By Mackenzie Scibetta

Lauren Urasek is your average, dark-haired, tattooed, mid-twenty-year-old make-up artist from Brooklyn. She lives a modest life, yet somehow, this ordinary girl is regarded as the most popular girl in New York City. With over eight million people in the Big Apple, how did she manage to claim such a grand title? The answer is through an online dating site called OKCupid. According to the co-founder of the site, Urasek is the most messaged woman, receiving an astonishing 245 messages each week. After garnering a lot of attention for this feat, she decided to write a self-help relationship book that includes the comical dating horror stories she has saved up and also offers up online dating and relationship advice. We recently talked with Urasek about Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, and in our exclusive interview, the queen of online dating gives us a glimpse into her own personal experiences.

Self-Help Relationship Book Gives Inside Look at Online Dating World 

Can you give us some background on what made you decide to open up about your dating experiences? 

It all started with a New York Magazine article that was written about me almost two years ago. From there, I was inspired to launch my blog, which talks about all of the crazy guys who I meet online. I got a lot of questions from readers on these unusual experiences, so I decided to open up about it in a more in-depth way. It seemed natural to talk about my dating life to hopefully inspire, or at least entertain, other people. The book also touches on the brief fame I received from the New York Magazine article, which was really fun to reflect on.

Related Link: Relationship Author Dr. Brandy Engler Breaks Down ‘The Women on My Couch’

What do you think will surprise readers most about this book?

I live in one of the busiest cities in the world, so although New Yorkers won’t be surprised, I think other people will be shocked at the obnoxiousness of dating in such a large city. Guys can get away with a lot more here because they know there’s a good chance they’ll never see you again. Guys in a small town or suburb are different because everyone is connected somehow and you have to worry about that gossip aspect. Some of the things I find to be normal might be pretty crazy to my readers.

You talk about some of your online dating horror stories in the book. What was the weirdest interaction you had online?

One time, I went out with a guy, and everything seemed great until, at the very end, he wound up randomly storming out on me. He demanded I pay for everything and even brought his weird, out-of-place cousin along. Before he demanded that I pay, he was telling everyone around us I was his fiancée. He had a million different personalities, so you really don’t know who someone is until you meet them in person. I normally won’t talk to a guy online too much before I meet him; that way, we aren’t overly relying on technology.

Lauren Urasek Gives Love Advice Based on Her Unique Personal Experiences

Switching gears a little, I’d love to get your online dating and relationship advice. What do you consider are some of the major don’ts with online dating?

Don’t try to be anyone who you’re not. I would approach everyone you’re talking to as a real person. You have to remember that they’re not just a photo behind a screen; they have a real life and real feelings. Basically, don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do in real life.

How do you avoid and get past the “creeps” on dating sites to find a genuine guy?

It’s just about following your gut. If someone sends something weird or creepy in a message, don’t feel obligated to talk to them. Your gut isn’t always right, so you might go on a bad first date, but usually, it will lead you down the right path. If they’re normal and respectful, then you’re taking a good chance.

Related Link: Dating Headshots

Our visitors are always looking for tips on how to find the right guy. What love advice would you give to singles who just can’t seem to find The One?

I’m in the same boat right now, so the dating advice I follow is just making myself happy as a single person. If you’re constantly looking for a guy, then you’re putting too much pressure on people, and it wont be a natural relationship. I would also say you can go online to meet people, but keep doing your own thing and stay busy with your friends. Don’t let yourself become too dependent on online dating.

Lastly, do you have any tips for singles who want to increase the amount of matches they’re receiving online?

First, have good pictures. That means take a variety of them at different angles, including face pictures, full-length pictures, and profile pictures. Make sure they’re all high quality and up to date too. Then, write a good profile that actually shows who you are outside of “I like long walks on the beach.” Everyone online writes “I like to travel” and “I’m outgoing,” so don’t write something every guy has seen a hundred times. Just write something that gives him a true sense of who you really are.

You can purchase Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City on Amazon. For more on Lauren Urasek, check out her Twitter @loandthecosmos or her blog,