From ESSENCE Magazine, November 2008 issue, pg 100

By Charreah Jackson

If you’ve looked for love online and become frustrated, welcome to Cyber Dating Version 2.0. “The newest trend in online dating is sites that hook up singles with very specific preferences—from political affiliation to owning pets,” says Eric Resnick, who operates ProfileHelper.com, a Web page that assists Internet daters with perfecting their pitch. Now, instead of drowning in a sea of just “single guys” on the more than 5,000 dating sites targeting the general market, you can search among only the attributes you desire. Type almost any word in your search engine along with “singles” or “dating,” and you’re likely to find a niche site that caters to your particular need. “When you meet somebody from a niche site, they’re accepting you for who you are,” says Karen Amerson, a size-22 Pennsylvanian who met her man of one year at a URL for big, beautiful women and the men who love them. “I know what they’re looking for, so there are no surprises once they meet me.” Sound good? Hold up! You’ll still need to make waves in your newly exclusive dating pool. We asked the experts how to make your data datable.

1 Post a Winning Photo

Instead of a professional shot, try a more laid-back look. “You want to look
like the person who’s going to walk through the door at the date,” says Resnick. Take your picture in a comfortable setting, such as your family reunion or at a backyard barbecue with friends, and try to do so during the day. “Flash completely washes out darker complexions,” Resnick notes.

2 Write an Impressive Profile

“A profile should be like a great movie      trailer—just enough of the story to make you want to buy tickets to the show,” adds Resnick. Once you’ve captured his interest, deliver a description that sets you apart from the competition. Be specific: Many women throw down in the kitchen, but naming your best dishes makes you unique.

3 Save the Drama

Check your baggage before logging on. When you describe your dream guy, don’t request qualities that should be a given, such as honesty and monogamy. It shows that you have unresolved pain from your past, which is a turnoff. “Not only will that drive away the good guys, but the bad guys look at that and see you as an easy mark,” says Resnick.

4 Take Charge

“Men are flattered when women make the first move,” says Alwin Scott, spokesperson for niche site Black Singles.com. If a man catches your atten–tion, shoot him a polite e-mail. Leave an impression by mentioning some traits you have in common—beyond the site’s specialty. You’ll also want to dedicate time to cruise for mates; aim to contact four each day.

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