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But once you’re at your first dinner date, you’re on your own.

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Some practiced daters have a standard letter they send to every single person they find even mildly attractive.

Someone who truly wants to get to know you will take the time to write a personalized message responding to specific items in your profile, not send a generic cut-and-paste letter saying, “Hey girl, I saw your profile and was intrigued …” Think about the hundreds of other people who’ve gotten the same letter, and decide whether you’re willing to accept only the barest minimum of effort.

Maggie from New York City specified in her profile that she wanted to meet someone between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five who lived in Manhattan, so receiving emails from sixty-five-year-old men who lived a hundred miles away was not amusing.

Someone who blatantly disregards what you’ve stated you’re looking for is simply wasting your time.

A person who constantly makes plans and then cancels them, or who can talk on the phone only at certain times of the day, either has an incredibly demanding job or is not quite as single as she claims.

It’s sad, but many married people troll dating sites, either looking for some action on the side or just seeking validation.

Dating is a negotiation, and we don’t always get everything we want.