E-mails do the job of providing the initial way to connect with someone on the Internet.

Their usefulness is limited because, unfortunately, some men and women misrepresent themselves on the Internet. They may omit important details, post old photos or even post photos of other people or make false claims.

1. When you first start getting acquainted by e-mail don’t reveal specific information that could allow someone to personally identify you.

2. Move to the phone after two – five e-mails. The faster you move from communicating via e-mail to the telephone, the faster you will be able to pay attention to little clues that may alert you to a potential problem.

3. Listen for consistencies and inconsistencies in their stories, evasiveness, vagueness or ambiguity.

4. Be alert to details changing or being omitted. Telephone conversations provide lots of rich material so you can make the decision to meet him or her in person or stop the communication altogether.

5. Don’t be afraid to take your time getting to know someone.

6. Become very knowledgeable about yourself; your goals, attitudes, beliefs, values, style and temperament. Who are you? What you need, want and expect from your ideal partner?

7. Become as clear as possible about who your ideal partner is so you will be able to recognize him or her as you get to know someone better and better. Who is s/he? What attitudes, beliefs, values and desirable qualities do you require in your ideal partner?

8. Always trust your sense of the situation. If you do not feel 100% comfortable e-mailing or after you speak with someone on the telephone, DO NOT agree to meet him or her in person. Always trust yourself.

The Internet has become a tremendous resource for information, products and services. It is an amazing way to meet men and women whom, without it, you would likely never meet.

Please be a good consumer. Use common sense and good judgment. Stay alert to anything that doesn’t seem on the up-and-up, that concerns you, or that sounds or feels “funny.”

Most people are good people. Don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole barrel for you!

Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Jackie is an internationally recognized relationship expert, author and coach. Advice and coaching about personal relationships is Dr. Jackie's passion. Her goal is to inspire and support single men, single women and couples through the challenges and pitfalls of dating, loving and building lasting, committed relationships in today's fast-paced world. Dr. Jackie's Relationship Coaching Programs and Groups, her Blog and downloadable PodCasts are jam-packed with valuable dating tips and strategies.