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Successful Internet Dating For Women

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Successful Internet D ating For Women 2007 Ver sio n

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Chapter 1 : Gett ing Ready f or O nl ine Dati ng Introduction Why should you try online dating? Well if you‟re a woman who‟s heard the same tired chat up lines more times than you‟ve been out with a decent guy, or you‟re going to go crazy if you date another guy who promises you the moon but fails to deliver - then the Internet may be just what you need. It gives you the opportunity to explore a huge variety of guys – many of them who are also looking for a partner – in an anonymous situation without any strings attached. There‟s no physical contact, there‟s no need to dress up, there‟s not even a need to be in a certain place at a specific time – you just find the people you‟re interested in and contact them. Who dates online? Women and men who are tired of familiar faces, and not finding the right person in their locality. Women and men who work or are raising a family single handed and just don‟t have the time or the energy to go out onto the dating scene. And of course, women and men who are looking for that special someone, and just haven‟t found them through traditional means and now are turning to technology to help them in their search. Does it work? Well this form of dating, like traditional dating, has both its successes and failures. Where online dating has the edge however is that you aren‟t putting a lot of emotion, time, energy or money into your search – and if you do it right, it is possible to find the man of your dreams out there in cyberspace. Will I find the man of my dreams? A lot of that depends on you, and how you approach the online dating game. Follow the steps set out in this guidebook and

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you‟ll place yourself in great shape to find and meet up with a man who could very well be the one you‟ve been dreaming about. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get started! Online dating isn‟t for everyone but if you‟re taking this course then it‟s obviously something that you‟re considering. The course will take you through everything from preparing yourself to become an online dater, to preparing to meet an online dater in real life. We‟ll walk you through the steps of where to find online love, how to narrow down potential daters to a potential partner, and advise on how to date online safely. The course doesn‟t promise that you‟ll find love online, but it will equip you with the tools to make online dating fun and safe whilst you search for the partner of your dreams. Online dating is an exciting prospect. Whether you are looking for the love of your life, or just to meet other people, you‟ll be sure of having plenty of other online daters to choose from. It‟s this vast amount of choice however that means a little preparation before you dive into the online dating scene is a good idea, otherwise you might find you spend a lot of time chatting with people who are not looking for the same thing as you are. So what things should you consider before signing up with any online dating site? Well the first thing is to ask yourself what exactly you are hoping to achieve. Are you looking for romance? Is it a long term relationship with love and possibly marriage that you hope to find somewhere in cyberspace? Or are you really just looking to socialize online with a number of different people and if romance happened to show up then you‟d be happy to follow it? Are you looking for nothing more permanent than a casual relationship which has no strings attached? Do you want a real life relationship, or are you happy to keep this strictly online with no intention of meeting in person?

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Once you‟ve identified what your ideal end result will be, you need to think about the kind of person/people you want to meet. The next thing you should consider is the kind of personality/physical attributes your intended date(s) should have. What‟s most important to you? This will help define the members who fit your criteria once you start searching amongst the members of your chosen online dating site. Think about your interests. What kind of interests would a prospective date have? Would you want them to be interested in the same things or at least have one major overlapping interest that will help break the ice – as well as help identify them in the member listings? Or is it not important to you if they are interested in the same thing as you are? Perhaps there‟s something new that you‟d like to try, a sport or activity for example, and so you could try finding a date who is interested in that and could give you advice as well as use it for a real life date once you‟re more comfortable with the relationship. When thinking about the physical attributes of your preferred date(s), remember that until you meet them in person, you will only have their word for how they look – and it‟s human nature to exaggerate the good points whilst underplaying the negative ones – so although you can take the profiles given at the site as a guideline, just keep in mind that it‟s possible that the person may not be as they portray themselves online (more about this in a later lesson). Having considered what you‟re looking for, think about yourself. How do you want to be “seen” by the other members? Remember you control the information flow to them. Just as they can hide their inner self from you, you can do the same – but if you are looking for more than a casual relationship, you might want to think about what will happen if the person you are cyber dating turns into a real life relationship. If romance and „happy ever after‟ is what you‟re looking for, honesty from the start is a good idea. You can of course be very sparing with what you do

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tell until you are more sure about the person/people you are communicating with, and only share more personal information with anyone who appears to be a good prospect for a long term real life relationship. Remember that whilst honesty is good, an air of mystery can be intriguing also, so keeping the amount of information about yourself sparse in public areas may not be a bad thing! This way you get to control what people know about you before they have any contact with you.

