Perils of cyber dating

Also, listen carefully — does the person sound like a guy pretending to be a girl? Spend too long in the email stage establishing what feels like an intimate connection with someone you think you know, and you risk bitter disappointment when (and if) you finally meet in person. Many online daters have at least one horror story to share.

“Most people aren’t scamming you, but the biggest mistake is not taking that from online to real life as soon as possible,” Spira says. Scratch the romantic encounter by the lake or dinner at their house, no matter what delicacies your suitor offers to cook you. Order your drink from the bar rather than letting your date get it for you, and don’t let it out of your sight. Give yourself an out in case of a particularly awful date by keeping a friend on call. You can tell your date anything you like about the “emergency” you need to deal with — then excuse yourself politely and make your exit. Spira’s final advice is to pay attention to your comfort level and B.

Aim to meet in person as soon as possible to determine if there’s chemistry, recommends the author.

That way you can quickly move on if there’s no spark in real life.

Or skip the winks and what-not altogether, and attend a group event organized by an online dating site, like and Ok Cupid, and mingle with other eligible members.

Cultivate Your “Gaggle”The “gaggle” concept, coined by Massa and her best friend/business partner Rebecca Wiegand, refers to “the group of guys in your life who you might not be dating, but who play different roles, fulfill different needs and help you figure out who you are and what you want.” That could include your coworker, your crush, even your cute barista.Keep the rules simple: 1 point for every 5 winks you receive, 2 points for every 5 messages, -1 point for every "no thanks” you get (wah-wah) and so on. That small dose of retail therapy can get you motivated to flex your love muscles.Take It Offline Don’t get stuck in a lengthy back-and-forth messaging marathon with a potential online date, cautions Jessica Massa, author of . It’s so run-of-the-mill that couples are no longer sweeping their “how we met” stories under the rug.But before you rendezvous with that would-be prince charming from Match, e Harmony, Ok Cupid, JDate or Only Farmers (yes, a dating website for farmers!Go on a Hunt Let’s face it, you’re always on the prowl for Mr.Right, even if you tell yourself, “I’m just going to have fun tonight.” So instead of pretending you’re not looking, make it a true pursuit the next time you and your friends walk into a bar.Compile a goofy scavenger hunt list with items like, “get a bearded fella’s phone number” or “buy a drink for the guy flying solo.” Plus, it makes an easy-peasy ice breaker and an instant convo starter, so you don’t have to freak out about making the first move. Dress the Part You know how they say if you buy cute workout gear, you’ll be inspired to exercise more and actually like it? If you’re newly single or just want a fresh start, treat yourself to a mini makeover.Play the Dating Game Want a surefire way to score with online dating? No, we’re not talking Hunger Games style, more like fantasy football inspired. Invest in a killer first date outfit or try out a new hairstyle or simply buy sexy skivvies.By learning where they work you can check if what they said about their profession is true.Also do a search on the person’s email address and phone number.

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