Just like meeting a stranger in real life, you have to stay safe when you’re online.
This is the big one, because depressing though it may be, your smiling face is the first thing on which people will judge you.
Relationship psychologist Honey Langcaster-James says: “Look straight into the camera and smile showing your teeth – this says open, friendly, healthy and confidence.” A recent study of the most popular profiles on dating sites showed 88 per cent are making eye contact with the camera in their profile picture.
Jim Talbott, director of consumer insights at Match.com, also suggests: “Keep your photos fresh, and swap out your primary photo frequently.
You look like a new user and people who might have missed you before are more likely to give you a second look.” A final thought from Honey: “Don't be tempted to airbrush your picture or present yourself looking too much better than you do in real life, and give group photos a miss to avoid confusion.” It might feel a little awkward, but dating expert Peter Spalton says it’s a great idea to ask a friend to cast a fresh eye over what you’ve written – and not just to check your spelling.
It is also possible to search using your image online, so use a photo that doesn't appear anywhere else on the internet if you value your privacy.” Denise Knowles from says a good guide is remembering that the same rules apply both on and offline.
“Let a friend know where you’ll be and when, and arrange a time to text to let them know you’re OK,” she says.
A lot of the outdated dating rules don’t apply, and sending the first message online is actively encouraged if you want to get your profile looked at. “Set aside an amount of time every day and write a handful of tailored introductory messages to new people,” he says.
“We live in a soundbite society so the first 30 words of your profile really count,” says Peter.
“Try to avoid clichés in your profile because, let’s face it, everyone wants someone who's loyal and we all like walking on the beach at sunset.