Online Dating Advice Part 2

Here is part two and it picks up where Part One left off about three months ago. That was just merely an intro to this wacky world of dating we have invented. This article is more an introduction to etiquette. I say introduction because really, like all of us in this meaty, smelly stew of the dating world, I will always have more to learn. But, here are some pointers I’ve picked up from friends or learning it the hard way on my own.
The old adage of “less is more” could not be more true when attempting conversation online. Try to write as little as possible when chatting with people you are just meeting. They don’t know you. They can’t see the wink or smirk you’re making when you’re joking. While I don’t much like the use of them, a well-placed emoticon can be very useful. In truth though, you gotta keep some sense of mystery. You can’t blather about yourself because inevitably you’ll let loose some of your issues and while we all have them, no one likes to hear about them from someone they’re just getting to know. This is odd of course, since it could save a lot of time down the road, but still, the game just isn’t played that way. But really, wait until an face to face meeting to really chat.
As for checking your profile or listing on whatever site you’re on, don’t do it so much. These sites like to let others know when you’ve logged on and while we’re all excited about the prospect of how many people there are, seeing that someone is always “Online Now!” can be sorta frightening. I would even say that once a day is too much, unless of course you’re getting barraged by emails from the opposite (or same depending on yer flava) sex. Ideally, it seems that according to what I’ve found and what friends of mine have seen, every other day is a good rate. It sends out the message to others that you’re around and looking, but your not an obsessive compulsive maniac, although when it comes to the Net, it seems to breed that in even the most stalwart of us.
Don’t cast too large a net and what I mean by this is, don’t join multiple sites. Someone is bound to see that because they’re on multiple sites as well and honestly, it doesn’t seem to do any good. A girl friend of mine and I compared notes on both genders between two of the larger dating sites to find that there were several people who had done this. Really, there are only a few sites. People get around and just think about how depressing it would be to find out that after you joined another site, you’re going to find the same group you’ve gotten tired of on the old site. Stick with one of the bigger sites and stay there. If you don’t find anyone there after a couple of months, the whole online dating thing might not be for you.
The last art of all this is balancing patience. You need to be okay with waiting for someone, but at the same time, not waiting too long. If someone doesn’t get back to you in two or three days, they’re probably not interested. If you’ve contacted someone and written back and forth a bit, then they just vanish, don’t worry about calling the police. They’ve either had an ex come back in to the lives or were being skeezy by chatting up multiple people at once. Some folks may be in to that, but I just can’t do it. It’s too confusing.
Oh yeah, one last thing is that unless you want to deal with the vapid barrage of dates and ridiculousness of how it goes, DO NOT join within a month leading up to Valentine’s Day. Between all the New Year’s Resolutions and the lonely hearts at that time you’ll probably see a lot of activity, but it will mostly be for naught since it’s just this circus without any substance. I equate it to flying a kite in a hurricane: there’s a whole lot of wind, just not the kind you need or really want and occasionally there’s a farm animal in it.