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Carpe Weekend: Angling for love online

Match.com is one many online dating websites available.  |  Supplied photo

Match.com is one of many online dating websites available. | Supplied photo

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Updated: February 11, 2013 7:24AM



Online dating is a lot like fishing. You spend most of your time sitting down, waiting in anticipation for the telltale tug on your lure that accompanies a big catch.

On proverbial waters both calm and tempestuous you wait patiently for that one picture-perfect specimen that will make all your years of fishing in vain worth the effort.

People aren’t fish, of course, and there’s a not-so-subtle predatory insinuation in the angling metaphor.

But the end result of online dating and fishing is the same: snaring something truly worthwhile.

Before you lay down a month’s salary on an engagement ring, you first have to pick an online dating site, create a profile and meet someone worth marrying.

No matter which website you settle on —Match.com, eHarmony.com, Zoosk.com, Cupid.com— the rules basically are the same:

1. Keep it real

That photo your buddy took of you in 1996 may look great, but it’s not really you anymore. Be honest.

Any pictures you post should be no more than 6 months old and should include at least one headshot and one full-body shot.

Make sure the photos represent what you actually look like now, not 10 years ago.

If you put yourself out there as you really are, you’ll have nothing to worry about when you finally meet your date.

She’ll know exactly who you are and what you look like. No surprises.

2. It’s not a novel

Keep your description brief, and make sure the honesty you put into your photos carries over to the words you use.

If you’re 34 years old, say so. If you have a less-than-stellar yearly income, don’t be afraid to mention it. Love to watch competitive basket weaving? Come clean.

There’s no point in turning your online dating profile into a fictional story if you’re truly looking for that one true love.

Eventually, she’ll realize you were lying and move on to candidates who aren’t afraid to be who they really are.

3. Be picky and patient

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want in a potential mate.

Only respond to people you’re really into, and don’t be afraid to wait for the right one to come along.

It may take some time, but eventually you’ll come across a profile that sparks your genuine interest.

If someone tries to contact you and you’re not interested, silence always is better than saying, “No thanks.”

Not responding at all is much kinder because it doesn’t make the interested person feel rejected.

4. Be too careful

Most people who participate in online dating are genuine, but some aren’t.

When you finally connect with someone, get to know him or her through safe means first before you meet in person.

Phone calls, emails and text messages all are great ways to get to know someone.

When you finally decide to meet, do so in a public place and tell a friend or family member where you’ll be.

He’s probably a great guy, but you should err on the side of caution just in case he’s not.

5. Reel ’em in

It’s when you find your true love that the adventure begins.

Want do I want in return for my sage advice?

Invite me to your wedding. Or if you want to name your firstborn after me, that’s perfectly acceptable, too.



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