A dating guide

“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.Say which music you like, and your favourite place to see your friends.Specific information does more than make you sound interesting – it also gives potential dates something to write to you about.

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. Ignore those rules about waiting three days to get in touch.

When I started seeing my husband, aka the first guy I wasn't embarrassed to tell my therapist about, I was gobsmacked to realize how much I hadn't known about dating before then.

I didn't have very much fun at it, which is depressing since I didn't pair up until my 30s.

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.

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