Dos and don'ts for Online Flirting

Here are some do's and don'ts when it comes to online flirting, besides all the tips above for online cyberdating:

~DO watch how the conversation is going, and then just jump in. Don't be afraid to be simplistic (just saying "hello") and then wait to see what happens. You can also ask a question of a specific person or the room in general, or say something provocative. These are all the approaches you would use in a real-life encounter, except that here you have that safety to try out anything.

~DO acknowledge what the other person is saying, using their screen name as you would their real name if you were meeting in person.

~DON'T be insensitive to how others react to your flirting. As in real life, note the difference between a response to your advance that takes a step backward and one that shows interest with equal flirtatiousness. Keep in mind that the other person might be shy online. You can apply my old baseball rule to dating: three strikes and you're out. That means if someone seems withdrawn, you can try two more approaches before you decide to move on.

~DO understand that flirting online is not as easy as it appears. While you can test out various approaches, developing real skills takes time, energy, and commitment. Use the same creativity as you would in writing a personal note or when making a real-life connection.

~DON'T be ambiguous about what you want to say. Instead of beating around the bush or hiding behind confusing or contradictory messages, be clear about your goals and emotions.

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