Rules online dating

), but it gives the impression that you have nothing to hide; confidence is always attractive.

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.

To do that, "talk about yourself in anecdotes," says Gonzaga.

If you show up and your date looks nothing like his photo––and this does happen––don't run screaming for the exit.

"I equate online dating to looking for a job," says Julie Spira, cyber-dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating.

"You'd want a rock star résumé for your perfect dream job, and you should feel the same way about your online dating profile." And the profile is just where it starts—we have plenty of expert tips, from sending the perfect first e-mail to picking your first date location.

You need to show your interest right away; in the world of online dating you never know how many women one man has contacted, and how quickly the others may express their interest.

If you contact someone and haven't heard back in a week, it's OK to send a second e-mail.

The shortest messages get the best response rate; the reply rate goes down as messages get longer.

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