Category Archives: internet dating advice


4 tips to beat your Dating Demons

Dating Demons and how you can overcome them.

Lets start with Stigma – Ever feared the stigma of family, friends or work colleagues seeing your single profile out there online? Here you are in a good job, independent, successful yet single? Well here’s the upside. Facts are over 50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 73% of third marriages fail, let alone break ups from those not married, so rest assured there are plenty of others in the same boat as this means that there are more singles than ever and the internet is definitely where it is at. So get out there and do it, be discreet if needed, but remember the longer you wait the longer it takes.
Next, worried you are out of touch or too old? Well don’t be! Guess what the fastest growing and most vibrant age group is? Yep the mature market! And better still the dating process can bring out your best, most creative and competitive side and inspire you to look and be your best.
Now maybe you are recovering from a break up and don’t feel up to it? So while it is recommended you go through an appropriate grieving period, especially if you were in a very long relationship, getting back out there is also a vital step in moving on and getting out and about and having new places to go and talk about are also equally important steps. So just see it as all part of the journey.
Lastly have you lost your confidence from being rejected or being single for too long? Then maybe it’s just the right time to have a re think give yourself a dating makeover and a fresh start. Why not start here with our free mini bootcamp, dating advice and profile help.

Alternatively, if you are too busy with work and other things you can pay us to manage the process for you, anything from a profile makeover all the way to helping you choose your date. Just send your details below and we will contact you immediately.

So shake those demons and have some fun!

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You Have Just 12 Minutes to Impress Your Date!


Research just released by AXA shows that you have just 12 minutes to impress on a date.

What is the most important factor?  Your smile according to 64% of the respondents, closely followed by whether you make eye contact (58%).

From this survey of 2,000 people about first dates, here are top 5 ‘don’ts’ for first dates:

  1. Body Odour
  2. Bad Breath
  3. Swearing
  4. Scruffy Clothes
  5. Not Smiling

First impressions count, and you have about 12 minutes to create a good one!  Pay some attention to smiling, eye contact, tone of voice, hygiene and grooming and you’ll have all the key factors under control.





Dating Tip of the Day: The Number One First Date Turn-off



Its not your outfit, your shoes, your perfume.  The number one first date turn-off?  Your obsession with your mobile phone.

Whether you are trying to sneak a peek at Facebook between dessert and coffee, glancing at texts from your friends or even just leaving it sitting between the two of you on the table, you are doing your date a disservice by not giving them your full attention.

As first impressions go, its going to leave them with the sense that you felt that whatever was going on on the smartphone screen presented a better option than they did.

Do your date justice.  Leave your phone in in your bag or in your pocket.  You won’t miss anything and you might just gain a whole lot more.

Need more first date tips?  Click here!


Dating Tip of the Day – Be Authentic


Whether you are crafting your online dating profile, or representing yourself on a first date, let go of what you think someone else wants you to be and put the real ‘you’ on display.

Skip the articles about what men and women are looking for in a partner and avoid  the throwaway adjectives like ‘honest’, ‘down-to-earth’, ‘fun-loving’, ‘carefree’.  What makes you a great catch?  What activities do you enjoy?  Why do you enjoy them? Identify what makes you passionate about parts of your life and convey that about yourself.

You will naturally come across more relaxed and comfortable with yourself if you speak with a genuine passion about what means the most to you in your in your life.  It’s engaging, it’s authentic and if it strikes a chord with your date then you have solid basis for a conversation that may lead onto something more enduring.

Want tips on how to be more authentic in your online dating profile? Get help here!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

re entry

Getting back in the Game: How to re-enter the dating world.

re entry

This week we were delighted to have an opportunity to work with the fantastic team at Digital Romance Inc as guest blogger.  Check out the post on their blog ‘Getting Back in the Game: How to re-enter the dating world”

Click here to take a look!  


Online dating leads to greater success in marriage


One third of American marriages now originate online, demonstrate a higher level of marital satisfaction and are less likely to end in divorce than those that begin through other means.

A study published today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) surveyed more than 19,000 individuals who married between 2005 – 2012 and found the following results:

  •  A third of marriages in America now begin online
  • Respondents in marriages that originated online report a higher level of marital satisfaction
  • These marriages are less likely to end in divorce than marriages that originate from other means

 What are the most common origins?

