Chatting with someone you get on well with is such fun, and great for confidence and self-esteem.

If you are nervous about approaching someone to chat, hopefully these tips will help.

Top tips

  • Remember that it’s normal to feel shy or nervous at first.
  • Just be yourself, then you’ll meet people who value the real you.
  • Talk about things you’re familiar with, like a sport or interest.
  • Ask them about what they like to do in their life.
  • Try to reply to their questions as soon as you can.
  • Use this time to decide whether they are worth a date.
  • Please read Safety First.

What not to do …

  1. Don’t give anyone your private phone number, home or work address.
  2. Trying to get a date with someone you’ve just started chatting with might seem pushy or desperate to them, and put them off.
  3. Text talkcan be seen as lazy for adults. You’re not in a hurry, so try to use full words and sentences, and spell-check if you’re unsure.
  4. Avoid sending messages in caps as it’s the online equivalent of SHOUTING IN SOMEONE’S FACE.
  5. Don’t go on about your bad life experiences– it’s not fun for a potential date.
  6. If you had a disappointing first date, don’t tell everyone about it. You may put your future best date off!
  7. Bragging about past relationships is usually seen as arrogant, and shows you weren’t very good at sticking to any of them. New dates want to feel special, not just another of your past conquests.
  8. Procrastinating or playing ‘hard to get’ ­is deliberately keeping people waiting for replies, and can be seen as arrogant. If it’s because you’re shy, just be honest and say something like, “I’m not being slack, I’m just new to this and need time”.
  9. If you have limited online access, tell people you’re chatting with. They will happily wait knowing you’ll be back to chat later.
  10. Finally, if someone says ‘no’ they mean ‘no’. Trying to change their mind may be seen as bullying or harrassment. Just accept their decision and move on.