Single and ready to mingle? Online dating advice from a pro

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HOUSTON —If you're looking to find love online, there's plenty of dating sites and apps available for the single and ready to mingle.

"Right now, I'm just looking to meet new people."

For 30-year-old Madeline Pena, online dating was a way to get back in the game after a 7-year relationship ended quite suddenly.

"I had no idea how to date. I didn't even know how to flirt, or how to talk to guys period. The nightmare dates started about a month after I'd actually been on Tinder," Pena said. "He's cooking me dinner, everything's going great and then out of nowhere, I kid you not, he comes in with his shirt, like off and he's playing the violin — Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On.' I'm just sitting there thinking this can't be how people date. This can't be real life."

That's the thing with online dating, it opens up a whole new world of options, but that comes with the good and the bad.

"Get that government name, drop him in Google."

Online dating consultant expert Tera Stidum said there are certain tricks to making your online profile more appealing to attract the catches and deter the creeps.

"You want to make sure you have great pictures. Make sure they are current," said Stidum.

"If you've written more than 10 sentences, you've written way too much."

Pena sat down with the dating guru for a review.

"Everything in her profile is something that a guy could ask a question about and start a conversation with. She gets an A+."

After receiving the seal of approval, they put her online profile to the test by asking some real-life guys what they think.

"She's cute! She looks like she gets out and does fun stuff."

"She's really pretty. She has a cunning smile. It's friendly and her eyes are welcoming as well."

"What do you think of the description?"

"That's the problem. It's really short and doesn't tell me much."

"Would you swipe right?"

"Yeah, I would."

So was Stidum's advice accurate?

Well, she is a success story herself after all.

She and her husband met on years ago and she said you can too.

"You're probably going to go through a few toads before you get to your Prince Charming."


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