Six emails in total – not each – is enough to know whether you want a date. Chances are that you won’t fancy each other, or that only one of you will fancy the other. It’s easy to lose faith when your first few dates don’t work out.
Forget that stuff about playing hard to get, expecting the man to pay, and never having sex on a first date. “I cook a mean paella and I’ll always try to make you laugh” is good, but “I have a fantastic job and no-one can understand why I’m single” is not.
Today’s rules are a little more user-friendly – but some of them may surprise you. Many profiles on dating websites start with statements like: “I’m no good at this kind of thing”. If you put yourself down, you won’t sound attractively self-effacing. The aim of the online dating game is to catch the eye of someone you have lots in common with.
A picture-less ad says: “I am so ugly I didn’t want to risk a photo,” “I am married,” or “I am on the run from Broadmoor.” Everyone who likes your main photo will want to see more. Whether you’re a man or a woman, a photo with your shirt off makes you look desperate and/or only interested in sex. This is a cruel fact of life for online dating beginners, especially men. Likewise, you won’t “keep them keen” by making them wait days for a reply. Don’t allow an email conversation to drag on for weeks without a date.
Not because they can’t get enough of you, but because a single photo is not a reliable indicator of what you look like. Use photos and emails for spotting potential, but don’t start fancying the pants off a two-dimensional image. More men than women advertise on most dating sites, so the girls get the pick of the bunch. Read the profiles that get most views, and pick up tips from them. You may think you’re “connecting”, but you can’t judge chemistry unless you meet up.
If you have a particular interest, religion or affiliation you may want to choose a specialist site where you can connect with others who share your interests, beliefs or values. Lies tend to catch up with you and besides wouldn’t you rather people liked you for who you really are and not because of some false image you have created? Decide what things you are not willing to compromise on and then be open about the rest. Always plan a first date in a public place and never at home. If you have a relevant story or advice that you would like to share with other readers then please do email me at [email protected]
For example as a Telegraph reader – you may want to try Telegraph Dating. After all you don’t want people to be disappointed when they meet you. The fussier you are the more you limit your choices. Let someone know where you are going and when you are due back. Also if you have a dating topic that you would like discussed in the series, then do let me know and I will do my best to cover it.
“I asked my friend to describe me, and here’s what he wrote…” is a cop-out.
By writing this in your profile, you’re telling people that you’re not smart or self-aware enough to write it yourself.
You do this by being original and, above all, specific about your interests.
Instead of saying that you like sunsets, mention the best sunset you’ve ever seen.
Look for ones that check users profiles and have good security and privacy for members.