Dating is complicated enough on its own; when you add in the confusion of online dating sites, it can be just plain intimidating. There is a technique to navigating the virtual playing field.
If employers can use the internet to check out potential employees then you can do the same.
On a semi related note, make sure that the photos you have seen are genuine.
Meeting someone online is probably the safest method of dating.
I say this because you have the option to check out everything about them before that first date, which is something you can’t do if you meet someone in a bar or club.
This is the big one, because depressing though it may be, your smiling face is the first thing on which people will judge you.
Relationship psychologist Honey Langcaster-James says: “Look straight into the camera and smile showing your teeth – this says open, friendly, healthy and confidence.” A recent study of the most popular profiles on dating sites showed 88 per cent are making eye contact with the camera in their profile picture.
Expressing an interest in particular hobbies appeals to prospective dates, too.
"Men prefer physical fitness in women gained via yoga, aerobics and gym, not via rugby and bodybuilding," explains Prof Khan, "while women prefer bravery, courage and a willingness to take risks rather than kindness and altruism in their partners." Another recent study showed that words such as "skiing", "yoga" and "the ocean" help men get dates; "sweet", "running" and "dance" help women get dates online. Liking Radiohead, Homeland, Pulp Fiction and The Great Gatsby are effective date words, and mentioning cats is fine, as long as you don't say "my cats".
Just like meeting a stranger in real life, you have to stay safe when you’re online.