Assignment Think about why do you want to try online dating and then write down answers to the following – it‟s important to write them down so that you have the information to hand once you start reading profiles of other online daters: 1. Why do you think online dating is something you‟re interested in? 2. What kind of a relationship are you hoping to get out of it – your best case scenario? 3. What kind of person would be the perfect online date to fit your answer to question 2? Keeping in mind the information given in Part 1 of the guide above, be as specific as you can about what your ideal date would be like.

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Chapter 2 : Wher e to Fi nd Love Onli ne There are many opportunities open to those who wish to try online dating, but if you are hoping to find more than a casual online-only relationship, there are some sites which offer you more security than others. Do a quick search on your web browser for online dating sites, and you‟ll soon see the size of the online dating field, as well as get a feel for how popular it must be to sustain such a growing community of sites. What we‟ve done in this course is to preview four online dating sites that we feel offer the most benefit to women who are coming into the cyber-dating arena. Read the information, visit the sites, and get a feel for how you react to what you see there. Choosing an online dating site is not unlike finding a good pair of shoes, sometimes you might like the style, other times you might like the fit but they‟re just not the right color so you wouldn‟t wear them. Similarly with online dating sites, you‟ll find that whilst they all offer similar features, you will immediately feel at home in some but not in others. As with the shoes, it‟s a personal thing. So don‟t just check out one of our suggested sites, and then think that the whole online dating thing isn‟t for you because you don‟t feel comfortable there, or on the other hand, don‟t sign up because it looks fun. Visit all four of the sites so you get an overview of what kind of features are offered, how the sites look and operate, and which ones you think fit your personality best. Then consider signing up for a free trial with these ones. Any site that makes you feel uncomfortable just visiting it is not the site for you so forget it ever existed – trust your instincts, they‟ll be important to you as you embark on your cyber-dating adventures. The four sites we are focusing on in this guide are Anatasia Date and Asian Beauties. The same criteria will be used for each of them so that you can see from reading how they are similar and what their differences are

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but reading won‟t give you the full picture so once you‟re finished with the guide on this subject, keep the information here in mind as you visit each of the sites in turn to see what kind of reaction you have to them. Anatasia Date Probably the largest online dating service, Anatasia Date is responsible for creating lasting relationships for over a quarter of a million people, so if you‟re looking for love, this is definitely a site to check out! This site is also really easy to use.It allows you to have a free membership for one week. However the free membership doesn‟t give

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you a broad access to site features as Yahoo does, but the restricted features will be enough for you to see if you like what you see, to read profiles and to send/receive “winks” – a form of online flirting – to other members. Obtaining this free membership is very simple and so within a very short period of time you can start browsing profiles. If you decide that Anatasia Date is the site that‟s most likely to find you the partner you‟ve been looking for, then there are two membership levels to choose from. One of them gives more interactivity than the other so compare the features of both before committing yourself. Anatasia Date also offers discounted rates if you purchase a membership subscription for a longer period of time such as 3 or 6 months.

Asian Beauties If you are looking for a serious commitment in a relationship then Asian Beauties is a great site to check out. This is the site where knowing what you‟re really looking for in your ideal partner is really important before you sign-up for membership as their compatibility profile is quite comprehensive.

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With a one week free trial to see how you like the site and how it works, you‟ll be able to see what kind of people are using the site. There are four different membership packages available and discounts for purchasing membership packages for over a month.

Assignment: 4. Visit each of the four sites above and click around any accessible areas. 5. Sign up for a one-week trial with any that you think may be best suited to your personality. You can do this consecutively or simultaneously. 6. At the end of your one week trial, decide which of the sites best matches what you‟re looking for and consider purchasing membership there. NOTE: When setting up your profile, make sure that you keep in mind personal safety – this will be discussed in the next session, but for the meantime, keep your personal information on the trial memberships to a minimum. Until you read the section on online dating safety, you should give out no real name, no real addresses, and no non-general information to anyone who contacts you through the site. A good rule to follow is not to give out any information you wouldn‟t be happy giving to a stranger in the street.

