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Our Dating Online Experts

Greg Waldorf

Greg Waldorf

CEO of eHarmony.com

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Beth Roberts

Beth Roberts

Online dating coach and co-founder of Finding Your Mate Online...

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Alison Roth

Alison Roth

Online dating guru and consultant

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Love at First Site

“I don't think it’s any more duplicitous than getting any consulting on anything else,” she says. “It would only be duplicitous if I was encouraging someone to lie about something.”

Whether you write your own profile or have some help, the point is to put your best self forward. Remember that you want someone to be attracted to the real you, just as you’ll be looking for someone real in your search.

On Your Mark, Get Set…Wait?

For some, the online dating experience takes awhile to warm up to. You may have only a few matches or are disappointed with the “quality” of the individuals who are contacting you. “Expect a lot of fallout,” say Ellen Fein, co-author with Sherrie Schneider of All The Rules and The Rules for Online Dating. “Online dating is not as solid as meeting in person,” Schneider explains, “as both men and women tend to look and sound better in ads than they really are.”

Still, as you’re screening other people based on their profiles, try to remain open throughout the process. Don’t brush someone off at first glance because he or she doesn’t look as cute as you’d like or something insignificant in the profile turns you off initially.

Natalie Sokol, 31, of Atlanta, met her husband on Jdate.com. “I was not attracted to Joel’s picture. He just didn’t look like my type,” says Natalie of her now-husband. “But a friend at work threatened that she wouldn’t leave my office until I ‘teased’ him [sent a pre-written one-liner]. When I did finally meet him, he turned out to be one of the nicest people I’d ever met—and he was cute.”

It’s also easy to get caught up in a romantic fantasy. Managing expectations in online dating can be challenging, especially if chemistry fizzles once you meet in person. “You get your hopes up that this man is the man of your dreams. And then you’re let down because he might not be the man or the fantasy you built up in your head,” says Natalie.

Most experts advise keeping the initial email exchanges brief and suggest meeting fairly quickly to determine whether you want to take it further. And if the person turns out to be someone you’re not interested in pursuing, you can respectfully move on to the next profile. Miller recommends having the same type of respect and manners you would if you were going out with a friend’s friend. “Instead of not calling someone back, it’s perfectly OK to say ‘I had a great time, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry,’” she says. No one likes rejection, but it’s a part of dating, and the more gracefully you can exit an uncomfortable situation, the better you’ll both feel.

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