Whether it's the idea of betterment or the fact that you've just spent the majority of Christmas gorging on cheese and awkwardly explaining to your gran why you're STILL single, January is the biggest month of the year for dating websites.
Literally millions of us crawl out of December with a new-found loneliness (or horniness) and sign up to the sites, and most of us are making some very simple mistakes with our profiles. Mistakes that mean, despite all of our mostly genuine efforts, our profiles are looking less like sexy love tools and more like college psychology experiments.
Here are a few tips for winning at online dating in 2014 and not coming across like a potential serial killer straight out of Luther...
01 Make it obvious that you're you.
We're not talking Catfish disclaimers, but make sure you include a few snaps of yourself on your own, as well as with friends. Nobody wants to be caught in the awkward conversation when they confuse you for your 'fit mate.'
02 Don't stare intensely down the camera.
Because it's intense, which means you're intense, which makes girls tense. Plus it's 2014, so the chances are that if you look mental, your internet savvy voyeur will probably screengrab it, tweet it, stick it on Tumblr and turn you into a Reddit celebrity.
You do not want to be the new Starbucks Drake Hands. Definitely never do this:
03 DON'T be doing anything with your penis. Now is not the time.
Wine her and dine her first, because regardless of what your mate Jay has told you, there are very, very few women who look at a picture of a penis and think, "Woah, what a great shaft and a lovely set of balls. I must date him and make him mine."
It doesn't happen. Namely because penises are incredibly awkward to photograph and generally just look like cheap Tesco sausages sticking out of a hairy brain.
04 The same rule also applies to topless selfies.
Unless it's been directly requested by a potential date (in which case you better start doing some sit-ups), it just makes you look like an arrogant douche.
Nobody needs to know how much you lift. In fact, you should probably take that information our of your bio too.
05 At least try to be a bit interesting.
Saying things like: 'I love my mates' or 'I enjoy having a good time' do not make you seem interesting. You're basically just saying, 'I'm a person.'
Literally everybody in the world loves their mates, everyone likes fun and EVERYBODY (this one's important) likes a cup of tea. It's a given.
Think outside of the box. Do you do sports? Do you make scale models of world leaders out of matchsticks? Share your real interests. Unless it's the matchstick one obviously – keep that to yourself.
06 Be honest.
Sure, the whole point is to sell yourself and make out like you're awesome, but if it's all based on massive fibs, the second you go on an actual date you'll be caught out quicker than she can say, "Excuse me, your massive wooden nose is poking me in the eye."
Avoid saying anything false that's definitely going to be called into question, if you haven't travelled don't say you have, if you don't read stupidly intelligent books on philosophy, don't just think you can wiki it.
In the long run it's a lot easier. This is also the case with CVs.
07 Don't send generic/overly sexual messages.
Sending a message to someone that just reads: "Hi" says absolutely nothing at all about you or them as a person. It just shows that you've been staring at their pictures and not reading their profile so have nothing to comment on. Dig a little deeper, ask a question, maker her laugh, do something. But don't just say hi.
Likewise, don't send her a message telling her that you're DTF or that you want to do dirty stuff with whipped cream. It makes you sound like you've walked out of Robin Thicke video and, despite the number one single, nobody is really buying that.
08 Don't include your own wedding photos.
If you can't see why this would be a bad idea then you should probably stop reading this right now and slap yourself in the face with a giant sack of common sense.
Want to give it a go? Why not try FHM's very own dating site.
More Dos & Don'ts