Dating Dangers: Love's a Minefield (cont.)

Chemistry, mutual interests -- that's all great. "But don't let the love bug mesmerize you," says Paul Falzone, author of the book, Find the Right One and CEO of "The Right One" and "Together," two nationwide dating services.

Falzone tells a story of a North Carolina woman who fell "totally in love" with a Massachusetts man she met online. Six months later, they met. Eventually, he encouraged her to sell her house, pack everything into a truck, and prepare herself and her two young children for a new life. Then comes the email saying, "I can't go through with this. I'm sorry, I'm dishonest, I'm married."

"You have to be very careful," Falzone tells WebMD. "Especially when children are involved, you want to make sure you're doing the right thing." In fact, he advises hiring a private investigator when getting involved with someone new. "People are nave, they will trust anybody. Then after they're snookered, they feel so silly, so embarrassed about what happened."

His dating advice: "You can't change the spots on a leopard."

Danger: Dying of Boredom

A date isn't a therapy session; don't ramble about lost loves or your personal problems too much, Falzone says.

At the beginning, your dates don't need to know about your insecurities, your dead-end job, your failed relationships, he says. It's one thing to show depth of character, but revealing inner demons can be a turn-off. Keep the conversation lively and fun, and slowly reveal the real you.

If you look back fondly on a past relationship, the message comes across that you're not over it -- causing your new romantic interest to feel threatened, jealous, or insecure, says Falzone. Showing bitterness over a breakup can make your date wonder if you badmouth all former flames. Sure, you need to bring up past relationships at some point. But too much too soon can lead to trouble.

Danger: Getting Cynical

Sure, dating can be frustrating, even disillusioning. But don't let it get you down. If you're feeling negative, you'll scare off the good ones. Get out, meet people, and be open to new people and new experiences. You'll meet someone. After all, dating is a process of elimination -- you just haven't met the right one yet.

"I think some people are much more rigid or sure about what they want," says Schwartz. "They don't want to make the same stupid mistakes. But feeling jaded, that's a self-invented problem. There are many good people out there. If you have a 50-item list of criteria, if you're too specific about what you want, too rigid, you're going to find yourself alone forever."

Her dating advice: Look beyond the bald head and other imperfections. "Have an open, optimistic mind. You've got to have enthusiasm, imagination. I know a 50-year-old woman who thought she wanted an intellectual. But she met a cowboy and is having a great time! When people say they're cynical, jaded, they're really scared of having to change a little bit."