Those venturing or who have ventured into the online dating world may find useful the services of a "professional dating consultant."
Local Jim Stipe has made dating his business.
Stipe, who lives in Mayflower, says his experience in consulting or coaching goes back about 25 years, and that he was at the front of online dating in the 90s with his creation of Metroplexsingles.com, which served as a calendar and network for Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex singles.
He delved deeper in the dating business, he said, when he organized the first speed dating events in the Metroplex.
Stipe said he has been employed as director of Equally Yoked Christian Singles in Dallas, and trained at David Bishop’s Road Adventure, a marriage bootcamp.
For "about the price of five bad dates," Stipe offers his services as an image consultant.
He says he’ll show customers how to build their online profiles, provide coaching on appearance and "ad copy" while offering tips on creative dates, wardrobe, and what to do and not do on a date.
Stipe says he’s experienced with the six major dating sites and will explain how to use them while avoiding "pitfalls" and dangerous situations.
"My main thing is Internet safety, it’s the most important thing. And getting to know someone before sex is in the picture. It needs to wait 90 days for a successful relationship," Stipe said.
Some of Stipe’s tips for online dating include:
• Get a new cell phone and email address to use for dating online.
• Don’t share pictures of your children or introduce them to any man you don’t know.
• Watch for people who are online cheating on their spouses.
• Image is everything.
• If you meet for drinks, have a two drink maximum.
• Conduct research to find possible criminal records.
• If someone is paying for a dating profile online, he or she means business and is looking for something real.
Stipe’s website is Arkansassingles.org, and he may be reached by telephone at 501-LOVE-YOU.