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Chapter 3 : Onli ne Dat ing S afety R ules Dating online is great fun, and it can lead to a lasting relationship but there are some steps that you need to take to ensure your personal safety. Some sites, such as True.com, take this seriously, but other sites leave this up to their members‟ integrity – this isn‟t always a good thing! Although you‟ll find that most people are who they say they are, you need to be aware that this doesn‟t apply to everyone. The first thing that you need to do is create a profile that is honest but which gives as little personal information about you as possible. Amongst the good guys, there are some creeps who are just waiting for an unsuspecting person to give one clue too many as to their identity and which can be used in some unscrupulous way. Protect yourself by having an online persona. Be careful who you are giving personal information too – even your usual email address in a public area, or given to someone you later reject could result in unwanted correspondence. What kind of music you like, what kind of work you do, and even what your fantasies are, may be innocent enough – but don‟t give enough information to someone you haven‟t fully checked out so that they could actually find you if they put all the bits of information together. There‟s no need for paranoia, but there is a need to be vigilant at first until you develop some online dating relationships that you are confident are people who are who they say they are. The second thing you need to accept is that you can‟t be 100% certain that what other members tell you, or what they say in their profiles is true. This can also be said about people you know in real life, but there are certain things that a real life acquaintance can‟t lie about – for example, teenagers of all ages have been known to get into online dating sites (which is one reason why a paid membership with a reputable site is a good idea!) and pretend to be someone much older. It‟s also been known for men to pose as women and vice versa. They all have their own

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reasons for their deception, and these aren‟t important to you, all that is important is that you are aware that this goes on and do your best to ensure that you aren‟t corresponding with one of them! One way of doing this is to ask questions where the answers would give you some idea of the age/gender of the person you are dealing with. Someone of your age has more experiences than someone born a decade earlier for example. So if a member you are interested in has no idea of popular culture references you make from your teens, yet they claim to be your age or older, then it‟s possible that they aren‟t the age they say and you should delve further into this. Also, men and women are usually interested in different things. See what answers you get to questions dealing with girlie things – if you get comprehensive opinions that sound as if they are based on experience, beware! It‟s possible that your cyber-date has sisters of course, but again, it‟s a flag to watch out for. The last main thing in online dating safety is to check out as much of the information as you can about the people who you are interesting in pursuing beyond the wink stage. Run their email address through Google and see what comes up. As you get to know them better, and you get other email addresses for them, or links to their websites, run these also through Google to see if you can verify what they say. Ask questions – not in an interrogation style, but in a casual way – that a person who has stated they live in this area, or works in that profession, would know. Never meet anyone face-to-face before you can verify at least some of the things they tell you. Above all, listen to your intuition. Often the first sign that something isn‟t right is nothing more than a feeling. Trust that feeling and either move on to someone else, or try to verify the person is who they say they are.

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Assignment: 7. Create an email address using one of the free online services such as Yahoo or Hotmail and use this exclusively for your online dating (never give out your real one until you feel comfortable that the person you are dating is who they say they are). 8. Create a profile you can use. Although the online dating sites will all have different questions for you to answer, create a profile that paints a picture of you without giving any specifics. General is the way to go. Have a user name that is far removed from your real name and only use this with people until you‟re comfortable with them. 9. Choose a RECENT photograph of yourself that shows you as you are. You may have more flattering or digitally enhanced ones (note: some of the people you correspond with may be using such a photo!), but if you are looking for a long-term real life relationship, you need to show a natural photo so that the person you are going to meet isn‟t disappointed.

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Chapter 4 : How to I nteract w i th Ot her O nl ine Daters The main tip on how to interact with other online daters is simply to treat other members as you yourself would want to be treated. So what does this mean exactly? Well, first of all you need to be honest. That means that you have a profile which although very generalized does not make you out to be the CEO of an international corporation (unless of course you are!). Make sure that the profile gives an overview of the person you really are. Don‟t say things in it just because you think it‟s what others want to hear, or will get you more attention from other members – in the end, if you are looking for a long-term relationship, your true self will need to emerge and that will raise honesty issues with your potential partner. You should be as honest as possible (without intentionally hurting someone‟s feelings) in any communication you have with specific members. For example, if they love cats, and you hate them – say that you don‟t like them, or that you‟re allergic, or whatever. If you want kids but the person you are communicating with tells you that they don‟t, this is a huge issue in the long-term relationship seeking situation and it probably means that you need to consider telling the person that you think you are both looking for different things and you should both move on to find someone who is more in tune with what you‟re both looking for. Ask all the burning issues that are important to you! The huge advantage of online dating is the anonymity that it affords you. This is something that allows you to correspond with someone without having to see their reaction. Although this can sometimes be a negative thing in that you can‟t see if they‟re shocked at your question/answer, overall it‟s a very positive thing because you don‟t have to worry about what they think. If the question is something that is controversial you can ask

