Dating is complicated enough on its own; when you add in the confusion of online dating sites, it can be just plain intimidating. There is a technique to navigating the virtual playing field. Not to mention effective: Each day, an average of 236 people who met on e get married. So, how do you go from logging on to finding your perfect match?You may have stopped checking your profile and messages, but has he? Breaking Up If your relationship fizzles after a few dates, it may be tempting to revert back to e-mail to end it. "Don't go down in history as the guy or girl who dumped someone over e-mail, especially when e-mails can be forwarded." Instead, apply the Golden Rule and treat others as you would want to be treated. Safety Taking safety precautions is always crucial, whether you're dating someone you met online or in person.Until you've had a conversation about retiring your profiles, says Spira, assume that he is still dating other people. Never give out your home phone number or address until you get to know someone, and always choose a public place for your first date.If someone is new to a site, his or her profile is often featured in the community and the person becomes inundated with e-mails.So, assume that your interest hasn't had time to open your message.While the pictures you post should be clear—giving the viewer an accurate glimpse of what you really look like—don't completely discount self-taken shots (the ones where you hold out your camera to take your own portrait).Ok Trends, the data-analysis blog for the dating website Ok Cupid.com, says that self-shot photos can actually be very effective in attracting partners, most likely because they are approachable, casual and make the viewer feel close to the subject—all good things! Your Profile Your goal should be to create an engaging profile that piques people's interest and makes them want to know more about you.
"If you play games and wait to get back to him, he may have already run off into the sunset with someone else," says Spira.
The shortest messages get the best response rate; the reply rate goes down as messages get longer.
This is likely because an initial message serves mostly to make your profile available to the other person.
"If you don't have any phone chemistry, then it's unlikely that there will be a spark in person," says Spira. The Ideal First Date The perfect first date is a personal decision. "You can get a good feel for someone in 20 minutes," says Dr.
Gonzaga, "and since you both probably have to get back to work, there's a specified end time if the date doesn't work out." Spira prefers dinner dates because the extended length can give you a deeper sense of your date's personality.