Online dating: how to write the perfect profile

If you found yourself with no one to kiss at midnight this New Year's Eve, don't despair. Why not give internet dating a chance and 2013 could be the year you find love! We asked eHarmony's relationship expert, Jenni Trent Hughes for her top tips and advice for those thinking of giving it a go...

Internet dating

1) Do: Be Yourself

Just as your online dating profile should accurately represent who you really are, your dating encounters should be equally as authentic. Don’t pretend to be something or someone that you’re not in an effort to impress a potential partner. Be genuine, and let your character and charm speak for themselves.

2) Do: Figure out what it is you are looking for

Make a list of the qualities and traits you’re looking for in your ideal partner, and focus on what the real deal-breakers for you are. For example, is finding someone who makes big money more important than finding someone who lives within his means? Refer back to this list while you’re dating, as it will help you think through who is the most suitable partner. However, make sure your list is clear and realistic.

3) Don’t: Get stuck in a dating rut

If you find yourself attracted to one type of person and for whatever reason this never seems to work out, then maybe it’s time to broaden your horizons and go for someone different. As the old saying goes, ‘variety is the spice of life’. Dating sites are a great place to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet in your social circles.

4) Do: Activities that excite you on dates

Once you start going on a lot of dates, the usual coffee or drinks at the bar can become repetitive, so why not inject some fun back into dating. Organise an activity, doing something that you’re passionate about. It could be meeting at an art museum for coffee and then wandering through the galleries, or why not try evening classes; you could do anything from making your own cocktails to learning to salsa dance.

5) Don’t: Drag excess baggage on dates

This is a big no when it comes to dating! Never bring up your unsuccessful past relationships on your first date; exes don’t make for good conversation at this stage. Chances are that if you feel the need to bring up your ex, then you aren’t ready to be on the date.

6) Do: Learn your relationship lessons

Instead of obsessing about past relationship failures, look at those experiences as valuable lessons. These experiences ultimately teach us about our own resilience, what we’re really looking for in a perfect partner and how we can do better next time by applying our lessons learned.

7) Don’t: Be a critic

Does this sound familiar when you’re on a date ‘He’s too short, he doesn’t make enough money’? Try turning down the volume on your inner critic on a superficial front, this doesn’t mean swaying from your relationship deal-breakers. But by muting your inner critic, you may just discover you’re a better judge of character, and are better able to decide if your date is someone that you connect with on a new level.

8) Do: Have Fun

Whatever happens, try not to lose sight of the fact that dating is supposed to be fun. It does take a lot of time, energy and patience. If you’re feeling particularly stressed out about dating, take a brief break and focus your attention on other things such as work or a hobby. When you’re ready, get out there and enjoy getting to know new people without worrying about where it’s leading or if he’s ‘the one’. By enjoying your dating journey, you’re all the more likely to attract a healthy and happy partner because you yourself are happy and healthy.

9) Do: Become a successful single

The key to enjoying your social life as a savvy single is to relish the possibilities. By being footloose and fancy free, you have the opportunity to meet and date and try different partners until you meet someone extra special. By becoming a successful single and enjoying the quality of your life in general, you’re bound to attract like-minded healthy and happy partners - maybe even Mr. Right.