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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Online Dating

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Absolute Beginner's Guide to Online Dating

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Not for Sale


  • Copyright 2005
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Adobe DRM)
  • ISBN-10: 0-7686-6393-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-7686-6393-8

Curious about online dating but worried that it might not be safe? Not even sure where to start and which site to try first? Now there is a one-stop reference guide to teach you everything you need to know to enter the world of online dating — safely. The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Online Dating will help you acquire the skills to attract a future mate based on personality, values and interests using e-mail, chat and the Web. From a site-by-site comparison of features and costs to exercises that will help you assess what kind of person you are looking for, you will learn how to begin dating online. You will also learn how to:

  • Build an online profile
  • Establish a personal connection through exchanging chat messages
  • Fill out forms that inform and attract potential dates
  • Conduct background checks on people you are interested in meeting
There are even chapters dedicated to specific groups such as over-50, gays and people who only need a date for a special event. Complete with stories of successful relationships that originated online and tales of negative experiences to learn from, this book will help you feel reassured that online dating is not only safe and private, but, in many ways, better than traditional methods.

Sample Content

Table of Contents


    Some Key Terms.

    Some Things to Keep in Mind.

    How to Use This Book.

    Where to Find More Help.

    Conventions Used in This Book.


1. Why Put Your Heart Online?

    Advantages of Cyber-Dating.

      Overcoming Your Own Fears and Getting Started.

      The Alternatives: "Brickbats-and-Mortar" Dating.

      Success Stories.

    Deciding What You Want.

      Short-Term Fun.

      Long-Term Romance.

    Identifying That Special Someone.

    Creating a Profile of Your Ideal Match.

    Who Might Be Looking For You?

      The Troller.

      The Nester.

      The Clock-Watcher.

      The Spiritual Seeker.

2. What Do You Need to Do Online Dating?

    The Absolute Least You Really Need.


    Computer and Other Hardware You Need.

      An Internet Connection.

      A Digital Camera.

      Multimedia Equipment.

      A Cell Phone.

    Computer Software to Help You Get in Touch.

      A Web Browser.

      Chat Software.

      Instant Messaging.

      Text/SMS Messaging.

      A Photo Editor.

3. Don't Do It Yourself: Online Dating Services.

    Turning Online for Dating Advice.

      Web Resources.

      Discussion Groups.

      Mailing Lists.

    How Cyber-Dating Counselors Can Help You.

       Editing Help.

      Free Advice.

      Not-So-Free Advice.

      Personal Consultation.

      Essay Writing.

      Getting Your Friends to Help: Friendster.


4. Choosing a Dating Service.

    Myths and Hard Truths.

    Spending Money Is Optional, But...

      Free Sites.

      Subscription Services.

      Specialty Sites.

    Evaluating a Dating Service.

      Location, Location, Location.

      Consider Who Is Doing the Matching.

      Getting Background Information on the Web.

      Letting the Website Match You.

      Differences in Online Profiles.

      Differences in Messaging.

      Differences in How Your Privacy Is Maintained.

5. Maximizing Your Dating Site Options.

    Comparing Dating Service Providers.

      How DSPs Are Similar.

      What DSPs Don't Tell You Right Away.

    The Big Players.

      Yahoo! Personals.





    Niche Sites.

    Sites That Take a Scientific Approach.

    Getting Opinions on DSPs.

6. Taking a Trial Run.

    Signing Up for Free.

      Trial Memberships.

      Free Memberships.

      Picking an Appealing Screen Name or Headline.

      Features You Should Evaluate.

      Filling Out Surveys: Taking Your Time.

      Filling Out Surveys, Part 2: eHarmony.

    Email Matches, Suggestions, and Teases.

    Developing a Healthy Attitude.

      Setting Your Sights/Sites Low.

      Responding to Initial Contacts.


7. Creating a Profile.

    Researching Yourself: Who Are You, Really?

      Looking to the Stars: Astrology.

      Looking to Science: Personality Tests.

      Creating an Online Persona.

    Deciding How Much to Reveal About Your Identity.

      The Age Question.

      Describing Your Personal Appearance.

      Describing Education, Income, and Other Basics.

      Observing the Do's and Don'ts.

    Automating Your Profile.

Creating a Profile Template.

Creating a Profile with Special Software.

8. Maintaining Good Form(s).

    Filling Out Forms.

    Answering Essay Questions.

    Telling Your Story, Your Way.

      Writing an "Under Construction" Essay.

      Learning from Others' Essays.

      Be Truthful, Be Consistent.

      Tell Anecdotes.

      Did You Hear the One About...?

      Short and Sweet Is Best.

      Finding Your Own Editorial Help.

9. Presenting Yourself: Using Photos.

    Why Photos Are Important.

      Considering Reasons to Go Photoless.

      A Compromise: Restricting Access to Your Photo.

    Digital Photo Options.


      Using a Photo Service.

      Digital Cameras.

      Hiring a Photographer.

    Editing Your Photo.

      What Makes a Good Photo?



      Changing Contrast and Brightness.

10. Dealing with S-E-X.

    Catching the Wave: Surfing for Sex and Thrills.

      Mainstream Sites That Include Swingers.

      Sexy Sites.

      Services That Only Pretend to Be for Dating or Sex.

      Webcams and Virtual Sex Games.

    Surfing for a Brand-New Family.

      Including Sex in Your Profile.

      Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

      Religious Attitudes Toward Sex.


11. Making First Contact.

    Gone Fishin'-Trolling for Matches.

