Remember the days when dating involved waiting by the phone and dialling 1471 (a la Bridget Jones) to see if he’d called while you were out?

We’ve come a long way from then. From Bebo pokes to Tinder swipes, technology has changed the way we date just as much as the rest of our lives, without us even noticing. And sure, in many ways, it’s been good. But we think it’s time we slowed down.

2018 is the year of slowing down, it seems. From slow fashion to slow food, it’s never been cooler – or easier – to take your time. And that’s true when it comes to your dating life, too.

If, like us, you’re suffering from a case of app overload, you’ll be pleased to know you can give your thumbs a rest this year. Online dating may have been replaced by Tinder quicker than you can swipe right, but it’s making a comeback and finally getting the recognition it deserves. So if you’re sick of matching dead ends or going on an endless stream of dodgy dates, why not open your laptop and sign up to some of the best dating sites?

Here are five tips for getting started with online dating.

1 – Don’t be scared

You can’t hide behind a witty one-liner or series of emojis online, but it doesn’t mean you need to be scared.

Sure, putting together an online dating profile can take longer than quickly uploading your favourite Instagram snaps on an app, but the fact you’re putting more of yourself out there already means you’re more likely to meet a (genuine) match.

2 – Go local

Good news, app lovers! You can narrow your location down online too. The easiest way to do it is to join a London dating site. If you aren’t based in London, don’t despair. You can also find everything from Strathclyde dating sites and Cheshire dating sites to websites especially for Fife singles.

3 – Ask a friend for help

Before you hit “publish” on your shiny new dating profile, it’s a good idea to get a friend to look over it. Things like humour and sarcasm don’t always translate well online, so a second pair of eyes will help you make sure you’re coming across the way you think you’re coming across.

4 – Don’t be embarrassed

Setting up an online dating profile used to be a kind of taboo, something you wouldn’t want your colleagues or family to know about. It’s 2018, however, and nobody is shy about it anymore. In fact, more couples meet online than in bars nowadays!

5 – Make the first move

Just as it’s no longer weird or uncool to set up your online dating profile, it’s also totally cool for a woman to make the first move. In fact, many men prefer it! Don’t be afraid to start a conversation or ask a man out – nobody wants to be the woman who sits around waiting for a man, after all. Plus, you never know where it might lead.

If you decide to have a go at online dating this year, good luck!