"I find honesty is a rare commodity. It is worth it's weight in gold when it comes to dating, whether in the real or virtual worlds. The only downside is you are going to have to build your credibility to stand out from the droves of liars and fibbers (particularly for men). I speak of honesty, both in your self-assessment and in communicating your intentions and feelings."
I've tried every approach there is and often you find the opposite of what you are looking for initially (for better or worse). My longest relationship ended up being a fuck buddy I met on Craigslist who was much younger than me. Neither of us planned or expected more to come of it, but things sort of spun out of control and the lines changed. Neither of us wanted it to get serious and certainly had no plans on living together and sharing a household and pets, but it happened. It wasn't all regret though. Some wonderful things came of it, but some awful, and life changing things happened too. Se la vie.
On the other hand, I've searched for a long-term relationship and ended up with what was more like a casual dating acquaintance or friend with benefits (FWB) too. I've used Match.com, Matchmaker.com, Nerve.com, E-Harmony, Chemistry, Tickle, OKCupid and even Craigslist to try and meet people. I've even gone to the wild side and tried Adultfriendfinder, alt.com, Fetlife, and swinger type sites, though you will find those are much tougher for a single male, than a couple or female, when it comes to meeting people.
You will want to choose a site that fits what you are looking for. If you want a Jewish partner, you might want to try Jdate.com. If you are seeking a FWB, you probably don't want to go to E-harmony. There is a plethora of dating site options in cyber world, so choose what suits your needs.
On the opposite extreme, I've seen people list EVERY single band/musician and 50 movies they like in their profile. Sure, you want to find someone with common interests, but you don't need to list every movie or band you like. A handful or so of favorites is enough. There are a lot of people on dating sites and you have a limited amount of information to catch someone’s attention, so make the most of it. List what you have to offer someone special, don't just make a laundry list of unrealistic expectations that must be met or you might be over restricting your potential dating list. I've seen some ridiculous and long lists of "requirements" on profiles, as demanding as requiring a specific birth order in their mate. Yes, seriously.
Without a photo, your profile might even get filtered out of most searches. Most of us check the photos before delving into the meat of the profile. You can always swap more photos after you have made contact with someone who interests you via email or other method. And lastly, we've all heard and seen stories of people using 10-15 year old photos of themselves that no longer resemble their current appearance. By all means, do not do this! You are only setting yourself up for disappointment and being deceitful. Not all of us are photogenic (myself included), but people know this and it's much nicer to meet someone who looks better than you expected in person than showing up on a blind date with them expecting you to look like that Glamour Shots photo from 12 years ago. I can't stress it enough. Photos, photos, photos! It will get you noticed, get your profile read, and ultimately lead to success. A beautiful smile can say more than a wall of text. Additionally, I know it's a touchy subject, but do not lie or disguise your weight, age, marital status or body type. You're not fooling anyone. Nothing good can ultimately come from it. There is someone for everyone, but hiding something isn't going to get you points or win someone over from outside of your potential dating pool.
I have gone on actual blind dates in the past where I did not have a photo with mixed results. This was back when we just had scanners and not digital cameras everywhere and even back in film days before the internet. Nowadays, everybody has a camera phone or a digital camera or at least a friend who does, so there is no excuse for not having a photo online to send or post. It's unfair, as well, to see someone else’s photo and not reciprocate and expect them to meet you.
It's no fun to slog through dinner and more on a date when you've made up your mind it's not going to work for one or the other. So, just set up something low key for a first date. Just consider it a meet and greet with an open window. Fun, interactive things you can do in public are perfect ice breakers and you can enjoy yourself without worrying about the clock or the outcome. If things click you can continuing the date but you have the option to leave after an hour, too. Pick a place, time, and scenario you both are going to feel safe and comfortable at.