Blonde or brunette? Tall or short? French food or football – or both? Online dating has opened up new avenues to find potentially perfect partners and siphon out the time-wasters.
Meeting someone at work and - heaven forbid - calling them is still an acceptable way of setting a date, but even these more traditional methods are being digitised.
Online dating is now used by more than 20 million people in the UK every month.
And dating website MySingleFriend.com has uncovered some interesting and surprising statistics in a survey of online daters.
It found that one in five relationships now start online, and 53 per cent felt online dating allows people to find a better match. Men who use online dating services have six dates with women in a year while women have four.
And the survey found that courtship before marriage is a full two years shorter when the couple meet online, compared to meeting for the first time in person: 18 months compared to 42.
Despite these successes there are others who flounder, and it may be put down to simple mistakes in profiling. As this BBC article shows too many online daters follow the crowd and fail to differentiate themselves by including meaningless clichés, or perhaps even worse, errors.
‘I love going out and staying in’ covers all bases - but applies to everyone in the world. ‘I love walking on the beach at sunset’ just comes across as schmaltzy, while grammar sticklers will dismiss anyone who doesn’t know the difference between their, there and they’re.
A better strategy is to make yourself stand out by being more descriptive, as this article by Wikihow explains.
If you like cage fighting or Chinese poetry then include them in your profile. Yes, you’ll turn off a few people, but the ones who persist are more likely to stick with you than if you had just written that you like sport and writing.
Add a nice picture and name, and above all be positive about yourself. And lying is a big no-no, especially when it comes to height, weight or age. These deceptions will all be rapidly exposed should you ever agree to a date!
By all means keep on visiting bars and clubs because you might just strike it lucky, but it makes sense to diversify and create an online dating presence as well.
And don’t just feel you have to sit in front of the computer; MySingleFriend.com found that seven per cent of app users said they had used a dating app on their mobile phone, which would have been unimaginable and impossible just a few years ago.
Online dating sites have opened up so many new routes to finding the person who is right for you – so get clicking!