... featuring advice from YourTango Experts Sally Landau & Julianne Cantarella!
6. Design your profile. Choose a screen name. It should be something that describes you, something others will find intriguing. Now write the profile. Keep it light, fun and happy. This is not your opportunity to drag out all your grievances with past relationships or talk about your tedious, venomous divorce. Be positive. Shine a light on your best qualities. —Sally Landau
7. Post photos. Photos should be current and show your full frame, a happy face, and allow the laugh lines dance around your eyes. Find your inner Gloria Swanson in her famous line from the film Sunset Boulevard, "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." —Sally Landau
8. Reach out. After you post your profile, go shopping for a date! Find people you like and write to them. Yes, this is for men and women. Reach out to people you find appealing. You can send them a safe e-mail within the dating site. Begin the conversation. —Sally Landau
9. Safety first. You may still think it's very weird meeting people you found online. There are precautions to take in the early stages. When they first meet you, they only know your screen name. It's perfectly acceptable, once you find yourself interested, to only tell them your first name. Keep your address, work place and phone number private in the beginning. Choose a place to meet that's convenient but not your favorite spot. Drive yourself, arrive early and decline any offers to be walked to your car. —Sally Landau
10. Hurry up. Remember: you're not looking for a penpal. So, exchange a few e-mails, then a brief phone chat and get to that face-to-face date as soon as possible. If there isn't chemistry between you and your online match, it's better to learn that right away. —Sally Landau
11. Be open and positive. We all know the old adage "you reap what you sow," and this is true for a dating situation as well. If you venture into online dating with a negative attitude, you are almost certain to have a negative experience. My most successful clients are those who are open and positive about online dating, so give it a try! —Julianne Cantarella
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