The Most Common Mistakes with Online Dating

As if dating and mating wasn’t hard enough, technology has added a variety of new challenges to the art of hooking up. Not only do you have to master the computer crud, you have to figure out how to actually connect with another human being amidst the volume and the anonymity.

Being a successful online dater is much more than knowing what to click on a Web site. It’s about choosing the right site among thousands, mastering the variety of search tools, understanding the difference between winks and nudges, knowing the tips and tricks to get you noticed and keep you safe, spotting the fakes and scammers, and so much more.

Internet dating is a good thing, especially for singles who don’t otherwise have many opportunities to meet people. The industry has been successful, of course — and popular: while only 3% of Americans reported meeting their partners online in 2005, that figure had risen to 22% for heterosexual couples and 6% for same-sex couples by 2007-09. Digital dating is now the second most common way that couples get together, after meeting through friends. But there are certain properties of online dating that actually work against love-seekers, the researchers found, making it no more effective than traditional dating for finding a happy relationship.

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Upload 2-5 flattering, but accurate pictures. Resist the temptation to include out-of-date photos when you had 30% more hair and 20% fewer pounds. You should be smiling in at least one of your photos; unless you never smile in real life, 2-5 unsmiling photos will make you look uncharacteristically moody and sinister. Even if you’ve got a great 6-pack, don’t go shirtless in any of your photos. Another bad idea, don’t have an open shirt, plus unbuttoned pants to demo your “attitude”, six-pack or designer underpants. Even if you look great in that photo with your ex, don’t post a cut-out of yourself with a phantom manicured hand on your shoulder. It is very worthwhile to have a good photographer friend or a professional take some nice shots of you.