Radio 2 has been exploring the world of Internet dating in a series of special features. Dating online seem daunting to many, with the risk of heartbreak and the possibility of rejection just a swipe away.
Fresh from chatting to Jeremy Vine about setting up an online dating profile, which you can hear in the clip below, we asked broadcaster and reformed "industrial dater" Andy West and Nichi Hodgson author of The Curious History of Dating for their best tips on finding love online.
Whether you're taking this dating lark seriously or are a bit more laid-back, it's a good idea to work out what you want from an online dating service. Are you after true love?
Do you just want to see where it takes you? Whatever it is, let that ideal be your guide when preparing. Andy recommends trying to figure things out ahead of time: It's not only about being truthful with yourself, Nichi says, it's also important to be honest with other people too. Be your best self. It's important to join dating apps for the right reasons too.
There are a lot of different online dating services out there and they aren't all the same. Some are pretty fast-paced like the swipe-happy Tinderothers give women "How to build a great online dating profile" control over who they speak with Bumblethere are even sites like TrekkieDating which - you guessed it - are aimed solely at Star Trek fanatics.
It's good to shop around then: First impressions are important, especially if someone is glancing at your picture, ready to swipe right and move on. So, having a good first photo is really crucial. And if you're feeling happy, show it. It's a good idea to back up your main pic with a couple more options. Andy How to build a great online dating profile what works best: What you write in your bio is key to letting people know who you are and what you're all about.
It can be the springboard for those crucial opening gambits in conversations too. Spend some time writing about the things you love and what sums you up. Three paragraphs that roughly outline what you enjoy doing, what stimulates you, maybe a little bit about where you come from.
If you're funny, be funny, and trust that the people who don't find you amusing wouldn't have laughed in real life either. But don't try and stuff your bio with jokes if that's not you.
Don't be afraid of rose-tinting things a smidge either. Don't misrepresent your height, for example, as it will only cause a lot of awkwardness when you How to build a great online dating profile meet in the flesh.
Andy has a few key pointers: Ask a non-invasive, open question. Nothing cut and pasted. Your first message is your elevator pitch. You have to put a bit of thought into it. It's not a good idea to spend hours a day on dating apps - and not just because you'll be neglecting other aspects of your life.
Online dating can offer hope, but it can also be a source of hurt. You must enter the world of online dating with the possibility of disappointment in mind, the experts say. In-app conversations are great and all, but it's best to arrange a meet-up as soon as you both feel a connection. Talk too much online and you're likely to exhaust a lot of the chat that you could be for your first date.
But Nichi also points out that this can be a risky move, as moving too fast could alienate "How to build a great online dating profile" potential date. A good tip is to take things slowly, with a short initial meeting, rather than anything grander. Andy concludes that online dating may not be for everyone, but it has great potential: Hear Jeremy Vine on Radio 2 every weekday from 12pm. Top tips for creating the perfect online dating profile.
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Top tips for creating the perfect online dating profile (author of The Curious History of Dating) for their best tips on finding love online.