The ultimate dating dos and don'ts
DO create an engaging profile
If you're into online dating, you know there's a lot of competition. Put your best digital foot forward. "That means a fantastic photo and interesting profile that speaks to your target audience," says Paula Rosdol, an online dating coach and expert.
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-- By Kristin Wong
DON'T falsely advertise
You want to present your best self, but you definitely don't want to fib about who you are. Make sure your bio is genuine and your profile picture looks like you. Catfishing is not cool.
DO pace yourself
"One of the most common ways to get involved with the wrong person is by accelerating the pace of your relationship," Rosdol tells MSN. When it comes to dating, slow and steady usually wins. And if the relationship works out, you'll be thankful that you took time to enjoy every moment.
DON'T give up
It's easy to lose hope in the daunting world of dating. Don't forget that it takes time to find the right person. "Like pursuing and attaining any worthwhile goal, finding the right person and relationship at any age takes a certain amount of commitment and determination," Rosdol says.
Not having much luck at the bar or online? Try volunteering. Even if you don't find a date, your time will still have been well spent.
DON'T jump out of the closet and into online dating
Coming out of the closet still isn't easy. For those who have newly declared their homosexuality, rejection can be traumatizing. Clinton Power, an expert on gay dating issues, told MSN:
"[Online dating] can sometimes harm the self-esteem and self-regard of gay people in a negative way as they experience multiple rejections from people." In short, love is a battlefield, even online. Be wary.
DO network and seek support
If you're newly out of the closet, meeting like-minded people is key.
"Meeting other gay and lesbian people through sporting groups, interest groups, clubs and through friends is the most natural way to help meet potential romantic partners," Power tells us. "These social networks are critical for the good mental health of all gay and lesbian people."
DO take time to plan the date
"I don't know, what do you want to do?" sounds bad enough after years of marriage. But on a first date? Unacceptable. If you asked for the date, you should also do the planning. Put some effort into your courtship.
DON'T try too hard
Planning the date is one thing, but keep your plans limited to the near future, at least in the beginning. Dating confidence coach Adam LoDolce, creator of the film "Go Talk to Her," puts it simply: "Don't be needy."
DO split the bill
Ah, the story of the bill. Who should pay on a first date? It's been a touchy topic for a while, but splitting the bill is totally acceptable. Most people also adhere to the first date rule that "whoever does the asking does the paying."