Online dating provides an exciting opportunity to meet singles in your area. However, while many people have found lasting happiness with someone they met online, the success of online dating is not guaranteed.

By following these 10 simple rules, you can ensure that your experience is as positive as possible.

Know Thyself

Before creating a dating profile, decide what you want from a relationship. Are you looking for someone to spend the rest of your life with, or do you just want to have some fun on the weekends? Pinpointing exactly what you're looking for will help you build a better online profile.

Be Honest with Your Dating Profile

Be sure to accurately convey what you're wanting in a relationship, and be upfront with potential dates who may be looking for a different level of commitment. Telling potential matches what you think they want to hear, regardless of your own goals, will not result in a successful experience.

Choose Your Pictures Wisely

Your pictures provide a great opportunity to give a wonderful first impression, so choose your pictures wisely. While this may seem like common sense, you'd be surprised by how many members post pictures that are blurry or have a 5 year old time stamp. Post accurate pictures that are recent and flattering, and update your pictures often.

Choose Your Words Wisely, Too

Take the time to craft a well-written profile that provides an overview of your interests and relationship goals. You might be a great match for many members, but if your profile is too generic or riddled with misspellings, you're hurting your chances of connecting with them.

Be Confident

When the time comes for that first in-person meeting, don't let awkwardness take over. Remember that you've been talking to that person for a while, and that you both want to be there. Simply pick up where your last message left off, and build on the foundation you've already laid.

Take Your Time

If you've conversed with someone online for a while before a face-to-face meeting, it can be tempting to rush into a serious relationship before getting to know them in person. In your excitement to pursue a romantic relationship, don't forget that until you've actually spent time with them, you don't know them.

Be Gracious

Maybe your date did not accurately portray themselves, or maybe they've decided that you don't fit their expectations. Maybe they're rude, or maybe you have nothing to talk about. No matter how the date goes, you'll never regret handling it with grace.

Take a Chance

If you've been messaging with someone and it feels right, take a chance and ask to meet in person.

Redefine Success

If your definition of online dating success is limited to finding lifelong romance, you may quickly become discouraged. Remember that even the worst date provides a great opportunity for gaining valuable experience. Regardless as to whether you find true love, if your online dating experiences allow you to meet new people and improve your dating skills, then they have been successful.

Just Jump In

Online dating may feel like a big step, but with an opportunity to sign up for free, you really have nothing to lose. Create your profile today to begin participating in our wide variety of lifestyle site, including those for single parents, fitness enthusiasts, midlife daters and more. You'll be able to meet likeminded singles in your area for companionship, romance and fun.