Online Dating – 10 Tips for Effective Communication


So you’ve signed up to a dating site and it seems like one big people market. How do you approach prospective dates and how do you ensure that you don’t cross the virtual line?

Here are my tips!

1. Remember the online/offline rule.

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Whilst I recognize that it can be difficult to be noticed in the crowd that it is the virtual dating world, do give a thought to whether you would behave this way in the offline world.

Saying or doing things that are considered at best inappropriate or over-familiar in the real world, are still the very same things in the virtual world!

2. Don’t be a pest

So you like them. This doesn’t mean that you should bombard them with emails, IM’s, winks, and demands for attention. You may think that it shows how interested you are but the recipient of your ‘affections’ is likely to think that you’re too persistent, needy, over-familiar, and a bit weird…at best.

3. Introduce yourself

Don’t just charge in like a horny bull in a China shop! What would make me take a second glance at an email? Polite, friendly, introduction where he expresses an interest in getting to know each other a little bit more and even injects a little humor.

What turns me off? Anything with the remotest hint of sex or them being suggestive about my exterior, over-familiarity, and being too assumptive – sending an email doesn’t make us a couple!

4. Avoid the Poor Pathetic Me Whine (PPMW)

This is a cornerstone of male behavior online. Basically the guy broadcasts whatever difficulties he’s having; how down/sad/lonely/depressed, etc he is and women flock to him in the hope that they will be able to ‘fix’ his problems and be the one to make him feel better.

Some of these guys even say flat out that they are no good which only serves to make them more attractive! If women told men that they were down/sad/lonely/depressed, men would run in the opposite direction! Don’t tell prospective dates about your problems, talk positively about yourself!

5. It’s an opportunity

It’s not just an opportunity to meet someone and get to know them further, it’s an opportunity to verify information you read in their profile. I’m not saying that you should turn into Columbo but instead of building sandcastles in the sky, discuss things that were mentioned in the profile.

If they’ve been lying, you’ll find out veeeeerrrrrrryyyyy quickly! As an aside, if you don’t take things too seriously and recognize it as an opportunity, you will manage your expectations better.

6. Stick to email contact initially.

Sometimes when it comes to dating online, people are in too much of a hurry to give out their digits! If you dive straight to giving out your number, you’ll regret this if things don’t actually take off. Email contact is a good starting point but always remember that if things progress, it should NOT be your primary form of communication! When you do give out your number, just give one to start with.

7. Either create a new email address or use the sites messaging service.

I know someone who gets emails to her work address from men that she met online several years ago. Until you are pretty sure that things are going somewhere and you’re going to actually start dating, use the site’s messaging service or create an email address specifically for dating. Trust me, you’ll thank me in the long run.

8. No unsolicited X rated pictures!!!!

They say a picture can say a thousand words but sending someone an unsolicited picture of your penis or vagina says one thing – pervert. It is the equivalent of following someone, opening up your coat, and flashing them. Yeuch!

Remember that even if it is solicited…it is likely to send your ‘relationship’ down the wrong path if what you are looking for is a relationship. To be honest, I always wonder why people do this – When I met men in bars, I never wanted them to show me their penises before the end of the night!

9. Ask open questions in your emails

Very basic rule of sales is that if you want to find out more information, you ask open questions – who, what, where, when, how questions that you can’t just say yes and no to. As an extra tip, if they are dodging answering a question when you are speaking by phone or face to face, ask a closed (requires a yes or no answer) to get an answer!

10. End emails and calls in an open manner

If you end emails or even phone calls in a closed manner where there is no action expected of either of you, you may not get a response or you’ll spend a lot of time wondering what is going to happen next. It’s as simple as suggesting something that requires an answer or stating in the call when you’ll both be in touch next.

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