A friend asked me to write this column. She wanted people to know how to successfully date and meet someone online. There are so many sites out there and you need to have some guidelines. I know each site gives their own rules but here are the Norrell rules for online courting.

This first rule is for men and women. Please read what this person is looking for in a potential partner. If the person seeking a partner is 5’8 and they want to date someone at least 5’10, and if you are 5’4” do not respond.


If the person would like to meet someone in their age range and you are 15 years younger, do not respond. Men and women should post an acceptable picture. Most sites will approve the picture.

Men, please no pictures of you and other women and no pictures without your shirt on in the living room, if you are on the beach, a no shirt picture is acceptable.

Note to men seeking women, please no pictures of you and another man or multiple men. I’m told this can be confusing, and please add a picture if one is requested by the site.

Why post an ad without a picture with a note saying “ask me for my picture.” That is like seeing a man in a club with a bag over his head; you have to ask him to remove the bag to see what’s up. Make sure the picture is current. No old prom pictures and no pictures next to cars that do not belong to you.

If you enter into a chat with someone online don’t immediately ask each other about body parts. This can be very offensive and will scare someone away.

Ladies and gentlemen when it comes to the part where it asks for your income, leave it blank, especially if your income is under $20,000. Someone who doesn’t know you does not need to know how much you make. You could have someone looking for a sugar-daddy or sugar-momma.

If you do make it to the meet in person stage, take it slow. Meet in a public place that is well lit, do not wait in the parking lot. Keep the conversation light. For this first meeting dessert and coffee may be best.

Ladies let someone know where you are going and who you plan to meet. Guys this isn’t a bad idea for you either, tell one of your boys where you are headed, that lady that looked so good in the picture may be a stalker or koo-koo krazy.

Be open to the dating sites, this is the new way that busy people meet each other. I’ve heard some great success stories about long term relationships where the parties have met over the Internet.

Investigate the site as much as you can before you sign up. Read the fine print; look at the terms of membership. Don’t use your debit card to sign up, use a credit card and make sure you mark your calendar for the expiration date of the membership. These dating sites are notorious for renewing your membership automatically.

Take your time, you may not meet someone on your first go round but you could very likely meet the love of your life.

(Email the columnist at debbienorrell@aol.com.)

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