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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Atomic Bombshell's Anatomically Correct Dating Advice

This week, another amazing article sent in by a reader! This is a HOT TOPIC that we should all pay attention too! Personally, I feel that all the email/texting/IM'ing is too impersonal for dating. I guess if you are going to go that route, this is the way to go?!

-Atomic Bombshell

Internet Dating Etiquette

Internet dating & what your email address says about you!

While just a few years ago getting to know someone online via email and IM was a rare thing, today it's all the rage. But be careful about how you choose to present yourself when communicating online. According to the experts, it's not just what you say but how you say it that counts online. Plus, both the "what" and "how" say a lot about who you are - and your potential as a mate.

It all starts with your screen name (or your email address). Take a look at your user name. It reflects who you want to be. If someone's [address] is, be wary.
Research suggests that when you select your name it's okay to be clever, but avoid being cute. Easier said than done, admittedly, but just keep in mind that you want to come off like a grown up, not like someone who's already speaking in cuddly baby talk before you've gone on your first date. Likewise, you want to highlight your best attributes even when being clever. So if you're 35 and you still live at home with your parents (even if it's for a perfectly valid reason) you most likely don't want the username "onthegravytrain." Go for something that accentuates your selling points instead.

Once you've got your username picked out, you may think you're all set, but your Internet etiquette lesson has just begun. When you're first communicating with someone, you want to remember to be brief. Not so brief you're offensive. Things like, "you're sexy" or "like the tattoos" are a little too short and flippant, whereas, sharing your life story is a bit much. A paragraph or two should suffice, and pay attention to spelling and grammar.

For instance, another Internet dater reported receiving the following in response to her appropriate paragraph and a half message:

"It been pretty uneventful as of late. Nothing good or bad happening. Well Hope you had a good weekend or our enjoying one. So what is it you do for work. Are your from maryland."

Aside from the brevity of the response, the grammar and punctuation errors display disregard on the part of the respondent. Remember that if you're interested, you want to seem interested. You don't want to seem like a desperate stalker writing a lengthy missive about the minute details of your last three days that spells out "I can already envision our wedding, first home and three point five beautiful children who will have your eyes" but you certainly don't want to leave doubt as to your intention in the other direction either.

Lastly, when it comes to the cyberchat, consider your use of Internet speak and emoticons. While "lol" may be perfectly permissible multiple times when you're in an Instant Message, several uses of the "laughing out loud" abbreviation in an email suggest a lack of confidence in yourself or your statements (which can be valid as oftentimes tone is difficult to get across in an email).

As Alexandria Robbins, author of Conquering Your Quarterlife Crisis states: "If someone doesn't spell 'you' out in an email, I assume the writer is in middle school. Email is today's form of a postal letter."

Remember when writing an email that it can be saved and re-read. Don't ever write anything you'd be embarrassed about were someone other than the recipient to read it. And for goodness sake, if you're not a smiley face kind of gal, skip it and come up with a sentence. For instance, if you're joking and fearful he won't get it, add the caveat "just kidding with that by the way"... Or in this case, if you're super cyber savvy, spending a lot of time online and you're already IMing with this person, you could even say "jk, btw!" Although, someone else (who is less familiar with you or cyberchat for instance), may find it annoying...

As with anything in dating, the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. Keep in mind that while communicating via email can be easier than making that first call (especially if you're on the shy side!), what you say has just as much impact as if you were saying it face to face. Lucky for you, it can be reworked until you get it right before you hit send - just don't try to sound like someone you're not.

Do you have questions or comments about sex or dating? I want to hear all about it. Email me at