OK, so we've talked about the don'ts but what are the do's to help you with internet dating?
We've said before that you'll need to make an effort to make an internet romance a success. One of the best ways of doing this is to pick up on a point in the profile of the person that you're writing to. It can be absolutely anything. Perhaps you might say that you are intrigued by where the photo was taken. Why not take a stab at guessing to show that you really did look at it in detail? Maybe you share a common interest that you can ask a few questions about and share some experiences that you've had. Just because you're trying internet dating doesn't mean that you don't have to try!
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You might try humour straight off with a question at the end of it in an attempt to elicit a response. That might work as long as you make it clear that it is humour and you happen to be on the same wavelength. We have to emphasize that humour doesn't alway translate that well once it's been typed out into a message, especially if it's a dry joke. Just think about all the different ways you use your voice to indicate humour, happiness, sadness or any other emotion you care to think of. This isn't available to you online so you might want to end your joke with 'lol' or a smiley ':-)' just to be sure that you won't be misinterpreted.
Internet romance thrives on questions (not too personal or pushy though) and common interests. Make your message as interesting as you can and write it as well as you can. Of course, not everyone is capable of writing great prose. That's fine - you don't need to be a great writer to strike up an internet relationship. Just show that you're interested and give plenty of opportunities for the other person to come back to you with some questions. Someone is far more likely to respond to a message that is easy to respond to rather than one where they've got to start from scratch. Try running your message through a spell checker before you send it, especially if you know your spelling isn't up to much. You want to give the other person a reason to respond to you and not ignore your message.
When you write your first message to someone do be positive about yourself. People usually want to spend time with people who are basically happy in themselves. No-one wants to hear of your past troubles or how unlucky you've been in love (or anything else for that matter). As time passes and the relationship grows of course you'll confide in each other about your hopes and fears and past times both good and bad. Just remember that you can't blurt all this out in your first message - it's just too much for most people to deal with to start with. Remember that this person doesn't know you from Adam so it's unlikely that they'll want to start a relationship being your emotional crutch. Consider this to be a new beginning and the 'slate' is wiped clean.