The facts (age, height, weight, location, interests) are likely to be clear.
But look further to what the profile reveals about character and values, and start creating a mental picture of the person, the kind of relationship they are offering and who they are looking for.
Men in particular tend to post an old photo or a passport-booth one (which in Great Britain at any rate forbids smiling.) Because of this, the image you see may not do the person justice.
Some people get stuck at the stage where they’re responding to approaches, texting or emailing potential partners.
Once you’ve posted your own profile and your partner specification, you will start to get approaches from – or be able to make approaches to – potential partners.
And at this stage it gets exciting – though also time-intensive, as ideally you need to log on, make connections, and respond to approaches on a daily basis.
At the fourth stage of the online dating process, you start to contact others, decide whether they are right for you, and if not let them go.
This section guides you through that exciting, but tricky, part of the journey…
The way to get unstuck here is to develop your ability at judging whether there’s a fit between you and potential partners.
It’s also vital to be proactive in making new connections, to be kind in letting people go when they’re not suitable, and to be emotionally resilient when rejected; you’ll find resilience far easier with a supportive friend or dating buddy.