So you’re jumping into the online dating pool. You are joining millions of other singles because online dating is a huge industry and has also been proven as quite successful due to the accuracy of the algorithms used to match people (with some exceptions – why exactly did you think a 54 year old smoker with no college education and 3 kids would be the perfect match for a 32 year old professional who thinks smoking is gross and doesn’t want children? Life’s mysteries…) Anyway, I digress. First thing is first – you need an online dating profile.

Here are a few helpful hints to get you on your way:

1. Tell the TRUTH!

This has got to be the biggest advice I can give. How would you feel if you met up with this perfect person you were matched with and everything you thought you knew about them was a lie? Yeah, they will feel the same way if the tables are turned. Be honest about who you are and what you are looking for, or any potential relationship you could begin will be based on a lie.

2. Be yourself.

This seems like a given, because how can you be anyone else? But really, write your profile like you are talking to one of your friends. If you are charming and witty, be charming and witty. If you are a bit of a nerd, let that nerd flag fly! I think our human instinct is to be attracted to honesty even when it is a bit self-deprecating. Plus, on a date you don’t want to come across as a different person than you were online.

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3. Set standards and stick to them.

Does smoking gross you out? Does the idea of children really turn you off? Do you want someone with a college education and a decent income? Admitting to these things does not make you shallow, it makes you human and there is nothing wrong with setting your standards high. Don’t settle for less than what you want, and definitely do not go into a situation thinking you can change something about the other person.

All of this aside, the most important thing is to have fun. Flirt with people, go on some dates, have some pointless conversations and have some serious conversations. If you are looking for your soulmate, don’t settle for someone who doesn’t meet up to what you are looking for because life is too short to just be content.