Sunday, June 12, 2005


Tell the truth
There's really no point in telling somebody that you're tall, tanned and toned if in reality, you're more average height, pale and allergic to the gym.

Sure we would all like to come across as being super-gorgeous but let's not forget that online dating, like dating in 'real' life, requires honesty. If you wouldn't lie or put up with lying in other aspects of your life, why start with someone you meet online?

Dont forget if your looking for more than just an "online friend" you might end up meeting this person so it pays to be honest from the start. If your honest then when you do meet up with someone it will be a far better experience with no surprises.

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You wouldn't rush into buying a really expensive dress or plasma television without first giving it some (or at least a little) consideration. So don’t rush into meeting up with someone you have met online. Sure, you may seem to get along exceptionally well, but take the time, and opportunity to get to know whoever your interested in.

A majority of daters have to actually date someone in order to get to know them. With Internet / online dating, you can do all the get-to-knowing (or a fair bit of it) before the date. At least you’ll know you can have a good conversation without those embarrassing silent gaps when you run out of bits and pieces to talk about.

Keep in mind if the person you’re interested in is not willing to get to know you first, or tries to pressure you into meeting straight away, then they probably aren’t worth meeting up with in the first place. Trust your instincts and do what makes you feel comfortable

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First date tips - make it a success

Wear what you feel comfortable in

The most important thing to keep in mind when dressing for a date is to wear what you're comfortable in. There's no point in wearing four-inch stilettoes if you're hardly able to stand, much less walk in them. The same thing applies to the guys as well; don't get all suited up if you hate wearing suits.

Dress nicely

Dressing nicely doesn't mean you can't be relaxed and comfortable. The main reason you dress up a little (or a lot, depending on the date itself) is so your date will know and appreciate that you've made the effort for him/her. Another good reason is so that you don't appear to be a slob. Its just not a good look. This includes the seemingly ever-present thong/g-string above jeans/trousers. I don't care that celebrities do it. They too get panned by the gossip magazines when they appear in public in such a manner so you know its just not the way to go.

Dress appropriately

If you can, always find out where the meeting will take place. The majority of places will be alright with just jeans/trousers for both men and women or even a casual skirt/dress for the women. If you do plan on meeting at a slightly dressier venue, a long-sleeved collared shirt is a safe bet with jeans or trousers for men and the women should be able to get away with a skirt/trousers with a pretty top or a dress with good accessories. Fashion today has come a long way so even jeans can be worn to dressier affairs. Just dress them up a little with a glam or sparkly top, killer shoes, a great handbag and accessories.

Don't over-do it

Over-dressing is as bad as under-dressing, if not worse. With men, its harder to over-dress than with women. I doubt there are many men ho would willingly always wear a three-piece suit when going on a date, unless its a business meeting (and definitely not date-worthy) or a very formal show/dinner. With women however, there is a tendency to go overboard with clothes, accessories and makeup. Unless you're off to the casino or a Mardi Gras, is a safe bet that your gorgeous sequin cocktail number is out of the question. especially when you decide to pair it off with earrings, bracelets, rings and necklaces. For something that glitzy, stick to a simple pair of earrings and maybe a bracelet/bangle. The same goes when you're wearing a sparkly top. you want your date to see you, not to be overwhelmed by all that bling.

Letting it all hang out

To sum up that statement in one word; DON'T. I know when the weather's nice and warm that its all too tempting to wear that thigh-skimming mini with an itsy-bitsy top and skyscraper heels. But please refrain from doing so. All that outfit screams is "easy". And that's not what you ant your date to think. Unless of course it is, in which case you may as well ignore this paragraph. When it comes to legs, breasts, stomach and back, stick to just showing off one, or at the most two, of these. Any more than that is over-kill. If you have a date at the beach then this rule is moot point. As for the men, the buttons are on your shirt for a reason, the ladies don't want to see halfway down to your belly-button. Neither do they want a view of your entire chest and stomach through a transparent shirt.

Too much makeup

This one applies mostly to the ladies. You know how you're shopping and you find this amazing dress/top/skirt/etc. and it's got streaks of makeup from someone else who had previously tried it on? Now think about how the men feel when they find streaks of foundation on their shirts. okay, so you can wash it off easily. But that's not the point. The idea that the girl had been wearing that much makeup is a turn off for most guys. Not to mention how the lady in question actually looks when her face is caked in such a fashion. Yes, it is noticeable. But other than not using so much foundation and powder, you have to also keep the rest of it simple. You either highlight your eyes or your lips, not both. The whole Marilyn Manson/drag queen look will not win you any favours.

Wear the right shoes

You'd think this is an obvious one but surprisingly, it isn't. I don't just mean the right shoe for the occasion, though that is very important. I mean the shoe that suits your shape and what you're wearing. For the men, you can generally get away with a loafer or sneakers if you're wearing jeans. If you've got on trousers, just stick to a pair of loafers or even dressier shoes if you're somewhere a little more up-market. Day-time footwear can be more casual, try a nice pair of sandals or flip-flops. Leather ones look especially good with light-coloured cotton or linen trousers.

