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The Profile:

Imagine reading your profile to a room full of your friends and family. If you would find it humiliating to do so, then don’t post it.

This isn’t your diary so don’t get into too much detail about your tale of woe. If people want to be depressed they could simply skip online dating and go out alone for dinner and a movie. 

There are a lot of unhappy people searching for a partner online. So the first tip is to at least appear like you aren’t one of them.

Set the right tone when you describe yourself. You don't want to come across as pretentious so rambling off the resume might be a little much. Confidence sure, but nobody wants to spend too much time with someone who takes himself far too seriously.

If you’re a positive person show it — what are you hopeful for and why is your situation good?
If you like to be crotchety then let that come through, as some people are into that demeanour and would be annoyed by people who are always positive.

You’re not writing Santa, so keep the wish list for your perfect mate short and realistic. Some people watched a little too much Disney when they were young, and it shows.

Don't worry about the hundreds of people who are going to read your profile and then pass. Write it for that one person out there who might actually get you. Or for the many you are hoping to get.

Use a nice picture with lots of light on your face, as more often than not it is the picture that determines whether someone will message you.

The meet:

Spend enough time messaging online so you can get a sense of how far down the rabbit hole they are before you meet.

When I started online dating I wanted to meet the people I was messaging rather quickly, because I didn’t want to waste time messaging people who weren’t being honest about how they actually carry it. I thought, what’s the worst that can happen? I can always just walk away, right?

But I have a bit of a problem – I hate to be rude. So even when I met a person who was at least 50 lbs heavier than their profile picture suggested, I pretended like I hadn’t noticed. No big deal, right? Just have some tea and hopefully some nice conversation then, I’ll be on my way.

 Actually no – you open the door a little and some people will try to rip it from its hinges with their hungry eyes and sexual innuendo, and when that doesn’t work let loose the Hail Mary waterworks. What made this particular situation terrible was that we were in a quiet coffee shop, and she was a really loud talker. I think everyone in the coffee shop felt awkward, but none as much as I.

But the most important tip is to not take the dating sites too seriously. Some people tie far too much of their self worth to what is in their inbox. You might meet someone nice, but you also might waste precious time sitting in front of your computer waiting and hoping, when you should instead be doing something that makes you happy, right now.