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.
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.
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.
Another important thing to consider is the possibilities of accidental pregnancies which happen more than you would think.
This should always be a factor on your radar, but especially in a location like Japan where there is a lack of easily accessible birth control.
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.
Having sex doesn’t make you morally corrupt, and it won’t necessarily wreck your chances of a relationship.