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When you’ve finally decided the bar scene is not for you, there are still ways to meet other nice black singles to date.  Increasingly popular for a number of reasons, black online dating sites can provide a good “virtual venue” to get to know someone a little before that awkward first date.

These tips for black dating sites of course apply to two black singles dating one another, but also when a black man or black woman dates someone of a different race.  In reality, black online dating tips are not so different from other ethnic groups.

Here are some things you should know before making the plunge into virtual dating:

1. Always think about safety first. Make sure that the black men or black women you are talking with online are who they say they are, and that you feel comfortable giving out your personal information.  Get to know them and find out a little about them first. Don’t divulge any personal identifying info until then, including your name, website or blog information, any email or physical addresses or telephone numbers.

2. Pick a good user name.  Most ebony dating sites will allow you to pick your user name.  Refer back to point #1 about why using your real name is a bad idea, and then be creative and think of something compelling, but not overly sexy, to use.  Being sexy is great once you get to know someone, but you don’t want to attract stalkers right off the bat. Your user name should be something that will get you noticed, but you want to be noticed the right way.

3. Should you post a picture of yourself? If your black internet dating profile has a picture, it will surely get more attention than one without.  If you are using one of the multitudes of free dating sites for black singles out there, you should keep in mind that anybody might come across it- your boss, your ex, your ex’s new girlfriend- you get the idea. Consider whether you’re comfortable enough for those possibilities before uploading that picture!  (Paid black dating websites are certainly a little more secure.)

4. You should use a random email address for replies.  You can set up an anonymous address to use for black personals and dating emails which protects your identity until you are ready to share with someone.  Gmail, yahoo, and hotmail all provide free email services.

5. Listen to what your gut tells you. If someone that’s been emailing you just strikes you the wrong way, cut them off. Listen to your instincts!  Yes, most ebony singles are normal people, but there are some nut jobs in the world, too.  If someone makes you feel uncomfortable via email- how are you going to feel in the same room with them?

6. Check out some of the top black dating sites.  Now that you have the basics covered, it’s time to check out a view of the black internet dating sites and decide which one best fits your personality.  The two largest dating sites for black people are Black Connection and BlackSingles and each has its own distinct advantages.  For instance, Black Singles allows you to sign up and search profiles for free and also has personality tests that you can take and review others’ tests.  Black Connection attempts to match you with similar black singles based on your likes and dislikes. However, this is the creme de la creme of black dating (at the time of writing) and it’s our favorite black dating site.

7. Make contact selectively. Read the afro dating site profiles and see if you have anything in common with the person on the other end. If so, make contact with them and exchange a few emails to feel the other person out.  (Or suggest a meeting right away if that is something you are comfortable with.)

8. Move from virtual to reality.  When you feel ready, take steps to move the relationship to reality. If that is with the first email, and the other person agrees to meet you- why not?  Just be aware there may be no connection at all, or the other person could be a little desperate.   Better to get to know them a little by exchanging emails on the black online dating site and talking by phone to find out more about them.  Of course, those are the two extremes, and hopefully you can meet in the middle. Establish first that there is a mutual attraction and then suggest an offline meeting.

9. Where to meet and what to do? Now that you are ready to move off the black singles dating site, how should you proceed?  Be smart about where you are meeting. Pick a neutral spot that is public and you’ll both feel comfortable- like meeting for coffee or a drink after work. Don’t suggest dinner unless you are really certain this will work out or it could be the longest dinner of your life!

10. Moving forward.  Once you move offline from the black dating website, things should proceed just like any other dating relationship.  Of course, you will still want to find out more about the other person, and spend enough time with them to see if you click.  You will make some mistakes, you will have some fun.   The key is to be yourself and let the other person get to know the real you! Here’s our favorite black dating site again.