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The profile photo is the first thing that will draw attention to your page on any site you use. Outdated pictures of yourself or phony editing tricks will come back to haunt you when you begin to meet suitors for in-person dates. To avoid giving anyone an unwelcome surprise, include a photo not more than 12 months old that truly represents who you are and what you look like day to day. Make the photo flattering, but avoid the temptation to show off. A natural, genuine photo with personality will get you more attention than a cheesy magazine shot.
Many sites require you to fill out a questionnaire revealing your background, interests, personal values and religious and spiritual beliefs. Answer queries according to your best knowledge of yourself, and resist the urge to present an idealized false self to those who view your profile. Never lie about your income level, personal accomplishments or interests just to get attention, as that attention will be predicated on false information. Your refreshingly honest answers will attract like-minded individuals who share your hobbies and passions.
Everyone is aware of at least a few courting cliches. Even with a heavy dose of irony, you won't intrigue anyone by talking about your love of long walks on the beach. Use creativity and originality in writing your personal statements. Date prospects want to get a very quick sense of who you are just by glancing at your page. Talk about your pipe dreams, your unorthodox travel experiences and anything else that would make you memorable to readers. Make a witty joke or two and show that you can laugh at yourself. The trick is to also convey that you're serious about finding someone, so remain earnest. Don't be tempted to make fun of the online dating process or be excessively self-deprecating.
Security is of prime concern when it comes to online dating, due to the anonymous nature of the practice. Romance sites are rife with scams and dishonesty. You can protect yourself by limiting the revealing information you include on your profile. It's best to invent a pseudonym or at least conceal your last name. Never list your actual mailing address or even an email contact on your profile. Find the healthy medium between utter transparency and completely false self-representation. You still can be your true, interesting, attractive self while protecting your identity and staying safe.