3. Tell Me No Lies
Many people fear online dating for the same reason: They're afraid people aren't honest in their profiles. The temptation to knock off a few pounds, a few years, or even to add a figure or two to your salary can be tempting. But resist the urge! "White lies or fudging, whatever you want to call it, defeats the entire purpose of online dating!" says Anderson. "You're looking for someone who thinks you are the most fabulous person in the world." So don't worry about whether you'd look better if you made a little tweak here, a little change there: If you want a lasting relationship, you'll need to find someone who loves you just the way you are.
4. It Takes a Village
Online dating doesn't have to be something you do secretly on your own. Get your friends, your coworkers or even your family involved. It's great to get input on your profile (or someone else's) from people who know you. Plus, keeping friends in the loop by checking out different profiles together makes the whole process more fun! Just don't forget to get some guys involved. "We all know great men similar to the one we'd like to meet. They are our coworkers, brothers-in-law, acquaintances, etc.," says Anderson. "Get their opinion on your ad… and follow their advice!"
5. Do the Dirty Work
Remember that part about not expecting the perfect guy to come to you? Well, now's the time to go find him. Search through thousands or even millions of profiles by making use of different filters available on the site. Whether you narrow potential dates down by age, distance from you or even specific preferences like smoker or nonsmoker and hip-hop or classic rock, be proactive and look around at who's out there. Jot down favorites you find as you go and create a list of your top 10. Some dating sites even allow you to bookmark profiles or create a list within the site itself. Then send a quick note to each guy to initiate the conversation. Be brief, be friendly and highlight a common interest if you can. For example:
Hi. I saw that you went to Vassar — I did too! What year did you graduate?
Hi, there! So, you love bulldogs? I have one (Sparky). You can see him in one of the pictures on my profile. What do you think? Is he cute enough for you?
If he hadn't come across your profile before, you know he'll check it out now.