Julia’s Internet dating tips
· Never reply to anybody who doesn’t post or send a photograph.
· Screen out men who can’t spell. Illiteracy reveals a lack of education—and perhaps intelligence.
· Red flags for screening out men include mention of drug use, direct statements about sex, derogatory comments about women or minorities and references to just-ended relationships. “If it looks like a skycap is following them around with baggage from a previous relationship, then I don’t want anything to do with them.”
· Ask for his phone number. “I found that there are some men who write wonderfully but absolutely have no personality when you talk to them on the phone. It’s very necessary that you click on the phone. I would ask to call them, and if I like the personality, I would ask to meet them.”
· Never meet an out-of-town date in his town. Ask him to come to your town.
· Make the first date in a public area, such as a restaurant, preferably where the staff knows you. If you are really nervous, you can have a friend show up, surreptitiously, sitting at the bar or elsewhere nearby.
· An even better first date is going out in a group that includes his friends. You can see how he interacts with those he knows and what kind of people he associates with.
· Romance on the first date? “Women should follow their gut feelings. If they feel good about kissing, if it feels right and there isn’t a lot of alcohol involved, kiss the man. If they don’t, they’ll have regrets, wishing they’d kissed him.”
· Wait for him to call after the first date? He should call or e-mail the next day. “If he really liked you and wants to see you again, he’s automatically going to want to do that.”
· If he doesn’t call—call him the next week. “I’d say, ‘Hey, are you dead? Are you alive? Tell me the truth.'” Maybe he does have a reason.
· Feedback from your friends? You can have your friends check him out from the very first date. Their reaction—especially if they’re good friends of yours—is valuable. “They know you better. You might not like to hear it, but you need to listen to your friends because they truly care about you.”
· When do you meet the family? At the point he talks about a long-term relationship.
· What about posting your own ad? Put a photo up. But make sure it’s recent. "A lot of guys tell me, and this is my advice, too, to women: If you’re going to put a picture up there, and it’s from even five years ago, don’t do it. Your looks change. You’re going to deceive the person you’re going to meet." And Reno is a small town. Word will get around about your dishonesty. "Don’t even think about it."