Introduction tips for online dating

Here are some essential 'rules-of-the-road' for safely navigating any relationship, but especially one that begins online.

While e Harmony routinely monitors account activity and investigates all complaints of unusual, inappropriate or falsified accounts, e Harmony does not conduct criminal background checks at the time an account is registered.

The only difference is in real life you have time to immediately correct a faux pas.

So you need your profile to show you off in a way that will catch a man's eye and interest right away. You might laugh more at his jokes, you pay closer attention to what he says, and you show your best side. Excitement is what you want a man feeling when he's done reading what you've written.

There is no substitution for acting with caution when communicating with someone you are just getting to know.

There's nothing sexier to a man than your confidence. Come up with ideas or small stories that paint a picture of the two of you that a man can imagine himself in. When you go to a party and you meet someone who keeps saying, "I do this, I like that, I am this," don't you get bored? One big pet peeves for many men is horrible spelling and grammar in profiles. It gives men the wrong impression and encourages those you probably aren't interested in to write to you.

When you feel good about yourself, you will become a male magnet. You want to use a scene like this to capture the interest of a man. You might get stuck with that person for a long time unless someone rescues you. Between your smile, a great picture and a goofy or clever name, you've got a chance to stand out from everyone else and be noticed. You can write your profile in Microsoft Word or other document programs so that it highlights any mistakes, and then cut and paste the paragraphs you've written to your profile online. I want you to know that in my 40s, I made some of the dumbest mistakes when it came to profiles. Leave out the words, "I'm looking for my soul mate" from your profile.

Props that make you feel soulful, frisky, and fascinating help you make those claims for yourself in your ad. It might sound obvious, but be sure to post a terrific photo of yourself. More to the point: I wanted to attract a man who appreciated subtlety.

If you're not comfortable putting your picture up online, avoid overselling your appearance with dubious claims like "Sharon Stone look-alike." I started my magazine personal with: "Curvy, almond-eyed writer, fit (good shoulders)...." My husband says he was attracted to the soft sell of the description and the quirky confidence of the assertion.

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