Online dating can be difficult, time-consuming, confusing, and just plain scary.  You never know until you actually meet the person just what exactly you’re going to get.  Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help navigate the world of online dating:

1. Don’t give out your phone number. There are plenty of messenger apps that you exchange messages through and keep your private information private (remember to make a new user profile that is not linked to your information.) Or if apps are not your thing get a prepaid phone and give out that number so you can have a phone conversation in advance of meeting the person.

2. Do get a life.  People are more attracted to others who have interests and hobbies.

3. Don't make your hobby Facebook/Instagram/etc. And over post or spend excessive (checking it every hour or spending 1+ hour per day) time on it.  This will decrease your chances of having a successful relationship.  Research has shown that Facebook can create jealousy in relationships, which may lead to arguments concerning past partners. Also, excessive Facebook users are more likely to connect or reconnect with other Facebook users, including past lovers, which may lead to cheating.

4. Do be creative and active with your photos – Great photos are essential to attracting someone.  Show you’re active and social, but also that you’re unique.  Try to find an interesting setting that shows the hobbies activities you are in.

5. Don't take excessive selfies.  Society is full of people doing this narcissistic activity.  Instead, do something interesting and make a memory, which you can capture on your phone.  The only people who enjoy looking at your selfie photos are yourself and creepos looking for alone time material. Eew…

6. Do friend request or connect with someone versus just being a lurker.  Go ahead and make that connection and send a message to someone you'd like to meet instead of just looking from the outside.  What's the worst that can happen?  You two don't talk, and you're in the same situation currently anyway.

7. Don’t do duck lips in your photos. Period. (Editor's note: This!!! A thousand times yes!)

8. Do put yourself out there and communicate – share things about yourself such as your passions, hobbies, goals, etc.  People are attracted to others who are going somewhere in their lives.

9. Don’t be afraid to toot your own horn, but also don't hesitate to offset it with admitting your shortcomings as well.  For example, you can say, “I have two college degrees, but please don’t ask me to do any math.  I’m terrible at it and need a calculator to figure out a 10% tip ;)”

10. Do use humor with your interactions. Everyone loves people who can make them laugh.

11. Don’t just take photos of your chest (women) hanging out, then complain that guys are always being perverted. Guys, you have shirts, feel free to wear them from time to time in your photos.  Humility is sexy.

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