Do's and Don'ts For Internet "Dating"
Originally Posted January 01, 1998
Updated June 17, 1999 Upon Suggestions By Visitors

I've put together a list, my own stuff, of things you should and should not do when meeting new people on the "net". It's important to remember that we never really know who we're talking to, and what they're real motives are.. So, while my opinion on this isn't really popular, I believe that less is more and that pertains to how much personal information I give out. So.. without any further ado, here's "The List":

  • When giving out my geographical location, I try to limit myself to a region only, rather than the exact name of the town, province or neighborhood. If you live in a large city, giving that information out is okay, if you're in a rural area, it's better to stick with regional information.

  • NEVER, EVER give out your phone number! It may seem remedial to say this, but people can be strange.. you may find yourself in a rather unenvious position of having to screen your calls, or being threatened or scared. Get a pager if you need to, but don't give it out!! If you want to talk on the phone, get the phone number to a pay telephone near to you, and arrange a time that you will be at that number. You can reverse this procedure if you prefer to call them. Make sure that the payphone is one that allows incoming calls. After a safe period of time, when you have determined that they are sincere and legitimate, then you can safely give out your personal information. Be Safe!! IMPORTANT!! If someone suggests you call them collect - YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER WILL APPEAR ON THEIR PHONE BILL! The same is true if you call someone's toll free (800) or (888) telephone number. Finally - if you haven't already done so, activate your Caller ID Blocking feature so that your telephone number is blocked by the phone company and your phone number is "private". These last suggestions were submitted by a reader - they are excellent and appreciated.

  • Pictures.. If you're going to put your picture on the internet, you have NO reason to believe it's going to stay where you put it. In fact, anybody can right click on an image and take it from a web site. Once you put it up, you have NO idea where it's going. Give a lot of consideration to putting your picture up, and never put a picture of yourself with anyone else without first getting their permission!

  • Bragging! Yeah, it's competitive and we think we need all the points we can get.. so we brag about ourselves right? WRONG!! You're sending an open invitation to those who would defraud you, if you tell them you own a house or two, a few cars, a great job, whatever, you're practically rolling out the red carpet for jerks to crawl outta the woodwork to hit on you! Make no mistake, lots of guys are pretty, jerks fall into all categories. Limit how much information you give out! If you're nice, they'll flock to you!

  • Your "Handle". Your "Handle" is your moniker. It's the name everybody on personal and chat sites associate with who you are. Want trouble? Use a name that's guaranteed to get it for you. Names like HotBabe or anything ending with "69" is a sure invitation you'll get attention - whether you want it or not. Don't "go there" with handles, not only will they earn you undesired attention, but in a lot of cases, they break down the levels of the other women in the site by leading newcomers (men) to the assumption that if there's one "Hot" woman in the room, they're all "hot". Don't do that to the others, don't do it to yourself. What kind of person are you tempting with that kind of handle? Ask yourself that when thinking about a "handle" for yourself. Think about your best qualities and the kind of person you want to attract. Proceed accordingly.

  • Behavior! I can't stress enough how important it is to maintain some kind of appropriate decorum in Personals and Chat sites. If you're looking for trouble, go to an adult site that encourages that kind of behavior. If you're seriously looking for a mate, he's not going to be the kind of guy who wants to orgy with you in the Main Lobby of a chat site. Not only do you diminish your own self-respect, you tear down the esteem of the other women in the room, and that's not fair.

  • Your Handle! Your Handle is exclusively yours. It's who YOU are. If you meet a man who asks you to change your handle, to incorporate his name or both of your names, you lose a part of yourself, and become his "property". What kind of man would ask you to do that? A very insecure man! A man who needs "his woman" to tell the world what he cannot. DON'T DO IT!! It's important to retain your identify, your "self" and not become his chattel... If you meet someone who cares about you, or says they do, it was your handle that got their attention. If you change your handle, do it because YOU want to and not because someone else wants you to!

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