Women have a wider choice when it comes to shoes. First of all, wear shoes that suit your figure. If you have slighter shorter legs, don't go wearing sandals with ankle-straps. They will only 'cut' your legs, making them look a lot shorter and chunkier than they are. The same applies to wrap-around sandal-laces. This sort of shape also looks best with a shoe that has a bit of a heel. Even if you're off to the beach, choose one those thongs with the slight kitten heel. Its low enough to be practical but still flattering. For the taller women, you can get away with nearly everything. Just keep in mind that your centre of gravity is a lot higher up with high heels.

As for the occasions, save the bejeweled sandals for a night out on the town. If you're a bit of a 'Carrie' dresser then carefully pair you girly and sparkly sandals with a more laid back day outfit. It can work but just keep in mind that the day time isn't when you should go over-the-top. It goes without saying that you don't want too much height in your shoes if you're going to the beach or if you're going to be walking a lot. Painful feet do not, a great date make. And no grotty thongs or sneakers when you're dressed to party. You can never look right if your shoes are all wrong.

Have a good posture

I know this may have nothing to do with the clothes you wear but it is important to always have a good posture. Stand up straight with your shoulders back, tummy and butt tucked in. Not only is this good for you from a health perspective, it also makes you look taller, slimmer and more confident. Plus your clothes will also look a lot better on you.

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Online Dating Safety

One of the ways to practice safe internet dating is to not blindly meet up with anyone you’ve not been chatting to for some time. In this instance, it is not easy to be 100% sure that everything you’ve been told is the truth. Quite often, you’ll have to go with your gut.
You could assume that the people who’d rather take their time before meeting are ‘safer’ but it may not always be the case.

Because of this, always make sure you inform a friend or relative about your date. Give them the details such as whom you’re meeting, where you’re meeting and a rough time as to when you’ll be home. And always call when you do get home safely.

You could also try arrange for the meeting to take place in a group, or have one of your friends with each of you. However, if you feel awkward about it, it’s okay to meet up one on one. Another good thing to keep in mind is to arrange to meet your date at a busy public area that’s well lit. With the abundance of coffee joints nowadays, this shouldn’t be hard to do at all.

If you do meet up at night, try make it an early date if you plan on catching public transport; you don’t want to miss that last bus/train though you still have the option of a cab. True, your date may be able to send you home but remember that this may be a date with whom you’d rather not see again. In which case, it’s better if they not know where you live.

If you are planning on driving, don’t drink. In fact, try not to get inebriated on your first date at all. Firstly, if you’re driving, you may get into an accident or get pulled over. Secondly, you may behave in a really embarrassing manner and ruin what could have been a good shot at a relationship. Thirdly, and this applies more to the women, there is still such a thing as date rape. And fourthly, you don’t want to wind up in bed with someone you’d rather not have just because you were drunk.

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Back to basics - Fashion tips for Men and Women

When you're on a date, you're out to make an impression. Needless to say, its a good impression that you're trying to make. So you want to look your best, but looking your best (without actually looking like you've been trying to hard to look your best) isn't always the easiest thing to do. You've got grooming, accessorising, clothing, etc. There are actually some simple basics that you can always fall back on, no matter what the occasion and where the venue.

The Basics

Basics are the staple of any wardrobe. They are the clothes that you add on to, to build a whole new look. Usually, these items are timeless, so all a person has to do is buy the occasional new and trendy item to make an outfit look more current.

The amount of basics you have should depend on where you live, what your interests are, etc. For instance, if where you live is always warm, there's not much point in having a wool coat, not unless you travel to colder climates. And a vast array of shorts and tank tops are useless if most of the year is spent under 25 degrees celcius.

I'm going to make two different lists of closet staples; one for men and the other for women. And even though I say staples, by no means does this actually make for a short list. in fact, its pretty long.


Men actually have an easier time when it comes to the basics. So long as the items are easy enough to co-ordinate, most of the clothes will be able to be mixed and matched for both day and night wear, dressy and casual. no male wardrobe should be without:

  • A few good T-shirts, either with prints or in a solid colour. These can't be too baggy or too loose.

  • A few polo T-shirts (the ones with a collar and 2 or 3 buttons at the top) and the fit is the same as with regular T-shirts.

  • At least 2 or 3 white cotton dress shirts (that's work shirts) and some in other colours/patterns. These should not be too long at the sleeves and too 'slopppy' at the shoulders.

  • Trousers in black, khaki/beige, cream/white/off-white. Any fabric is fine, just avoid full polyester and chunky corduroys. Cotton or linen is good, expecially for summer.

  • Dark and light jeans. Avoid the 80's stone-washed and acid-washed jeans. Vintage-washes suit most guys. Also, keep in mind that leg-hugging 'drainpipe' jeans will never, EVER look good on a man.

