Tips to Finding Love Online

Jason Soong

Katie's TakeIf you've ever been skittish about trying online dating, here's a statistic that might help you take the plunge: 17% of marriages this year began on the Internet.

In fact, at least 40 million Americans have tried online dating. But that doesn't necessarily mean they're all doing it correctly, so we got a few pointers for you from Laurie Davis, the founder of eFlirt and author of "Love at First Click."

To avoid looking for love in all the wrong cyber spaces (sorry, couldn't resist) Laurie, who met her fiance online, says you first need to build a profile that stands out. Post four to seven photos, but don't be creepy…nothing shirtless or bikini-clad. As far as your description goes, she says you should avoid generic adjectives like "fun-loving" or "adventurous." Let people know what makes you unique!

Also, buyer beware…there can be a fair amount of false advertising in online dating. For example, some people post photographs of themselves that aren't really an accurate depiction of what they look like today. And it goes without saying, if you want a long term relationship, avoid the people who are just looking for a last-minute rendezvous.

If you make a connection online, you'll want it move offline and into the real world. Safety is key and Laurie says your first meeting with a new online friend should always be in a public place. Keep the encounter brief and don't think of it as a date, but rather a chance to see if you genuinely connect with the person.

All in all, a positive attitude, an open mind and good judgment will help you make the most of your online dating experience and might even lead to meaningful, long term relationships.

Happy dating!