Gone are the days when internet dating was considered taboo. But with more and more singles heading online, the virtual dating scene is proving to be even more of a minefield than ever.
Enter Bettina Arndt - a sex therapist, author, speaker and now what she calls Australia's first online dating coach.
She's turned her expertise to helping men and women from around the country polish up their online profiles, and maximise their chances of meeting their perfect match.
And it seems there are more and more people to meet. Australian dating site RSVP claims to have more than two million members, with 1000 new people joining every day.
Arndt says that with these sort of figures, the internet is the perfect place to meet someone.
"Now it is the norm - that's how single people are meeting each other. It's possible you could run into someone at the biscuit counter at Woolworths, but the chances are very slim," she says.
"It also has this enormous potential. It's quite extraordinary who you can meet."
She admits that online dating is a tough business, but says it's one that's worth the effort if you're keen to find your other half.
"If you wanted a job you'd be willing to put yourself through lots of crappy job interviews because you needed employment. If you want someone in your life, you have to put up with what can be a tough process. But it works," she says.
"My job is try and minimise the pain, hold people's hands, help pick them up when they've been kicked to the kerb, give them strategies to increase their chances."
And Arndt, who is originally from Canberra, should know all about it - she has been online dating for seven years on and off, and says she's had some wonderful relationships come from it.
As someone who is single and has well and truly exhausted all the ''regular'' ways of meeting someone, I have dabbled in online dating, figuring there's no harm in giving it a go.
I show Arndt my profile, which I believed was witty, endearing, and gives just enough of a taste to intrigue potential suitors. Arndt kindly but firmly informs me I'm way off the mark.
First of all, she focuses on the photos.
"Nothing matters more than the photos, and it is critical that the main photo, particularly, is really as flattering as possible," she said.
While I know I don't have that many decent photos of myself - I tend to be behind the camera, not in front of it - I didn't think mine were too bad. I have four of them on my profile - three of me on various holidays, and one with a glass of champagne.
"I am sure you could get more flattering photos," she says of my selection, while also suggesting to stay well clear of travel shots.
"They've become such a cliche and you risk coming across as a princess with nothing better to do than swan across the world," she says.
"Most women talk about wanting to travel - [it] makes for a boring profile."
She says alcohol in photos is also a no-go.
"I tend to steer clear of shots involving glasses of wine," she says.
"Men have talked to me about how common it is for women to pose bleary-eyed with the glass of bubbly - great if you want to come across as a party animal, but not so good if you are looking for a proper relationship."
To upgrade my photos, Arndt says I should rope in a friend to help.
"I suggest people get someone with a digital camera to spend an hour with them taking a bunch of natural but flattering photos in a few different settings and outfits," she says.
"You want something natural but showing your absolute best angle, close enough to see sparkling eyes, great smile."
And as for the words, you would hope as a journalist that I had managed to do better in this section. Unfortunately, I am mistaken.
"Hate to say it, but your profile is pretty ho-hum. Nothing memorable. Most of what you say is repeated in endless female profiles," she says.
Possibly as a reaction to my own discomfort in putting myself online, I mention my great group of friends and active social life, but Arndt says this gives the wrong impression.
"We all have wonderful friends, and men just don't want to know that. In fact, it might even put them off," she says.
"The thought of all those Sex and the City post-date post-mortems is enough to make most men nervous."
Also, I am a stickler for correct grammar and punctuation, and mention this in what I believe to be a light-hearted way.
"You gain nothing by sneering at potential dates," she says.
"Fine to avoid men who can't spell, but it doesn't attract anyone to be seen as too judgmental."
The only tick of approval I get from Arndt is my references to my love of fitness.
"Reference to running is good. Men like fit women," she says.
So what should a profile include, other than not what I wrote? No one enjoys writing an online dating profile, but after two years of working on it, Arndt says she has the process down to a fine art.
"It has to be all about setting you apart," she says.
"It's not interesting to read a list of adjectives just describing what you are like. You're looking for colour, the stories, the anecdotes, the quirky bits and pieces. This is your billboard. It's not about telling your life story, but selling yourself.
''Showing what's unique and wonderful about you."
And while it may seem obvious, people need to remember to write for the gender that they're attracting.
"Women tend to get their women friends to critique their profiles, and that's a disaster," she says.
"What appeals to other women is often very different from what attracts a man. For a 50-something woman it doesn't make sense to talk about how feisty and independent you are when you are trying to attract bruised, divorced men who have already done many rounds of the kitchen.''
With most of her clients, Arndt works to draw out the most noteworthy points of their personality and put together their updated profile. If necessary, she also books in a photography session for them to add a flattering visual to the words.
Arndt offers anyone free critiques of online profiles, so if you're willing and can handle the feedback, it's good to get an expert's view.
Once the profile is up, many of her clients are happy to go off and navigate the rest of the process themselves, but others are keen for more of a hand-holding approach, with Arndt assisting in searching and making contact with potential matches.
Having worked with both men and women, Arndt says the two operate very differently when it comes to online dating, with women struggling more with rejection.
"Men tend to be more resilient - many are toughened by being endlessly knocked back as young men. Women, particularly attractive women, aren't used to rejection," she says.
"Women will search and search, find the person who ticks their boxes and send off a message to him, wishing and hoping he will respond. Men are much more likely to send a whole bunch of 'kisses' and that way increase the odds of something happening."
Having told her about my fairly unsuccessful experience with online dating, Arndt says I need to be more open to possibilities.
"The problem with men is they spend three minutes putting together a profile. I've met some men who've had some pathetic profiles and they've turned out to be great guys," she says.
"If you see anything at all that catches your interest, it's worth exploring. The yellow lights may turn green if you give them a chance."
To be honest, after our chat I'm feeling a little deflated about the whole thing. Should I really go to all this effort myself, yet be willing to give the men on the sites free rein to not even be bothered to spell properly?
I understand the need to somewhat relax my potentially unrealistic standards, but I certainly don't rank highly on the desperation scale. I don't quite feel the need to "settle".
But given she's the expert, for now I will incorporate Arndt's suggested changes to my profile, and wait for virtual suitors to start flooding in.