Love Online: It's Nothing Personal

Online dating is just one of the many things that technology over the internet has done to change social activities. You already know that the internet is a big world, but it's actually a little bit more complicated than the numbers might suggest. It's big, but in terms of online dating profiles, it's even bigger. And there are very essential things that you need to know to keep yourself safe. That's because one user often creates multiple profiles online, creating the impression that there are more people when there's actually less. The cyberworld has become a ground for predators and if you will not be careful, you might become a victim of either identity theft or other crimes you never would have thought would happen to you. That's why, when dealing with online dating, it's important to know exactly what you're getting into. There are four things you need to know about online dating.

1. Everyone online is a liar.

Now before all of you honest folks get your panties in a twist, let us explain. People are terrible judges of themselves. It is hard for everyone to swallow their pride and their perspective and give a totally honest portrayal of themselves online. So take everything with a grain of salt. Some people will out and out lie about everything from their age to the Dorian Gray qualities of their online photo, while others will just withhold what you might consider vital information, which they thought was not important at all (like a partner).

2. Different people / different definitions

Masculine, athletic, funny. There are self-descriptions that plague online personals like chicken pox in a second grade classroom. Some guys think they are the funniest guys in the world, but you won't agree. A guy who walked past a gym once might consider himself athletic. 'Gym 4xweek' always makes us laugh because usually these guys basically just go to the gym to cruise the steam room. Just keep in mind that self-description are just that -- how people perceive themselves. Never mind the fact that if all these guys really did enjoy "playing basketball, mountain hiking, working out 4xweek, surfing, racing, and hanging out with friends," they couldn't possibly hold down a full-time job and spend four hours in a chat room every night looking for guys to score with.

3. Inconsistency is always a warning sign.

If you notice something inconsistent in someone's ad or in their correspondence with you, don't ignore it; it is a clear warning sign. When you first start talking to a guy online, he may seem so great that you don't want to spoil that feeling. But when you get that sense in your gut that something isn't matching up, don't pretend it isn't there. Investigate it and get to the truth -- you'll be glad you did.

4. Ask for and send multiple photos.

People look different from photo to photo. You should send two or three photos to give people more of a three-dimensional perspective of you, and ask for the same. Some people only have one good photo. That's a bad sign. Just because someone looked in a tuxedo at their sister's wedding in 2007 doesn't mean their photo search should end there.

We hope this trip down the true love lane has provoked some thought and interest in online dating. Just be careful out there. Use your best judgment. And have a good time. Remember: one date doesn't mean relationship for life. Enjoy yourself.

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