Throughout it all, what became most apparent during the discussion is that men didn’t want a “don’t” list. What they really want is some advice on what I hesitated to even write this piece because what people like is far more subjective than what people don’t like. To that end, this is my list “to do’s” for people (yes, people, not just men) who are trying to find a long-term partner using an online dating site:1.

Think of it this way: as you’re perusing profiles looking for someone who might make a good match, do you contact the people with hardly anything in their profiles? There’s no formula for this; all I can say is do not try to be someone you think others want you to be.

It’s just like posting an inaccurate photo of yourself; sooner or later people are going to realize that’s not the real you, throwing your chances of a long-term relationship out the window.4.

Most people can agree they don’t like scalding hot coffee, but it’s tough to get people to agree on how they do like their coffee. Obviously men do this as well; I’ve just heard this complaint more frequently from men than from women.

I used to think this was shallow advice, but it all comes down to honesty.

Don’t be afraid to make the first move: Do “traditional” dating rules apply in online dating (i.e. Truthfully, I don’t think traditional dating rules should apply in offline dating. Write a quality first message: We all know competition is fierce in the online dating world, so why waste time writing non-memorable introductory messages?

A commenter on my “Three Mistakes …” piece said someone kept messaging them the word “hi.” Just “hi.” I don’t think that really “wowed” them.

Even if they don’t read your whole profile, they’ll at least know you don’t want children or are allergic to cats (my boyfriend and I never would have dated if I’d owned a cat instead of a dog because he’s severely allergic to cats).6.

Read the profiles of your potential mates carefully: Just as you took a lot of time and energy to write a good profile for yourself, so did a lot of other people.

Online dating is now widely accepted as a valid, convenient & fun way of meeting like-minded people.