People have taken to online dating like a duck takes to water, because it works, or, at least, it can work. Women are, in general, terrified of meeting a man that she has been chatting with online. All they have heard about are the scary things that can happen and, I must say, they have a right to be careful to the extreme. That's not only wise but vital. So what's a nice guy to do? You aren't a pervert, a sexual predator, or a weirdo. You are just a nice guy looking for "the" girl for you.
You must be patient. Don't press her for personal information like her real name or where she lives. Keep your conversations light and fun until she feels comfortable talking with you online. Don't try to rush her into meeting face-to-face. She will think you are desperate or a pervert. Patience. Patience. Patience.
Be absolutely honest about your physical appearance and job. A good relationship has never been, and will never be, built on lies and deceit. Eventually she will find out the truth anyway and there you are back at square one.
If you aren't 6'1" with a six-pack to be proud of, don't claim to be. If you are a bar tender, don't claim to be a lawyer with a six figure income. If you are 40 going on 50, don't pretend to be 30 something.
Remember, the idea here is to find a girl who will like you exactly like you are. If you have lied in your profile, the first face-to-face meeting will remove all her doubt that you are a liar, and probably a cheat, as well.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. Post many pictures of yourself doing your everyday activities and make them full body shots, not just head shots. If you were dating a girl in the real world she wouldn't just see your head.
OK, you've uploaded a good picture and now you are going to chat with a contact. What now? How do you start separating those who have real potential and those who don't have any potential at all? You need to find out something about who this strange woman really is and not just who she wants you to believe she is. It would be nice if women wore labels like "Gold Digger" or "Daddy's girl", but they don't so it's up to you to find these things out and you can't just ask direct questions. You need to know what mistakes you can avoid making and how to impress this lady if you decide you want to do that.
After you are past the initial small talk, ask her, "What are the biggest mistakes guys make when dating online?" Listen carefully to her answers. She's going to tell you a lot about herself and her views on men in general.
Next you should ask her, "What do you really think about online dating?" Now she will tell you if she has had any bad experiences dating online and help you to avoid making the same things wrong.
Now for the all-important one, "What caused the break up in your last relationship?" If she puts all the blame on the guy, you should probably move on to the next prospect. If she takes all the blame herself, you should probably do the same. If she says the breakup was by mutual consent or that the relationship just wasn't right for either of them, you've heard the right answer. Move forward but always with caution.
Asking the right questions will give you insight and make you more confident when you meet the lady for the first time.
Once the discussion has been opened about meeting face-to-face for the first time, suggest that you meet in a very public place, during daylight hours and that she bring a friend with her. After all, you have nothing to hide. You've told her the truth about yourself and she has already seen a lot of pictures of you. The only thing left is to make her feel safe meeting you.
Lastly, once you have found a girl that you believe can be the one for you, for goodness sakes, cancel your membership to the online dating service. After all, you know and she knows that online dating services are intended for those who are looking, not those who have found or been found.