Internet dating the rules

Here, everything you need to know to find love on the World Wide Web. Your Profile Picture It can seem difficult to stand out in the vast sea of online daters; the best way to do so is by creating a great profile—and be sure to always include a photo.

"The amount of times that people are approached when they have photos is multitudes more than when they don't," says Gian Gonzaga, Ph D, e Harmony's senior director of research and development and head of e Harmony Labs. Leave behind group shots, which can make it confusing for other people to identify you, advises Spira, and choose a headshot in which you are smiling.

If you contact someone and haven't heard back in a week, it's OK to send a second e-mail.

If someone is new to a site, his or her profile is often featured in the community and the person becomes inundated with e-mails.

Dating is complicated enough on its own; when you add in the confusion of online dating sites, it can be just plain intimidating. There is a technique to navigating the virtual playing field.

Not to mention effective: Each day, an average of 236 people who met on e get married. So, how do you go from logging on to finding your perfect match?

After that, have a phone conversation—trade cell phone numbers, never home numbers.

Or better yet, call him so that you won't have to give out your number at all. The Ideal First Date The perfect first date is a personal decision. "You can get a good feel for someone in 20 minutes," says Dr.

Midway through the meal, go to the bathroom and call or text your friend to let him or her know whether you're OK or feel uncomfortable. Even if sparks don't fly with someone you initially meet online, it doesn't mean that he won't turn into a great friend or helpful business contact.

), but it gives the impression that you have nothing to hide; confidence is always attractive.

While the pictures you post should be clear—giving the viewer an accurate glimpse of what you really look like—don't completely discount self-taken shots (the ones where you hold out your camera to take your own portrait).

So, assume that your interest hasn't had time to open your message.

But if there's silence after two e-mails, cut your losses and move on. Taking the Relationship Offline The time to take your relationship beyond the boundaries of the dating site will eventually come.

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