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it without fear of the reaction in terms of body language. It‟s up to them how they respond, and how they respond is what it‟s important to you to know. When the only contact you have with someone is written, then you have a chance to explore what the person really thinks and believes. This is also true in reverse. They can ask you things that you might not like to answer, and you have a choice to answer or not. If you don‟t answer you should say why you‟re not doing so – perhaps you aren‟t comfortable discussing that particular issue at this stage in your relationship – but if you do answer, you should do so as honestly as you can. After all, you are hoping that the person you are “dating” is telling you what they believe and not what they think you want to hear. Read the profiles of people you are interested in carefully. These are your entry blocks into opening a correspondence with them. Where is your common ground? Your first correspondence should be friendly and upbeat. No heavy questions at this stage. Just think about if you‟d met them at a party, you‟d be more interested in asking what kind of sports they enjoyed, rather than what religion they were. After you‟ve had a few exchanges, then you can start to move on, but when you‟re first starting out, choose a number of profiles that look interesting and send out a few messages that are specific to each person, that are light and fun, and which will motivate the person to respond to you. As well as the people you contact, there will be members who will read your profile and think you sound interesting enough to send you a message. Check out their profile and see if you are interested in them. If so, respond in a light tone indicating that you‟d like to correspond further. If their profile shows something that makes you think that this is not a person you would like to pursue a relationship of any kind with, then reply thanking them for their message but that you don‟t think that you are compatible with them. Remember that you may also contact people who aren‟t interested in you, this is no big issue because there are so many members

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who will want to connect with you, but you should reply to those in which you aren‟t interested in the same manner that you hope someone would respond to you if they‟re not interested in you. The final tip is that fun is the name of the game. Make contact and correspond with a number of members. See which ones give the answers you want. See which ones your instincts are wary of. Replace those ones with other members and have fun getting to know them better. Use the power of the written word to explore the peoples‟ personalities that you are interested in without having any real commitment. Remember that not everyone is online all the time so expect to wait a day or more for replies. A delay in responding to you could just be an indication of a busy lifestyle rather than a lack of interest in you, and some people have more internet access than others.

Assignment: 10. Go through and find 10 members who have profiles that interest/intrigue you enough to learn more. 11. Write a short introductory message to each of them. Remember to make it fun and interesting enough for them to want to check out your profile and respond to you. Include a reference to something they mentioned in their profile, that shows you have read it properly.

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Chapter 5 : The Onli ne Dati ng G am e Starting out with online dating means that you have potential to communicate with many different members. You can explore people who have similar likes to you, and people who are very different. You can strike up online friendships with members you know you won‟t ever have any romantic connection with, but who you could imagine yourself being lifelong buddies with. You can even find yourself communicating with people you already know in real life – sometimes the huge expanse of the Internet can still be a small place! At some time however, you need to consider when the “fun dating” should stop and the “real relationship” finding begin. If you‟re lucky, it could be that this happens quite naturally as one person stands out from the rest. Perhaps they contact you regularly once or even more every day. Perhaps they are someone your instincts tell you that there‟s a connection with. Perhaps it‟s someone you just want to get to know better. Whatever it is, sometimes one person will start to mean more to you. You‟ll know this person because that‟s the name you‟re hoping to see when you open your dating email inbox, and if it‟s not there, you feel disappointed, or cheated – and then worried that something is wrong with them ….or that they don‟t want to correspond anymore! Usually this doesn‟t happen quite that fast and you need to look at the people you are communicating with. Are any of them potential romantic relationships? Keep these. These are the ones that are still “in the running”. The others you have a choice of either keeping as cyber-friends, or cutting communication with, either way you will need to let them know of your decision. As with the rejection messages we discussed last time, keep these “nice”. It may come as a shock to someone you‟ve been corresponding daily with for weeks that you feel no romantic connection to

