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The 6 Things You Must Do When Dating Online

Written while trying to get a relaxing pedicure.

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As I sat in the massage chair at my local salon getting my toes done I couldn't help but eavesdrop, as the 20 something customer next to me talked about her dating struggles (She was really loud so don't judge me for listening). It was shocking to hear a stranger talk about all her troubles with online dating and to hear how they were very similar to mine. You find yourself swiping right on people in real life you would never want to talk too, agreeing to things that are totally not you and letting things slide that you usually wouldn’t stand for.

In some instances, these things can be good. They help you broaden your horizons and meet people you would never have come in contact with. But at the same time you can’t think that you’ll be able to find the One if you aren’t staying true to yourself. Online dating has become so common and accessible that we are forgetting the basics. And I realized she and I couldn't be the only ones.

So here are the 6 Most Important things I have learned from Online dating.

1. Know who you are

We all want to be liked. But don't let that need to be like change who you are. I suddenly found myself saying I liked things or would want to do things that I really would never want to do. "Oh, you like me but you want to me to cut my hair off and donate my house to Scientology? Well your cute, sure I'm in!!!" None of them were ever that extreme but, you get my point.

2. Google Them

We google the restaurant we want to eat at, the new tech toy we want to buy so why shouldn’t we google our potential new partner?

I was so naïve when I first started dating online. I thought that surely I would know if someone wasn’t right for me. Clearly, I was wrong. As the aforementioned “hard hitting” question shows I got myself involved in some situations that could have easily have been avoided. I just needed to google these guys before we met and I would have known what was going on. So do your research and don’t be ashamed by it.

And if you have a skeleton in your closet, be upfront about it.

3. Ask Tough Questions

What do you do for a living? Do you own your own house? Do you like football?

All these questions are great but they don’t really tell you if you will be compatible with this person. This really ties into knowing who you are. If you know what you are and are not looking for in a partner these questions will come easily. Don't be afraid to ask some hard hitting questions. This is the best way to know if you are both looking for the same things. And trust me their responses will help weed out the weak or the un-dateable. Remember: Be true to yourself, who cares if these strangers don't like you.

One "hard hitting" question I've learned to ask: Have you ever been arrested? Wish I had started asking this one sooner but that's a story for another time.

4. Phone Calls, Phone Calls, Phone Calls

What if their voice is like nails on chalk board to you? What if they sound like Big Bird? What if they are too scared to even call you???

I have come to realize that a phone call really goes a long way. Your potential date has plenty a time to come up with witty responses when you are texting back and forth. But a phone call? That will give you great insight into if you have potential. If you can talk on the phone with them that usually means you can meet for drinks and it won't be uncomfortable. And seriously wouldn’t you rather someone not call you versus not showing up for a date?

That phone call has saved me from being stood up and many potentially awkward dates.

5. Trust your intuition

This is one of those rules that holds true to regular dating and online dating.

Trust your gut. If it seems to be real to be true, if their answers don’t add up or if you feel that something is off. Walk away. Trust yourself and move on.

6. Online dating isn't everything

Don’t get me wrong I feel like there are some great benefits to online dating. However, we use our phones, tablets or computers so much we're rusty at one on one interactions. So don't forget to put the phone down, walk away from the tinder app and enjoy the real people around you.

Who knows, maybe you won't need a dating app to find Mr. Right.

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