So, I’m single.

 If you’re like me, being single as a status is a mixture of choice and also opportunity.

 If you want to be single, great; if you don’t want to be single, but haven’t met the right person, you may need to expand your social circle.

 To accomplish this, I would suggest lots of real world experiences (like start a rock band). But a dating site could help a busy person index and meet people out of their area and routine.

 For me, a dating site is totally normal. For some, it’s a weird or even pathetic way to meet people. But I suggest that it’s OK — give in and sign up.

 For one thing, it’s safer for everyone, as you can control the way you meet, if you even want to meet.

 In my experience, you get things like politics, pet ownership, musical interests and career information out of the way quickly to see if you even have enough in common to send a message.

 I, for example, need to know if you have cats, because I’d like to know how much I’ll be allowed to breathe around you at home. Also, everyone has a cat.

Some advice to men

 I’m 35, and I’ve used these sites off and on for nearly nine years. I’ve had dates and actual successful relationships from them. But like life itself, my experience as a man is vastly different from that of a woman.

Send short, thoughtful messages.

 A woman friend of mine, who lives in New Mexico, only uses the sites to share on Facebook, the absurd messages she gets from men. She should probably write this column, not me.

 So guys, please listen.

 Most women will run out of inbox space in a week if they didn’t weed through them. This means they are inundated with messages each day. Many are shallow, offensive, or just a lazy ‘hey how r u’ messages.

 It happens enough, that women have to ask men not to do it on their profiles.

 Write a good introduction. Introduce yourself, and find something in their profile that is interesting. Do they travel? Play an instrument? Are they in school for a degree?

 If you compliment their looks, you’re not providing an epiphany; you’re adding yourself to the ‘delete’ pile.

 Women can tell if you’re sending bulk no-effort messages, so don’t do it.

 Admittedly, I have trouble connecting with what I read on a lot of profiles, so I don’t send a lot of messages.

Write a fun, and concise profile.

 I don’t think my profiles are ‘fun,’ but yours should provide insight into you as a person, and leave plenty to relate to. I would suggest breaking up the paragraphs and even letting a friend proofread it for grammar and tone.

Consider your photos.

 It may be worth it to have a friend with a camera take some decent photos of you. They should be honest, but contain a variety.

 Also keep it recent — I’m super bald and have been for at least four years. I don’t hide it, and I wouldn’t hide anything that would only become apparent on a first coffee date.

Respect age and distance preferences.

 Sites allow users to outline the person they’re looking for. They’ll express their acceptable age range, and how far away someone should live. If you don’t fit the basic parameters, save yourself some time and find someone you fit better to message.

 I personally am on Okcupid, and Match.com. I don’t really recommend Match.com because of the subscription fee, though there appear to be more people using that site. You just can’t message or get responses from everyone due to subscription policies.

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