Hi! Online dating is a good idea. You find interesting persons there but you must also meet and learn to know in person before making any commitments. If you are seriously looking for somebody, and want to be discrete, I can recommend you sites like http://www.makefriendsonline.com (the trial time is free. I found my wife from there). Then, plentyoffish is ok too, and free. Matchdoctor also. About making friends onlin with somebody, I think you should act like in other ways too. Just like in real life. I mean, if you hope to have an open sincere discussion. Otherwise, the relationship won t work. How to start, it depends very much of a person. You should read the profile and then decide how to move on. Some are flattered about flirting, some want to move slower, as friends in the beginning and after some time together decide how to move on. I was succesful that way. But most of all, being discrete is important with a new friend, if you look for friendship (or more) for longer time. When chatting with somebody, you should have something in common. You will find that out in correspondence or chat. If you don t find anything interesting that you have in common, the chatting or correspondence will be about weather etc. Of course, the weather here plays a big role in everyday life, so it s of course ok to mention it, but that shouldn t be the main issue. Well, I don t know if you are meteorologists (haha!). But, to be serious, don t waste your or your friend s time on issues you both know it s boring. That doesn t lead into anything, you will get bored of the whole thing that way. Then, about your own profile. Try to be interesting. Look for hints by reading other profiles of your own sex. A picture helps finding contacts. Or it s required in your first, or at least the 2nd contact to your friends. You get much more replies to your messages if you have your picture. Either your public profile, or then attached in your first message at least. Be natural! Be yourself in your profile, picture and your correspondence. Try to be interesting but don t act any role. Then you can be sure that If (actually when) somebody is interested in you, the meeting in person won t be a dissappointment. I think online dating is just a great way to find people, maybe a bit outside the own corners. Much better than a pub, nightclub etc. And there is nothing to be ashamed in online dating. Be active, contact people that you like. You will find out that most of them are not for you, but don t give up. I also had several contacts that ended after couple of mails. But lucky me, I also found a relationship and a marriage that works so well I never even could imagine. I really can recommend the online dating as one great way to find a partner. I wish you good luck !