      Automatic Matchmaking.

      Searching for Dating Prospects.

    Options for First Contact.

      Using Your Dating Service's Messaging System.

      Switching to Email.

      Instant Messaging/Text Messaging.

    What Do You Say After You've Said Hello?

      Be Upbeat, Be Optimistic.

      Keep Track of What You've Said.

    Reading Email to Determine What Someone Is Like.

    What Not to Do.

    Being Open While Being Sensible.

12. Email and Chat Room Etiquette.

    Making Friends with Email.

      Checking Your Email.

      Choosing an Email Program.

      Check, Double-Check, and Spell-Check.

    Using Email to Flirt and Attract.

      Greetings and Salutations.

      Conveying Emotion.

    Look Before You Type: Avoiding E-Malfunctions.

      Watch for Warning Signs.

      Avoid Turn-Offs.

      Observing the Niceties of Netiquette.

      Keeping Your Email Private.

    Moving to the Next Level.

13. Instant Messaging and Chatting.

    Instant Messaging.

      Do Your Research.

      Keep the Conversation Going, But Not for Too Long.

    Text Messaging.

    Chatting Up Dating Prospects.

14. Meeting Someone in Person.

    Choosing the Right Time and Place.

      When Is It the Right Time?

      Zeroing In on the Right Place.

    Meeting Face to Face.

      Picking Up on Visual Cues.

      Asking the Right Questions.

    Preparing an Exit Strategy.

      Tell Someone Where You're Going.

      Arrange an Escort.

      Arrange a Way to Get Home.

       Follow Up with a Message.

15. Religious Values and Other Challenges.

    Sharing Your Religious Beliefs.

    Shopping for Religious Dating Venues.

      Christian Sites.

      Jewish Sites.

      Other Religions.

    Race and Other Qualities.

16. If Things Don't Work Out...

    Saying Thanks, But No Thanks.

      Saying No in the Early Stages.

      Saying No After Things Have Progressed.

    Trying Different Ways of Saying "No, Thanks".

      Making a Courteous Good-Bye.

      Making a Firm Goodbye.

    Hearing "Thanks, But No Thanks".

      If Someone Stops Communicating.

      If Someone Turns You Down.

17. If Things Do Work Out: Planning to Say "I Do".

    How Do You Know He or She Is "The One"?

    Going Online to Plan Your Wedding.

      Planning Your Honeymoon.

      Creating a Wedding Website.

      Where Should You Buy All That Stuff?

      Involving Your Parents.

      Single-Parenting Issues.

      Religious and Other Differences.


18. Specialty Dating.

    Physical or Other Attributes.

      Physical Issues.

      Dating with Disabilities.

      Dating with Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

    Hobbies and Other Interests.

      Sports Lovers.

      Pet Lovers.

    Threesomes and Other Combinations.

    Gay and Lesbian Dating.

    Political and Social Causes.

    Common Backgrounds.

    Timing Is Everything: Short-Notice Dates.

19. Dating in Your 40s, 50s, and 60s.

    Enjoying the New "Good Old Days".

      Facing the Skeletons in the Closet.

      Focusing on Fun and Adventure.

      Staying Positive About Health Issues.

    Single Parenting and Other Issues.

      Who Does the Asking?

      Whom Can You Trust?

      Dealing with Intimacy.

      Finding Support.

    Dealing with Age Differences.

       Encountering Younger-Much Younger-Dates.

      Dates Who Don't Act Their Age.

      Dates Who Are Up to No Good.

20. Dating for the Geographically Challenged.

    Long-Distance Relationships.

      Keeping in Touch.

      Enlisting Family and Friends.

       Dating Overseas.

    Finding a "Russian Bride".

    Where to Meet Someone from Out of Town.

      Finding Dates When You're Constantly on the Move.

      Small Town, Big Dreams.

    Ironing Out Relocation and Travel Dilemmas.

    Trusting Your Instincts When You First Meet.


21. Practicing Safe Dating.

    Maintaining Your Privacy.

      Blocking Your Personal Information.

      Anonymous Web Browsing.

      Picking a Good Screen ID.

    Observing Good Safety Practices.

      The Pay Phone Option.

      Notifying Friends and Family.

    Trying an Invitation-Only Service.

    Asking the Right Questions.

    If Things Go Wrong...

      If Someone Threatens You...

      If Someone Stalks or Harasses You...

      If You Just Don't Meet Anyone...

22. Avoiding the Date from Hell.

    Realizing What Can Go Wrong.

      You Say the Wrong Things.

      Financial Fraud.

    Dealing with Problematic Personality Types.

      Uncovering Players.

      Watching for Inconsistencies.

       Leaving Gracefully.

    Researching Someone Beforehand.

23. Improving Your Chances of Success.

    Evaluating Your Profile.

    Editing Your Profile.

      Changing Your Photos.

      Changing Your Approach.

      Loosening Up Your Criteria.

      Relaxing Your Attitude.

    Keeping a Dating Diary.

    Evaluating Your Current Relationships.

      Getting on the Same Page.

      Having a State-of-the-Relationship Talk.

24. Finding Support.

    Turning to Your Dating Service Provider.

      Making a Marketplace a Community.

      Learning About Your Peers.

      Learning About Your DSP.

    Turning to Website Discussion Groups.

      Suggesting a Topic.

      Joining an Existing Thread.

      Chatting Up a Storm.

      Special Needs Support Groups.

    Walking on the Wild Side: Usenet.

    Looking for Professional Help.



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