You met them online? Advice for dating on the Internet

We don’t always meet people organically anymore. The new way to get a date is by sitting in your room, opening your laptop and logging onto your dating site.

I have heard endless success stories of online dating, some of who are my friends and are planning to get hitched.

Prior to this era, people would probably shriek at the fact that people are finding their husbands and wives on the In-ter-net. Some still do shriek at that fact. But after all, 20 percent of people have found their current mate online.

So what’s the catch?

It’s a little weird.

“What if someone I know sees me on there? Isn’t meeting people online how people die? I don’t want to seem desperate.”

Fear not, it’s not as bad as it seems. And believe it or not, it might be kind of fun.

The trick is being smart while seeking a mate online.

Find the right site for you

There are endless sites for online dating. OkCupid is more about hooking up than creating lasting relationships. eHarmony is for the more serious folks. And I will let you guess how Christian Mingles works. Before you go into it, realize that if you have to pay for a site, it’s usually more legit and people are actually looking to take you on a date, and not just hit it and quit it.

Design your profile accordingly

It’s like designing your Facebook page, but more intense. After all, you are being judged more seriously. Use photos where you are by yourself and not in a large group. It’s easier for the person viewing you to tell who you are when you’re not posing with your eight friends from your day at the beach. Also, use photos that show your personality. Love surfing? Throw up a pic of you in Hawaii. But for the love of God, do not post a mirror pic.

Be clear on what you’re looking for

If you say you’re looking for new friends, then people are going to assume you’re looking for new friends. Don’t put looking for an activity partner if you don’t want to be seen as a piece of meat. Be clear and to the point. It will filter out some of the people who you’re not interested in long-term.

Approach people

If you’re a girl, don’t always sit back and wait for the guy to approach you. Communication goes both ways. And remember, it’s the Internet. If you message someone and they don’t respond, move on. It’s not a big deal. Also craft your message to be interesting. Touch on something you found exciting on their profile. Better yet, crack a joke to break the ice. Don’t send a one-word message such as “Hi” and expect a response.

Be smart

Seems glaringly obvious, but sometimes it’s hard to remember when you’re so wrapped up in looking at different profiles, meeting many new people. If you ever do plan on going on a date with someone, establish some connection first. It’s not smart to meet them online, and then 20 minutes later meet them at the local diner. Establish an Internet connection, then phone connection, then take it to in-person. It all sounds backward, but we’re living in 2013. And when you do meet that person, tell a close friend where you’re at and what you’re doing. You never know if John Riley is The One or The One Who Is Going To Kill You.