Just a 10 years ago online dating was considered strange and even dangerous by many. Today finding love online is becoming more and more popular. How should you approach online dating to maximize your success? Read on...

Things You Will Need

A computer and access to the internet

Step 1

Determine if you are mentally ready for a romantic relationship. If you just went through an ugly break up you might want to wait a little while. If you are looking for someone to take care of you emotionally or financially forget that idea and get your act together. Be fair to potential mates by being mentally prepared and available yourself first.

Step 2

There are thousands of dating sites out there. Some are very generalist, some locally focused, others targeted to specific niche markets. Most people are happiest with a mate that fits their lifestyle and belief system. If you are vegetarian, dedicated to a specific religious belief, or can otherwise classify yourself consider a niche dating site where other members will have something important in common with you. A common belief is a great start to a potential relationship.

Step 3

Make a good impression with a well written, error free, and compelling profile. For ideas, read through other profiles of both sexes carefully and make notes of what attracts you to various profiles. Then carefully draft an honest compelling profile that will get noticed (in a good way). If you need more tips, go looking for online guides on writing singles profiles.

Step 4

Consider having a friend take some good digital shots specifically for your dating profile and for sharing with new contacts by email. Create and use photos that are recent, clear and honestly portray you. If you gained 30 lbs or lost all your hair don't lie by using old photos. Ideally portray yourself in a place or doing something that is very you. Examples: a teacher might be in front of a blackboard, a painter in front of his work, an outdoor enthusiast at the top of a mountain, or a traveler at the airport. Be creative and make your photos stand out.

Step 5

Look carefully through profiles of people that fit your search criteria. Remember there is no "perfect" person and you are not perfect either. Just look for people that share common interests and attitudes that make sense to you.

Be open minded since the love of your life may not be the first person you might gravitate to at first based only on a profile.

Step 6

Based on a careful read of a profile, write up a personalized email introducing yourself. DO NOT send generic emails or two liners as these are very disrespectful and just burn your chance to connect with a potentially awesome person. (It's OK to have some standard sections about yourself in your email though).

All emails should be friendly and interesting. Ask a couple easy questions to jump start the conversation and encourage the other person to write back. Proof read for any spelling or grammar errors - you don't want to look sloppy or stupid.

Quality contacts are critical but making contacts is also a numbers game. Contacts might be busy dating someone else, not attracted to you for some reason, or scared to write back. Set a goal to make a set number of contacts each week to assure success.

Step 7

Once you get an email exchange going, promptly respond to messages and focus on getting to know the other person. When it seems natural, add phone calls and ultimately in person meetings. When you find the right match, you will both know it - and you will be off the market and in love.
Finding the right mate can take time but approuching the task as an adventure that will be fun, while also being systematic with your efforts should yield good results.

Tips & Warnings