married couple kissingDid you resolve to meet someone special in the new year? Online dating is becoming a more and more popular way to meet prospective matches -- and a fair number of losers, too.

If you're just getting started in the online dating arena, trying to put together an online profile on one of those dating websites can seem almost insurmountable. How can you properly reduce the essence of YOU into a couple of measly lines? How do you tell the world -- and prospective mates -- who you are?

Here are some tips for creating a successful online profile.

Don't lie. Sure, you may not like to admit that pesky number on the scale or that age on your driver's license -- who does? But when you round that number up or down, you're setting yourself up for failure. Because when it comes time to meet your potential suitor, you're already off on the wrong foot. Nobody appreciates being lied to.

Proofread before hitting publish. If you're not great at editing your own work, have a friend help you. The last thing you want to portray to a potential match is that you're uneducated. You could hold a PhD from Harvard, but if you misspell common words or use improper grammar, it's certainly not going to come across that way.

Phone a friend. If you're having trouble describing yourself properly, ask a friend to help you. It's likely your friend (or family member) can help list out your awesome qualities much more easily than you can. Even if you don't take their advice entirely, it's a good thing to know how OTHERS see you and your strengths.

Show, not tell. It's the biggest rule in writing. Anyone can make a list of things they love or hate, but not anyone can SHOW you with their words. "I hate chicken" can be "I'd rather gnaw off a finger than eat chicken." Same point, different visual.

Did I mention DON'T LIE? If you have kids, or are divorced, SAY SO. That's not a bomb anyone wants to learn on date three, and besides, those are badges of honor. If someone doesn't appreciate you for those things, you don't want them in your life anyway.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Choose a couple of pictures for your profile, but make them tastefully sexy, not trashy. Don't use an airbrushed, overly processed photo from 15 years ago -- you're beautiful as you are! Oh, and make sure at least one of your pictures is full-length.

Speaking of a thousand words ... Don't make your profile a novel. Make sure it's easy to read, concise and (wherever possible) insert line breaks. It's fantastically hard to read something that is one hugely long paragraph, so break it up and make it as brief as possible.

Do you have any other online dating tips?

 

Image via Julien Haler/Flickr