Joining a dating site to interact with potential partners is a leisure activity that has exploded in popularity. On the surface, it seems such a straightforward way of connecting with like-minded individuals. The fact millions of people indulge in this pursuit every second of the day is a testament to its allure. But it would be worthwhile injecting a note of caution. To make the most of your online dating experience, there are certain guidelines to keep in mind – so here are the five basic rules of online relationships.


One of the most basic foundations of any relationship, offline or online, is trust. Without this essential component, there will always be shaky times ahead. So when it comes to seeking a partner online, never be tempted to invent aspects of your background and build these into your dating profile. An equally big no-no is selecting a profile image from several years ago because you think the younger version of you will attract more interest. Even worse, never be tempted to use Photoshop to distort the picture of you that goes public. What happens if you really click with someone online and eventually meet up? They'll be in for a surprise!


Be pragmatic about what you hope to achieve with your relationship. There is no guarantee that you'll find someone who is completely compatible. You might contact any number of promising individuals, only for the intensity of the connection to eventually fade. Many people do meet someone who becomes a passionate love interest; for a lot of other site users, the online experience equates to regular disillusionment. Be prepared to accept the rough with the smooth. As long as you're realistic about your expectations, you can remain optimistic.

Shop around

There are many websites like this out there, so you are under no obligation to sign up to one in particular and then persevere. The first thing you should consider is the type of relationship you are searching for. If you're seeking a long-term partner there's no point in looking at websites dedicated to NSA encounters - sites are catering for no-strings-attached liaisons or people looking for affairs or one-night-stands, so choose carefully. Within those sites, you should take some time deciding who to contact amongst the countless possibilities. Even after spending some time interacting with someone in particular, if you get the sense this isn't working out, cut your losses, and move on.

You are in control

A golden rule about online relationships is to be aware of the power in your hands. This is where interacting on dating sites is so different to seeking partners in any other environment. If you've previously got into conversations with prospective dates in singles bars, you can be tied down to chatting to individuals through politeness, even when you appreciate there's no real chemistry. In the online setting, you can end a connection within a flick of your fingers. You are perfectly entitled to juggle plates, getting into flirty conversations with as many different site users as you choose before deciding who you'd like to home in on.

Look to the future

Although there can be a temptation to get into the swing of browsing through personal profiles and exchanging text exchanges, it's sometimes worth taking a step back and considering the longer-term implications of your dating activities. Of course, there's no harm in living for the moment, but you'll get more out of your online matchmaking experience if you think ahead. You never know, your next connection could lead to a longlasting relationship – perhaps even marriage.

Author's Bio: 

Alex, online dating specialist. Have degree in Psychology, fields of interpersonal relationships, love, finding a partner are relative to me. I love to study people and communicate with them.