You don't have to be lonely this year.
Online dating can be one of the most annoying and stressful ways to date. You're not sure how to make yourself sound compelling with just a few choice sentences. You don't know if someone is seriously interested or just looking for a hookup. How ever will you find the one who's right for you?
It doesn't have to be stressful. It can be one of the most effective way to find true love ... if you do it right.
If you want to finally get the chance to meet your perfect match, you're in luck. Lauren Urasek, the most desired woman in New York according to New York Magazine, will share her secrets with you. As ambassador of The Grade dating app and author of the book, POPULAR: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, she's privy to the world of successful online dating.
Here are five things she says you should keep in mind when looking for love online.
1. Choose your profile photo carefully.
"I recommend posting a variety of clear and current photos, including a close-up of your face (shoulders up), a full-body shot, and something that shows off your interests," says Lauren.
The Grade app actually has a feature that tells users in real-time how their profile photos perform compared to other users' photos.
2. Be thoughtful and respectful.
One of the reasons lots of women are apprehensive about online dating is because of the disrespectful and sometimes offensive ways men reach out to them online. Of course, respect and effort should go both ways. Sometimes, you just need to be a little more creative than just a generic, "Hey."
"If a guy can't put effort into sending you a well-written and thoughtful message, it's a sure sign he won't put much effort into your Valentine's Day date!" said Lauren.
Also, check your grammar and spelling — they say a lot about you.
3. Avoid a generic "About Me."
Afraid that too much information will scare a potential match away? Pick out your most unique interests.
"Your unique interests actually serve as a great conversation starter and a way to find those with similar interests or personalities," she said.
4. Make sure your attraction is mutual.
"Just because it's Valentine's Day doesn't mean you should settle for the first guy you talk to," Lauren advised.
Don't arrange a date after just one message. Build interest and mutual attraction by messaging each other back and forth, and getting to know each other first. You don't want to meet up and realize that you can't stand him.
5. Remember to have fun.
Dating should be a fun experience. You will meet many people online, but not all of them will be a good match for you. And if online dating isn't for you, that's OK.
"My biggest tip with dating apps is to not take it too seriously. Just have fun dating and make sure apps aren't your only source of meeting new people," she said.
All photos: Lauren Urasek