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13 amazing online dating statistics and facts

woman-typing-writing-macbook-notebook-computerToday, there are millions of people on thousands of dating sites looking for their perfect match, whether that’s for a date, relationship, or marriage. With this growing industry comes a lot of information that’s worth knowing. Here is a list of 13 good, bad, and just plain weird statistics on online dating that will blow your mind.

1. 49 million people have tried online dating

With about 49 million singles having dabbled in online dating at least once, a majority of us are probably among that statistic or know somebody who is. As is typical with most new inventions, some were skeptical when dating sites first came out, but they’ve clearly become one of the preferred ways to find love.

2. Online dating is a good way to meet others, say 59% of people

In 2015, the Pew Research Center found over half of men and women believe online dating is a great venue for meeting people. And we’d have to agree — you have tons of options to choose from and can cater the process to your wants.

3. 66% of users have dated someone they met online

Not only is online dating extremely popular, as evidenced by the stats above, but it also truly works. That same Pew Research Center study said two-thirds of online daters have gone out with someone with whom they were matched. Those seem like pretty decent odds to us.

4. One-fifth of committed relationships began online

If a serious relationship is what you’re looking for, you might want to turn to online dating to find it. Statistic Brain says 20% of current committed relationships started online.

5. 17% of marriages started online

Statistic Brain’s research also shows 17% of couples who married within the last year met on a dating website.

With online dating, you get very specific about your needs (e.g., marriage), which makes it quick and simple to find that special someone who can meet those needs.

6. Lion’s share (27%) of online daters are 18-24

According to Pew, those between 18 and 24 make up the largest demographic of online daters in terms of age. In comparison, 22% are 25 to 34; 21% are 35 to 44; 13% are 45 to 54; 12% are 55 to 64, and 3% are 65+.

7. The online dating gender ratio is 52.4% male vs. 47.6% female

While numerous dating sites lean slightly more female with their gender ratio (e.g., Match 51% vs. 49%), online dating tends to attract more males as a whole: 52.4% compared to 47.6%. This was another fact discovered by Statistic Brain.

8. What’s more important? 64% say shared interest, 49% say looks

Referencing Statistic Brain again, the site found almost two-thirds of people who use online dating say the number one thing they’re looking for in a date or partner is common interests, while less than half say physical characteristics are the most important to them.

9. 22% of people have asked someone to help with their profile

Your profile is the first thing singles will see on a dating site, and to be honest, most of them will only take a few seconds to read it and determine if you’re right for them or not. That puts a lot of pressure on people to make their profiles perfect, especially those who are trying online dating for the first time and aren’t the best writers. So it’s understandable that almost one-fourth of online daters have asked someone to give them a hand with this part of the process such as choosing the best photos or tweaking some of the language.

10. 23% of people think those who use online dating are desperate

We mentioned earlier that 59% of people think online dating is a fantastic way to meet others, but there are some skeptics out there. According to Pew’s poll, 23% think those who date online are desperate. However, that number has gone down a good bit. In 2005, it was 29%, so more people are starting to look at online dating in a positive light.

11. More than half lie on their dating profile

Singles want to put their best foot forward online — some so much so that some of them won’t be as forthcoming about themselves as they should be. Phactual.com says more than half of users fabricate some or all of their dating profile. For example, 20% of women will use photos from when they were younger, while 40% of men will lie about their jobs.

12. 48% of online relationships end via email

There are a lot of online dating success statistics out there, but you’re bound to come across some bad ones every now and then. One of them is from an infographic by eHarmony that shows 48% of relationships that began online will end with someone breaking up with their partner via email.

13. 10% of online daters quit after three months

While we love online dating and think it’s one of the best inventions to come out of the 20th century, we’ll admit that it can be frustrating for some people from time to time — especially if they’ve been doing it for weeks or months and haven’t met that perfect person yet. In fact, one out of every 10 online daters will give up after 90 days, as reported by Statistic Brain.

Source: DatingAdvice

Use humour to become more successful in online dating

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If you ask someone to list the characteristics they require in a potential dating partner, it is likely that they would say they want someone with a good sense of humour.  Humour may be especially important in online interactions because after the initial impression given by a person’s profile picture, it is what a person says and how they describe themselves which takes over and becomes more salient.  