  • Knee-length shorts (boardies in Australia) are always good for hot days. Have a few pairs for swimming and some in cotton/linen for going out during the day. Good colours to have are mainly neutrals though a pair of bright-coloured shorts can look good with a plain top.

  • A good suit. At least one, if nothing else. Cuts, colours and fabric may vary, that depends on what you like. The jacket can be worn as a blazer with jeans or trousers and the suit pants can be worn more casually without the jacket.

  • A denim jacket. Or even a leather one. The more worn, the better.

  • A coat, preferably in wool or a wool-mix for winter.

  • A selection of ties

  • A few belts. Leather ones for work/dressier occasions and cloth/canves belts for casual wear. You can be creative with your casual belts, they're a good way of injecting some colour into an outfit.

  • White socks for sports and black/dark ones for dressing up.

  • A good pair of sports shoes. Choose one that's made for the sport you do as they all offer different types and degrees of suppport.

  • Dressy black leather shoes. These are the sort you can wear to work and for formal occasions.

  • Smart loafers. Brown or tan are popular colours and will go with practically anything. Suede loafers are particularly nice but its not an easy fabric to take care of.

  • Sandals are practical for hot days and when you need to be a little dressed up. You can go for the conventional leather type or the funky sporty designs.

  • Slip-ons or flip-flops (thongs to the Aussies) are a staple. Excellent for the beach or dressing down an outfit.


Needless to say, a woman's closet will always be more extensive than that of her male counterpart. After all, you've got all the skirts, dresses, jewelery, tops, etc. For all of these mentioned, the very basic of colours are black, white and beige/cream. These are the foundations that you build on and add more colour, texture and patterns. Tht doesn't mean your basic wardrobe can't contain any colour. by all means, have as much colour as you want. Just make sure it suits you and avoid flouros. And now, to get down to the nitty-gritty. As any self-respecting woman, you'll need:

  • Fitted T-shirts, singlets, strappy tops, strapless tops, halter tops, polo T-shirts in your basic 3 colours, along with other colours and patterns that will easily match up with other items in your closet. Some of these will have a V-neck and some a round neck. Either one is alright, it depends on what you like. V-necks do generally emphasize your bust so if you want attention drawn to that area, V's the way to go.

  • A few good sweaters (for the cold season); a fine knit or bulky cable look great with nearly everything.

  • A pretty camisole top that you can dress up or down. Good details to have are lace, satin, beading or sequins. not all at once of course.

  • A glam top for nights out on the town. Perfect for jazzing up a pair of jeans.

  • Jeans are the news girl's best friend. Not just for lazing around, these are a MUST have. Choose a wash you like but keep in mind that darker shades will flatter women on the heavier side. Getting the right cut is also important. Tall slim women can pretty much get away with any cut, though the cool-again skinny-leg jeans will make their legs look like they go on forever. The boot-cut is good for women who want to draw attention away from their hips. The regular straight-cut suits most shapes. Always try on jeans before buying them and make sure they are neither too short nor too long. You want to be able to wear heels or flats with them.

  • Structured or tailored shorts can look smart with the right top.

  • Denim or cotton shorts for very casual wear.

  • Trousers. Any fabric will do, so long as they fit well. This will be good for both warm and cool seasons. A few pairs should have a corporate, office look and another 1 or 2 can be casual. Again, these 3 basic colours apply.

  • A denim mini will see you through anything. The length is up to you. Don't go too short as it just looks cheap but try keep it at least an inch or so above your knee.

  • A pencil skirt in a nice fabric can work for the office, for chilling with friends in the daytime or dressed up for a hot date.

  • A longer skirt that falls in soft folds. Cotton is a good option for this. You could also have a darker-coloured one in a more 'dressed up' fabric for night-wear. Details that makes this special are pleats, beading, embroidery and assymetrical lines.

  • The timeless LBD, or little black dress.

  • A casual day dress that can double for night with proper accessorising.

  • A denim jacket it in style that suits you.

  • A blazer that will work for day and night.

  • A coat for the cold. Double or single-breasted is up to you. These can be in whatever colour you wish, but a good basic is black as it doesn't show up the dirt.

  • A pair of proper sports shoes

  • A pair of covered high-heels in your basic colours.

  • Sandals in a lighter shade though again, the basic colours appply here. Red is a good way to inject some colour as it doesn't 'date'.

  • A pair of kitten heels; ideal for when you don't want too much height.

  • Slip-ons and flip-flops (or thongs).

  • Boots for winter. Ankle boots may sometimes be trendy but stay clear if you're legs are not on the longer side. Also try not to go too high up. Anything above the knee just screams hooker.

  • Belts, handbags, scarves, hats, brooches, necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets/bangles are all good for dressing up an outfit and for changing your entire look. Just don't go too crazy and wear them all at once.

