If you smoke a cigarette every now and again, maybe only when you’re having a cocktail, does that make you a smoker? You might say that you’re looking for a tall businessman, but you only click on profiles compact musicians.

If you’re willing to expand your reach to the maximum number of miles allowed, or if you’re able to drive to the next town over, then yes.

But you need to be explicit and honest about where you live early on – and you need to be willing to put in the effort to drive out to see the people you’re meeting.

Here are some basic answers to the questions you might be too embarrassed to ask.

In part because of how dating sites are designed, most of us see photos first, and that’s when we determine whether to read through the rest of a profile.

Whether you’re creating a new profile or you’re a long-time, frustrated online dater, I have some insights that will help make your experience better.

It may seem like online dating is straightforward, but what’s happening behind the scenes – and your screen ­– can be confusing and can often produce bizarre results.

It has to do more with neuroscience than superficiality.

We’re drawn to photos over text, because we can process that visual information and make inferences more quickly.

If you use Pinterest, which puts all its emphasis on photos, you already know the power of an image.

Online retailers like Banana Republic and Zappos showcase photos of their products for good reason. With this in mind, think about the photos you’ve uploaded. Or do you look absolutely stunning – showing a little skin, wearing fresh makeup, looking happy?

We may fib a little when describing whether we smoke, but what incentive is there to stretch the truth about what we want in a mate?