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Using Technology Wisely When You're Dating

Part of the Dating For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Our lives are defined by technology, and the dating scene certainly has changed because of it. The Internet, social networking sites, and cell phones are ubiquitous, but you have to use each of them with caution when you're meeting potential dates and going on dates. Here are some hints:

  • Use common sense when posting information about yourself online. Your home address, photos of yourself when you were drunk and half-dressed, and your sexual fantasies have no place on the Internet. Censor yourself, or you'll live to regret it.

  • Whether you meet a potential date online or in real life, do not Google that person or search for more information about him or her on social networking sites. If you meet on Facebook, obviously the info he or she has posted in the Facebook profile is fair game. But if you meet at school, don't assume that you have license to check out this person's online profiles. Take the time to get to know your potential date in real life so you don't make any assumptions based on what's posted online.

  • Don't make a potential date your Facebook "friend" just yet. Doing so can create feelings of jealousy and a sense of over-familiarity that can doom a relationship before it starts.

  • Don't badmouth your exes online. Any potential date can see that information and will feel pretty confident that you'd do the same thing if he or she ever crossed you.

  • If you're hoping for a relationship, avoid long-distance connections online. If the person you're chatting with online lives more than 25 miles away from you, the two of you simply can't see each other often enough to have a stable relationship.

  • Avoid online "shopping." If you meet someone you're interested in, give yourself a chance to get to know this person before trolling for more potential dates. The online dating pool is huge, but you'll never head in the direction of a relationship if you're constantly checking out who else is available.

  • When you're on a date, turn off your cell phone. Yes, you read that right! Give your date your complete attention, and don't you dare sneak in some texting while your date isn't looking.

  • After a date, don't text your date repeatedly hoping for confirmation that the date went well. You wouldn't call this person again and again, would you? (Would you?) Have some confidence in yourself, and give your date some breathing room.

  • Keep your work life and your love life completely separate. That means no dating at work, but it also means to leave your office computer out of your online dating adventures. You don't want to lose your job while you're looking for love.

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