I get email practically every day from people who are doing online dating who tell me that they do not have trouble making what seem to be good connections with people online, but who have very little success once they meet those people in person. This is an issue surrounding online dating that does not get discussed all that often, however, it is important to talk about because you want to minimize the amount of time you spend talking online to people with whom you will not connect in real life.

So here are 6 key tips to maximizing your chances of successfully transitioning from connecting with someone online to connecting with them in real life:

1. Take Action And Keep The Momentum Going: One of the biggest things I stress to people when they are dating online is to make a meeting happen with people you meet as soon as possible. Don’t write emails back and forth for two weeks. Don’t wait ten days before you will give someone your phone number. If you’re interested in someone, then you need to remember that online dating is a momentum based thing. The person in whom you are interested may be corresponding with six, seven or ten other people. You want to be the one that sticks out among the group. You want to be the person who is full of action. So immediately, the minute after you have exchanged emails twice, get a phone number, talk on the phone and set up a meeting. Set up something very simple. Go meet for a cup of coffee. Take a walk with your dog. Pick something really easy.

Online dating is dating by the numbers. So don’t go back and forth forever with someone via email or phone before you have your first meeting. You don’t want to do that. If you’re emailing back and forth with someone and enjoying it, then get on the phone with them because it is all about momentum. If you continue to just email back and forth you are going to lose the momentum.

2. Real Chemistry Happens In Person: A problem in online dating is that most of the time you are not going to have the chemistry with someone in person that you do over the phone or via email, so you always want to keep your first meeting simple. You want the meeting to happen quickly, and you want to make sure that you both drive to the place you’re meeting so you are able to leave when you want to leave. Once you decide to meet, pick a place like a coffee shop or an activity like taking a walk where you both of you can come to meet each other. Never have dinner on a first meeting.

Chemistry is all about the voice and the physical presence, so never engage in these ongoing email marathon sessions with someone before you meet them. It is likely to get you disappointed once you do finally meet up with that person. You need to realize that the faster you get together for that first meeting, the faster you are going to find out whether or not this is someone who is really worth your time. Just like with the emails, don’t spend two hours talking on the phone with someone you haven’t yet met in person. Remember that you haven’t met them, and when you speak on the phone talk only long enough to establish that you potentially have some chemistry before you set up your first meeting. Once again, it is worth it for me reiterate the point that most of the time you will not have the chemistry with someone in person that you do with them on the phone.

3. Put The Right Kind Of Photos On Your Profile: The minimum number of photos you should post with your online profile is five, and every single one of those photos must be current. Of those five pictures, three of them need to be full body shots. Your photographs on your online profile need to be such so you are clearly visible in them. Don’t post any of these ridiculous kind of photos where you are so far off in the distance you are totally unrecognizable, but the picture shows you off in the distance skydiving or something. Don’t post pictures of you from a distance surrounded by ten of your friends at a dinner table. Each of your photos need to clearly show who you are and what you’re all about. All of the photos you post also must have you in them. Don’t post photos just of your dog or of a waterfall you saw during your last trip to Hawaii. Your online profile is not a travel agent brochure. Instead, show clear pictures of you with your dog or on your vacation in Hawaii.

4. Look Within Your Area First: Another tip to increase your chances for a successful transition from online into real life is look in your own geographic area first. Don’t send winks to people who live 3,000 miles away from you. It is ridiculous. Search within your own geographic area. Try limiting your search at first to a twenty-five mile radius. Now, don’t do that for one day then declare there to be no one in your area to meet so as to give yourself permission to re-expand your search area. Instead, keep looking within that same mile radius. If you live somewhere and there’s not a lot of women there or a lot of men there, respect other people’s boundaries.

Also, don’t waste time trying to connect with someone who says they are looking to meet someone who lives within a ten mile radius of where they live when you live 500 miles away from them. Don’t waste other people’s time, just as you would not want someone wasting yours. Successfully dating online is all about being as time efficient as possible. If you do that, you are going to really be able to go out and meet more people. So respect other people’s boundary lines.

5. Remember to “Reapply”: When dating online, it is important to remember that going online to meet someone is very much like going to a giant singles bar. So just because you contacted someone a month ago (or two or three months ago) and they did not respond, does not necessarily mean they are not or would not be interested in you. There are a million reasons why they may not have responded to you the first time. They may have been dating someone else. They may have had their profile online but not have been checking it at all. They may simply have gotten a flood of emails the day you sent yours and your message got “lost in the shuffle.” So, in online dating it is perfectly okay to “reapply” if you are still interested in someone who did not respond to you.

There are a few important keys to remember when reapplying online. First, do not ever reapply with the exact same email as the one you originally sent. Type something different and something fun. Do not reference the fact that the person did not respond to you the first time. Also, only reapply once. Do not take the idea of “reapplying” as a justification to start online stalking someone.

6. Make Your Contacts Real Conversations: Online dating is about starting the conversation. A lot of people don’t understand that it’s about starting a conversation. So before you contact someone, make sure you read their profile. It’s very important to begin communication with someone you see online by addressing something substantive you liked or noticed about their profile. Remember that when that person (and ostensibly all people who put up a profile) wrote their profile, they did so to communicate certain pieces of information about themselves to you. That is, they gave you information so they could start a conversation with you.

So, imagine what someone is like when you read their profile. Read it aloud so you can actually hear their voice tone, and then take the first couple of questions that come into your mind and send them to that person. It will make for the start of a real conversation with them so you can see if they are someone you want to get to know better and to meet.

These tips will really make your online dating experience far more rewarding, far better, and will help you start to finally meet people from online that you want to get to know in the real world. It’s about being different, and not being the same as everyone else who is online looking to meet someone.