So, you’ve decided to try online dating. Welcome! Whether this is your first time downloading a dating app or you’ve returned after taking a break, there are some things you don’t want to forget when you set up your profile.

Your dating profile is what sets someone’s first impression about you. You want to be as honest as enticing, putting your best qualities forth without over-exaggerating. Successful online dating is a balancing act like most things in life, but don’t worry. With these pointers, you’ll be well on your way toward matching with Mr. or Mrs. Right in no time.

Photos

Don’t be that person who uploads 8-12 photos of themselves. Too many selfies can make you seem eccentric, self-absorbed, or even put people off. Use four distinct photos to showcase your best features, including a clear body shot. This is a great opportunity to highlight some of your interests and hobbies. Show yourself being truly happy.

You should make sure that none of the photos are too revealing or promiscuous, as this is likely to garner the wrong type of attention if you’re looking for a serious partner. Be yourself! Avoid any photos with bad lighting, awkward angles or Snapchat filters. Oh, and make sure you never set your profile picture to a group photo.

Don’t be afraid to put in a little effort and be intentional with your photos. Get yourself dressed up, invest in your smile, and enlist a friend to act as your photographer. If you make your photos look nice, you’ll be more confident in your photos when putting them up.

Don’t Write a Novel

Dating profile bios should be short and sweet. You aren’t obligated to come up with a witty catchline, just be yourself. Introduce yourself, add a favorite quote and maybe talk about some of your hobbies.

Do not write multiple paragraphs detailing your trials and tribulations in dating, followed by a list of attributes your next partner must have. First of all, most people won’t read this much and second of all, you’ll come off as desperate or controlling.

Avoid Snarky Remarks

Sarcasm is great, but only in the right context. Make sure that your attempt at wit doesn’t come off as mocking or condescending. People read heavily into words on dating profiles, so you really want to cultivate a positive, approachable tone right from the get-go.

Be Upfront about Your Expectations

People are often angry when they talk to someone for days or even weeks only to find out they’re looking for nothing more than a hookup or FWB. Make sure that you are honest about what you’re looking for on your profile. You can say something like, “Just here to have some fun,” or “looking for something long-term, so serious inquiries only please :)”.

When you download a dating app, it can easily start to become pressure. You feel like you have to find the right match, and you spend hours scrolling, swiping and messaging people in hopes that they’re your next true love. Make sure that you continue to develop a healthy, active social life outside of dating. While online apps can be a great way to meet new locals, there are also plenty of people out there in the world who aren’t online that you can connect with when you least expect it!

When you do meet up with someone online, keep it casual and light. Grab a coffee, get a burrito or just take a walk together. Dating should be fun, and you should never feel like you’re conducting a job interview. Remember to not put too much pressure on yourselves or expectations on another person. In the end, you’ll be grateful for the fun experiences you have without feeling like you’re “wasting time” or missing out on your soulmate.