There is no question about it: the world of online dating can be at once exhilarating and frightening, and both for good reasons. It can be thrilling to think your “other half” is somewhere out there in that big world, just waiting to connect with you through the Internet. On the other hand, it is also well-known that many frauds and heartbreaks are unearthed there as well. So how does one navigate possible dangers in order to benefit fully from a potentially real heart relationship?

Be yourself. This is vitally important. It is natural to want to put your best foot forward, and that image is actually quite easy to maintain online. Dating profiles are designed to enhance your best qualities in order to catch someone’s eye, but don’t let it compromise who you truly are. If you want someone who is real, if you want to be loved and valued for who you truly are, don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Sincerity is priceless.

Be aware. In the vague world of online relationships, it is easy to be duped by a profile’s panache. Information is presented in even a subconsciously biased manner. Read between the lines of an interest’s profile and try to detect character notes from the writing. For example, which is more believable, for someone to say he is funny, or for him to reveal a sense of humor in his writing style?

Be realistic. While it may be easy to over-inflate the personal sense of expectation in internet dating, as though you are hunting for the best deal, you need to be wary of looking for perfection. People are people the world over. Pictures may be great, profiles may sound good, but know that everyone with whom you will come into contact is just human, with bad hair days and occasional breakouts just like people you meet in the local supermarket. Don’t pass up on a potentially good relationship simply because you would prefer physical and personality perfection. People are more than their looks. If you don’t believe it, look in the mirror.

Be patient. Sometimes a heart connection happens immediately, and you just know that this is it. Other times, it takes time and perseverance. Don’t be discouraged. We pursue what we value, and experience has proven that a good relationship is more than worth its weight in gold.


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