Here’s what I learned: If you’re looking for someone of similar interests and lifestyle, the more specific you can be upfront, the better. What was the last good book your read, or film you saw?

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Take it from someone whose new “friend” ran up the bar tab while keeping her purse hidden all night: Start with coffee. The sad fact is that some people are just looking for an excuse to go out with especially a naïve chump who will pick up the bill. Case in point: After connecting online and hitting it off over an extended phone conversation, I met a woman for a happy-hour drink.

She was an attractive redhead with a sparkling personality and a great smile.

Since pictures are so important to your online profile, here are a few tips: Your profile needs at least one picture to get you in the game.

You may be brilliant, handsome, wealthy and a great humanitarian, but you’re a non-starter without the visuals.

But I wasn’t the same single guy I was the last time I lived here. And I wanted to meet people, so I turned to Internet dating as a way to meet eligible women.

Over the course of several months of online dating, I discovered that the pool of available older women is vast and diverse (as is true of men, although perhaps to a lesser extent) and that with a little effort, a reasonably intelligent, halfway-presentable person can usually generate some interest on dating websites. We’ve survived death and divorce, raised families, managed careers and built support networks of family and friends.

Don’t claim to be a gourmet cook when you can barely boil water.

Don’t portray yourself as someone you’re not, because sooner or later your date will get a peek behind the curtain. If the good vibes are mutual, you’ll be scheduling another get together soon, anyway. Many among us have a hardwired set of beliefs regarding how we appear to the outside world and what our ideal mate should look like, and we are disinclined to stray from our preconceived notions.

Internet dating puts all options on the table, and a growing number of sites cater to the more mature singles crowd.

My own encounters revolved around OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish, both of which are free dating sites.

The majority of women I spoke with said they refuse to acknowledge crude come-ons.