Humour puts people in a good and positive mood.  In an initial encounter with someone, our mood is a crucial factor in determining attraction.  If we experience positive feelings, this subsequently leads to a positive evaluation of the other person.

In a study by Bressler, Martin & Balshine participants were asked to think of the following.  Imagine a situation where you are choosing between two potential dating partners. They are equally physically attractive, intelligent, interesting, friendly and compassionate.  The only difference between them is in the following.

  • One is great at making you laugh and you think they are very funny. However, they don’t laugh all that much when you make jokes.  They listen to you, but when you make jokes you rarely get more than a smile from them.  
  • The other laughs at all your jokes and think you are a very funny person, but you don’t find their jokes very funny.  You understand their jokes and don’t find them offensive, but they rarely make you laugh.

Bressler et al reported that males prefer females who are receptive to their humour and laugh at their jokes, whereas females value humour production in a relationship partner!

Females in relationships with more humorous partners rated them as being more creative and intelligent, and also as being more popular and better leaders. Males who construct humorous profiles and engage in online messaging using humour might attract more females. 

Having a good sense of humour suggests that we can interact easily with others and that we possess a relaxed and fun-loving personality, all of which make us more attractive.

Source: Psychology Today

March 8: International Women’s Day

flowers-flowers-bouquet-springingMarch 8th is nearly here! Do you have big celebration plans yet? If not, it’s time to think about how you would like to surprise your favorite women: Moms, sisters, wives, daughters, girlfriends, co-workers. If you didn’t know yet, March 8th is the International Women’s Day and it is widely celebrated in Russian speaking countries.

History of the International Women’s Day

Interestingly, the holiday originated in New York in 1908 when women went on a strike to demand equal rights, voting rights, shorter hours and better pay.

In Russia International Women’s Day was celebrated in 1913 first time as a part of the peace movement on the eve of World War I. Soon, following the events of 1913, it was established that the International Women’s Day will be celebrated on March 8th.

How is International Women’s Day celebrated in Russia today?

Today, International Women’s Day is one of the favorite public holidays in Russia. This day is associated with the first days of spring, warmth, first sunny rays and the most wonderful emotions. On March 8th men and women express their love and care to the women in their lives.

When it comes to gifts, it’s more about the gesture. It is not a secret, that women like attention, and even a small thing like a card, flowers and a box of chocolates will put a smile on your lady’s face. And of course, it also depends on how well you know each other: whether you are coworkers, relatives, are dating and so on. Now, let’s skip to the fun stuff – a few words and expressions in Russian that you might need when celebrating the International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day in Russia vocabulary

С 8 Марта – Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с 8 Марта - Wishing you a Happy March 8th

Поздравляю с Международным Женским Днём! – Wishing you a happy International Women’s Day!

Source: Fun Russian

Valentine’s Day celebration in Russia and Ukraine

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Valentine’s Day is coming up! Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” In Russia and Ukraine Valentine’s Day is a relatively new, but one of the most popular romantic holidays.

What Gifts are Popular in Russia and Ukraine on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day in Russia and Ukraine is all about expressing your love and care to your significant other. This means that you can get as creative as you like when it comes to gifts. Any gift that conveys romantic feelings will be very well received. For example, a little memorable souvenir, such as a framed picture of you both having fun, or a poem written for your significant other will make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

Giving flowers is considered one of the most romantic gestures in Russia. Russian and Ukrainian women love flowers! A bunch of fresh roses, tulips, orchids or any other flowers will certainly bring a smile to her face. If your lady has a sweet tooth she will most definitely like a box of chocolates.

How Do Russians Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

There are no specific Russian/Ukrainian traditions associated with this holiday. Just remember to let your imagination go and make your celebration as romantic and as memorable as you like. Russians love romance. These are just a few suggestions to warm up your imagination:

• Enjoy a homemade candle lit dinner with a glass of good wine

• Cuddle up watching an old romantic movie (preferably in Russian – so you can practice your Russian language skills )

• Go for a romantic walk in the park, or a beach holding hands and sharing your childhood stories

• Reserve a table at a fancy restaurant and surprise your sweetheart

• Write romantic letters to each other

Valentine’s Day Was Banned in Belgorod

Unfortunately, not every city in Russia welcomes Valentine’s Day. Belgorod, a small city in western Russia banned Valentine’s Day a couple of years ago.

