The lesson: Spend time on your profile, and don't stress too much about your first e-mail! Be Direct When it comes to virtual dating, forget playing "hard to get." If someone you're interested in contacts you, it won't pay off to "casually" wait a few days to reply.
"If you play games and wait to get back to him, he may have already run off into the sunset with someone else," says Spira.
Make a Move In your initial e-mail to a potential partner, it's crucial to indicate that you've read his profile and took an interest in it.
While the pictures you post should be clear—giving the viewer an accurate glimpse of what you really look like—don't completely discount self-taken shots (the ones where you hold out your camera to take your own portrait).
Ok Trends, the data-analysis blog for the dating website Ok Cupid.com, says that self-shot photos can actually be very effective in attracting partners, most likely because they are approachable, casual and make the viewer feel close to the subject—all good things! Your Profile Your goal should be to create an engaging profile that piques people's interest and makes them want to know more about you.
"The amount of times that people are approached when they have photos is multitudes more than when they don't," says Gian Gonzaga, Ph D, e Harmony's senior director of research and development and head of e Harmony Labs. Leave behind group shots, which can make it confusing for other people to identify you, advises Spira, and choose a headshot in which you are smiling.
"Your primary photo should be all about you." She recommends posting between three to five photos only—any more and "it's as if you're already smothering your future partner." Also, be sure to include a shot where you can see your body.
It doesn't have to be provocative (and you most certainly do not have to have a perfect figure!
), but it gives the impression that you have nothing to hide; confidence is always attractive.
If you show up and your date looks nothing like his photo––and this does happen––don't run screaming for the exit.
The best thing you can do is be polite and keep the date short, says Spira. "You know he looks nothing like his photo; he knows he looks nothing like his photo. Becoming Exclusive Since being on an online dating site puts you out there for everyone to contact, it can be hard to know when you have become exclusive with a partner. If you broach the topic and he says that he isn't ready to pull down his profile, Spira recommends saying something like, "Well, I am. I guess I'll keep mine up as well and continue dating."9.
"I equate online dating to looking for a job," says Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.