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Dating Profile Photos

Nothing, and I repeat, NOTHING, is more annoying than reading a profile and not being able to see an actual photo. The description, “6’0, muscular, blonde, blue eyes, great smile” sounds wonderful but hey, that’s too generic. At least ten Hollywood actors would have that description and there’s nothing to tell the guy apart from the other, although you could assume that they’d all look pretty hot anyway.

Same thing goes for the women. You could line up 20 random women who all could be described as, “slim, tanned, brunette, brown eyes, cheeky smile” and none of them would look alike.

The worst thing you could do for yourself is to not have a good photo on your page. For one, how are other people to know if that description is really you? Remember that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and you don’t really want to have to write that many words illustrating what you look like.

While you’re putting a picture up, try making it one that’s clear and recent. You don’t have to get some airbrushed studio close-up. People do want to see the real you. One that shows off your face and maybe another with your whole profile would help a lot. That way, people will be able to see your face and your figure. To be very crude about it, people do want to see what they’re getting.

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First Date Fixes

You saw, you contacted, you talked and now finally, you're meeting up. i think there's essentially two types of first dates. The former is when you decide to get to know each other over the date itself. I really wouldn't recommend this form of date with anyone as it could just be a recipe for disaster. The second type of date is where you get to know the other person BETTER. Which is how it should be.

So what's the big deal with all this first date stuff? Quite a big deal, actually. Were you go, what you do, who pays, what you say; it all adds up to either make or break a potential relationship. So how does one navigate the murky waters of this rather crucial time? While there are no failsafe plans, there are some measures you can employ to ensure a more enjoyable time for the both of you.

Location, location, location

Where you go is the first step in this crazy dance of courtship. Remember that just because you find something utterly enjoyable doesn't mean your date will feel the same way. The most basic choice is a meal or even coffee. Even then, check to make sure if your date is okay with your choice of restaurant. Its horrendously embarrassing when you take him/her to a great grill if he/she is a vegetarian. And not everyone loves spicy Indian/Thai/Moroccan/etc. And don't you dare make your way to a fast food joint. McDonald's, KFC, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc. are ALL out.

From your frequent chats, and I certainly hope there has been a fair bit of chatting, you should be able to ascertain each other's likes and dislikes when it comes to food and other interests. if you'd rather meet up at a bar/lounge or coffee joint, do pick a nice, slightly more up-market one. I know it may seen crazy to pay (insert appropriate currency and gourmet coffee price) for a cup of coffee when you can make the same at home for under a dollar/pound/whatever. But remember you're also paying for the service, the ambience and let's face it, you're paying for the other person to be impressed.

Use you knowledge of your date's interests to pick a good place for a date. If you both share an interest in art, visit a gallery or go to an art museum. if the both of your like a certain sport, go see that. If you're unsure, ask your date where he/she would like to go. There's no rule that says it has to be a surprise. And I'm sure most women would prefer knowing where they're going, so that they can choose what to wear. And once you're both there, relax and enjoy yourselves.

To pay or not to pay

I will freely admit that this is a tricky one, and it is really up to you. However, I would suggest this little formula: guy goes to pay, woman offers to pay her share, guy politely declines and woman graciously thanks him, saying the next one is on her. This little scenario can also be played the other way around. the great thing about how this works is that you also put across your interest in another date while also looking like you're independent enough to be able to pay.

If you happen to be going for a meal and movie, you can pay for one and your date pay for the other. Again, there's no hard and fast rule. Or you could both go Dutch. Just don't ask the other person to pay their share if they have not said anything about it. But should you have a few dates and he/she never offers to pay, may I suggest saying something to them.

You are what you wear

I've talked about clothes often enough, and I can't begin to stress how important they are. You really want to make some effort here. Remember to dress for the occasion. If in doubt a nice dress or skirt and top is a safe bet for women and good jeans or trousers with a shirt is okay for guys. That alone will see you through most dates. For women, skimpy clothing is really not advised. You may look hot in a top cut down to there, a skirt cut up to there and accident-inducing platforms, but save it for a night out with the girls. At least they won't get the wrong idea. As for the men, dress neatly, avoid loud Hawaiian shirts and keep your checked trousers for the golf-course. If in doubt of what to wear, refer to my article called "Back to Basics" and that should give you an idea of what you should wear.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

So some of you may not be a Christian or maybe you don't even have a religion. That has nothing to do with this. What has, is that you don't show up for your date without being properly groomed. And the basic for all grooming is a shower. If you really haven't time for a shower (and for those who are meeting up straight after work, you probably won't), at least being your perfume/deodorant and maybe try brushing your teeth. Depending on the sort of work you do, you should be decent enough for dinner or drinks. However, if your job demands a more physical and hands-on approach, try scheduling a later date and head off home first.

