Have you decided the time is right for you to find someone special to share your life with? In recent years, the popularity of online dating has literally exploded. There are a myriad of online dating websites designed to connect people of all ages, demographics and interests. Check out the great deals offered by Groupon coupons and the variety of interests and demographics profiled on eharmony.com. The two most fundamental pieces of advice when embarking on online dating are to be honest about yourself and your profile and to be safe. No industry is immune from scammers and that includes the online dating industry. Finally, have fun with it. No desperation allowed – that sets off a warning beacon in most people’s minds very quickly.

The first step is to set up your personal profile. Find a selection of candid photos that are very recent – preferably taken within the last year.  If you’re not honest with your photos, you can count on your first date being unsuccessful. You would not appreciate someone being deceitful on their profile. You should commit to absolute honesty. When writing the content for your profile, be as specific as possible. Avoid negatively and endless lists of characteristics you do not want in a partner.  Be positive. Expand on what you enjoy doing with your free time and the positive characteristics you’re looking for in a partner. As you begin to connect with like-minded singles, limit your texting and emails to the bare minimum and if there seems to be a mutual interest in getting to know one another better, arrange to talk on the phone. You’ll never know if you have a connection or chemistry with someone until you meet face to face. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a string of pen pals and total discouragement.

When arranging to meet, keep safety in mind. Always chose a public space and let a friend or family member know you’re meeting a stranger.  Have a positive attitude. Consider the date an opportunity to potentially meet a new friend. If it turns out to be more than that, great, but don’t set your hopes so high that you get disappointed. Presumably you’ve established that you both have a fair amount in common. The most important thing to wear to a first date is a genuine smile and quiet self-confidence. Best of luck to you on your online dating journey!