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them – they could well feel different. Remember to send the message that you‟d hope to receive should someone feel the same about you. With the ones that remain, are you really interested in any of them, or are they just the best of the people you are corresponding with? If they aren‟t lighting any fires in you, then it‟s possible that none of them is really “the one”, and so whilst you still maintain a contact with them, you need to go back check out some more profiles. You should be experienced enough now to have a better idea of what you‟re looking for and be able to select one or two members who you think sound ideal! Correspond a few weeks, get to know them, and then repeat the selection/reselecting process.

Assignment 12. Make a list of all of the people you are currently “dating”. 13. Next to each one make a list of things you like about them, reservations you have, and questions that remain unanswered by them. 14. Cross out any that you believe are not people that you are serious in any form of long-term relationship, romantic or otherwise. 15. Write to each of these gently but firmly ending the correspondence – remember to write what you would hope to receive if you were in their position. 16. Go back to the profiles and find 2 or 3 new people to correspond with and send them a fun, interesting introduction in the hope that they will respond.

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Chapter 6 : Narr ow ing Dow n t he Fi eld t o Find M r Right Ok, the time has come. You‟ve met a number of people online that look promising as long-term relationships and discovered more about them. Now you‟ve reached the stage where – unless you‟re going to just continue casually messaging people – you need to narrow down your online dating field to a small number of likely potential partners. To do this you should start off with the process discussed last time. Make a list as you did in the assignment of anyone who you are still communicating with, and having listed their positive and negative points; put them into an order of preference. Keep the top 2-3 members who you think are worth pursuing further with a view to a romantic relationship (remember this isn‟t a permanent thing yet you‟ve still to meet in them in person - but it‟s a way of progressing to the stage where you think that meeting them is a good idea), and then write to the rest. If you want to stay in touch as buddies, say so, but if you want to end contact, you should be honest about that – only in a “nice” way, remembering to leave no doubt but to treat them as you would hope someone would treat you in a similar situation. Ok, now you‟re down to the 2 or 3 guys who come closest to meeting your criteria for an ideal partner. What do you do now? Do you want to start entering a more serious online correspondence, really getting down to who the person is, delving into their real belief system and finding out what their secret dreams and desires are? Or do you think that you are at a stage where you want to actually meet up with them in person? Perhaps you think that having only a few possible choices, you‟d like to experience a real date with each of them – some people get a much better insight into how a person really is during a face-to-face encounter, whilst people who are a little more shy or wary prefer to keep things at a correspondence stage a little longer until they feel comfortable enough to get through the initial

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physical date, neither way is right nor wrong – it‟s all a matter of what works best for you. If you aren‟t comfortable going into the date, you aren‟t going to be your best. If you are anxious to get a real life date organized, you won‟t be happy just sending emails. So decide which way fits your personality best and trust your instincts. Once you decide that it is time to make the transition from online to real life, the first step you should take is to have telephone conversations. Get to know how to talk to each other without using a keyboard and screen. Again, safety first – never give your number, always ask for theirs. You ring them, that way if things don‟t work out, you aren‟t going to have them calling you. Once you‟re sure that the person you are dating is genuine and don‟t think (even in real life encounters with people you half-know you can‟t be 100% sure on this one) will create a problem for you, then it‟s safe to share your more personal information. Phone calls going well, it‟s the real crunch time. Are you going to meet with only one of your contacts – it‟s possible that during the telephone conversations you‟ve decided that one or more of your short-list aren‟t the guys you thought they were and so have less to choose from – or are you going to fix up dates with all the ones left on the list? Again, that‟s a personal choice. As is whether or not you tell them you are going to be having dates with other guys if this is the case – on this one, what would you hope a guy in your situation would do if you were one of the girls on his short-list? Next time we‟ll move on to organizing the real life date – advice on what to do, and what not to do!

Assignment 17. Take your remaining dating list and do a sort-purge, letting go anyone you are not romantically interested in.

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18. Ask for telephone numbers and have a few telephone conversations with those left on your list. Remove anyone from the list who you get a bad feeling about, or who reveals themselves on the phone to be someone different to how they appear online and so makes you uneasy. 19. Bring yourself to a place where you know who you would like to have a real life date with – but wait until you read the notes on fixing up your real life date before actually doing so.

