But in spite of all this potential for romantic success, a staggering 97 percent of men give up the game after 3 months.
"They quit before figuring it out," says Scott Valdez, head of Virtual Dating Assistants, a company that helps users perfect their online profiles.
Use our tips, culled from the vast troves of data at key online matchmaking sites, to turn your virtual profile into a virtual shoo-in.
Picture yourself perfectly We like to think that women are not as shallow as we are, but that doesn't mean they're blind.
"The vast majority of online daters, women included, look at profile photos to decide whether to read your message," says online dating coach Laurie Davis, founder of e Flirt Expert. Use Ok Cupid's My Best Face application, which lets you upload photos for the free dating site's members to vote on.
Use their input to select your top four to seven shots.
"You're only as good as your worst photo," Valdez notes.
That applies to picture quality, too; high-quality images outrank cellphone photos of the same people. According to Ok Cupid's research, the strongest photos of men are ones in which they're doing something interesting while neither smiling nor looking at the camera. "My boyfriend and I met on JDate, and his picture was taken in front of a Jackson Pollock painting I like," says Carly, 27. Dan Abelon, cofounder and president of Speed Date.com, suggests hinting at your itinerary on nights out.
"That really piqued my interest." Dating sites are clogged with men who pile on the adjectives, likes, and dislikes. That's the advice of Kate Houston, an advertising copywriter who runs the profile-writing service "Write, 'On weekends I like to hang out at Crobar,' instead of 'I enjoy clubbing on the weekends,' " he says.
But women respond more to stories, images, and emotions. She penned this for a musician client: "When I was a boy, I picked up the trumpet and played Louis Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World.' It made my mom cry. "It's an instant icebreaker, especially if the woman shares this experience." Be genuine.
38 - Uxbridge, London down-to-earth kinda gal seeks traditional, old-fashioned gentleman Down-to-earth, optimistic and a lover of life, I thoroughly enjoy the arts, literature, culture and history. 38 - Leeds, Yorkshire - West Classic model, newly available - plenty of features with low mileage I am caring, dedicated, hard-working and have a fairly traditional approach to life.