Grigory Bolotnov, a spokesman for the governor’s office, stated that celebrating Valentine’s Day is not a Russian tradition and it does not teach good moral values to Russian youth. Belgorod archbishop supported governor’s decision to cancel the holiday.

How to Wish Happy Valentine’s Day in Russian

It might be a great idea for you to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to your Russian or Ukrainian woman. Here is how to write it in Russian:

С Днём Святого Валентина! [s DNYOM svya-TO-va va-lyen-TEE-na] Happy Valentine’s Day!

Have a Happy Valentine’s Day – only with your loved ones!

Source: Fun Russian

Online dating statistics and interesting facts

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Over the past few years, online dating has increasingly become a more widely accepted way of meeting a future partner and today, as many as one in five relationships are believed to begin online. You will probably be surprised to learn that:

  • Messages on a dating service that used words associated with laughing like ‘haha’ and ‘lol’ have a 17% higher chance of ending in an exchange of phone numbers.
  • You are 56% less likely to get a person’s number if you use the word ‘sorry’ in your opening line when you message someone on a dating service.
  • 61% of adults who have tried online dating agree that it is easier and more efficient than other ways of meeting people.
  • 31% of online daters agree that online dating keeps people from settling down, because they always have options for people to date.
  • 2 spelling errors in a man’s profile will reduce the chances of a response by 14% from a women. Spelling errors by women don’t affect their chances of getting a response.
  • Women receive 17 times as many messages as men on dating services.
  • Men use 21.9% more words than women do in their responses to questions about their dating profile.
  • 33% of online daters have never actually gone a date with someone they met through a dating service.
  • 20% of online daters have had someone for help with their dating profile. 5% of Americans who are in a marriage or committed relationship say they met their significant other online.
  • Generally on a dating service the most attractive men send the most messages.
  • Women are much less likely than men to initiate contact on a dating service.
  • Women are 2.5x more likely than a man to receive a response if they initiate contact.
  • Members of dating services who share photos of themselves laughing have over 3 times more chances of communicating with other members.
  • Your dating profile is judge in part based on the last profile the person saw before yours. If it is more attractive then yours will be considered more attractive.
  • People looking for long-term relationships tend to log into their dating service the most on Tuesdays at 2pm. For younger singles and those looking to hookup the best time to find them online is 9pm.
  • 33% of women and 20% of men retouch photos for their dating profile. Most do slight tweaking like removing blemishes, whiten teeth, and/or change skin tone.
  • 47% of men and 27% of women have encountered a first date who looked nothing like their dating profile image.

Source: Dating Sites Review

New Year’s traditions in Russia

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For many countries, the majority of winter holidays have passed, but this is not the case in Russia!  In fact, Russian New Year’s Eve trumps Christmas in importance, with major celebrations occurring all over the country in recognition of the holiday.

There are actually two New Year’s holidays celebrated in Russia.  The “New” New Year’s celebrations occur as most would expect, on December 31st and January 1st.

Russia’s “Old” New Year is celebrated on January 14th according to the Orthodox calendar. This celebration is the smaller of the two New Year’s holidays and Russians usually spend the day with family.

To celebrate this holiday, many Russians attend concerts or fireworks displays, with the largest located at the Red Square.  On December 31st, most families have a very late dinner including Russian salads, herring, and sparkling wine.  A short presidential address comes on TV at 11:55pm local time in each of Russia’s time zones, and the president reflects on achievements from the last year.  At midnight, the Kremlin Spasskaya Clock Tower chimes and the Russian national anthem begins.  Now is when the festivities really begin! Many Russians spend December 31st with family and only leave the house after midnight to see friends or enjoy New Year’s Eve parties and nightlife.

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The top 10 requirements for a stereotypical Russian New Year

Ded Moroz and Snegurochka

The West may have Santa Claus, but he can hardly compete with “Ded Moroz” (Grandfather Frost) or his granddaughter, “Snegurochka” (the Snow Maiden). Unlike Santa Claus, Ded Moroz is not afraid to show his face and often stops by holiday parties with Snegurochka to deliver presents in person. Ded Moroz maintains his residence near the town of Veliky Ustyug (in the Vologda Region); Snegurochka supposedly resides in Kostroma, on the Volga.

