Dating profile: faking it won’t make it

A good profile in itself is not enough to make your online dating experience successful. The truth is, with the right advice and support it’s not very difficult at all to come up with a profile that portrays you as someone most men or women would want to date. But if all those things you take out of the profile were originally put there because of your state of mind, baggage, fears or bitterness, then the thin screen provided by the profile won’t be enough to carry you through the whole dating process.

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5 alternative ways of using the Net to meet people

Online dating sites are certainly the most direct way of meeting other singles online, but as much as online dating professionals hate to admit it, they are not for everyone. If you’ve given online dating a good try and have decided it’s not for you after all, then it’s time for a bit of lateral thinking. You can still use the Net to meet new people, for both friendship and romance. It may not be as direct as going on a dating site, but for many people, that is actually somewhat of an advantage.

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Thinking man

5 Online Dating Profile Cliches To Avoid In Yours

Writing an online dating profile is not easy. Maybe that’s why many people end up relying on cliches in theirs. As an online dating consultant, I’ve seen my share of profiles (thousands) and there are definite trends when it comes to writing them. In fact, the majority of profiles I come across read more or less the same. When I provide dating profile writing services I try to get people out of the trap of stating the obvious in their profile, but if you’re looking for dating profile examples to help you write yours, here are five dating profile cliches you’ll want to avoid.

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Five things online dating won’t do for you

I recently read one of those annoying articles about online dating and what a great disappointment it is.
I often wonder what people expect from online dating to be so unpleasantly surprised by the reality of it.
In my experience, such disappointment is often a product of unreasonable expectations. Yes, some sites are better than others and some people are more easily suited to online dating than others, but ultimately, if you expect online dating to solve all your problems, you will most likely be disappointed.

Here are some things you shouldn’t expect online dating to do for you:

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Online Dating Profile: keep it friendly

For most people, the online dating profile is a work in progress. It changes as they use the site(s) they’re on and it adapts as they get responses and learn more about the type of people who contact them.

Sometimes this is a good thing, but all too often I see people, obviously fed up of getting the wrong type of responses (or being in the wrong type of relationships), who decide to address the issue in their profile… with terrible consequences.

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Choosing a photo for your online dating profile

If you’re here then you probably already know that uploading a picture to your online dating profile is a must. Most people won’t even bother looking at your profile without one and many will make snap judgements about you based on the photo you upload.
Unless you’re comfortable and natural in front of a camera and already know your best side, this will have undoubtedly caused you some concern by now. In general, women tend to overdo it, whereas men are notoriously bad at picking unflattering photos. There are, of course exceptions…

Here are some tips for helping you choose the right photo:

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To lie or not to lie

It’s no secret that many people are put off by online dating because they think so many people on there lie about stuff like marriage/relationship status. While Internet dating players are not any more or less common than their offline counterparts (and then to appear more often than not in the lives of those online daters who turn to attract bad apples wherever they go), it’s true that it lends itself to milder cases of people bending the truth.

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How to increase your online dating chances and save money

Here’s a handy tip if you want to increase your chances of finding someone to love (or date) online.

You probably already know that it’s worth trying out a few sites before deciding which one to sign up and pay for.
But once you’ve chosen one or two you think are definitely worth your time and money, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add your profile to some other sites as well. It’s a more effective way to date online and the closest thing you can get to being in more than one place at the same time.

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There’s no room for wall flowers in online dating

Real life dating is not always fun. Depending on the sort of person you are and your state of mind, it can be frustrating, depressing and confusing. Sure, it can also be fun and exciting, but many people shy away from having to go out there, meet new people and kiss many frogs.

Such people might turn to online dating as an alternative, hoping to be able to just sit back and find “the one” without any conscious effort on their part. Bzzzzt WRONG! A bit harsh, I know, but the truth must be told.

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Compare the biggest online dating sites in the UK

If you’re in the UK and are looking for a big, reputable dating site to try, there are a few much publicised options. Everyone’s heard of because of the TV adverts and it’s definitely a very well-designed, easy to use site. But is it the best site for you? How does it compare to other similar UK sites?

Below is a quick table I knocked up, showing how the top rated sites in the UK* compare on the feature front. They are all extremely popular sites with hundreds of thousands (or millions) of members.

Depending on the features you want in a site, some sites might be more suitable for you than others. Just remember that the most important thing is the people on the site and not just the features!

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How to tell if he / she is married?

Fact: a significant number of people who use online dating are already married or otherwise attached.

MSNBC claimed recently that up to a third of those dating online in the US are married already. I don’t have the figures in the UK, but I would assume they’re not far off.

As much as I disagree with this form of premeditated cheating (to clarify: I see all forms of cheating as inadvisable, but it’s one thing to be swept away by someone you met at random and a totally different one to go actively looking), I do approve of cheater sites and sites that let you display the “married/in a relationship” option. Why? Because this way less people get lied to and less people get hurt. There are people out there who don’t mind seeing married people, so let them dig their own grave.

Unfortunately, some people don’t bother telling you, so you have to figure it out yourself.

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The problem with online dating site reviews

When you’re trying to decide whether or not to sign up to a particular dating site, the natural thing to do is to scout the Internet for reviews. After all, you don’t want to spend money on a site that might turn out to be a waste of time. Unfortunately, it’s very hard to accurately review dating sites.

Some things, are easy and obvious. If a site has hardly any people dating on it, for example, it would be easy for any reviewer to pick up on it and warn potential members. Listing a site’s ethos, list of features, design and ease of use are also easy to discuss, as well as any entry requirements for members. It’s also often possible to discuss whether a site is particularly full of scammers and spammers. Beyond that, though, is where it gets a bit more difficult.

