The 6 Fatal Mistakes Of Online Dating
10 tips for successful on-line dating experiences
Avoiding online "Pseudo-Intimacy"

The 6 Fatal Mistakes Of Online Dating and How To Avoid Them

By Dean Shanson

Dating is never easy. Although online matchmaking cuts out the need for seedy bars and corny chat-up lines, it doesn't remove the cause of every difficulty found in every relationship: the people.

We all make mistakes, and when we look back on our past relationships, it's pretty clear that many of us make them all the time. To help reduce your error rate-and increase your chances of success-we've produced a list of the top eight dating mistakes made by online loveseekers.

1. No Picture, No Chance!

Let's be honest-looks are important. Sure, personality is crucial and character comes first, but if you don't get those butterflies in the belly when you see your partner's face, your relationship's got a shorter life expectancy than a J.Lo marriage.

Profiles with pictures get around ten times more responses than those without, and for good reason: anyone who writes to a cyberdater without knowing what they look like is taking a huge risk. What do you do if the e-mails go without a hitch, the telephone calls last hours, but when you meet face-to-face, you find you've been talking to Quasimodo's twin? It's too early for 'it's not you, it's me' and if everything else has gone well, you've got nothing left to blame but looks.

Upload a picture, and you'll get far more responses to choose from. Pick a partner with a picture, and you can put any future problems down to personality.

2. High Hopes, Low Rewards

Have you ever noticed how the people who have the most dates always seem to be the people who need them least? They're the happy-go-lucky types, the ones with a joy for living who could find a silver lining in a tornado. There you are, sitting at home alone on Saturday night, dreaming of being on a perfect date, and they're out every night without any effort at all.

It's got nothing to do with looks and everything to do with attitude. Successful daters, online and off, regard dating as a chance to meet new people, not a chance to get laid or pick up a wedding ring. If the date doesn't work, well heck, maybe the date's got friends, and at least they've got a new one.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while dating online is to expect the next person you meet to be The One.

S/he might be. But you won't know it for a while. Lower your expectations, look on each date as a chance to meet someone new, and you'll find yourself meeting new people all the time.

3. Dull Profile, Dull Partners

Okay, we've already said that picture's are important, but the profile is vital too. There are millions of profiles on dating sites across the web-you want to be sure that your profile is interesting enough to both catch someone's eye and capture their interest.

Bunging on any old description filled with typing mistakes and boring clichés is a big no-no-unless you want someone equally boring to write back.

That means you're going to have put in a bit of effort. When you first register to a dating site, by all means write anything just to get the profile up. But once it's up, sit down with a pal, a bottle of wine, and a big bucket of fun, and have a ball putting together a profile that's witty, exciting and attractive. You'll find that like attracts like.

4. The Truth, The Whole Truth, And Nothing Like The Truth…

'Witty and exciting' is not however the same as a complete pack of lies. Just because potential dates are complete strangers is not a good enough reason to stretch the truth.

Fibs are no less a mistake in online dating than they are offline.

Remember, every stranger is just a friend you haven't met, and you wouldn't lie to your friends, would you? Well, you wouldn't want to start a new relationship with a lie, anyway.

Be brave. Put down your real age, your real job, your real hair color. Save the whoppers for the taxman.

5. All Speed, No Substance

While love may come at first sight, it rarely comes with first click. There's very little you can tell about someone from their first e-mail, the first phone conversation, or even the first date.

It's a mistake to think you can move from mouse click to heart click in a matter of days.

Online relationships tend to take longer than those take place offline. The reason should be clear: any e-mail says little more than you can find out in the time it takes for a waiter to open a bottle of wine. What you can learn in an hour offline could take you a week on the Web.

Take it slow and enjoy the process. Hedge bets and talk online to lots of different people at the same time then whittle them down. Don't rush off with the first person who comes along, or you'll find yourself answering lots of e-mail and having very few dates.

6. Give Up, Stay Single

And it doesn't just take time to get to know someone new; it also takes a while to find someone you want to build a relationship with.

It's a mistake to expect all your dating problems to end overnight.

The real advantage in online dating is not speed or convenience (although that's certainly a major plus!) but the easy availability of the easy and the available. On the Internet, you should be prepared to meet lots of different people and over a long period of time.

You'll certainly come across lots of duds before you find a live one, but don't judge all the fish by the first ones you hook. Keep casting until you land the kind of catch you can bring home and boast about to your pals.