Nearly 35% of these marriages originate online, with work contributing to nearly 22% of the marriages of those surveyed and school being the next greatest contributor at 11%.  Marriages initiated in a bar / club were significantly lower at less than 9%.

This brings online dating firmly into the mainstream making it the most common way to meet a marriage partner and demonstrates the tremendous potential for online dating success as measured by a relationship that translates to marriage.

 Satisfaction levels

Marriages that originated via online dating websites reported a higher level of satisfaction than all other means of meeting a partner.

The study does not delve deeply into why that may be the case, but references other work that suggests that the semi-anonymous nature of online dating interactions allow for greater disclosure and affiliation between participants than relationships that begin face to face.  Another likely factor is that online dating provides access to greater pool of potential partners and the ability to be more selective than the opportunities provided by other venues.

The next most satisfactory marriages originated from categories such as school, church and social circles, which is consistent with these groups being centred around a common theme or source of compatibility.  The least satisfied groups were those marriages that originated from work, bars/clubs and blind dates.

The study covered marriages of 6-7 years duration and those that originated from online dating websites were less likely to end in divorce than those of any other origin.

 Not all online venues are equal

45% of the marriages that originated from an online source came from online dating websites, with social networks being the next most common source at less than 21%.  This is unsurprising given this is the specific intent of online dating websites, but does highlight the large gap between it and any other online source which includes social media, blogs, chatrooms and games.

 Why does this mean for you?

If you weren’t convinced that online dating is now mainstream, successful and able to provide long term satisfying marriages, then this survey provides solid evidence that it does.  Still not sure?  Check out our posting: is online dating for you?

Read the full study

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Email communication in the online dating world

email image

Your first email, whether it follows some mutual generic communication (winks, kisses etc) or is a direct response to a profile that has gained your interest, is another vehicle where first impressions are key.

The principles applied in writing a great online dating profile are again relevant here

Know what you are looking for.  The email is a great place to quickly re-state what kind of person it is that you are looking for.  Don’t simply rehash a sentence from your profile, but pick out something from theirs that resonates with you and link it to what you are looking for eg  “I am interested in ….and I see that you….”

Decide what you want to convey.  This is not about another list of things you want to tell the person about yourself, but let the tone of the email convey your emotions – genuine interest in the person, enthusiasm to hear more about them and positivity in pursuing the next step.

Distinguish yourself. If this is a direct response to a person without any exchange beforehand, it is doubly important that you distinguish yourself from the vast generic population on online dating sites.  The person hasn’t found you from your profile, so consider what you can do to attract their interest.  The subject line of your email is a perfect place to insert a phrase that indicates you have read their profile and can demonstrate why you would be a great match.  If the recipient has received a number of emails by the time they next log in, it’s a way of having yours stand out.


  • Check spelling and grammar with care.  You should have done this with your profile, don’t let your email let you down.
  • Ask a couple of questions about something you read in their profile. This shows you read it and allows them to talk about themselves.
  • Include some subtle flattery – about a photo that caught your eye or an achievement you find impressive
  • Emphasise what you can bring to a relationship rather than just describing yourself
  • Be confident, but not boastful
  • Make sure it finishes with a call to action so that they know the ball is in their court
  • Specify your preference for what type of communication comes next eg email, a phone call, an online chat..


  • Avoid lame one liners – check whether it sounds like something you would really say out loud, face to face.
  • Don’t be generic – a recipient can detect a bland, mass-style email a mile away.  ‘hi, loved your profile, tell me more’ indicates you haven’t taken the time to actually look at it.
  • Don’t use abbreviations or text-speak.
  • Avoid informal nicknames like babe, sexy etc.  If you don’t know their actual name yet, address them by their screen name
  • Avoid blatant, obvious physical references
  • Steer clear of requesting personal information too soon
  • Don’t discuss exes, the reason for prior relationship breakups
  • Hold off responding until they reply to your email so you are not badgering them for a response.
  • If you decide at some point during email communication this person is not for you, send a short email to close it out respectfully rather than leaving the person hanging.

Above all, keep it short, positive and authentic so that you give yourself every chance of the communication channel remaining open.