The ex-factor

You would probably have mentioned your ex during the conversations you've had on the computer or phone. But unless asked, do not mention him/her on your date. Especially do not say how wonderful or good-looking or talented or smart, or rich he/she was. there will come a time, if you haven't already, discussed your exes with each other. If you have, then great, there's no need to bring it up again. If you haven't, now's not the time. How would you like it if your date sat there regaling you with little stories of how they loved certain aspects of their exes? If you're tempted to bring it up, remember that he/she is an ex and, unless is still on friendly terms with you, is no longer a pertinent part of your life.

Take me home

I know its very tempting, but do not go home with each other after your first date. All of us know how that will end, and though the thought of it sends delicious thrills up and down your spine, resist the urge. If you've clicked sufficiently to feel this way, I think you can safely assume that you'll be seeing more of each other. In which case, wait a little before you jump into bed, or whatever else is handy at the time. Walk around, hold hands, kiss like there's no tomorrow on a park bench, if you have to. Just draw that one line. Besides, prolonging what you both know will happen can sometimes have it's rewards. Think about it; by the time you've had your fifth date or so and you're finally about to go home together, you'll both be wound up like a spring with sexual tension. And that, adds a lot to sex. See it along the lines of spontaneous combustion.

The games we play

Now, assuming your first date goes well, there will be date number two, three and so on so forth. But what happens when the date doesn't turn out as well as you had hoped? Do you tell him/her or do you say nothing? This is a tough one. Providing he/she was also as disinterested as you, chances are your date may get a little hurt if you decide you didn't have a good time. In this case there are two options open to you. You can either put it down to nerves and try have a second date and see how that pans out, or you could just call it quits.

The latter brings up more options, i.e. how to tell him/her that you'd rather not see them anymore. the best way is to be honest, though that dos not necessarily mean be blunt. There is a nice way of saying things, maybe along the lines of, "I had a good time but I don't see this progressing any further, etc". You can choose to remain friends or not. Sometimes the date may have been a disaster as far as romance is concerned but otherwise, you had a great time. In that case, I's say stick with it. Just make sure that you tell your date not to expect things to go further, leading people on isn't something you should ever do.

Eat, drink and be merry

When you go out on a dinner date, you're expected to eat something. From what I've seen, many women tend to stick to salads or other light meals when out on a date, especially on a first date. News flash; men don't think that women never eat. In fact, I have it on good authority that men very much prefer a woman with a good appetite. It usually bodes well for a healthy appetite in 'other' areas. Besides, when women pick at their food, the only message they send out is that they're picky, overly concerned with their image (and therefore perhaps a little superficial), unhealthy and difficult overall. Don't think you have to eat more than the guy, just have a good healthy meal. A salad can be a good choice if you have one with meat or seafood in it. And don't hold the dressing either. For men, its probably the opposite. Ribs are scrumptious but they can get everywhere so maybe having a dish that goes from your plate, to your fork or spoon, to your mouth is a good idea. Spilling food all over yourself isn't going to win you any points. And I know this is stating the obvious, but never speak with your mouth full or chew with your mouth open.

Drinking is usually part and parcel of a dinner date. Or even meeting at a lounge. But drink in moderation, you don't want to be falling over in your drunken state. Neither do you want to say something potentially stupid and embarrassing. Foolishness aside, keep in mind this isn't someone you know very well. And they don't know you well either. You don't want to give them the impression that you normally get that drunk and behave in such a manner.

A simple life

I know that on a first date, you're out to impress. But that doesn't mean having to shell out on something ridiculously extravagant. Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun. Take a walk on the beach or in a park, go on one of those tour busses, go to a drive-in movie, visit the bowling alley, etc. If the city you live in offers rides in horse-drawn carriages then try it. Visit a fun fair if there's one near you. Maybe go to the zoo. These things may seem a little simple and even childish, but there's a sense of innocence and fun associated with them.

Just let go

Perhaps the most important thing on a first date is to not build your expectations. And don't tell yourself it's going to be a waste of time either. In fact, go with an open mind and the readiness to have a laugh. Don't take it too seriously, you don't have to come across as perfect and you shouldn't get upset if your date isn't perfect either. Be yourself, just a polite version of yourself. If you decide that you just want to have a good time, enjoy a meal or movie, have pleasant conversation and be able to laugh, then you won't have any worries at all. So long as your outlook is positive, you will enjoy yourself and the date.

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Online Dating "to nude or not to nude"

While some say that Internet dating is a lot easier and in some way, more liberating than dating in ‘real’ life, it doesn’t give you the carté blanche to dispense with all social graces.

Being uninhibited while getting to know someone online is a good thing. Too much of not being inhibited however, is not. I’m not saying you should be too rigid with what you say and how you say it, though of course you shouldn’t punctuate every third word with swearing, but keep in mind that not everyone wants to see nude photos of you. And in particular, close-ups of nude bits.

It really is off-putting when someone you’ve never even chatted to sends you a photo of him or herself butt-naked. It’s even worse when there’s no full picture of them, just a very tight close-up. Yes, I have a problem with those close-ups and I don’t think I’m alone in this.