The “yolka”

Christmas trees were banned shortly after the revolution but were reintroduced as the novogodnaya yolka (New Year’s tree) in 1935 as a secular holiday symbol.  Trees tend to be small and are often made of plastic, but they are still symbolic and important gathering symbols for Russians.

Celebrities, Grandfather Frost and steam

Many countries have popular traditional holiday films, but few can match up with the song and steam of the Soviet classic, The Irony of Fate or Have a Nice Bath (1975). Zhenya is engaged and plans on spending his New Year’s Eve with his fiancée. However, he first must go to the sauna, as per tradition with his friends. They all get intoxicated and Zhenya ends up on a plane to Leningrad. He drunkenly tells a taxi driver to take him to Third Builder’s Street, where he lives in Moscow. Remarkably the building looks the same and his key fits. He passes out in the apartment and is awakened by the unsuspecting Nadya. They fall in love, and Russians still can’t get enough of this film. Television shows such as Goluboi Ogonyok (Little Blue Light), Pesnya Goda (Song of the Year; features most top-tier celebrities) and the children’s filmMorozko (Grandfather Frost) are additional holiday staples.

Salads

New Year’s just isn’t New Year’s without the salads. We’re not taking about light green salads either, but mayonnaise-infused and protein-thick works of art. Russians consume 2.5 kilograms of mayonnaise annually and nowhere is it celebrated more than on the holiday table. Olivier salad is usually made with mayonnaise, potatoes, carrots, pickles, green peas, eggs and chicken or bologna. New Year’s literally doesn’t exist if this salad is not on your table. Selyodka pod Shuboi, or “Herring under a Fur Coat” is a layered carnival filled with herring, potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and mayonnaise. The beets give the salad its purplish color.

Mandarin oranges

Supposedly this tradition began back in the reign of Nicholas II. However, it was discontinued for decades due to the Soviet Union’s difficulty in growing or importing them. It was revived around the 1970s and remains a staple on every Russian New Year’s table.

Champagne and caviar

Nothing said “proletarian” in the worker’s paradise more than champagne and caviar. While these items were in shorter supply during the Soviet period, it was then that they became part of the New Year’s tradition. The champagne is usually the “Sovietskoye” variety, available everywhere from Kamchatka to Brighton Beach. The caviar is usually red and served on buttered bread.

A midnight date with Putin

Regardless of their political affiliations, Russians around the world tune in to hear the Russian president offer his wishes for the upcoming year. Once he finishes, the clock tower on Red Square chimes, fireworks burst into the air and the New Year officially begins.

Not leaving the house until AFTER midnight to visit friends and walk around the city

For Russians, New Year’s is a family holiday and celebrations take place with close relatives on the evening of Dec. 31 with traditional toasts to say goodbye to the passing year. Phone calls are made to relatives that live far away. It is only after midnight that people begin the real partying. Many clubs only begin their main events at 00:30 or later.

Fireworks

As one person told me, it isn’t New Year’s if you don’t see the equivalent of a small country’s budget blown up in fireworks. The first New Year’s holiday I spent in Russia, in the industrial city of Tolyatti, involved hours of celebrating at home before going out after midnight with the whole family to see the citizenry declare war on the central square. The fireworks display was intense, loud and bright and is an integral part of any Russian New Year’s holiday.  

New Year’s Eve is just the beginning

Perhaps the best part about Russian New Year’s is that it’s not back to work the next day or even the day after. In 2015 Russians have until Jan. 12 before they have to report back to the office. That’s 11 days to shake off their hangovers.

 
Source: Russia beyond the headlines, Cultural awareness

7 perks of dating Russian girls

The main perks of dating a Russian girl are the same as the advantages of being in a relationship with a gorgeous model who treats you like a king. Who wouldn’t want to do it?

