Boy does a round-the-world-trip. Girl does a round-the-world-trip. Boy and girl meet somewhere exotic and fall in love.
That’s how it was done in the old days. Nowadays, technology has become the way to travel and meet new people.
Here are 10 Do’s and Don’ts for trying to hook up with that smokin’ guy or girl online.
1) Build a friendship
With real time conversations happening on Twitter, it’s the perfect opportunity to take the time to get to know someone.
Travelers tweet about their likes, dislikes and opinions, which is a great way to discover who they are without the annoyance of long, get-to-know-you emails.
2) Be funny
I always notice the funny guys. The ones who leave witty comments on a blog post or type a sarcastic status message on Facebook.
Flex your humorous side, because it will make you stand out. Boys think it’s cute, girls just melt.
Don’t stand by and let her comments pass you by, reply back, or get in the conversation.
Attempting interaction will help in getting to know each other and as you share information, she’ll start to think you’re the long lost son of Einstein.
Don’t be shy, if you see someone you like get in touch. Image: SpokkerJones
4) Be yourself
Maybe you’ve been traveling for a while, and have been talking to him over various forms of social media, then you decide to attend a travel meet-up in his hometown of Sydney, which sounds like a promising start.
Don’t be nervous, just remember that whatever persona you showed online is who you are, so be comfortable and flash a smile when he arrives. Sparks might fly.
5) Propose a meeting
Online relationships can become lazy and easy, especially with tools like Skype or Live Messenger.
Don’t drag it on, the worst thing you can do is delay meeting in person, cause face it, you want to have a relationship with a human being, not your computer.
Pick a sexy, foreign location to meet and love may blossom.
Sometimes a person’s online personality can be so enticing that all you want to do is check out everything they do: their Twitter feed, Facebook fan page, blog, or their travel photos on Instagram.
Prevent your fingers from flying on that keyboard, because the more you stalk, all you become is a weird, static creep.
A person she doesn’t know yet or trust. And whatever you do, don’t prod for her personal email until you establish a solid communication.
Don’t be a creep online, it’s not a good look. Image: cc_chapman
7) Write like a 5 year old
He conveyed this flirty message to me, “u r so gr8, 4 sure we shuld meet, cuz ur r pretty.” Did you catch all of that?
In writing Internet speak, it can be tempting to use shortcuts, but really, how can you date someone you can’t understand?
Don’t project a sub-par writing style. Check your grammar and spelling before pressing send. This goes for Twitter too, though it’s hard with only 140 characters to work with.
8) Be a fake
With an avatar that’s only 36 x 36 it’s far too easy to post a picture of yourself from the neck up, when you might have a few extra pounds or use Photoshop to make wrinkles and double chins vanish.
Worse still, people working or interacting online will create what’s called a ‘branding personality’, one that is far more interesting than the actual person.
If you fall into any of these categories, keep your relationships on the Internet, because whoever meets you will be sorely disappointed.
Misrepresentation is a no-no, and will end up embarrassing you.
As tempting as it is to cultivate an ultra-cool image online, try to maintain your grip on reality. Image: flashflood
9) Fight in ‘public’
Maybe you’ve been dating that hot-blooded Colombian girl for a while, but, you’ve had some disagreements, and because you live in different cities right now the only way to communicate is online.
She posted a stinging comment on Facebook. You zing her with a barb on Twitter.
Trust me, none of your followers want to see you fight with your long-distance girlfriend. Social media is for exchanging ideas and initiating cool conversations, not reading a stream about how you leave your socks all over the floor. Take your quarrels offline.
10) Be a pick-up artist
Travelers love community, which is why they readily use online platforms to not only secure accommodations, but to meet locals and explore cultural experiences.
I’ve read complaints on CouchSurfing forums, about people who are only interested in dating, rather than a cultural exchange.
You might think your online profile protects you, but once a negative reputation is established, word can circulate.
Meeting someone special is great, but using these sites for that purpose takes away from their intent. Besides, traveling should be first, finding romance is a side bonus.
Have you ever had a social media romance? What sites do you use to meet fellow travelers? Let me know in the comments.
If you liked this, you might also like: How to Deal with Long-Distance Love.
Main image: sarahmcgowen