When many people think of online dating, they think of all the World of Warcraft addicts and goth kids from high school getting together online trying to get dates.I actually felt the same way about it until I undertook a research project a year and a half ago that led me to join 18 different dating sites, going on a date with a girl from each one.Making an active effort, though, can establish you as one of the good folks of the online social circle, and can only be beneficial to you down the line (you never know where being a good person will help you out in the future).

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It’s simply not cool, gives online dating a bad name, and will likely get you reported and booted from the site.

Secondly, most sites allow some kind of opt-in or opt-out functionality that allows people to see who has been viewing their profile.

Would you go out on a blind date with someone from the Internet, sight unseen? So even if you want to come back to them later and put in something REALLY good (see Tip 3), fill out all of the fields, upload some of your Facebook photos and stop whining, because otherwise you’re standing in the doorway and complaining that you don’t like the house.

As with any social environment, the first thing someone notices about you is what you can display from across the room.

Typing is fairly easy for people of our generation, and it doesn’t take much extra effort to look for typos (most modern browsers will underline incorrectly-spelled words automatically, and offer to change it to the correct spelling if you right-click the word), make sure that your message makes sense and change the ‘4’s to ‘for’s, ‘2’s to ‘too’s, etc. Who in their right mind honestly believes that this porno-inspired pick-up line will work?

This isn’t l33tspeak folks, and it’s definitely not texting in high school, either (unless you’re still in high school, in which case you should be making yourself stand apart by writing in proper English, anyway! The biggest complaint that I’ve heard from women who have been members of online dating sites is that they’ll gets dozens of messages per day that will say things like ‘Damn gurl, you so fine. I can only imagine that the sender is treating online dating as a numbers game and that somewhere along the way he’ll come across someone just tasteless (or stupid) enough to fall for his ridiculous come on.

Have a friend check it out, if you’re feeling extra brave.

Ask them if it represents you well, and if not, what they think you should be emphasizing more.

In the real world, this usually amounts to how you dress, how you style your hair, how polished your shoes are, etc.