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7 perks of dating Russian girls:

  1. They love being in a relationship. The Russian culture gives a huge value to having a good relationship. For most women, this is the highest value before money, career, or even education. Being in a happy and loving relationship is like winning a lottery for Russian girls.
  2. They cook. Feeding her man is considered a woman’s obligation in Russia. Russians don’t believe in microwavable meals and women still cook for men from natural products. They actually enjoy it!
  3. Russian girls are stunning. Girls from Russia are crazy about their looks. They spend hours daily to look beautiful: skin, hair, makeup. They love wearing pretty dresses and high heels. The type of girls you could be dating look the same. Russian girls dress and look like models from the catwalk in daily life.
  4. They like being feminine. Everything you know about femininity, you will find in girls from the Russian Federation. They are warm and welcoming, gentle and sweet.
  5. They are devoted. Russian women are fully devoted to their partners. If you are dating a Russian girl, she is unlikely to dump you or leave you, because she dreams to become a wife and a mother, which has a very high value in their culture.
  6. They are direct. In their culture, people say what they think without much political correctness. Some people don’t feel comfortable with that but others find it extremely refreshing.
  7. They are resilient. Girls from the former USSR are used to more unstable life and don’t get upset easily. They are used to problem-solving, which is a great quality in a potential partner.

Source: Quora

Communicating with potential partners

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You can meet Russian and Ukrainian women without ever leaving your house. How? Go online! Here is how to be successful with online dating.

Be a gentleman

Being polite and kind to everyone you interact with communicates that you’re a quality person, online and off, who’s worthy of respect and attention. Pay particular attention to these points:

  • Make a polite introduction. If someone messages you, note that you were delighted to receive their message and give out a little more information about yourself. If you message someone, tell her more about yourself and express that you’d love to get to know her.
  • Keep it elegant. Remember, if she wanted to meet a slouchy, rude, abrupt barfly, she would have gone to the bar. Instead, she came to the Internet to meet guys like you, so try to step it up a bit. Don’t ask what she’s wearing or what her figure is like, don’t push for pictures right away, and don’t ask for highly personal specifics at first (such as where she works or her full name). Instead, focus on her personal interests, her goals, and anything you share in common.

Stand out

Most women who use online dating sites get a lot of messages. If you decide to send a lady something, try to make it compelling and different from the rest of what she sees. Ask her a question about her profile, make a tasteful joke, or just be bold and say something like “You’re gorgeous, and you seem fascinating. I’d love nothing more than getting to know you.”

Know how to keep a conversation rolling

So you’ve gotten a nice girl to notice you — now what? How you manage the conversation will determine where the connection goes, but it’s easier than you might think. Here’s how to continue interacting with her:

  • Let her talk about herself. Keep in mind that most people are comfortable talking about themselves, because it’s a topic they know well. Nervousness might tempt you to keep the conversation focused on yourself, but resist. A big part of being a good conversationalist is being a good listener.
  • Ask her questions that are thought-provoking, but not too personal. Asking your potential ladylove what she does for fun on the weekends is perfectly fine; asking her if she’s divorced or had a hysterectomy is not. Though you might learn this information later, now is not the time. Keep your questions focused on things like what she does to relax, where she’s from, where she went to school, what kind of entertainment (books, music, movies, television) she likes, whether she’s an animal-lover, etc.
  • Follow that old adage and steer clear of sex, politics, money and religion. There’s a reason why these are forbidden topics when you’re first getting to know someone.

Always leave her wanting more

Bow out of the chat session before it gets too stale, or don’t be too quick to return her emails. Lowering supply increases demand, and she’ll be more interested if you don’t immediately give everything away. Be interested, but restrained. Let her come to you a little bit.

Express gratitude

Every so often, let the women you’re talking to know how much you appreciate their attention. It doesn’t have to be cheesy — something as simple as “I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you so far” or “Thanks for responding to my message” will suffice.

Handle rejection with grace

If it doesn’t work out, don’t get bitter. Instead, say farewell like a gentleman and wish her all the best. Your polite send-off might cause her to circle back later, at which point you can evaluate if you’re still interested.

Don’t push a date too soon

A woman will automatically read you as creepy and only after her body if you start angling for a date too early. Instead, try to be patient and enjoy this period of getting to know her spirit and mind. If things work out, you’ll have plenty of time later to bask in her physical presence. Allow her to let you know when she’s ready to meet.

Keep your head up You might encounter a lot of rejection online, as everyone does in the real world. Don’t let it get you down, though. The right girl for you is out there somewhere, and maybe you’re meant to appreciate her more after getting turned down by the wrong girl(s). Stay positive!

