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Online dating: what you need to know

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences revealed that 35% of recently married American couples met online. The numbers say it all: if you are single you are probably dating online and if you aren't then maybe it is time to start bookmarking dating sites! If you are a veteran online dater or just starting out here are some pointers for creating a winning online dating profile as well as our top safety tips.


Creating winning profiles
The secret to success lies in your online profile. Put aside some time to craft a profile that not only does you justice but also sets you apart from the thousands of other hopefuls out there. Successful online dating profiles are positive, fun and above all short! Don't forget that a potential match has to read through a number of profiles so keep it brief.

Your first challenge is going to be your username. First impressions really do count so think long and hard about a catchy and enticing username but make sure that it is easy to understand don't be too clever!  

When writing your profile think about what makes you special, those personality traits that your friends and family love. At the same time you need to ask yourself the question: why me? Why would a potential match want to date you and not the next person out there? What makes you unique and sets you apart from the rest?  

Everything else aside, the golden rule of writing a profile is to be honest about who and what you are. The reality is that even the smallest lies are likely to be discovered at some stage.

A picture says a thousand words
Ask a friend or even a professional to take a few pictures for your profile. Spend time on your make-up and hair but remember that while your pictures should be flattering they should also be as natural and honest as possible.  

Experts recommend that you upload more than one photo and make sure that your face is clearly visible in most of them no hiding behind sunglasses. Think about posting a headshot as well as a full body shot. And remember to smile!  

Lastly, your photos should be fairly recent. We all looked great in high school but those days have come and gone.

Safety first 
As an online dater your safety should be your first priority:

  • Make sure your username doesn't give away your name or surname
  • Always drive yourself to meeting places and meet in public places
  • Know your limits and stay sober
  • Tell a friend where you are going, with whom and when you expect to be back
  • Never share personal information in e-mails, text messages etc.
  • Never share more than your first name until the first date
  • Always create a separate e-mail account for your online dating profile/s
  • If the site requires an address use a PO Box and not your physical address/s

Fun facts: online dating statistics 

Girls Prefer
Nice Guys 38%
Bad Guys 15%
Blend of Both 34%
Any man I can get 6%
 
Guys Prefer
The modern career girl 42%
The girl next door type 34%
The hottie 24%

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