A healthy relationship is one that’s based on honesty, and all new relationships rely on a certain level of blind-faith: you have to assume that a new partner has the best intentions, you have to trust that they are not still sleeping with their ex-partner and if, like an increasing number of couples, you met online, you also have to believe them when they tell you they are not still dating other people.

The internet has revolutionised dating and relationships, but the relative anonymity it offers comes at a price, and situations that may have once involved the odd little white-lie when meeting someone for the first time, have a propensity to snowball into something else entirely.

 “I felt like the disappointed teenage victim of an online paedophile…

Beware close up facial images…

While I suspect that most men have the sincerest of intentions when writing their dating profiles, the desire for sex often muddies the waters in the reservoir of honour; there are thousands of singletons online – at different levels of desperation and exploitability –  and all men have to do to be in with a chance is create a new, more exciting and less complicated version of themselves.

So far, so typical, but the thing is, if you aren’t honest about the little things, how can you hope not to get caught out? A close friend once met up with a girl who he swears was at least three times the size her profile pictures had led him to believe, and a good deal older to boot: “I felt like the disappointed teenage victim of an online paedophile – I was expecting Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley, and I got Rose West‘.”

 As the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words…

Try to be honest about yourself…

It’s only human to highlight your good points and downplay some of the less attractive ones, but there are certain lines that you should never cross if you genuinely want a long-lasting relationship – so can an honest profile still be an interesting profile?

As the saying goes a picture paints a thousand words, and without a good one no-one will even bother to read your profile: get a friend to take it, don’t just take one of yourself on your phone – it’s always painfully obvious from the outstretched arm, the odd angle, and the fact you are standing in your sordid little grief-hole of a bathroom. If you want to use an existing picture, make sure it’s less than a year old.

Both sexes: don’t copy and paste introductions en-masse…

Beware the age gap…

Know your competition: read some other profiles first, you can normally do this incognito, most are very unimaginative and very similar so, when it comes to writing your own, don’t use the same tired lines as everyone else: ”looking for a partner in crime?” Yawn; “like going out and staying in?” Oh, fuck off. On a more personal note, most of us men really couldn’t give a toss what countries you’ve travelled around (although we might care how far we need to travel to meet you).

Women: don’t lie about your age, men: don’t lie about your height. Both sexes: don’t copy and paste introductions en-masse to potential suitors, it’s embarrassingly obvious when you haven’t read someone’s profile properly.

…no one can fail to be flattered by their first approach…

A good profile is one that will amuse and intrigue the reader; ask a question in your by-line – this way you have already started the conversation, and those that aren’t naturally confident about contacting strangers will feel more comfortable about getting in touch with you.

Keep any eye out for fresh meat too: no one can fail to be flattered by their first approach (and even if they are not for you, you will learn a lot from their response). But, above all, don’t make any outlandish claims; getting caught out will only prolong your spell in the ever-decreasing pool of possibilities that is online dating.

 

About The Author

I am a final year Journalism & Media student at Birkbeck. I write on a wide range of subjects, but my main areas of interest are sex and relationships, and sexual/mental health. I also work part-time in sexual health, and answer questions from young people on the website of Bliss Magazine.

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