Source: WikiHow

Safe online dating tips

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With a few simple tips and tricks and a bit of thought you can be dating safely online in no time (source: The Love Queen)!

Don’t take things too quickly.

Exchange at least a couple of messages back and forth on the dating site before giving out your e-mail address, phone number or Skype information. This will give you time to observe your potential date’s social skills. If she seems overly impulsive, you might want to nip things in the bud rather than proceeding any further.  Some people set up a separate disposable e-mail address solely for online suitors. That way, if someone becomes too persistent in their attentions to you, you can just abandon the temporary e-mail address. After the potential object of your affections has displayed the ability to write intelligent e-mails, move on to phone conversations and/or video chat. If you have any reason to suspect that her profile includes a fake or out-of-date photo, the latter means of communication enables you to verify the identity.

Catfishers, fake profiles and scammers.

Internet dating fraud situations most often occur when hundreds or thousands of miles separate the victim and the fake persona created by a con artist so try to avoid long distance people. One way to avoid catfishers is to do a reverse google image search for their profile picture. If you see lots of results coming up you have found something dodgy!

Do a little bit of online detective work.

Companies often review a job candidate’s social media profiles before making a job offer. There’s nothing wrong with something similar before embarking on a romance with the woman you met online. If her Facebook profile reveals she’s still married to the man she describes as an ex, you can bow out before you become “the other man.” If her Twitter timeline includes racist jokes, you can spare yourself future social awkwardness by not pursuing the relationship. Naturally, there are limits to this kind of activity. You don’t want to turn into a stalker. But looking up public information about a potential girlfriend can help you weed out unsuitable candidates for your affection.

Money = red flag.

You may think it can’t happen to you, but everyone who has ever been conned used to think that, too. Most of us can become a bit too trusting when our hearts and/or hormones are on the line. No matter how sincere the person seems, no matter how attractive she appears, head for the door if there’s a story about needing anything more than cabfare. Similarly, be suspicious of anyone who offers you expensive gifts like airfare to a foreign country.

Top 7 tips for online daters

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Internet dating has come a long way. There’s no longer a stigma to finding love online.  The Online Dating Association says it is now the largest single way in which relationships start in the UK.  It definitely works, but to make the most of online dating here are the experts top 7 tips (source: WebMD).

1. Don’t be too choosy

When you are going through the reams of potential partners on the internet – or when you meet them on a date – it’s all too easy to have a shopping list mentality. ‘He’s too short, I don’t like her eyes, or he doesn’t make enough money’.

Try turning down the volume on your inner critic on a superficial front, you may just discover you’re a better judge of character, and are better able to decide if your date is someone that you connect with on a new level.

2. Be honest

It’s tempting to stretch the truth when writing your profile or use a photo from ten years ago. But the advice is not to do it, as your date may be disappointed when you meet in person. Just as your online dating profile should accurately represent who you really are, your dating encounters should be equally as authentic. Don’t pretend to be someone that you’re not in an effort to impress a potential partner. Be genuine, and let your character and charm speak for themselves.

3. Beware of exaggeration

Even if you are honest about yourself, expect a degree of exaggeration from potential partners. They are trying to sell themselves to you so may over egg their attributes and achievements.

They are bound to look better in their profile photo. No-one is going to post a picture of them at their worst. Beware phrases like ‘carrying a few extra pounds’ or ‘cuddly’.  Read between the lines in profiles.

4. Narrow your focus

Online dating can be a real time-saver if you know exactly what you want.  For example, if you definitely don’t want a partner with children, remove that option straight off. Likewise, if it’s important that a date lives in your area you can weed the rest out.

5. Stay safe

Never give out personal information or send money to anyone. Use your first name only and give personal details only when you have got to know each other well. Follow your instincts. If you get a bad vibe, steer clear.

Meet in a public place like a cafe or pub. Tell a friend where you are going and who with and when to expect you back. Make sure you don’t get drunk.

6. Less is more at first

Don’t give too much away too soon. Gradually reveal details about yourself and don’t post photos that are overly sexy.

7. Get ready for rejection

Don’t take a rejection to heart. Just because you didn’t connect with one date, it doesn’t mean it’s your fault. They may want someone who is a different age or lives closer to them.

It works both ways. You may like someone as a person, but feel no romantic connection to them – so feel free to say no to dates that you know won’t work.