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Managing responses to your online profile

managing responses

Very shortly after listing your profile, you may start to receive responses from other online daters.  The sites have differences in how the process works, but there are general principles that are useful in considering how to respond.

Are you interested?  Read the profile thoroughly and determine your interest.  Refer to dealbreakers vs nice-to-haves for help in identifying what is important.

Do you want to know more?  Is there something you read in their profile or contact email that you want explore further?

The tools are fairly simple if the answer is yes to these questions.  If you have multiple respondents that are of interest, its useful to focus on one or two at a time rather than pursuing many in parallel.

If you are responding by an email rather than a generic tool-generated response, see email communication in the online dating world for tips.

If you are receiving contact from people that are not of interest to you, try to respond to them all anyway.  Most sites give you a quick painless way to respond to those that are not of interest. Aim to respond to all of them.  There are online daters who send out many contact requests generically, casting a wide net to improve their chances without even reading profiles, as well as that person who has actually read and considered your profile and is now keenly awaiting your response.  You can’t know which type you are dealing with.  You would not appreciate being ignored if you were the one waiting for a response so try to respond quickly to all.  If you are inundated with requests check if the site allows you to hide your profile for a short period to give you some breathing space.

Look at the volume of unsuitable responses. Too many? Again, due to some people generically responding, particularly if you are a new listing on the site, you may have a number that don’t meet your criteria and can be quickly excluded. It will be clear from looking at their basic profile detail that they don’t meet your requirements and you can quickly respond.  Rule out these then look at the remainder.  Are there any trends in the responses that indicate criteria you may need to tighten in your profile?  If your geographic spread is too wide, if you are getting too many people older than your desired age range, consider altering your criteria.  Some sites provide tools or a premium service to prevent people contacting you if they don’t meet your criteria in order to save you time.

Consider adding some more wording in your profile to give respondents a clearer view of what is suitable for you.  Review what it is that you are looking for and ensure all that is important is overtly described somewhere in your profile rather than being in your mental checklist that you apply when you receive a response.

The sites generally have great tools to respond to those who make first contact either in the negative or positive, its useful to do this as quickly and efficiently as possible to move past this key first step in the process.

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Is that really a dealbreaker?


Online dating is no different to any other way of  searching for a new partner in that you will need to consider, whether consciously or not, what precisely it is that you are looking for.  If you have emerged from a long term relationship at a later stage in life, what you were looking for when you were last single is likely to be quite different now.

If you were sizing up a new person you had met in a bar, or who had been introduced by a mutual friend, you would be considering the attributes you are looking for – the ‘nice to haves’ and which characteristics are non-negotiable – the ‘dealbreakers’. This is equally applicable to online dating however it is something that is much more upfront and will impact both your search criteria and how you respond to those that express interest in you online.  You also need to consider the nice to haves vs dealbreakers in the way you put together your own profile.

The nature of online dating with its questions and criteria, provides this information in a very accessible format and encourages thinking about these attributes before you even respond to, or pursue a person.  This can however, tend to make the process a very scientific one rather than considering the true dynamics of a real relationship.  It also makes us feel like we have the luxury of excluding people very quickly and searching for the most accurate match.   It tends to encourages our ‘nice to haves’ to be confused with ‘dealbreakers’ and we become unnecessarily exclusionary.

What is a nice to have?  Bear in mind that you are not looking for someone that is a carbon copy of you.  They do not need to share ALL of your interests: many of the most successful relationships are based on some shared attributes and interests and some that are not, allowing each person space where they can focus on the pursuits most important to them.  For example – a partnership of a golf enthusiast and a long distance runner allows for a long window each week where 18 holes of golf and a long training run can co-exist perfectly. A high degree of common interests and apparent compatibility is also not a guarantee of success in a long term relationship.

The way the online dating tools facilitate profiling on individuals will tend to encourage you to think of the long list of attributes that you are looking for in a real partner.  Try to suspend judgement on this and read through profiles with a sense of whether the person would be compatible with you rather than applying a mental checklist. Consider whether something you read in a profile and appears off-putting is really an issue or just a difference, and whether it will actually matter in the context of a relationship.  If someone has music interests that are completely the opposite of yours, it may matter if you are a concert-going, music festival enthusiast but likely not if the only time you will be subjected to their taste is the occasional i-pod-supported road trip.

