I signed up to find out. I filled in my profile as honestly as possible, for someone who has joined for the sole purpose of writing an article. I then answered over 60 questions for a "personality test"

My matches showed up as a list of pictures, so I clicked randomly on the first one who turned out to be 8 years younger than me and lives 15 miles away, not ideal for someone without transport. Maybe someone who was more serious about finding someone, would not let this deter them and send a message anyway? I went to the advanced search to narrow down more suitable people. This is where it asked me specific questions such as, am I looking for someone who takes drugs?

Is anyone?

While I'm searching I come across half naked photos, pictures where you have to guess which is the owner of the profile because he's decided to post only group pictures, then there's the guys who think their picture must be enough because they haven't bothered to write anything on their profile. In the interest of fairness I look at some women's profiles and some of them are the same.

I sent some messages. I don't know how many women send the initial messages or if the majority of them just expect the men to make the first move but to give Internet dating a fair try, I sent a few initial messages each day. I noticed I received more messages when logged in. Maybe the site lists those who are logged in above those who aren't.

Many of my received messages seemed to be between two and ten words. I made more effort in my opening messages so only expect the same from anyone sending a message to me. Maybe I was been too fussy again? I could write more about my daily progress or lack of but it's all pretty similar. So for those who aren't put off here are some tips if you are considering internet dating.

Be prepared to send the initial message: This applies to both men and woman, remember it's just a message to someone who can't see you.

Be prepared for rejection: You won't always get replies if someone isn't interested, but people offline might not be interested either. At least it's less embarrassing online.

Log in and send messages to new people daily or at least regularly: if you're really serious about finding someone, this is what you have to do. The fact that people lie doesn't help, which leads me to my next tip.

Be honest: Your profile gives you the chance to say what you're looking for, tell more about yourself and the type of person you're looking for. Don't be surprised if you end up talking to or meeting someone who doesn't share your interests or who isn't looking for the same thing. People only know what you tell them in your profile.

Don't repeat message: If you don't get a reply, move on. Don't send another. If the recipient is interested they will reply. No amount of unanswered messages will change their mind.

There's a small chance they're away from all forms of technology, (perhaps in the Amazon jungle or on a space shuttle) but even then, logging in to find all ten dozen of your messages will not show them what a nice, normal person you are.

Be safe: This is the obvious one but needs to be said. Don't meet for the first time somewhere remote or at their house or yours. Meet somewhere public and tell someone. It might sound a bit extreme but arrange some sort of system with a friend that they call or you send a text message during the date and when you get home, so they know something is wrong if they don't hear from you.

Ask yourself if it's worth it: It might sound pessimistic but with all the logging on, searching through matches, sending well thought out messages, receiving either no replies or just a four word replies and worrying about possible axe murderers, it's a lot of effort.

Who says you can't be happy being single until you meet without forcing it?

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