Disclaimer: I, Jasmine, do not claim in any way to be a relationship guru nor do I claim to have any educational/divine background in the matter. Everything written here is based solely on personal experience and advices gained from friends, family and a whole lot of articles from magazines and the Internet.
OkCupid, Date In Asia and Match.com (to name a few) all have one thing in common; they pledge to help you to find ‘the one’ or at least, ‘the one right now’. Should they be trusted? Should you put all your hope in those websites and not go out to the real world to meet new people?
Uhm… Maybe kinda sorta to the first one and a big FAT NO to the last one.
Yes, meeting someone on the Internet is an easy and less pricey way to meet new people. I mean, think about it. All you have to do is create a profile, upload the most flattering picture of yourself and if you’re a girl, wait for messages or if you’re a guy, start finding girls to send messages to. And that’s that!
Growing up with the Internet, that was what I did (and still doing); having the Internet to play a role in getting to know new people. In fact, we all do that these days, whether it is for dating purposes, socializing or networking. It’s a pretty common way to meet people these days!
What is not common though is not knowing how to keep safe when you meet people from the Internet because again, not everyone on the Internet is good. Heck, they all have their hidden agendas. So it is IMPORTANT to yes, have fun, but at the same time, KEEP SAFE!
Here are some Do’s, Don’ts and Expectations when it comes to online dating. All are written based on my personal experience as well as my friends’. :)
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IN ONLINE DATING
- DO fill up your profile and answer questions truthfully (OkCupid asks its users questions which I think is a great way to know someone!)
- DO show your funny, witty side on your profile and in your messages
- DO browse around for profiles
- DO send a message to those who you find interesting (Note the ‘a message’ and not multiple messages)
- DO upload photos that ‘tells’ people who/how you are. (For example, if you’re sporty, post a photo that shows your sporty side)
- DO reply messages on time, especially if you find him/her interesting.
- DO decline any requests, such as sexual favours or meet-ups, politely if you’re not into the idea.
- DO talk to them on Skype (chatting first then gradually chat using webcam AND microphone)
- DO remember that if you’re not ‘feeling it’, then tell them. If you think that he/she is a creep, block them straight away. Don’t even waste your time!
- DO make sure to meet in a safe place with a lot of people around, if you decide to meet.
- DO be yourself, have fun and most importantly, STAY SAFE! Follow your gut feeling!
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO IN ONLINE DATING
- DO NOT post personal information about yourself on your profile (e.g., full name, school, Facebook profile, names of places you hang out at or information on where you live etc…)
- DO NOT reply to all the messages that you receive. You are not obliged to entertain all of them, especially if you find them weird and creepy.
- DO NOT say ‘yes’ to whatever he/she says.
- DO NOT believe in him/her completely. Lying about one’s self to attract another person is a common activity in the online world. Just a reminder!
- DO NOT reply to messages belonging to profiles that do not have pictures, only one picture himself/herself or a random picture of a cartoon, plant, dog, poo etc…
- DO NOT give out your phone number or personal email. If you must talk to each other, then create a throwaway account on Skype and talk there instead.
- DO NOT expose too much information about yourself. Keep things general.
- DO NOT ignore your gut feeling. If you feel uncomfortable around the person, then do something about it.
- DO NOT ignore the little signs that you see, especially when you’re meeting him for the first time. If he touches you inappropriately or talk to you about inappropriate things, try to make the meet-up as short as possible. It’s a sign for you to go away, it’s not safe.
- DO NOT be too trusting of him/her.
- DO NOT believe in everything you read on their profile. People tend to exaggerate. ~ Sharon
- DO NOT accept money transfers from anybody or transfer money to anybody. As real as your relationship is, getting money or sending out money to someone you barely know is just not normal. ~ Sharon (This is so true. For example, a family friend got scammed when she was told by the British guy whom she knew for 3 months that the money he was sending to her got ‘stucked’ in the local bank, so she had to fork out RM1k for it to be ‘freed’. She found out later on that there was no money in the local bank under his name and that British guy was actually a local guy whom the police managed to catch.)
WHAT TO EXPECT IN ONLINE DATING
- EXPECT to meet jerks, creeps, douchebags, bitches, assholes, desperate people, obnoxious people, psychopaths, horny people, married people and an array of other people.
- EXPECT to meet these bunch of guys.
- EXPECT to meet much older men who fancy much younger girls. (For example, I got a message from a 50 year old man who told me that although he’s old, he is still “young as hell at heart”. For a 22-year old, that’s kinda creepy.)
- EXPECT rejection. It’s normal to be rejected by someone who you find interesting. Move on and get to know more people.
- EXPECT your friends to raise an eyebrow at your interest in online dating. Not everyone is open to the idea of meeting people online, especially dates. Just reassure them that you’ll be fine and online dating is not as horrible as they think!
- EXPECT having people to ask you to bring them on a tour around your town/city. Some people go on these sites to find travel buddies too.
- EXPECT sexual requests. The last message I got read, “Hey, let me be frank. I’m looking for sex. If you’re up for it, let me know.”
- EXPECT to find really nice and interesting people. There are quite a number of people who are just as sincere and nice like you and I. So when you find them, keep them! :) Even if you’re not compatible as dates, then be friends instead.
- EXPECT to find out more about yourself. Questions are always a great way to get to know someone but at the same time, questions posed to you are also a great way for you to know yourself. (“What would you do if you won a million ringgit?” “Would your views on life be different if you were an only child (or if you have siblings)?”)
If you have any addition or thoughts on any of the points, do leave a comment. We would love to read what you have to share.
Jasmine’s Guide To Online Dating (Pt. 2): Online Dating 101; Q&A will be coming up soon! Let me know if you have any questions. :)