There are a lot of different online dating services out there and they aren't all the same. Some are pretty fast-paced like the swipe-happy Tinder , others give women the control over who they speak with Bumble , there are even sites like TrekkieDating which - you guessed it - are aimed solely at Star Trek fanatics. It's good to shop around then: First impressions are important, especially if someone is glancing at your picture, ready to swipe right and move on.
So, having a good first photo is really crucial. And if you're feeling happy, show it. It's a good idea to back up your main pic with a couple more options. Andy explains what works best: What you write in your bio is key to letting people know who you are and what you're all about. It can be the springboard for those crucial opening gambits in conversations too.
Spend some time writing about the things you love and what sums you up.
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Three paragraphs that roughly outline what you enjoy doing, what stimulates you, maybe a little bit about where you come from. If you're funny, be funny, and trust that the people who don't find you amusing wouldn't have laughed in real life either. But don't try and stuff your bio with jokes if that's not you. Don't be afraid of rose-tinting things a smidge either. Don't misrepresent your height, for example, as it will only cause a lot of awkwardness when you finally meet in the flesh.
Andy has a few key pointers: Ask a non-invasive, open question. Nothing cut and pasted. Your first message is your elevator pitch.
You have to put a bit of thought into it. It's not a good idea to spend hours a day on dating apps - and not just because you'll be neglecting other aspects of your life. Online dating can offer hope, but it can also be a source of hurt.
You must enter the world of online dating with the possibility of disappointment in mind, the experts say. Plan to meet up. Exchange phone numbers, FaceTime, or meet in person.
Make sure you are wary of getting involved in an online relationship that is headed nowhere. This is a recipe for disaster.
Think of each date as a chance to meet someone new and possibly learn something new. If you hit it off, you can do it again. Nothing too deep or too long. Imagine you're talking to someone you've just met in a bar: Research shows they age your face by seven years. Anything over 12 months old needs updating. The biggest reason first dates don't lead to second dates is "unmet expectations". It suggests you're not ready for a new relationship. Instead, send out a request for company. Just upload a brief profile and several nice photos, and get started.
You can always tweak things later.
In fact, regularly updating your profile keeps you active on the site and leads to more matches, so see your profile as a work in progress. Inside the world's biggest dating site. Join this Valentine's Day for free.
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Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Thursday 17 January The secret to successful online dating As a study reveals a playful screen name could be the key to getting an online date, we round up some essential dos and don'ts for finding love on the web. Look at the camera Include a photo of you engaged in an interesting activity Like playing an instrument, a sport, or in an unusual location.