Online dating advice for people looking for love

My best online dating advice is, if you’re serious about finding someone you can be serious about, you have to treat the task seriously! Put another way, this is internet dating advice for grown ups. People who are savvy enough to know what what they want. This doesn't mean you can't have fun along the way-:)

Clearly people who are looking for casual relationships approach things rather differently. You know the type. A one word profile or no profile at all. Just a phone number. I am assuming since you hoping to find someone you can be serious about, you’ll put some serious effort into the task.

Don't worry, my online dating advice doesn't skip the fun factor. Just because you have to devote some time and energy to the task, doesn't mean you shouldn’t have fun.

Finding love on the internet takes time. There is no getting round this. If you think it’s just a matter of filling out a few profiles any which way and waiting, you’re surely going to be disappointed!

The very best pieces of internet dating advice I can give you relate to your frame of mind, how you should approach the task, and the need to be honest at all times. Specific internet dating tips can wait for another day. You’re not ready yet!

The search for love is a project

My next free online dating advice is this. Treat your search like a project. The parallel with job hunting is a good one.

There is quite a bit of work to do even before you go online. You need to be clear about what you’re looking for. This doesn’t have to be just one thing. In fact, in many ways it's better to be open to all options. That puts you (and your dates) under much less pressure.

How you can present yourself to your best advantage is a huge subject in its own right.

Most internet dating sites give you limited access just for signing up. It’s as well to spend time browsing profiles to get a feel for what’s expected, what you feel might work for you, and complete No Nos.

Be warned, some of the sign up pages for internet dating sites are extremely long. Spend some time getting a feel for which are the best internet dating sites. If you only want to date locally focus on finding local internet dating sites. If you want to meet an Italian, find those sites.

Be organised

And while I remember here is a related piece of online dating advice. Your user names and passwords are likely to be different on different sites. Yes more work and you need to keep track of everything. Where possible, when joining sites select the option whereby the site will email you when you get a reply to your ad. This saves a whole lot of time. You should also set up a dedicated email for internet dating before visiting any sites.

No internet dating on the rebound

What’s your frame of mind like? This is important. Don’t waste other people’s time or hurt them or hurt yourself.

A friend of mine in her fifties has recently started internet dating for the first time. Her husband left her for a younger woman and she had no prior warning.

Now Pat is going on lots of first dates. Lots of them. It’s almost turned into a hobby. That is fine if it’s all you want. But make sure, in this case your profile states you're just looking for fun.

Back to my friend Pat. Right now Pat is probably more concerned about getting back at her husband. Trouble is, the men she is meeting are trying to find true love. This is not a recipe for happiness.

So please ask yourself the question. Are you ready for love?

If you're on the rebound be careful where you tread. No one wants to date someone who’s head is filled with an ex, even if you think you can keep it to yourself. You can't. Getting over someone else probably means a different kind of dating.

Much is made of the word “baggage”. This is unhelpful. Unless you are in your early twenties, I hope you have lived a full life. Previous experiences and family are only a negative if you do not wear them well.

Just for guys, just for girls

Here is some separate internet dating advice for men and women. Ladies, when you go online you have, have to be proactive.

Men do about 80% of the approaching in the online dating world. You'll stand a much better chance of being successful if you do the running.

And for men. Men online can be too direct. Women usually want to know you're prepared to put in some effort and that you're really interested in them.

Men are every good at sending the same email to multiple women. Men who are successful at online dating know that women like to feel special.

So my online dating advice for men is: guys, make the effort to convey the women you contact are special. And don't suggest you meet too soon.

Be honest about the big stuff

My next piece of online dating advice is really, really important. Are you ready? At all times be honest.

I make two observations. First, it is in no one’s best interest for you to misdescribe yourself.

A good parallel is the information provided for a CV. Of course, you may want to be seen in the best possible light, but few of us would really lie. Right?

I have heard countless stories from friends of people completely misdescribing themselves. The photograph is some else (really) or is twenty years out of date or the non smoker has a twenty a day habit. Don’t do it.

Sure, you want an “edge” to get your foot in the door i.e. a first date. But any wise person may wonder if you lie about these basic things what else do you lie about? Be warned.

Trust your instincts at all times

And finally, to everyone, my last piece of online dating advice. Always, always trust your intuition - because it works. Internet dating is not the place to give someone the benefit of doubt. If you don't like someone's "first contact" email, it's OK not to respond. Even if you can't quite put your finger on why, that's OK. Also, after you've met someone, if you don't have the right feeling about someone after you've met them, drop them. Kindly.

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