The first point I feel the need to cover is privacy. Regardless of how hot/cute/sexy/attractive/smart/savvy/whatever someone is never give out your personal information (phone numbers, checking account numbers, address, social security number, work address, family history, children’s names, etc). There are just as many, if not more, illegitimate con-artist type people online as there are in real life. Always be cautious of the person you’re talking to, or that is talking to you. The more time that goes on the stronger the bond, and obviously if you’ve talked to someone for a decent amount of time it’s appropriate for them to ask to call you. But if you’re talking to someone for the first few times online never give out your number. Did you know that phone numbers can be looked up online to find a person’s address, background, and other information? It’s dangerous to expose yourself right away, so please don’t do it.
Your profile is going to be your best friend, so treat it well. Always be honest in your profile, by weaving a web of deceit the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Bluffing your way into a relationship is a recipe for disaster, you may be surprised at how forgiving and accommodating people can be when they’re presented with the whole truth from the beginning. This doesn’t mean to post every bad habit or bad thing about yourself on your profile, but what it does mean is don’t make up false things to make yourself look better. I you’re a banker don’t lie and say you’re CFO of the whole corporation, that’s ridiculous.
Before setting up your profile decide what it is you’re looking for. Quality or quantity? Hopefully the answer to this was quality, if not I don’t think I can help you. Sometimes they go hand in hand, especially if your profile attracts a lot of attention. This is achieved not by being “flashy” but by being creative and painting a picture of yourself. When creating your profile think of the way you want people to see you. For example, don’t say “I like to cook. My friends eat what I cook. I own a grill.” Wow, so interesting– and nobody is going to message you! Instead spice it up a little, “I’ve been cooking almost all my life, rumor has it I’m decent. My friends and family love coming to my place to get together, I suspect as an excuse to raid my wine cellar–I’m a fan of (insert wine here). There is little I love more in life than spending time with those I care about, I consider myself lucky…” It’s not overly cheesy but it shows your personality. It doesn’t matter what your interests happen to be, there is always someone that shares the same interests—that’s why you don’t have to make things up.
Pictures! Every profile needs them. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making an amazing profile and ruining it with a crappy picture. The late night webcam pictures don’t do anybody justice–so don’t do it! Drag a friend outside to take a few pictures of you. And yes, the sun should be out and you should be smiling. If you’ve got the funds hire a photographer. Good pictures can make all the difference in a profile. Pictures should be current, and be of you.
When you do start conversing with people online it’s best to keep conversation neutral and positive. It seems like some people hide behind their computer screen and become overnight sex-addicts or cybersex junkies. Don’t let yourself fall into this trap, what are you really trying to achieve here? Stay focused on your goals. In the beginning it’s best to avoid topics such as sex, marriage, meeting up, children, etc. Would you bring those subjects up during a first conversation in person? I think not, so it’s best to avoid that online as well.
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