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* **Cultivate a positive self-image.** Nurture your attitude, and the rest will follow. A positive self-image is your best self and your full potential, not necessarily what the world has seen. It’s you doing your best, not perfecting a flaw you know exists. You can improve in your art, your law practice, and your profession. Dwelling on your flaws is like licking a scab. It can infect a healthier self-image and cause you to retreat from your accomplishments. Keep in mind that people can see past external changes you make—they want to see _you_. * **Smile.** Many of us wear a permanent scowl—and for good reason. A smile is a great social lubricant. The opposite of sour grapes is a sweet smile. * **Be considerate.** Taking liberties with other people’s money or possessions is not charming. If you’re not sure whether you’re stepping over a line, err on the side of being socially responsible and responsible with your time, energy, and money. * **Know what you’re getting into.** Use dating sites and apps only when you’re ready to meet people face to face, and not for the sole purpose of meeting someone new. If you are interested in participating in a multiple relationship, talk to your partner about how it fits into your dating goals. * **Be upfront with your intentions.** Maybe you don’t have a girlfriend. Or you are using dating sites or apps to fulfill an unfulfilled need. It’s your prerogative to be honest about that—because other people’s perception of you can make or break how you feel about yourself. * **Stay tuned for the honeymoon, but get a move on.** “Honeymoon” is not the best descriptor for your first few months of dating. Yes, it’s fun, and you may feel incredibly attracted to your date. But you’ll also feel nervous and intimidated—and under a lot of pressure to be a certain type of person. You’ll be on high alert and perpetually watching your manners. Look at it as a rite of passage—you’re graduating from single to dating. * **Give yourself grace.** You don’t have to be perfect in every category. It’s not a passing grade—this is a relationship. You don’t need to exhibit all of your dating bona fides, including being polite and having excellent manners. Be patient with
The Reality of Online Dating Nothing says “dating” like searching for love online. Online dating is extremely popular. According to the Pew Research Center, 10 percent of all adults in the United States, including an astonishing 42 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24, have used online dating. And a large majority of those online daters have used online dating to try to find a romantic relationship. While it may seem like a great way to find the perfect partner in a matter of minutes, the reality is that most people simply aren’t looking for love online. According to a survey, only one in 10 people who use online dating find a new partner. But online dating has become so pervasive that if you want to have any hope of finding a long-term relationship, you have to try it. Online dating is not for people looking for friendship—it’s for people who want to find a romantic relationship. (Just as a side note, online dating is also good for people who are looking for friendship. You can also use a dating app to make friends, or use the app to look for friends and/or dates if you’re in a sexless relationship. An Unbiased Look at Online Dating Apps You need to understand that the dating apps—and online dating in general—aren’t really about finding true love. They’re about finding dates. So, there’s no need to get all romantic about online dating. If you’re looking for a person to love, then you’re going to have to open your heart to someone you’ve never met, so why not take a more considered approach? Research shows that plenty of people use online dating to look for friends, companionship, and even a sexual hook-up. Don’t let the fact that online dating can help you meet and connect with people make you feel like you’re dating to find a long-term relationship. Getting Started You may be surprised by how many people don’t think they’d have any trouble meeting potential dates online, but if they did, they’d be surprised at how many people would like to meet them. The reality is that when you’re looking for a partner, there are three things that are extremely important: compatibility, chemistry, and a good communicator. Even if you can do all of those things perfectly, you still need a partner who also believes in doing all of those things. Finding a good partner is more than meeting someone who is similar to you, it’s about