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Online dating profile help

Struggling to come up with the right stuff to put in your personal description? Need someone to help you pick a good profile picture? I am now offering personal online dating help by email. This is your chance to get your profile checked out by someone who’s seen thousands and thousands of dating profiles and […]

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What dating sites don’t tell you #1

OK, there’s actually a lot of stuff that dating sites won’t tell you, hence I marked this post as #1 of many. But rather than talk about the shadier side of things, I want to talk about something totally different, that is actually quite positive in its own way.

Dating sites always advertise themselves as the way to find the right person for you and encourage you to keep dating on the site and meeting new people. But in reality, many people who date on dating sites end up finding someone in completely different ways, once they’ve been dating online for a while. In many cases, it is the online dating experience that made this possible, albeit indirectly.

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Dating site wishlist – your personal checklist

Christmas is a time for making lists, so I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk about the makings of a good dating sites. Whenever I review a dating site, I look for particular features to determine how good it is. When you evaluate a site in terms of whether it’s a good place to go and spend your money (and/or your time) it’s good to have an understanding of what you can expect from a good site so you can make a more informed decision.

Here’s a checklist of things you should look out for. Good dating sites will offer you all these and more.

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Online dating and the credit crunch

The current financial crisis has done nothing to deter people from searching for love, but if you want to use online dating during these hard times, you’ll want to make sure you’re doing it within your budget. It’s not as hard as you might think to save money while dating online, all it takes is a bit of planning and a bit of a changed mindset.

Here are some handy tips to help you save money while looking for Mr or Mrs right (or right now) on the Internet.

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The best online dating site

One question I keep getting asked is “what is the best dating site?” The short answer is, of course: there is no such thing.

Where is the best place to meet the love of your life? Ask any person who’s happily married and they’ll tell you the place where they met their husband/wife. This could be a particular club, the supermarket, the chess club, a resort in Ibiza, or practically anywhere else in the world. If you went to the same place as person X, would you meet the love of your life too? Who knows? There is absolutely no guarantee.

All we have going for us are statistics: increasing our chances of success. Sure, you may well meet the love of your life on the bus or on the beach, but you are far more likely to meet him/her somewhere a bit less random. While miracles obviously do happen, you can’t live your whole life sitting at home, passively waiting for one to happen for you.

So the first step is to put yourself out there, go out, date online, etc. Doing this increases your chances already, so how do you increase them further?

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Is online dating killing romance? Going beyond dating sites

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been in and out of London, enjoying the Great British Festival scene. As a result, I’ve had a chance to speak to a lot of new people from all over the country about “the whole online dating thing”.

I had a number of very interesting conversations with people who all raised the same problem they have with online dating. They all felt that dating sites made the whole process of introduction seem too much like a job application, making it unromantic. They all preferred the old method of going out there and running into people by chance, trusting their heart (or “fate”) to make the right decision for them.

I know online dating professionals often like to talk about how superior the online method is to traditional dating exactly because of the fact that it’s focused and involves making decisions with your head first and then the heart, but personally I feel that this is a matter of personal preference. Some people are always going to be ruled by their heads, while some are more intuitive by nature. Throughout the centuries, people have found love using both of these methods, so I don’t care to fault either one.

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Writing a good personal description

If you are not used to writing about yourself (which, let’s face it, most people aren’t), the thought of writing a personal description can be pretty scary.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that there is no need to be a professional or even a particularly skilled writer to come up with a personal description that would make people want to get to know you.

After all, you want your profile to be a good representation of who you are, not a novel or an epic poem.

Some of the best profiles I’ve seen in the line of my work were written by people who were obviously not professional writers but had simply sat down and written from the heart.

Rather than think too hard and try to be overly clever, there are a few simple things you can do that can make your personality show through.

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Online Dating Tips: Beware of feature madness

There is a huge difference between dating sites in terms of the features they offer. Some are pretty basic, while others offer a whole array of impressive-sounding features like video-chat, automatic matching, gift-giving, etc.

The important thing to remember when choosing a site, is that the most important thing the site could ever offer you is the person you will fall in love with. The people dating on the site are the most important feature and should come above all else.

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Online dating tip: Are you still wasting your time with ice breakers?

Most online dating sites offer some feature or other meant to make contacting people “easier”. The generic term for these is icebreakers and they are known on individual sites as winks, pokes, kisses, flirts, etc. These features are generally free to use, making them the preferred method of communication by people who have not yet decided whether they want to subscribe to a site. They are also favoured by people who want to contact as many people as possible without putting any actual effort into it.

Is it worth it? You can probably guess from the title of this page that I think they are pretty much a waste of time.

Here’s why:

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How soon should you meet up?

Different people have different ideas of how soon people should meet up after becoming acquainted via online dating.
As a general rule, it’s women who usually tend to be a bit more cautious (for obvious reasons) but you may well find some men who prefer to take their time, as well as women who like to move faster.
Some dating sites are more likely to appeal to those who want to take their time (such as those sites that cater to those seeking serious relationships) while others will have a larger concentration of fast paced daters. So how do you decide on the bes time?

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Male and female communication styles

I was browsing the Sky news site today and came across an article discussing the difference between the way men and women communicate online. the article itself specifically deals with the way men within a business environment often take women less seriously because of their overly personalised, often embellished emails.

Women commonly use flowery speech and create personal e-mails; men tend to be precise and to the point,” says Marilyn Davidson, professor of work psychology at Manchester Business School, who co-wrote Gender and Communication at Work.

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