It was a crapshoot with lousy odds, considering the amount of time, energy, and effort expended compared with the number of people with whom you came into contact. There are now dating sites for Christians, Catholics, Jews, seniors, single parents, even the "casual" dater, and certainly more to come.

the rules and internet dating-55

These rules came from mistakes made and lessons learned. Now, I didn't just make up these rules: they came from mistakes made and lessons learned. No matter how great he sounds, insist on meeting in public for your initial meeting, and even your second or third meeting.

I have met my share of men that I initially met online, and I have developed a few rules that I follow when it comes to meeting in person. This is number one since I cannot stress it enough.

Pick a place you are familiar with in a well-traveled neighborhood or place, like a mall, so if there is a problem, there are a lot of people around and you can get home safely. Again, if a problem arises, you can get yourself out of there safely in your own car.

You can always ask a friend to come with you and sit at another table, if you don't feel safe going alone. If you don't drive, create an alternate plan before you meet—bringing cab fare or arranging a ride. I like to talk to a guy at least 4 times before we plan to meet for the first time. Talking to someone on the phone is a whole lot different than emailing, texting or IMing someone. Meeting someone in person that you initially met online can be nerve-wracking, and agreeing on something casual is a great way to take some of the pressure off.

The last place you want to be is in the car of someone you don't know. It's kind of like 'proof' that they are a real person, and not someone with a fake online profile; it's a red flag if someone who says they want to meet you won't give you their phone number or says that they can't be reached by phone. I usually suggest coffee — it's public, cheap (OK, its cheaper than dinner...), and there's little stress or expectations — it's just coffee, right?!

Emailing, texting and IMing are still important tools, though, since communicating in various ways is key to developing a new relationship. Tell someone where you are going and who you are going with; you might also want to give them his/her phone number too. If you don't have someone you can trust with this information, at least send yourself an email with this information — worst case scenario, you know. I also like meeting during the day, since it's safer. This is just the two of you meeting for the first time.Oh, and never meet at a bar or club for your initial meeting; its too loud to talk and there are so many other risks that you don't want to take going that route. I know it might have all the signs of a date, but it's not.Not everyone is married, nor does everyone want to be.But many people would like to be, or at least they'd like to be in a long-term committed relationship.So how do you go about finding that someone special?It used to be that you went to singles events or bars, or you might have been paired up by family, friends, or coworkers.