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.

If they’re not interested, at least you’ll know – and you can move on to the next date.

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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.

It’s very unusual for someone to find a good match in their first few attempts.

If you like someone, you have nothing to lose by letting them know.

If they are interested, they’ll be happy that you called.

Second, they sound like an exact description of the writer’s ex.

Don’t even think about posting a dating advert without a photo. 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. 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. 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.

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.