As everyone knows, the favourite method of mating and dating for singletons the world over is to join an online dating site. But what most people don't realise is that only around 10% of dating site members actually meet a long-term partner on their chosen site and a whopping 70% don't even receive one message from another member. If you follow the 10 simple steps outlined below, you too can join the 10% who find love and romance on line.
1. Choose the right site. The boom in online dating has provided a plethora of choice for consumers but you should take a few moments to decide on the type of partner you're looking for, not to mention the town or city where you would prefer him/her to be located. There are niche sites which cater to all sectors (single parents, bikers, gay people etc) and general sites which welcome all comers just as there are city or country specific sites and sites with a global perspective. Choosing the right site for you is probably the most important decision you'll make when looking for a partner on line.
2. Choose a great username. First impressions always last and the on line identity which you give yourself is the first thing that other members will see before they check-out your profile. 'Funny' works, 'cryptic' works and you wont go far wrong even if you decide to use your own christian name; but if you go down the smutty or sexually suggestive route (which a lot of guys seem to do), you'll find that other members will give you a wide berth.
3. Upload a photo. This is crucial as a significant percentage of people only search for members who have bothered to include a pic; you want to see what other members look like so it stands to reason that other people will feel the same way about you. If the only photo you have isn't particularly flattering, you can always mention that in your profile - it's still better than no photo at all.
4. Complete your profile. There's nothing more off-putting than a profile which screams "I can't be bothered to do this properly". If you don't have time to complete all the categories when you are signing-up, then make the time to do so at the earliest opportunity.
5. Be upbeat and positive. If you're feeling a little down or lacking in confidence, now isn't the time to say so when you're writing a description of yourself. If you come across as confident, happy and full of fun, you'll get much more attention than if you come across as mono-syllabic or down in the dumps. And remember, humour is a real ice-breaker and a great aphrodisiac.
6. Widen your search criteria. If you generally go for people who have blonde hair, blue eyes and are between 5'4" and 5'6" and you narrow your search down to just these specifics, then you may be missing out on a great many other members who you'll also find just as attractive. To start with, just search by gender, age and location and that way you'll be giving yourself the widest possible choice.
7. Don't automatically dismiss people. If you receive a message from someone who's profile you like but who hasn't bothered to include a photo, you should still write back and ask them to send a pic to your regular email address. You'll find that many people are more willing to do this than post a pic for all and sundry to look at.
8. Use all the features on offer. Many sites provide a great deal more than just an internal emailing system. Some sites might include voice messaging whilst others enable members to chat and flirt in 'real time' with other members and the more you take advantage of everything that's available to you, the more chance you have of making contact with someone special.
9. Be proactive. Once you've registered and completed your profile, don't wait for others to make contact with you. When you spot someone who you think might be a good fit with yourself, write to them and introduce yourself. And don't just say 'Hi, I like your profile', tell them why you've written to them and point out the things that you believe you have in common. A long opening message will create a much better impression than a short, perfunctory one.
10. Check back with the site. Most popular dating sites have new people joining all the time so remember to log-in at least once every day to view the most recent members and you can then contact anyone you like the look of before others get the chance to do so. Also, you should remember that on most sites, the members who log-in the most appear higher up the search listings than those who don't so your profile will be easier to spot by people with whom you might be compatible.
So there you have it - successful online dating is not rocket science; it just takes a bit of thought and a bit of effort and if you adhere to the 10 rules that I have outlined above, then your personal life will soon receive the kick-start it deserves.
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Jon White is CEO of CupidNights.com - a London only dating site and the most successful geo-targeted dating site in Europe.
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