Top Ten Dating Tips 

 Top ten dating tips for geeks (and everybody else, for that matter).

Before the first date:

1. Be honest with your profile and when talking to others – If you are not a 100 lb blonde with a 12 inch waist, then spare yourself the trouble of saying you are.  If you don't have a PhD in Astrophysics then don't say you do.  Be proud of who you are and what you do.  If you live in your mom's basement, you might want to let the rest of the world know it, even if you aren't proud of it, it's who you are and an online profile won't change that.  Besides, would you really want someone else to lie to you about who they were?


2. Get out there and make yourself available and known – You are only going to increase your chances of finding the perfect person by putting your profile online and being as descriptive as possible.  You have no right to complain about how hard it is to find someone if you don't even try.  Don't be discouraged if no one responds to your profile, instead be assertive and respond to someone else's!


3. Request a photo, no matter what – Not only does posting your own photo give you a better chance of receiving a response, but it gives you an idea of whether or not you'll be attracted to someone else when you see theirs.  Plus, it’s extra helpful in meeting someone in the real world.  That whole "I'll be the one wearing the eye patch" may seem like a cute idea, but when you happen to see two people wearing eye patches at your meeting place, you begin to wonder if you've been chatting with the pirate or the hottie with the lazy eye.


4. Watch for red flags or anything unusual – If you feel uncomfortable or wary of anything, be it strange behavior, inappropriate conversation or an exchange of a recipe for human flesh jerky, it would be wise to end the online relationship before it becomes dangerous, or you end up joining a cult.  Also, don't feel obligated to meet everyone who responds to your profile.  This is your world, and you may pick and choose as you please.  Know when its time to back away and do it politely.


5. A phone call is the best first date – Talking in a chat room can be very different than talking to an actual human voice.  It’s highly possible that a person might be a better writer than talker, or you might just find that their voice sounds more annoying than a cat in heat.  Either way, you learn a lot about a person by talking to them, and its always a good idea to try a phone call before jumping into meeting them face to face.  Think of it as a necessary middle step.

The date:

6. Meet when you're ready – If you're still uncomfortable with a person online, chances are its going to be eight thousand times more uncomfortable in person.  If you still don't think you know enough about the person, then you are not ready to meet them face to face.  You aren't obligated to meet everyone you meet online, and the benefit of an online forum is that you can find out about someone at your own pace. 


7. Take caution outside your territory – If you meet someone online who isn't anywhere near where you live, you may find a reason to travel outside of your territory.  Never arrange to stay at their place – not only is that presumptuous, but dangerous.  Be sure you arrange for a hotel for yourself or a friend you can stay with that's safe, and arrange for your own transportation so you can be self-reliant.  The last thing you want is to find yourself naked on the streets of some strange city with your wallet missing. 


8. Don't overdo the first meeting, but have something planned – While its great to have an exciting date arranged for the first time you meet someone, make sure you're not overwhelming them.  Its not necessary for them to meet 80 of your closest friends, your first cousin once removed and your high school algebra professor the first time they are meeting you.  Maybe having them meet your cat is fine, but the first date is about getting to know each other and only each other. 


9. Beware of physical moves that come off as creepy – Don’t be a toucher.  This might be okay with some people, like your best friend.  However, on a first date this can come off as creepy or even as though you're trying too hard.  Best bet is to try and read the other person.  If they're leaning in toward you or grazing your leg in the movie theater, then it might just be okay to respond in a similar way.  Body language is also a great way to determine if it’s okay to go in for that first kiss.  The best way to know is to trust your instinct. 


10. You don't need to detail your entire life history immediately – If you reveal everything about yourself right away, you won't have anything to talk about later on.  Also, you might be asking too many questions of the other person, and that might scare them away.  Let people tell you about themselves at their own pace, and do the same when talking about yourself. And by all means, give them a chance to speak too, don’t monopolize the conversation.

Oh, and another good piece of advice is that garlic is fine for online, but you might want to use it sparingly on a first date.

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