for those few that don’t work out like you had hoped. And please If you are the one telling someone it's just not working, do so curteously. No one likes to be "ignuredumped" (must be said with redneck attitude lol) as my bff so aptly coined the term.

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Feel free to browse any of my other hubs...

LIFE IS LIKE A BEACH BALL found HERE. Does your life sometimes seem like a beach ball in God’s hands? In this hub, I describe how my life/beach ball, has been batted and/or punted causing detours in my life despite the goals or plans I have tried to maintain.

GETTING TO KNOW SOMEONE ONLINE QUICKLY AND EASILY found HERE. In this hub I explain why it easier to get to know someone you meet online by gaming with them. I show how their personality is revealed by the type of character they choose to play, whether they will take the time to help someone else catch up in quests or how selfish they can be only bettering their own character’s traits. People reveal much more about themselves hiding behind an avatar, than when they are on a dating website.

OBSERVATIONS BY A PRESCHOOL TEACHER found HERE. Just a few observations I've gathered over the years as a preschool teacher of young children. Hoping that parents will reward the good behavior not the bad behavior of their children.

SOME DAYS ARE LIKE THAT found HERE. A not quite so typical day of a preschool teacher but one we can laugh about none the less. And as parents and teachers that can relate to one or more of the events happening in their lives, you realize when they all happen on the same day, all you can do is laugh when the mom finds you and the child in the bathroom with a wet shoe.

SHOES ON THE RIGHT FEET found HERE. It's an easy parenting tip for teaching young children how to put their shoes on the right feet.

FUN BIRTHDAY PARTY GAMES found HERE. If you want to add some laughter to your child's birthday parties, check out the ideas in this article. This list is bound to have a few that you haven't tried yet but should because your children will be requesting them year after year.


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    • kd4rvb profile image

      kd4rvb 6 years ago from Titusville, FL

      It can be a scary world out there, but if you follow these tips you'll likely survive. Well written article, I've learned a few things to say the least.