But in my experience, if you give a man a choice between shopping and having a root canal, the latter has a better chance of winning.

(The exception, of course, would be helping a woman pick out a bathing suit --lots of male volunteers there.) Too much domesticity can also turn off men.

Learn how to avoid the mistakes made by 90 percent of searchers and create a profile that captures your strong points and stands out from the crowd.

Every word counts in your opener, including your user name. Your dating "handle" should be anonymous yet descriptive. You might want to zero in on an activity or interest, like I did with my online ID, Golf Nut.

If you've decided to try internet dating after your divorce, the best place to begin is by writing your online dating profile.

There is actually an art to writing a good profile that generates the right kind of click.

Here's the line from her opening profile that killed her chances: "My favorite activity is shopping!!!

I love clothes." This would be a great hook if she were hoping to land a woman friend.

A good way to accomplish that is to divide the profile between your physical description and personality, keeping in mind the two questions you need to answer in this short space: What am I like? But any experienced online dater will warn you that you're risking wrath when you lie.

Clever explanations and apologies will not earn you forgiveness if you've wasted someone's time by misrepresenting yourself. Why compromise your credibility when so many online searchers will treasure the years you're trying to hide? The big sites, such as the official site, Perfectmatch.com, and Single Parent Match, also have millions of mature browsers and are experiencing double-digit growth in our demographic group.

Here are some more examples: You'll notice that good banner headlines are positive, interesting, and humorous. Donna Frank of Nashua, New Hampshire, attracted now-husband Eric's attention with her headline, "Modern-Day Elaine Seeking Her Seinfeld." On the other hand, banner headlines that spook guys are heavy and hostile. Some sites require you to disclose height, weight, and age right up front.

Don't make these mistakes: It's less than 100 words -- sometimes as few as 25 -- but this descriptive paragraph needs to convey the experience of you. If you've been fudging for a while and can get away with shaving a few pounds or years, you might be okay.

Most sites have a banner headline with the profile -- a six- to 12-wordphrase that offers you a second chance to grab attention and sell yourself. Don't use this important real estate to describe the person you're looking for. Put modesty aside for 15 minutes and jot down your wonderful attributes. Friends can offer a fresh perspective and may be much more objective about you than you are.