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Chapter 7 : Fr om C yber- Date to Real Li fe D ate The end is nearly in sight. You‟ve come through a process that has brought you from a place where you had to consider the attributes you think are most important in the ideal partner, through a dating area where you had a chance to get to know a number of different potential partners some of which had more of these attributes than others. Then you took to the telephone and deepened your relationship with these remaining guys in conversation, and now you‟re finally at the stage where you have selected one or two of these potential partners to meet up with in real life. So what happens now? As unromantic as it sounds, you must be in control of the first meeting. That doesn‟t mean that you should dominate the conversation, but rather means that even if they are the ones to initiate the idea of a face-to-face date, you need to be the one to decide the where and when and what of that date. Unless you keep control of these things, you are putting your personal safety at risk as you will probably be entering into some kind of unknown territory. Be prepared in advance so that when the subject of a real life date comes up, you can say, “Sounds great, how about we do this…or this…..” and give a couple of suggestions. If they don‟t sound enthusiastic, think of something else you should do. The date should be held where you are comfortable, in an area you are familiar with perhaps. You should always have a first real life date during the day, and in a public place. So keep that in mind when thinking about things you could suggest for your first meeting. Whether or not to progress to a physical romantic relationship on this date is something is a personal choice. Do you feel you comfortable enough with your date to move things up a level? Or do you want to keep your first date purely like a meeting of friends? Set these boundaries out now before you meet up with the guy

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so that he knows what limitations you are setting on this meeting and doesn‟t arrive with some pre-conceived expectations that may or may not be going to happen! Far better to iron this potential crease out of your date before you meet up, and so avoid any embarrassment on the day itself. Once you‟ve decided when and where you will meet, there‟s a couple of things you should do before you leave home for the date. First of all, leave any identifying information about the person you are meeting in plain view for anyone to find should something go wrong, and secondly, have a friend on stand-by to bail you out if necessary. This could mean that your friend accompanies you to the meeting place, and stands away from you so that she‟s not intruding, but watches for a preagreed sign from you that you‟re either comfortable enough with the guy and the situation for her to leave, or that you are uneasy about the meeting and want her to rescue you before things go further. Alternatively, you could arrange that a friend rings you about 30 minutes into your date and you can use a pre-arranged code to let her know whether or not you‟re happy with the situation, or whether you want to use the call as an excuse to leave. In all dating encounters, personal safety must be a high priority these days. Whilst you are on your date, talk about the common ground you have, talk about things you‟ve shared online, then move on to just general chitchat about what you‟re doing and the things around you. Try to relax, and try to get him to relax – remember there‟s a few crazy women out on the Internet too so he may also be feeling a little anxious and keen to find out if you are the person he thinks you are! The main thing you want to get out of the date is to have fun getting to know the real person behind the words and voice you‟ve dated from a distance over a period of time. Can you find that person in the guy who stands before you? If not, why not? Listen to your instincts. If this guy makes you feel really comfortable, it‟s like you‟ve known him forever, and you can feel some magic/chemistry between you,

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then perhaps you‟ve done it first time, you‟ve found the guy you were looking for. If, on the other hand you get an uneasy feeling that something‟s not quite right – then you need to decide if you want to progress to a second date to see if it‟s just going to take time to weed the real him out, or whether you feel that this isn‟t the guy for you, and walk away from taking the relationship further. If you find yourself in the position of having met face-to -face with a guy you thought was right for you, but found out that he‟s wrong, shrug it off and go back home and start back at the beginning again. There are plenty of guys to choose from and the right one for you is amongst them, just keep looking. Once you find him, you‟ll know it was worth the effort!

Assignment 1. Choose a few options for suitable places you could go on your date. 2. Think about what personal boundaries you want to set so that he doesn‟t come with pre-conceived expectations that aren‟t going to happen. 3. Take control of the real life date planning. Let him choose from your options, but make sure that you are the one in the planning chair. Also make your boundaries issues clear to him. 4. Create a personal safety net around your date so that you have a back-up plan if things go wrong. 5. Have fun! 6. Either return to your dating site to find some more potential partners, or smile as you count the hours until you meet the guy you just met again!

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