Many people can feel nervous about starting to date online as they’re worried about getting it right. Like anything, online dating has its dos and don’ts. Follow them and it’s really quite a simple process. If you’re thinking about trying online dating and want to go about it the right way, then here are five things to avoid.

Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not

It can be tempting to embellish when creating your profile or even when chatting with someone online. Just remember you’re looking for someone who wants to connect with the real you. Using a fake photo, lying about your interests or job and generally painting a false picture are not a good idea.

At some point you’re going to need to come clean and it will leave people feeling cheated. Think about how much you appreciate honesty in other people’s profiles and make sure you do the same for yours.

Don’t be negative

Knowing what you’re looking for in a partner and being honest about that is imperative in online dating. However, it’s important not to be negative. Try listing what you are looking for rather than what you’re not.

Listing all the things you’re not looking for can make you seem judgemental. Many people can also feel rather shy about dating and you don’t want to put them off by giving the impression you’re a harsh judge.

Don’t be hands off

As with many things, you’ll get out what you put into online dating. Setting up a profile and then sitting back, waiting for Mr or Mrs Perfect to get in touch is not the best idea. Remember, there might be a lot of users and your profile might not show up straight away. Take charge and proactively search for someone who interests you and get in touch.

Women also need to remember to be hands on in terms of suggesting a date. You don’t have to leave it to the man to decide and he’ll likely appreciate you making the first move.

Don’t be too critical

Remember that a person’s profile is only part of their story so don’t be too critical of how they look on paper. Don’t write someone off straight away because of one aspect of their profile that you don’t like. It might turn out to be a very small part of who they are and once you get to know them they might be the love match you’ve been waiting for.

Don’t be fooled into thinking free means better

With several different dating sites out there, make sure you do your research and choose the one that’s right for you. Remember, free doesn’t always mean better. Many of the free sites don’t send through suggestions of people who might work for you.

Other sites, such as eHarmony, will work to match your profile with that of another and send through recommended matches. The eHarmony free trial means users can even receive and review their recommended matches for free.