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This is a common complaint -- often from men -- and there are a few reasons it could happen.

Give your profile a once-over and see if there might be any off-putting remarks.

Make sure you're sending messages that aren't too short and quippy, or too long and detailed.

If you need some help, have a friend critique your profile, or post it in a forum like /r/okcupid (or whatever site you're using). Secondly, it's hard at first, but you have to think of online dating as a numbers game.

Schedule your date for a public place, let someone know where you are and so on. Plenty of people realise that it's better to be honest, lest they lose points as soon as they walk in the room.

We've talked about this in detail before, so check out that post for more info. Sure, this person adds a few inches to his height, that person hides a few inches from their waistline, and you get a big surprise when you meet in person. You'll have to deal with a few liars, but you'll quickly learn to read between the lines.

The question is whether the people doing it are the ones you'd want to date. Unlike farting in public, though, online dating's stigma is quickly going away.

If you ask around, you'll be surprised how many people you know are doing it. Remember: there are more people doing this than you probably realise.

That said, the "searching for dates" portion of the process can feel impersonal -- scanning people's profiles, looking at pictures, responding to some messages and X-ing others out. Think of it like this: instead of waiting for Mr or Mrs right to appear in front of you, you're taking an active role in finding someone who shares your interests and values. You probably have a chance of getting less "spam" on paid sites, but that's just one portion of the equation.

But we often do the same thing in real life: we walk into a social gathering, size people up, ask who's single and so on. It hardly feels impersonal when you put it that way. Free sites might skew younger or have more members, while some paid sites might contain more serious relationship-seekers.

In fact, unless you have a buddy system with Batman, it's probably safer.

That said, it's only safer if you take the necessary precautions: don't post personally identifiable information (like your phone number or address) on your profile, and only give it out after you've messaged with someone enough to feel comfortable giving it out.

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