After numerous “romantic” adventures online and off over the past year or two, I've recovered sufficiently from my PTSD to report on what I've discovered thus far. Here’s a quick evaluation from a jaundiced ex-prisoner of online love:
Don't play like a girl.
Despite "equality," we women are still vulnerable creatures, due in equal part to our naivete and our unrealistic, girlish dreams of the perfect romance. Many online Lotharios are not even interested in a “love connection,” but are definitely phishing for emails to ravage or a quick “bite to eat." Don't be his Chicken McNugget.
No photo, no way.
Not because you’re shallow, but nine times out of eight the "invisible men" are married, from another land, and/or trolling for email addys to attack with spyware and other online “venereal” diseases of the new millennium. It’s a dirty world out there!
Try to put up flattering but realistic photos, and be as honest as you can about your assets. If you’re heavy or curvy or voluptuous, state it up front, as about half of the guys out there prefer slim women – though the tide has begun to turn. The other half apparently crave someone they can grab onto at night. Plus it’s incentive to hit the gym and eschew the Haagen Daaz – you’ve got men to meet, and the dating pool is larger when you get smaller.
Not a dating site, but a great way to meet people who share your interests, whatever they may be. If your Prince Charming just happens to be out there, so much the better – at least you know you have something in common other than, er, sex.
If it seems too good to be true, it always is.
Caveat emptor indeed...'nuff said. He has a villa in Italy; he thinks you're the most beautiful woman he's ever laid eyes on; he's in love; he's a world traveler. And I'm Michelle Obama.
Always let the guy make the first move.
Don’t even send an icebreaker. Yahoo Personal's MO is to track every profile you visit and “squeal” to the recipient of your gaze, and vice versa. Peeking at a profile is about as far as you should go. If love is a game, the old rules still apply: men like the chase. Deprive them of their hunting instincts at your own risk. If they like what they see, wild horses won't drag them away from contacting you.