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Written by Ashley

Monday, 30 May 2005

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Tags:
dating tipswomen and romance

This week's article: Today the Internet has become the savvy new place where singles can meet one another. A lot of people have entered into online relationships with people that they have just met and therefore do not know a lot about...

While many people think that the cyber world is a lot different than the real world, this is not true. The emotions that you feel are just as real regardless if it is the cyber world or not. Of course, there are some people who do not think that a real relationship could possibly be formed via the cyber world, and for these people that may very well be true. However, these are the same people who could never have an intimate long distance relationship. These people simply have to have a physical presence. They find themselves unable to express themselves without physical contact, and thus assume that other people are unable to express themselves this way either.

If you choose to date via the Internet, you will most likely want to join an online dating community. When doing so, make sure that your personal information is securely submitted and that you know what will become of that information. You will also want to use a free online e-mail address when signing up for the service, that way you can ensure your safety. Once you receive your user name and password, never give these combinations out to anyone. 

Whenever you write up your cyber dating profile, you need to make sure that you are being honest and that you include an up-to-date photo of yourself. While this can be scary sometimes, when you find the right person, they will like you just as you are. Besides, if you really want to get to know someone, you will eventually have to meet in person and the truth will come out anyway. 



Once you have joined a service and are ready to start dating, there are some things that you should do in order to keep yourself safe. Much of this information is common sense, but these things still need to be commented upon.

(1.) You should start by communicating via e-mail or online chat. However, if you feel uncomfortable, do not feel as though you have to give out any personal information. You don't have to!

Whether you are communicating via e-mail or chatting online, this communication has its own lingo that you will need to learn. It is a sort of shorthand that is constantly evolving. The best way in which to learn them is by asking people as you encounter this terminology. After all, people usually enjoy sharing their knowledge with others, and if you ask nicely, most will respond nicely. 

While communicating with your "date" be vigilant in noticing any odd behavior or inconsistencies. If someone is being evasive, this is a red flag. "Listen" closely to your "date's" words in order to make sure that she is who she claims to be. Be careful if someone who seems too good to be true! Trust your instincts! If you should happen to feel uncomfortable, walk away from it for your own safety and protection. 

Whenever you are communicating online, you need to understand that you are your words. The only thing that anyone online has to judge you by is how you speak and how you conduct yourself. Remember that spelling and grammar is a lot less important than the ideas and content that you convey. Just write as though you were talking in real life, and don't use words that you wouldn't normally use in real life. 

(2.) Learn as much as you can about the person that you are dating. Ask a lot of questions about such things as where she grew up, where she works, and if she lives near you ask her how she is involved with the community. This information can actually help you in finding out who this person really is. If she is unwilling to reveal such information to you, a red flag should go up. You should also be suspicious of any discrepancies that you find in her "stories." Another red flag should go up whenever she is simply unwilling to answer your questions. 

In the same way that you expect her to be open and willing to share with you, you must also be open and willing to share with her. You need to be open with your feelings and your emotions in order to overcome the physical distance that is placed between the two of you. Usually when we speak with one another, our body language and expressions help give cues as to further your communication. That is why when you choose to connect with someone online you need to be emotionally honest about your feelings. By doing so, the other person will more than likely reciprocate. 

Another point that needs to be made about honesty . . . Exaggeration and deception are easy online. However, they are not fair to either you or your "date." You need to represent yourself accurately. Areas in which you need to be especially cautious in are your marital status and your physical appearance. You also need to honestly share your likes and dislikes, your wants and desires, your dream and aspirations with your "date." A simple way to make sure that your "date" is being honest with you is by requesting that she send you a recent photo of herself. If she is unwilling to do so, a red flag should go up. You can easily get your photo scanned at Kinko's for less than ten dollars, so there is no good excuse for not doing so. Once you have both exchanged photos, continue filling in any gaps so that your "date" does not create you in their image.

On the flip side, you also need to be honest with yourself. You need to know what it is that you are looking for by dating online. While it is possible for you to change your mind as things progress, you still need to know what you are looking for before you can even begin to plan where your going. 

(3.) Remember your manners! Just as in real life you are expected to return phone calls, in the cyber world you are expected to return e-mails. In doing so, you should personalize your messages by responding to things that were mentioned in the e-mail or profiles. (Remember, just like you hate junk mail, so does everyone else. It really is nothing more than a waste of time!) Therefore, if you receive an e-mail that really does not interest you, simply reply by saying, "Thank you, but I'm unable to correspond with you at this time." 

(4.) Take it slowly! The first step that you should take after chatting online is talking on the telephone. The number that she gives you should not be a pager or work phone number otherwise there is a good chance that she may have a spouse at home. 

By talking on the phone you can continue to learn more about your "date." A phone call can also tell you a lot about a person's communication and social skills. However, you should only think about calling her once you feel totally comfortable giving her your number. This trust will take some time to develop. Nevertheless, once you have developed this trust, it is worth the price of a phone call to make sure that your instincts are right. While chatting on the phone ask her for her full name and address before setting up a real date. You should also find a reason to call her unexpectedly to make sure that she is not married or living with someone. Another safety check is for you to find out where she works and whether or not you can call her at work. If she says you cannot call her at work, you may want to find another way to double check to make sure that there are no red flags here.

The next step, after the telephone call, is actually meeting your "date" in real life. You should not jump to this step too quickly. Instead, make sure that you have taken the time to find out who your "date" really is. If she is pressuring you to meet before you feel comfortable, then you should see this as another warning sign. You need to proceed with caution! Arrange the date on terms that the two of you can agree to. Some safety checks that you may want to set in place for your date include . . . 

* Make sure that you tell someone where you will be going for your date and when you plan on returning. Write down your date's name and address and make sure that you leave it with someone that you trust.

* You should always make sure that you meet your date in a public place that you are familiar with. Make sure that you stay near other people, in a lighted area. A great first date would be to get together for coffee. 

* Do not arrange for your "date" to pick you up at your house. Instead, you should always arrange your own transportation so that you can leave if there is any sign of trouble. 

* Make sure that you remember everything that your "date" has told you up to this point. If you discover that this person has lied about anything, a red flag should go off.

* Do not bring your date home after the very first date. Remember, you still do not know this person very well. Therefore you should use any dating etiquette that you would use with any other date. 

Any time that you feel something is strange while you are "dating" online, you should back away and look for another match. However, you will also want to have while you are dating. So, don't be so concerned about things that you are no longer having fun or both you and your date will lose interest in the relationship. Instead, take time to enjoy yourself. Talk about things that are interesting to the both of you. Know what you are getting into before you invest your heart, money, or your life. But above all, have fun!

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© 2005 Cigar-Review.com, Kevin Godbee

Re-print with permission only.
To get permission, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




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