By Jenna Bagcal

Daisy Buchanan knows that online dating can be overwhelming for some people, but she wants to show readers that love can be found on the Internet. In her new book about love, Meeting Your Match: Navigating the Minefield of Online Dating, the relationship author teaches people how to get the best results when venturing into the virtual world to find a mate. She provides a comprehensive guide of love advice that includes how to find the best site for you based on the website’s “personality,” how to make your profile appealing to potential partners, and even how online dating should be approached by first-time users. In this exclusive interview, Buchanan, who met her fiancé online, shares her firsthand dating advice with readers interested in finding a relationship and love in the age of the Internet.

Relationship Author Discusses Dating Advice In Her New Book About Love

First, what inspired you to write Meeting Your Match

I’ve been online dating, on and off, since 2009, and I’ve been amazed to see how the technology evolved but humans basically stayed the same! I love to laugh, and I think that, if your date isn’t a romantic adventure, it will probably turn into a funny story. Whenever a group of single women are gathered together, the bad date tales will flow! I wanted to make daters laugh and show them that, even though the process can feel a bit lonely, you’re not alone.

Related Link: 10 Tips to Being Successful With Online Dating

Do you have any love advice for someone trying online dating for the first time? How should they approach it?

This makes me sound like an especially nerdy teacher, but just have fun! I think this is especially important for people in their twenties and thirties who think it’s time to settle down. If you focus on finding the person with the great job and savings who wants kids in the next five years, you might miss your actual match.

Also, remember that it’s a two-way process. Prepare yourself for some rejection but know that you’ll have to do the rejecting too. Make sure a helpful friend is there for back-up and screening — ideally one who has done it before and knows when the messages are too good to be true or when there might be more to a profile than you initially think.

You describe the “personalities” of different dating sites in order for people to choose which one is best for them. Why is it important for people to use the right site when looking for a relationship and love? 

The Internet is overwhelming, whether you’re looking for love or pizza. If you’re new to online dating and want a lot of choices, the bigger sites might be better for you, but there’s something to be said for narrowing the field. Think of it as searching a smaller haystack. Also, if you’re just out of a relationship and you’re fairly sure you’re not ready for something serious, a casual, free site or app will suit. If you’re sure you want to meet The One, you’re more likely to find someone with similar intentions on eHarmony than Tinder.

Let’s talk a bit about online dating profiles. If there was one piece of information you’d recommend that online daters always include in their profiles, what would it be?

Always use a picture. Various studies confirm this idea; no one will click or look at anything if there’s a big blank space where your face should be. Other than that, you should name the one, super specific thing you’re really passionate about. It doesn’t have to be niche — it can be a kind of wine or a particular movie — but “For a great night in, I need a bottle of Margaux and Anchorman on DVD” is much more exciting than “I like watching films with a glass of red!”

Daisy Buchanan Talks About Staying Safe During Online Dating

To shift gears a bit, this book is aimed at young women who are online dating today, and safety is always a concern when strangers are involved. What are some tips for staying safe when meeting someone new for the first time?

I think that a big thing is not to mix your social networks. If you met them on Match, don’t add them on Facebook yet. Obviously, this doesn’t apply if Facebook is where you’ve been communicating, but we give out so much information online without realizing it. Also, if you swap e-mail addresses, set up a separate dating one instead of giving out your personal one. Hopefully, it’s an unnecessary precaution, but safety first! Remember that it’s easy to feel like you’ve known someone forever when you’ve been talking online a lot, but they’re still a stranger, even though they don’t seem like one.

I had never heard of apps like “Grouper” before, where groups of friends can connect with other groups of friends of the opposite sex. I’m sure this really helps people feel safer! What date spots would you recommend as being ideal for group dates?

It is great for safety.

I think it depends on the group! If you’re all quite confident, I say go to a karaoke bar. Going bowling or planning a picnic might be fun too. A lively bar may make you all feel at ease, but if it’s too lively, you won’t be able to hear each other.

Related Link: 5 Red Flags in Online Dating Profiles 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Ultimately, online dating is just like traditional dating. The technology exists to make it easier and more fun and to give us more choices. But it’s only as good as the people doing it. I think it’s incredibly effective as long as you’re patient, open-minded, and willing to see the funny side of any situation!

To read more online dating advice, get your copy of Meeting Your Match  on Amazon. Follow Daisy on Twitter @NotRollergirl.