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'A good rule of thumb is,
by all means, take online
'dates' at face value but
LONG and incredibly intense even after
I told him I was only seeking friendship.
Right from the start, he told me he was
madly in love with me and missed me,
couldn't wait to meet me... I decided he
was either mentally unstable, a hopeless
romantic or a drinker! A less experienced
person could very easily be taken in
and there's the rub. I remained firm
and finally told him not to write to me
The third guy was the most 'dangerous'
one because he sounded normal and
was gorgeous looking! Like No 1, he was
a pleasure to communicate with. So, if I
was going to fall in love online, this guy
was the most likely.
We're keeping in touch but I want to
emphasise that I have not misled anyone
in this process. I've been upfront and
clear but felt I had to try it for myself if
I'm to recommend it to clients.
Okay, you have emailed a few men and
they seem nice, so when do you decide
to take it further? I suggest a few phone
chats/texts as you can tell a lot more in a
voice exchange than by the written word.
Texting, being more immediate, can also
be quite revealing. Watch for points of
honesty, openness and a sense of humour.
If there's any defensiveness, neediness or
game playing, find a nice way to bail.
The next stage is to meet in person.
Choose a public place and suggest coffee
rather than dinner in case you get stuck
with someone you really don't like for
two hours over a meal! Now, here's
another tricky part of internet dating. What
if you like the person and you don't hear
from them after the date, or the reverse
-- you can't stand them and they keep
pursuing you? This is what keeps a lot of
people from trying online dating -- fear of
Honesty is the only answer. If you
don't hear further from someone you
like, don't take it personally; there might
be many good reasons for it. Give them a
call and get the feel of where you stand. If
it's a no go, move on without rancour. If
you get pestered by someone you're not
interested in, tell them straight. It's better
to hurt their feelings right away than lead
Keeping your feet on the ground is
essential if you're going to try to find love
online. I'm not by nature sceptical; in
fact, I'm quite trusting and naive despite
my profession. But I also take a rather
clinical approach to relationships. I think
they should grow slowly and prospective
partners should go in with eyes wide open
and rose-coloured glasses off. So, that's
my advice from my firsthand experience
and my relationship counselling.
Never come from desperation, don't
become addicted to online dating and
don't restrict yourself to a 'type'. Your
dream lover may come in a different guise
but be the right one so keep your mind
and heart open.
Armed with coolness, patience and
realistic expectations, there's no reason
why online love can't be both a possibility
and even a potential joy.
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