Not content to live a lonely life, 21st-century singles are increasingly looking for love online. Where once people shied away from internet dating, a new generation of potential partners use technology to streamline their search for a soulmate, with more and more couples meeting for the first time online.

If you want to give this most modern of matchmaking services a go, there are a few things that you will need to know before you sign up to a dating site. Pick the perfect picture Adding an image to your dating profile gives you a much better chance of being viewed. When selecting the main image, there are a few things to consider. Firstly, use a recent image that is true to what you will look like when you meet your date. Using an old image or one that has been heavily edited can be misleading and may force your date to question your authenticity. Secondly, it can help to include pictures that show off your interests – that one of you playing a sport or attending a concert will say, “I’m a fun, outgoing person.” Selling yourself Your profile description is your opportunity to sell yourself. It’s the first contact you will have with a prospective love match, so you want to ensure that it reflects everything you have to offer. Some of you may be wondering, “How do I write my dating profile?” There are a number of options available to really make the most of this first point of contact. A good place to start is to ask a friend to help you with the task, as they are likely to know all your good points. A popular alternative is to use a professional company to write a compelling dating profile for you. They can pinpoint your most attractive qualities and convey them in a way that is elegant, persuasive and, above all, genuine. Stay safe When you start meeting people from an online dating site, always do so in a public place, let someone know where you are going, and don’t accept lifts until you are confident that your date can be trusted.