The message you send people is not a very good one and to be honest, people are less likely to keep you in mind as a person they could go out with. The idea they’ll get is that half the site will probably have seen you sans clothes and you can’t really be worth it.

Of course, if all you’re interested in is a quick shag with some random then you’re definitely going down the right path. If that’s the case, just state in our profile (you usually will be given the option for this) that you’re only after some casual fun and with the ‘right’ pictures, you can be guaranteed a huge response. But again, for the sake of the ‘serious’ daters, try not inundate everyone with your photos.

That doesn’t mean no nude shots at all. Basically, keep them off your profile and don’t just send them out to anyone who takes your fancy. If someone does make a request (and they’ll get an idea from you’re written profile as to what you’re looking for) then by all means, exchange those photos. But while you’re happily doing that, just keep in mind that these very same photos can very easily be downloaded onto their computer and uploaded onto some unknown Internet site.

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How to write a good dating profile

You know that feeling when you’re trying to apply for a job and you’re trying to make your resume look good? Ditto with creating an online profile of yourself. In the world of internet dating, your profile is your resume.

You should make clear what it is you’re looking for. Some people actually join internet dating sites for the sole purpose of making friends. Others have only no-strings-attached sex. The majority will have the idea of dating or relationships in mind. You make it a lot easier for yourself and others by stating your expectations.

You’re trying to sell yourself on all your good points here so go ahead and be informative. But like with a job interview, don’t just gloss over points; be specific.

Let’s say you enjoy travelling and you find someone else who shares that interest. Very good. But if you enjoy backpacking and they like hitting the shops and high spots, you can be sure that the idea of touring Europe may differ somewhat. And what seemed like a good holiday idea would end up disastrous.

It’s also okay to be honest about your bad points. No one’s expecting you to be perfect (just don’t go expecting the person you meet to be perfect either) and some people might actually find your little idiosyncrasies adorable.

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The Cold Hard Truth

We all know its better to be honest with the person or even the people you're dating. After all, you'd expect the same treatment and let's face it, no one likes being lied to. But exactly how honest should you be? Is there a time when you can be too honest? Exactly how cold and how hard should you be when telling the truth?

Let's assume here that all of us are going to be perfectly honest with the people we date. We want to open up, share our lives, interests, thoughts, etc. And of course, we want the guy or woman in question to do the same. This is all well and good. Things start getting a little tricky when it comes to opinions. Again, there's really no sense in lying but what if you really think along very contradicting lines? What if, and this is more pertinent to the guys, she asks you what you think of her outfit and you hate it? Wat if one of you loves cats/dogs/fish/ferrets/iguanas and the other freaks out at the sight of them?

Not all is lost. There are some nifty little ways to maneuver your way around these conversation killers. Okay, let's be honest and call them what they are: white lies. Otherwise known too diplomats everywhere as tact and diplomacy. And while it does take some practicing to pull off convincingly, its not as hard as you'd think. Here are some scenarios and the little diffusers which you can try.

You're talking to a guy/girl and your mind's been wandering and you've not actually heard a word for the past five minutes. And they've noticed it.

You're definitely caught in this one so don't try lie your way out and say you were listening. Whatever you say, do not mention the word bored. Graciously admit that you weren't really listening and apologize. You don't want your date to think you're being overly rude. Say something along the lines of you having a lot on your mind, work or personal problems can often cause this anyway. Don't spin some outrageous yarn, keep it simple. If you did switch off because you don't feel yourself clicking, then wait for a bit and say that due to these problems, you've also been getting very little sleep and would like to excuse yourself early. Make sure you let them know you've enjoyed yourself before taking off, but add that you're not sure if you can see anything coming out of it. You can add that age old, "its not you, its me" line but its so cliched, is doubtful if its that believable anymore.

She (or he) asks what you're thinking. You're thinking of sex with her/him/someone else.

Well, if you're thinking that you'd like to hop into bed with your date, then that's great. Especially if the attraction is mutual. However, that does not give you carte blanche to just say, "yeah, I'm thinking of screwing you senseless tonight." As flattering as it may seem, in some twisted way, its incredibly tactless and will either illicit a laugh or a slap. If its a laugh, you may still have hope of having that romp but if its the latter, you can kiss your chances goodbye. But back to matters at hand, you can make up some completely fabricated thing that you were thinking of. Or if you were thinking of shagging him/her, say something like, "I was just thinking that you're very nice, I find myself very attracted to you and I was wondering if this could go somewhere if you felt the same way." Compliments never fail to help one's cause. But depending on the person, you may be able to get away with saying you'd like to have sex with them. I think most people would take it as a compliment. I said most, not all. If you're thinking of sex with someone else, its time to make up some story again. Or just say you weren't thinking of anything in particular and leave it at that. I would suggest of thinking of an excuse to leave at this point, since you're obviously no that interested in the person you're with.

