In the spirit of Mr. Letterman, here are my top ten online dating tips. All of the examples I give really, really did happen to me. These tips apply to both men and women so follow these suggestions and save yourself the similar pain.
1 – Be ready. You should be divorced or over your last relationship and be a viable dating candidate. If you are sleeping in the same bed as your soon-to-be ex-wife, you should not be out dating.
2 – Put up accurate pictures of yourself. Your date should be able to recognize you when you walk in the door. If your pictures were taken 50 pounds ago, 5 years prior or 3 haircuts past, they should not be on your profile.
3 – Don’t be in a dating race. It is ok to have an ultimate goal of marriage or kids but don’t be starting the stopwatch before you even meet your date. Don’t email someone less than a week after you have first met and express your concern about the amount of time you are spending together and what it means for your future.
4 – Don’t engage in ‘vending machine dating’. Give the date you are on a chance and don’t think of the 20 new emails you have in your inbox. If you are dating more than 2 people at a time, it is quite possible that you will get confused and ask a date what he did for his mom on Mother’s Day when she is actually deceased.
5 – Be careful. Remember this is the internet and it isn’t always safe. I have been put in a headlock, stalked through a grocery store and shown inappropriate and unsolicited nakedness. Don’t friend someone on Facebook or give them your address until you are really sure you won’t end up in a crawlspace.
6 – Don’t be a jerk. Arrive on time, don’t text or email while on your date and don’t brag about your dating and sexual conquests. Don’t stand with your back to a date, when you know she is sitting and waiting for you, and drink a full cocktail because you need ‘liquid courage’.
7 – Have a preplanned exit that you mention to your date, i.e. plans later with your group of friends. That way if you are having a horrible time you can get OUT of there easily. I have never had to text a friend and ask her to call and be my ‘family having an emergency’. Preplan and save yourself the grief.
8 – Don’t go somewhere too crowded. You want to be able to find your date, be able to hear each other, have somewhere to sit and be able to get drinks at a reasonable pace. Going to a crowded bar and having to stand and wait 30 minutes for a cocktail is all of kinds of awful with someone you don’t know.
9 – Keep it simple on the first date. Agree to a drink or coffee so, if it is a sh*t show, you can leave as soon as you are done with that one beverage. If you like each other, you can always have another drink, dinner, etc.
10 – Remember to HAVE FUN! You aren’t solving world peace. You are going to meet someone that is quite possibly cute and charming and someone you like so just relax and let it happen. And, worst-case scenario, you can write a fun blog about all of your dating adventures. Worse things have happened.