One of the most incredible things about being a Modern Filipina is the steadily growing increase of technological advances that’s available to us. In fact, in this millennium, online dating has actually become very common and normal, no longer a rarity like it once was. There are even phone apps, such as Tinder, that allow you to meet and interact with fellow singles in your area. I even met my husband online! The bar scene is dead; the internet is the new place to meet your next potential partner. If you’ve decided to trade in your cocktail dress for an online dating account, here are some Dos and Donts to keep in mind on your journey for online love.
DO: Look for a match within commutable distance.
While I’m living proof that long distance relationships CAN work, they are still very difficult. Your odds of making a relationship work, especially someone that you’ve met online, are a fair bit higher if you date someone near you who you can meet in person sooner, rather than later. So take note of your potential matches’ locations and try to get to know someone who’s a bit close first, that way you can go on a proper date with them!
DON’T: Meet someone for the first time in a secluded place.
This includes your own house. If he turns out to be some obsessed stalker or dangerous person, you don’t want him to know where you live. When you haven’t met someone in person yet, you should always keep safety on your mind. Meet your date at a public place, such as a restaurant or mall, where there will be lots of people around. Also, make sure that your friends know where you are. There have been too many horror stories about women falling for the wrong guy online—don’t be one of them.
DO: Exchange photos and video chat with him.
If you’ve ever seen the TV show Catfish, you know how easy it is for people to make fake profiles using someone else’s photos. The more photos your guy sends you, the more legit he becomes, and if you can actually arrange to video chat with him, that’s a definite way to verify his identity and ensure that the guy in the photos is the same guy you’ve been talking to. If your potential online beau always tries to avoid sending photos of himself or refuses to video chat without a valid reason, that’s a red flag.
DON’T: Rush into it before you get to know him.
You don’t have to meet the guy in person on the same day, or even week, that you started chatting with him. Take your time getting to know him. After all, you probably wouldn’t go out on a date with a total stranger who walked up to you at the mall and asked you out, would you? Just because you’ve read his online profile doesn’t make him any less of a stranger. His self-description on his profile might sound good, but once you actually talk to him he could turn out to be a totally self-absorbed jerk. Make sure he’s actually worth going out with, first!
DO: Send each other sentimental gifts.
If you happen to meet someone you like who is a bit too far to see on a regularly basis, sending each other gifts is a great way to stay close to each other’s hearts. You don’t need to send anything expensive, but rather, send something personal. When my husband and I were still in an online relationship, we loved to send sentimental items. As an example, he sent me his favorite football jersey and I sent him my comfiest sleeping-shirt. They gave us something to hold and cherish when we were apart.
DON’T: Send him money or accept money from him.
This is where things often get tricky with online relationships. Even when you haven’t met in person yet, it’s easy to feel attached to someone and want to take care of them. But a good rule of thumb to have is to never send money to someone you’ve only met online. It’s too easy to get scammed and have your heart broken. Additionally, you shouldn’t accept money from the guy you’ve only met online because that might lead him to believe you owe him something physical in return when you do meet in person.
DO: Keep an open mind.
One thing about online relationships that can be seen as both an advantage and a disadvantage is that you start off knowing a lot about your dating candidates. You’ve got a whole profile worth of information to study and learn about this person that you haven’t met. This can lead to snap judgments, but you should try to keep an open mind. Don’t dismiss someone immediately just because of one small detail that you read on his profile (unless it sets off major warning bells). You wouldn’t be able to do that with a guy in person, so chat with him first and give him a chance to surprise you!
DON’T: Use online dating as an excuse to string along nice guys.
Online dating usually starts out pretty casual. While there’s nothing wrong with chatting up a few guys at once, or even going out on dates with more than one guy you’ve met online, there should still be a line drawn. If you’ve met someone really nice who you feel you’ve clicked with, don’t hesitate to focus on this guy and see where things might go with him. The dating sites will still be around if things don’t work out, so why not give a worthwhile guy your full attention? Don’t leave a bunch of guys wondering where they stand with you.
Love is out there for everyone who wants it, and online dating is a great way to actively pursue romance, rather than waiting for it to find you. Keep these tips in mind and put yourself out there – who knows, you could meet your future husband online, just like I did!