You feel that he/she has crap taste in music/movies/books

This is really an easy one. Just don't say that whatever they like is pure, unadulterated shit of the first order. Simply state that you're not that keen on whatever it is and then give examples of what it is that you do like. You may suggest that they try it but don't force them. Just don't come across as being superior because that will not win you any brownie points and will most probably result in an argument.

She bought a new outfit. You absolutely hate it.

Probably the bane of every male out there. What does a man do to not get into trouble but to also ensure she doesn't wear that again? Okay, I admit, pretty tricky. We all know what women can be like when it comes to her clothes, especially a new outfit. Firstly, don't trash the outfit. Saying something like, "its interesting" or "its not bad" probably won't be enough to keep you out of trouble. You'll have to decide if you want to full-out lie on this one or if you want to go with the truth. For those of you with the balls to take the latter, but prepared for a little sulking. But butter her up as well. Tell her how gorgeous she looks in (insert other outfit) and how you love her wearing that. Then compare it with the clothes you hate and say they don't flatter her as much. Or something along those lines. If this is the first time your meeting, my suggestion is to say she looks nice after greeting her and say as little about her clothes as possible. Then pray she doesn't ask you about it.

You love dogs, she loves cats.

This is common and not that hard to get around. So long as you don't say you absolutely despise cats (or any other animal in question) you'll be fine. Most people are either more partial to cats or dogs anyway. Just treat the moggy nicely when you do meet it. Expect the same when your date meets your pet. If he or she stays as far away from it as possible and shrinks whenever it comes close, then maybe its not going to work out. While we're on this subject, when it comes to insects as pets, all bets are off.

You meet his/her friends and family for the first time and you didn't really get along very with someone close to them.

Before this molehill develops into a mountain, keep in mind that it takes time to get to know someone. Its okay if you and the cousin, or sibling, or best friend, etc didn't really get along at the first meeting. Besides, its never that easy meeting everyone else in his or her life. If asked, just say you didn't feel there was enough time and opportunity to really get to know so-and-so. If you've already decided that whoever-it-is hasn't a clue and is close-minded and judgmental, just say that you feel you have a rather different outlook compared to them. Don't sling insults, its immature and will not paint you in a good light.

You've been dating a month or so and go out for a night with the girls or boys. You get absolutely trashed and share a drunken pash with a stranger. Or, to go a step further, you have a drunken one night stand.

Don't you just hate it when this happens? Let's tackle this a step at a time. First, the kiss. I suppose that is forgivable. Not that anyone should make a habit of doing it. You haven't been dating for very long and I guess it depends on whether or not you were exclusively dating or still seeing other people. If its the latter, then all is good. If it's the former then make sure it never happens again. If you have to tell the person you're dating, make it clear to them that it was a one-off that you regret and be prepared to take steps so that you won't actually repeat it. For instance, try not drinking so much when you go out. Or make sure you have a friend who will not be getting plastered who can keep an eye on you.

Now, what happens if you wake up in bed with a stranger? Again, if you are not dating exclusively then its not so much of a problem. Though you might still want to watch the drinking as you never know who you'll wake up with and more dangerously, what you'll wake up with. If you are a 'proper' couple, explaining this one away is going to be very, very tough. Personally, I'd never accept being too drunk as an excuse. If you're going out with someone, you have a responsibility not to do anything to hurt the other person. That includes knowing when to stop drinking, especially if you know that you are liable of losing control over what you do when you are drunk. So do you tell or not? I can't answer this one for you. What would you gain in telling your partner? If you know its something that won't ever be repeated then maybe keep quiet about it. If you feel the need to come clean, be ready to accept that you're going to be in the doghouse for a fair bit of time. Things like this cause the lost of trust and that trust will have to be built up over time again. So my advice for this one is to not get into the situation in the first place. If you do, it may be best to say nothing and make sure you behave from now on.

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The Ex Factor

Here’s how it goes. You’ve been out having a great time and its now the wee hours and you’ve pretty much had one too many. You’ve spent the night flirting with all and sundry but not actually made a successful pick-up. Suddenly, THAT number of THAT person that you swore you’d never call again is looking pretty good. Or how about when you’re single, home alone, bored and desperate as all hell? Again, that pesky ex number crops up. Maybe you’re not the one who does the calling. Its just as bad when you get the infamous ‘booty call’ and you just can’t say no. So, just what is it about sex with an ex that makes it so hard to turn down? And just why should, or shouldn’t you turn the offer down.

At some point in our lives, all of us would have slept with an ex. Even I’ve done it. And I’ve got friends who are sleeping with their exes. Thinking about it, it’s actually quite an ironic thing to do. No, I’m serious. This is the person either you dumped or who dumped you. If it’s the former, then the assumption is that there was something about him/her that you couldn’t reconcile yourself to. And if it’s the latter, well then, how could they? The cheek of it! And yet, all of this goes out the window. Why?

