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The Dos and Don’ts of Online Dating

We asked real women to weigh in on the world of cyber courtship, so you can avoid these common—and not-so-common—dating mistakes.

OUT-OF-TOWN AND OUT OF TOUCH

The scenario: “A guy sent me a message saying that he wanted to meet up for a drink, but when I asked when he was free, he said he was ‘going out of town’ for the next two weeks and that we should schedule something after.” — Andrea, 31

The problem...and the solution: If you tell a girl you’re “going out of town,” she’s going to assume you’re busy dating other women. By the time your date comes around, she’ll already have lost interest or have found someone more attentive. If you really are going away, wait until you get back to ask her out. A good rule of thumb: if you aren’t available for a date within 7 days of sending the message, don’t send it.

Online Dating 101 >>>

NOT-SO-SMOOTH OPERATOR

The scenario: “I recently received a message that said, ‘Damn you’re a pretty white girl, you into muscular black men?’” — Kristen, 27

The problem...and the solution: Aside from the obvious inappropriate nature of the comment to a complete stranger, men should never mention their physical characteristics or their own body parts in an introductory message. Women are easily scared away online, so you should avoid saying anything remotely controversial or predatory. Stick to neutral subjects — like mentioning a common ground you share based on something you read in her profile.

Next: Online dating insecurities >>>

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