Finding a Great Guy Online: An Insider's Guide

And three success stories...

Two women who have the technique down are Beth Roberts and Karin Anderson, who recently cowrote a book called Finding Your Mate Online: No Fear, No Embarrassment, Just Love! Why did these two high-powered businesswomen write a book? Because they're both smart, attractive and successful — and they both met their husbands online. "We strongly believe that you should approach online dating as though it were a job. Don't just jump in; be organized and have a plan," says Roberts. Here are their seven top tips.

1. Just Say No

The first rule of success is to not compromise. "If you definitely want to meet a man to marry and have children, make that one of your criteria," says Roberts. And if you have a deal breaker in mind, don't compromise on that either. These aren't silly things like a hair-color preference; these are real needs that only you can identify for yourself. Now, as for the guys who don't make the cut, there will inevitably be many of them who'll contact you. And if you know you're not interested, writing out a detailed pity response to each one will just take time away from finding someone you do want to pursue. Anderson's advice: Prepare a standard reply for men who don't meet your requirements:

"Thanks for your reply. You sound like a great guy, but I don't think we're a match. Best of luck in your search!"

Simple as that. And you're on to bigger and better things…

2. Sell Yourself

Next up: your profile. "The number one mistake that everyone — not just women — makes with an online dating ad is writing about what they want instead of what they have to offer," says Roberts. It's important to give people a sense of your personality and what you bring to the table, too. Anderson adds, "Too often we find women's ads full of clichés like 'I love romantic walks on the beach' or generic statements like 'I love going to the movies.' Offer examples of what you did last weekend, which book you're in the middle of reading, and what athletic activity you do every week." Don't be afraid to get a little personal — that's why it's called a personal ad, after all.

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