One of the biggest attractions about an ex (and I don’t mean literally here, ladies) is the fact that they are familiar territory. We know we’re not going to find some alarming piercing, skin infection, third nipple, or whatever, on them. Plus its nice to know that you know exactly which buttons to push to get the results you want. In other words, you don’t have to think too hard about how to turn him/her on. And I guess that to a certain extent, that’s a good thing. Familiarity also means that you’re going to be more comfortable. You’re not going to suffer any body hang-ups that might crop up when you’re doing the dirty with a new partner. Although I should add that for truly incredible sex, you’ve got to leave those hang-ups at the door. They do inhibit you and that means they inhibit your pleasure. Keep in mind that this person is in a clinch with you. And believe me, most people are too happy to have someone in bed with them to care that your legs are too skinny or large, that you’ve got a bit of a belly, or anything at all. But I digress; my point was that ex sex, is familiar sex.

Sex with your ex can also sometimes mean great sex. And I mean GREAT sex. But, that is highly subjective and only applies in certain cases, as I’m sure some of you already know. And really, that’s as good a reason as any for still getting it on with your ex. If you know the sex will be mind-blowing, it’s going to be very hard to turn down. Of course, they may be times when you get so trashed that you can’t actually remember that the sex was in reality, mediocre at best. That’s why some phone networks let you bar a number in your phone from being called out for a certain period of time. And that’s also why deleting your ex’s number can be a good idea before hitting a night out on the town. You can always write it down somewhere and re-enter it the next day. If the number is stored in your brain and you never forget it, then I pray that he/she is definite awesome sex material. Before I move on, a note to all those people who supposedly broke up with their exes because the sex was crap; you know what you’re not supposed to do in this instance. And frankly, I don’t know why you would.

Perhaps the most damaging reason people sleep with exes (perhaps the only real damaging reason) is emotional attachment. I know it’s hard to move on sometimes. But in cases like this, you gave to let go. If the both of you are just as attached then maybe its time to talk things through and try work something out. Not all couples that have broken up are doomed to stay broken up. But if only one of you still loves the other then we have a problem. From what I’ve noticed, and I’m not saying that its always the case, its usually women who will still continue to have feelings for an ex after he has got over her. There are many men out there who are very sweet and understanding in these sorts of situations and do what they can to help their exes through the ‘mourning’ period. Ten to one, they’re not the ones who’ll be banging their ex, even though she might want to.

Then there’s the other kind. The kind who will be glad to take advantage of his ex’s emotional state. Actually, the kind who will take advantage of women anywhere, any time and any place. Now this kind, you want to stay away from. I don’t care how great he is in bed. I don’t care that he can work magic with his tongue, or that he can give you multiples orgasms that never stop. The answer is no. Don’t even go there. Because while he turns you into a pool of goo from all that pleasure, he’s also turning your emotions into said goo. Sexual healing, this ain’t. Believe me, you’ll be worse off than if you had decided to forgo carnal pleasures for the night.

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t get involved with an ex. However, pretty much all of them lead to the same thing; you’ll get hurt, you’ll be an emotional wreck, or you’ll do or say something stupid. Keep in mind the reasons you broke up. More often than not, they still apply. If you’ve only broken up a week or so, don’t kid yourself that you’re emotionally ready to take on ex sex. In fact, I highly recommend that you have absolutely no contact with your ex for at least a month after the fact. I know its hard (I only lasted 3 days) but it does get easier. And as time goes on, you’ll find its also easier to say no.

If you do have a thing for getting it on with your ex, I suggest being very sure of what your needs, wants or intentions are. And of course, it goes without saying that you’ll be very, VERY safe. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of; this can happen to men as easily as it can to women. If you decide that ex sex isn’t for you, have fun exploring the many fish in that big blue sea. And for those you do indulge with the ex, know what you’re doing and where you’re heading.

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Common Courtesy

Understandably, not everyone you come across on these dating sites will rub you the right way. There will probably be lots of people you won’t have things in common with. Or there’s even a possibility that you don’t find them attractive (be honest, how a person looks is important to you). That’s alright. Although keep in mind that you really shouldn’t judge someone just on how they look.

However, if you’re not interested, its just manners to let them know where they stand. You don’t want to lead someone else on. Maybe you can’t see any sparks building but you enjoy chatting to them. No one said you can’t be friends. Internet dating can also be a good source of friendships.

Even if you don’t find someone overly attractive or interesting, give him or her a change. You may change your mind about them. But if you really don’t want to hear from someone, just say so. While most people will get the idea if you ignore them, keep in mind you’d probably rather not be ignored yourself.
But if that does happen, assume that whoever it is isn’t interested and move on. Don’t keep sending messages/flirts/smiles/winks/etc. There’s a word for that: stalker. And if you’re at the receiving end of all this unwanted attention, you can always make a complaint with the site administrator.

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