Online dating has shrugged off its initial social stigma and emerged as a mainstream means for singles to find their soul mate. If you are among the millions of people who have looked for love on the Internet, you'd know that the key to online dating success lies in an effective profile that captures attention for all the right reasons and a sincere personality.
Whether you're new to the dating game or just looking for a refresher, here are some tips from the experts on how to make online dating work for you, what's safe, and what to avoid.
1. Don't disclose too much
Use your first name only, and don't reveal any information about where you work, live, or places you go. "This is for your safety until you get to know the man well enough to trust him with personal information," says Suzanne MacGowan, author of The Ultimate Online Dating Guide.
2. Post an up-to-date photo
Upload a recent picture of yourself to increase your online dating odds. "Profiles that include photos get eight times more responses," Lisa Daily, author of How to Date Like A Grown-Up
, points out. Put your best face forward by choosing the best possible picture of you. The color red channels passion, so if you have a photo of you wearing red or standing in front of a red background, go ahead and use it as your profile picture. Avoid using group photos of you and other people, which tend to be distracting.
3. Be honest in your profile
That means being honest about your marital status, your job and and your age. "It also means posting a recent, accurate photo -- not a twelve-year-old picture of you with more hair, fewer laugh lines, and twenty fewer pounds," adds Daily. Because it's so easy to create a fictitious alter ego online, we sometimes fall into the trap of catering our profile to what we think guys like, rather than to who we actually are. But a false portrayal of yourself only hurts your own chances with finding the right man online.