Then work on distilling what really are your non-negotiables or dealbreakers.  Consider the following questions:

  • Is this attribute something that will loom daily in the relationship and present constant strain
  • Is it something that I am fundamentally opposed to
  • Will this put my health or wellbeing at risk

Can the situation change?  Clearly it is folly to try to change a person after you enter a relationship, but declining a smoker who is desperate to quit and could do with your support vs someone who has declared themselves a lifetime smoker could mean you rule out someone else who is compatible with you in every other way.  Resolving a situation where one is yearning to have a child and the partner is opposed is far more complex, and hoping someone will change their mind about this is more perilous.

True dealbreakers are often things like religion, smoking, alcohol use, child-status and long distance relationships. Try to avoid excluding based on nice to have’s eg  food preferences, music preferences, particular suburbs.  Think carefully about preconceived ideas you have about topics such as height, weight, occupation and age.


  •  Do a brain dump on paper of all the things you think are important in a partner
  • Closely look at each and create a short list of your true deal breakers.
  • Ask yourself the ‘are they a deal breaker’ questions above and consider if the situation could change.
  • Actually articulate out loud ‘xx is a dealbreaker BECAUSE and get to the heart of why.  Test the logic of  it with a friend.

It is then simple to apply these when considering a request for contact from someone and reviewing their profile, as well as searching yourself.  You also need to ensure that you have it clear in your own profile.  Don’t be equivocal if it is truly non negotiable – for example don’t be ‘undecided’ about more children if you are truly opposed to having another child.  Its not something you can be opposed on and then hope you can sort it out later.

Getting to the heart of this is key in evaluating a new partner, online or through any other means.

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Selecting a photo for your online dating profile


The first stop for anyone viewing your online dating profile is your picture. More discerning users will look past a less optimal photo to read your profile, but you need to regard the photo as a critical step in attracting someone to your profile in the first instance.

Key to your photo selection are some of the principles we covered in how to write a great online dating profile

  • Knowing what you are looking for in a partner will give insight into what kind of photo of your own is consistent with that.  A collection of nightclub or party photos may be off-putting to someone who is more of homebody but someone you would really like to meet.
  • Deciding on what you want to convey in words in your profile applies equally to your photo.  If you highlight in your photo your outdoor hobbies, photos of you involved in those activities will likely show you at your best. If you declare your love of your pets, a photo with them will show that authenticity and are very appealing to viewers.
  • Determining what it is that distinguishes you from the thousands of other profiles is something that you have greater scope to do in the words in your profile, but also consider whether your standout characteristics can be demonstrated in a picture.

Other photo selection basics:

  • Choose more than one.
  • Include a full length body shot – if someone is going to make an assessment of you based on your body type you better that they do this upfront than when you first meet
  • Keep it current – a photo that is flattering because it is ten years old will not do you any favours if you don’t look like that now
  • Avoid ‘selfies’ from your bathroom.  Find someone to take a good photo of you if you don’t have a selection on hand.
  • Use caution with staged ‘glamour’ shots – you don’t look like this all the time so combine with more natural photos if you are going to use one.
  • Ensure you are smiling and avoid camouflaging your face in sunglasses and baseball caps
  • Make sure the photo is clear and that you aren’t so far away that its impossible to see what you look like
  • Look at what you are wearing in the photo to ensure it presents a good image of you.
  • Run your selection past a friend and ask for an objective view on how well the pictures reflect you.

If you think your initial photos aren’t doing you justice, consider changing them or adding others based on feedback you get in the early days on the site.

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How to write a great online dating profile

Writing a compelling online dating profile is a make-or-break step. This is your advertisement of what you have to offer amongst all the competing profiles on online dating sites.

Three three key areas to consider when crafting your profile:

  • Know what you are looking for. Although the profile is all about describing what you have to offer, knowing what you WANT is also key.  It allows you to choose the best of your qualities to highlight and answer the questions / criteria that sites use that then determine who will respond to you. You need to look appealing to the kind of person you want to attract, so it all starts with understanding what that person would be like.
  • Decide what you want to convey.  What are the top qualities that reflect you as a person?  Get beyond generic statements to those unique qualities about you that reflect your personality.  Ask your friends (of both sexes) to describe the top three qualities about you that would be attractive to a partner.
  • Decide what  distinguishes you from the thousands of other profiles in your demographic.

