Rules of online dating

A person who is playing hard to get will more than likely have other guys or girls that are interested in them.But the fact that they still give you some kind of encouraging signal suggests that you are the one they want to get “caught” by.But if you find yourself in the situation of not knowing whether they will even answer your calls, then the chances are, you are not their type.

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Forget that stuff about playing hard to get, expecting the man to pay, and never having sex on a first date. Modesty is a turn-off Many dating profiles 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. Instead of saying that you like sunsets, mention the best sunset you've ever seen. You don't have to write someone an epic love letter (please don't) – just pick out a couple of appealing points in their ad and write a quick intro email. You may think you're "connecting", but you can't judge chemistry unless you meet up.

Today's rules are a little more user-friendly – but some of them may surprise you. Say which music you like, and your favourite place to see your friends. Likewise, you won't "keep them keen" by making them wait days for a reply. Six emails in total – not each – is enough to know whether you want a date. Don't expect too much from a first date You're meeting a stranger. It may take many dates to find someone you like It's easy to lose faith when your first few dates don't work out.

"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. You do this by being original and, above all, specific about your interests. You don't have to reply Some rookies assume that they must answer every email, even if it's "thanks, but no thanks". "Thanks but no thanks" can feel more hurtful than no reply. Meet quickly, or stop emailing Don't allow an email conversation to drag on for weeks without a date.

and so is bragging Confidence is sexy; arrogance is not. The aim of the online dating game is to catch the eye of someone you have lots in common with.

Specific information does more than make you sound interesting – it also gives potential dates something to write to you about. Never admit that your friend wrote your profile "I asked my friend to describe me, and here's what he wrote…" is a cop-out. Ditch the wish list Some online dating profiles read like shopping lists. You might not get any emails This is a cruel fact of life for online dating beginners, especially men. Chances are that you won't fancy each other, or that only one of you will fancy the other. It's very unusual for someone to find a good match in their first few attempts.

By writing this in your profile, you're telling people that you're not smart or self-aware enough to write it yourself. Zip up your baggage Most living grown-ups have a history of exes, hang-ups and maybe a nervous breakdown or two. They know that you have a past, but they don't want to hear about it. They're looking for someone with brown eyes, short hair, between 5'10" and 6', from north-east Birmingham, and so on. First, they make the writer sound like a control freak. No chance Don't even think about posting a dating advert without a photo. Everyone who likes your main photo will want to see more. Don't lie with the camera An overly flattering photo will backfire. You meet, and the blood drains from their face as they realise that your photo was taken 10 years, five stone and 500 wrinkles ago. Sexy snaps will get you nowhere Whether you're a man or a woman, a photo with your shirt off makes you look desperate and/or only interested in sex. Don't fall in lust with a photo 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. See it all as experience, not as proof that you're a loser (or that everyone else is a loser).

Second, they sound like an exact description of the writer's ex. 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." 8. Not because they can't get enough of you, but because a single photo is not a reliable indicator of what you look like. Learn from your bad and boring dates and try again. Split the bill You're two grown-ups, not a sugardaddy and his gold-digger.

Chivalry means being attentive, thoughtful and fair, not paying for all the food. Have sex if you want – and not if you don't want Having sex doesn't make you morally corrupt, and it won't necessarily wreck your chances of a relationship. Call them the next day Ignore those rules about waiting three days to get in touch.

If you're both adults, single and you use protection, it's your choice – but if you'd rather not, that's your choice too. If you like someone, you have nothing to lose by letting them know.

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