Dr. Romance writes:

I find that more of my clients are reporting meeting someone new via Social Media sites like Twitter, LInkedIn and Facebook.  They are discovering that they can find a good "match" by beginning in an arena where like-minded people already hang out.   It can be a great way to connect with people with whom you have something in common. You can maximize your success by following these tips:

Dr. Romance's tips for Meeting People on Non-Dating Sites:

1.Look for shared interests:  Find someone you who piques your interest. This may happen as you use other aspects of the site, such as the LinkedIn feature that shows you other people in your industry or related companies you "may know." A picture and bio may pop up that is interesting to you. If that doesn't happen, you can use the "search" feature to search for your town or city, a professional organization you belong to, or friends of friends. A great feature to use on LinkedIn is the question and answer forum. You can either pose a question (Would you like to discuss Dr. Romance's book -- Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences") or join in another discussion. Forums like this are a great way to observe personalities and attitudes.

2.  Research:  Once you have a candi-date, (someone you're interested in) do some research. This is not a dating site, so you need to check out the other person before making contact. Read the bio, especially the personal parts. Google him or her, to see what you can find out -- you may be surprised by how much information is out there, on a Facebook page or other venue. If they have a Facebook page, you can find out if your potential date is single, and also what his or her interests are. Look for things you have in common. If you both have pets, travel, food (restaurants, cooking), activities (bike riding, running, tennis)or you like the same authors, online games, or movies, that's a great way to begin a conversation.

3. Reach out to make contact: If you have friends or contacts in common, you can use that avenue (Ask you long-time friend Susan if she will connect you with her friend Andrea) which gives you the bonus of being recommended by someone "safe," especially if you're a man wanting to meet a woman. In order not to appear to be a stalker, don't share everything you've learned about your potential date all at once. If you can ask a question about how helpful the site you're connecting through, or something about the person's career or knowledge, or engage him or her in an exchange about a post, that's a great way to draw the person in without turning him or her off.  If your conversation is going well, you may want to send a personal message saying how much you're enjoying the dialog, and inviting a chat.

4. Meet in Person: After a few back-and-forth exchanges, if you're connecting well, and the person is in your area, you can say you'd like to meet her or him, and offer to buy coffee, or talk about a topic you have in common. Request a very easy and casual meeting, because you're more likely to get a "yes" if not too much is involved. If you happen to be going to the same conference, sporting goods store, dog park, beach or ski area, you can just offer to connect while you're there and say "Hi."

5. Nurture the Connection: Once you meet in person, and that goes well, you've begun a connection that has a good chance of becoming a relationship. Use the Tennis-Match Model (don't overwhelm the other person with too much contact -- take turns) "The Find Art of Squirrel Hunting" will show you how to take in on from here.


Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., "Dr. Romance," http://www.tinatessina.com, is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California, with 35+ years experience in counseling individuals and couples and CRO (Chief Romance Officer) for Love Filter - the Relationships Website. She's the author of 13 books in 17 languages, including Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage; Lovestyles: How to Celebrate Your Differences; and The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again. She publishes the Happiness Tips from Tina email newsletter, and the Dr. Romance Blog. She has written for and been interviewed in many national publications, and she has appeared on Oprah, Larry King Live and many other TV and radio shows.