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By Julie Hansen
Congratulations! You're about to enter the fun-filled world of on-line dating. Oh, how I envy you that initial rush when you discover how many sad, lonely, disturbed men are out there -- not including your ex-boyfriends; that sweet thrill of connecting with someone perfect on paper, only to be followed by the crushing blow of reality upon meeting same tragically flawed individual in the flesh; and, of course, the exhilaration of that first phone call to your local precinct.But I don't want to ruin it for you! Here are some helpful tips to enhance your experience, and one last bit of caution: Remember, crazy people have computers, too!
1. Picking Your Site
A good rule of thumb: the more activated your gag reflex, the better the site; therefore, 2heartsrus, lookingforu and luvbirds.com, will typically prove better hunting grounds than wherethehellru, sociallychallenged.net and crapshoot.com. Tastes run toward the eclectic? Sites like datemidgets, fatcity and vegansneedluv2 may be for you.
2. Write a Unique Profile
Only the dullest men will respond to profiles, like "Single, Intelligent, and Loyal Woman Seeking Same". Men like a woman who sounds fun, exciting, devil-may-care! Sprinkle in adjectives, like "Foolhardy", "Madcap", and "Indiscreet" and get ready to meet a much more interesting character! Only run of the mill hobbies to report? Set yourself apart with distinctive interests, like "tweezing brows into perfect arch", "monitoring dog's bowel movements", or "ridiculing bad pictures on dating sites". But don't spend too time on this area because 99% of the males will go straight to the.
3. Picture Selection
Pick a self-portrait that says "elusive yet available", "playful yet pensive", "passionate yet restrained"-- or just throw in your high school yearbook picture and hope for the best. Relax! Not one man will look like his actual picture so why should you?
4. Analyzing Your Reponses
Add ten percent to a man's reported age while knocking off the same amount from his height, and deduct fifty percent from his income to form a more realistic picture of Prince Charming. For example, a 50 year old man claiming to be 6'0" and making over $100,000, is 55 if he's a day, shorter than you in heels and brings home less than $50,000 from his career in balloon animals. Check his picture for the jagged outline of a woman hastily torn from his side. Look for tell tale signs of datedness or bad taste, such as disco balls, puka shells or Members Only jackets. Mentally remove the hair from his head, because chances are it has long since left the building.
Is his writing comprehensible and written above a third grade level? Is it in ALL CAPS - AS IF YOU'RE BEING SCREAMED AT, or in all lower case without any punctuation resembling a ransom note? Always keep the following thought in mind: "if I were a serial killer, what would I say?" Beware of off-color compliments, like "I'd like to eat jello off your back" or obvious self esteem issues, like "no one ever gets back to me", or "I really don't need to be on this site."
©2001 Julie Hansen All Rights Reserved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Hansen is a freelance writer and actor living (if you can call it that) in New York City. She has recently been a willing participant in an on-line matchmaking service as part of her probation program.