Sites often have a catchphrase or headline to be the first thing that the reader sees on your profile.  It’s often easier to come back to that once you have written the body of your profile so you can capture the essence of what you are about.

Make your first sentence compelling to ensure the reader is motivated to read on.  Read it out aloud to see if it stands alone as a hook to encourage someone to respond to you.  Then cover the key points that tell the most about you and finish with a sentence that encourages action on the part of the reader.

‘Do’s’ for writing an online profile

  • Be confident without being boastful.  There is no point being so humble about your qualities that you blend into the pack and appear bland.
  • Be specific. Tell a story about yourself, describe situations that show the reader something about you. Don’t say you like music or travel (doesn’t everybody?), talk about your favourite album and why you love it, or the destination you’ve loved the most or is top of your bucket list and why.
  • Be multidimensional.  Much of your life might revolve around your work and there is no harm in describing what you do, but this person is looking for an understanding of what you enjoy outside of that.
  • What are your goals in life?  What is really important to you?  What are you looking for?  You need to get these points across succinctly in a profile.
  • Be authentic.  Don’t surf the site for the best sounding profiles and emulate those or try to guess what you think a partner would want to hear.  When you first meet it will be obvious if your profile really reflects who you are.  If you are an alpha type looking for another alpha type, ensure your profile is written in a style consistent with that.
  • Check your spelling and grammar.  Have someone else check your spelling and grammar.

‘Don’ts’ for writing an online profile

  •  Negativity.  Don’t write about what you don’t want, focus on what you do.  Don’t allude to a string of prior online dating disasters. Don’t bring the baggage of prior relationships into your profile.
  • Exclusion.  Don’t write in such a way that could unnecessarily exclude people from responding to you.  Sites have ways of ensuring that you can show and apply any dealbreaker criteria easily and filter out those that are not of interest, you don’t need to focus your profile wording on this.
  • Lying / exaggeration.  Attracting someone on this basis is no foundation for a strong ongoing relationship.
  • Don’t be disparaging about online dating. So many profiles say things like ‘I won’t mention we met online’, ‘don’t know how I found myself here’, or something that indicates embarrassment with the process. Again this suggests you feel that there is something vaguely wrong about using this method to meet someone which may be insulting to your reader.
  • Don’t include a long laundry list of accomplishments.  This is not a CV, a linked-in profile or a job interview process.
  • Don’t be a clone.  Avoid phrases which are so generic they really say nothing about you eg ‘nice, smart, easy-going, fun-loving, sweet, down-to-earth, laid-back, just as happy partying as staying in on the couch, love travel/movies/my friends’
  • Don’t be heavy on political / religious views – unless this is truly a dealbreaker.

Recognise that this is not set in stone.  Based on the responses to your first published profile, you will be able to consider whether you have cast the net too widely or too narrowly or if there is something in there that is attracting the wrong type of person and you can revise it accordingly.

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Is there one thing holding you back?

There are several areas where you may experience some hurdles in online dating, and its very likely to be one or two easily rectified things that are preventing success.  Never assume that you can’t succeed!

Lets have a look at areas that may be barriers to your success.

Initial Contact

Have you ever sent a contact request to someone you thought would be perfect for you and wondered why you got a reply saying something like “Thanks but no thanks”. Chances are you are not alone. Depending on your self-esteem and personality there are many different ways to react. At the extreme end there would be those who instantly log off and don’t go back for a significant amount of time – if ever. Some might see it as the other person’s problem which is entirely possible. Others may look a little more objectively at why they were rejected and use it as motivation to succeed.

The reality is that there could be a myriad of reasons you got this response, ranging from that person already having met someone else, to you having been one of a thousand others that all look the same. Some of these things you can control and change and others are in the lap of the gods. But what if it is something obvious to others but not to you that creates the wrong impression such as a blurry image of your favourite photo or an overgeneralisation on your profile. These things can be make a huge difference in terms of getting an initial response. The great thing about online dating is you have only lost one opportunity but with some revision to your profile, many others lie beyond.


