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1)    DON’T email someone based just on their pictures without reading their profile, and then ask them multiple questions that would have been answered by reading their profile. It’s annoying.  If someone took the time to fill out the profile section, give them the courtesy of taking 5 minutes to read it.

2)    DON’T continuously email someone if you do not receive a response email. Internet dating takes up a lot of time & people don’t always have the time to respond to everyone they are not interested in. Take the hint. Especially on sites where it will tell you if that person read your email. If they read it & did not respond, they are clearly not interested.

3)    DON’T sign an email “future ex-boyfriend or ex-husband”. Seriously? If you believe the relationship is doomed from the beginning, why even try? Don’t be that negative type of person, it’s not attractive.

4)    DON’T post pictures of you with multiple people, with lots of people of the opposite sex, half naked or dark blurry ones. First of all if every photo is of you & 10 people how do we know which one is you? I’m only focused on you, not how many friends you think you have. Second who wants to look at a photo of you with 5 other women? Or a photo of a woman with 5 other dudes? That screams insecure. You need all those women/men around to make you feel good about yourself? What if we start dating? Will your entourage follow us everywhere we go? Don’t post photos of you with lots of celebrities either. It’s kinda like a bad infomercial. Do you really need celebrity endorsement just to get a date?

5)    DON’T lie on your profile. Be honest about everything. There’s no point in lying because eventually the truth will come out. Be honest with your age, occupation, photos, if you have children & what you are looking for. Be proud of who you are so you will be able to find someone who loves you for you.

6)    DON’T get offended if someone says you are not their type. Everyone has certain criteria for an initial weeding out process. We all have different reasons for what we are looking for. Obviously not everyone is attracted to everyone else. Otherwise the entire world would be blissfully married. You have to meet a lot of people until you find that special one with chemistry. If that person isn’t into you, just accept it & move on.

7)    DO fill out the entire profile section of the site. This will be able to let potential dates be able get to know some information about you without tons of emails.  Not everyone is compatible with everyone else. Make the process easier for us all. DO be completely honest for what you want & who you are looking for. Marriage? Kids? Travel buddy? Just friends? Put it out there so people know what you want from the site.

8)    DO be courteous when sending emails. Just because it’s the internet and we may not be able to find your house to give you a swift kick in the ass, doesn’t mean you have to be an ass. It’s amazing how rude people can be on internet dating sites. Being rude is not going to get you anywhere. Here’s one fact from the women’s side of it, just like bad press spreads three times as fast, so does information on jerks with dating sites. My single girlfriends & I are all on the same sites & we DO compare notes. Don’t think your internet personality stays on internet la la land.

9)    DO take clear, in focus, current pictures of yourself. Really not a big fan of the bathroom photos. Have a friend take some pictures of you if need be. Make sure to get a good close up head shot to show of your cute little smile. Don’t try to look like a hard ass, unless you’re in a gang. Do take some full length shots from head to toe. If you’re taking the photos in your house, make sure the room is clean. Nothing is more distracting that a dirty living room behind you.  If you take the bathroom shot & you completely miss your head and only get the dirty counter top full of hair, DON’T post that one on your profile. If you have the money you may want to invest in a professional photographer.

10)    DO comment on something you find interesting within a dates profile. That is the best way to start a conversation. Instead of starting out with, “Your pictures are gorgeous.” Say, “I noticed you’ve been to Costa Rica, so have I. The rain forest was amazing.” You should receive a response email if it’s more genuine.

Tara Richter

Tara Richter is an Internet Dating Coach in Tampa Bay. She is the author of “The Dating Jungle Series” and an Internet TV Show Host.