Congratulations, you have decided to join the world of online dating! Online dating is a fantastic opportunity to meet people and build relationships on which you would otherwise miss out. Like anything in life, the world of internet dating comes with its own challenges, guidelines and red flags. Read on to discover ten tips for new online daters.

Be Honest: Lying is a sure way to ensure that you won’t get a second date. While you don’t have to highlight your perceived flaw, whether it’s your height, weight or age, be honest. There is someone out there who will think you are perfect.

Be Selective: If you’ve been looking for a love interest for a while, it may be tempting to go on a date with anyone who sends you a message. This will quickly lead to exhaustion and discouragement. The main benefit to online dating is that you can screen prospective dates for common interests.

Don’t Message for Too Long: If you know that you would like to meet with someone soon, resist spending weeks exchanging messages with them. If you feel comfortable meeting in person, suggest a meeting while the opportunity is present.

Don’t Set Up a Date without Messaging First: On the other hand, setting up a date without exchanging at least a couple of messages is equally unwise. If someone asks to meet you in person without getting to know a little about you first, consider that a warning. They either lack a genuine curiosity about who you are, or they are sending out the same message to other site members, hoping for a response.

Don’t Be Too Critical: You may have physical preferences, and it’s acceptable to allow that to play a part in whom you agree to date. However, by being too critical of prospective dates, you may miss out on a true connection.

Upload Clear, Current Pictures: The pictures you upload allow fellow site members to see who you are and what you are interested in. Choose clear, current pictures of yourself in a variety of settings.

Pay Attention to Your Profile: Your profile should give prospective dates a glimpse of who you are. Include your interests, but refrain from overly long entries. The opportunity to know your every like, dislike and experience is a right that a prospective date earns; don’t include every detail on your profile. In addition to this, be mindful of spelling and grammatical errors.

Don’t Be Shy: If you come across the profile of someone who you find interesting, send them a message. Online dating affords you a wonderful opportunity to meet someone that you may have otherwise missed. Don’t ruin your chances of finding happiness by being too shy to send the first message.

Respond to Messages within 48 Hours: While you don’t have to respond to every email, make an effort to reply to the ones that interest you within a reasonable amount of time. Your goal is to go on a date; respond to messages as quickly as possible.

Don’t Get Discouraged: Finding romance can take time. Even if you’ve been on several first dates and have yet to make a connection, don’t get discouraged. The more time you invest in finding a potential love interest, the greater your chances of finding lasting happiness.