So you have graduated from “thanks but no thanks” to “you sound interesting would love to know more about you”. Once you have been given the opportunity to make contact then the next steps of communicating and setting up an initial meeting can be equally as daunting particularly for those who have unexpectedly become single. Do you take a detailed approach and write a long winded email as to all the reasons you think you will hit it off and attaching a copy of your personal CV for reference?  Or do you keep it short and to the point and offer to meet at the nearest motel and provide your contact details. Well chances are the answer lies somewhere in between but thankfully there are many accepted norms for this and if you follow a rough template of these chances are you will be able to set up a meeting.


The final frontier of online dating is the personal contact. It is by far the trickiest and most important of course so unless you are content to be pen friends you should invest plenty of time preparing for this. Again there are many accepted norms that can guide you here from safety and comfort tips to grooming and appropriate dress. It is more likely at this stage than the others that one thing could trip you up. There are countless possible reasons for this but we recommend that regardless of whether you are getting a first date but not a second, or are you only getting to a month or a year, that you spend time trying to understand and improve yourself.

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Is online dating for you?

Before launching yourself into the world of online dating, lets consider whether this method is right for you. Will you meet someone through work, family or friends? Traditionally these have been the key sources of meeting available partners but each have their limitations.  The circle of potential partners available through networks of family and friends dwindle as people marry or pair up in their 20s and 30s. The workplace also exhibits this demographic shift, with the additional risk of complications should a workplace relationship break down.  Geographically, the pool of people you are likely to meet through social engagements, hobbies and interests is limited. Online dating has a strong advantage in the sheer simplicity of access.  The online, instantaneous access to a large pool of individuals who are looking for a partner cannot be replicated elsewhere. Do you like going out and looking for a partner randomly? The concept of going out to a bar or other venue in the effort to meet other singles becomes less attractive than it was in our 20s.   You are likely to have fewer single friends who want to join you in this pursuit, and you are subject to the same, fairly low chance of success in identifying someone in this environment who is available and shares characteristics that are attractive to establishing long term romantic relationship with you. Are you comfortable in approaching someone in a social environment? The level of confidence and comfort you have in approaching and conversing with a stranger in a social environment will also be a key factor your level of success. Online dating reduces the discomfort of the initial approach step to a computer-based interaction which has the advantage of anonymity and low impact if rejection occurs.  The anxiety of waiting to be approached when in a social environment, or being rejected if you do make an advance has far less sting when it is reduced to an internet transaction.  Naturally, beyond that first step, online dating requires all the usual interactions in dating with all their complications but is unrivalled in its simplicity of initiating first contact. Research conducted in 2009 demonstrated that more new romantic relationships had begun online that through any method other than meeting through mutual friends. Are you internet savvy? Chances are you already have performed at least one of the following, which gives you more than adequate skill to navigate a dating website:

  • Used a search engine like Google
  • Subscribed to a newsletter or mailing list on a website
  • Used email
  • Emailed or uploaded a photo
  • Shopped online

Even the most rudimentary technical skills are now widespread, and even if you have never attempted any of these tasks, you will undoubtedly know someone who can help you. Are you time poor? Long working hours, commitments around the home, work-related travel and our existing level of multi tasking means that most of us are time poor. Venturing out to meet others, or pursuing activities that will widen your social circle to improve your ability to meet other singles all take time and offer varying levels of success.  Online dating allows all the preparation, initial searching and pursuit activities to be done online, quickly, and at times convenient to you.  The ease of ruling unsuccessful individuals out saves valuable time.  You can choose your level of interaction from a simple setup of your profile and monitoring responses that come your way directly from others or through matching processes on the site, right through to your own detailed searching and initiation of contact. Do you understand the constraints and limitations? All of the advantages aside, online dating is not an instant resolution to your single status.  Ease of access to singles, identification of likely matches and first contact are distinct advantages, but you do need to understand the pitfalls and limitations.  Simple commonsense safety principles, guidance around when to progress from first contact to face to face meetings, some healthy self-evaluation around the journey that resulted in you being single today and careful thought about what you are looking for in a partner are the some of the key factors that allow you to progress from online dating as a process to your desired long term outcome.

 What do you have to lose?

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