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, an unnatural 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 messages 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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Most grown-ups have a history of exes, hang-ups and maybe a nervous breakdown or two. They know that you have a past, but they don’t want to hear about it. Some online dating profiles read like shopping lists.

They’re looking for someone with brown eyes, short hair, between 5’10” and 6′, from west London, and so on. First, they make the writer sound like a control freak.

Because women are the problem, not men who have been divorced twice, married a woman with whom they cheated on their second spouse, and think mustaches are a good idea.

If you want someone else to pay your bills or buy you a purse in exchange for your company, along with added but unwritten expectations of sexual favors, fine. But know that Sugar Daddy For Me is basically glorified prostitution, which is illegal in most places in the United States without a few loopholes and clever language.

“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.

State which tracks you enjoy, 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.

Or at least go it with your eyes wide open and be prepared for weirdos with dick pics.

Begin slideshow Steve Harvey developed Delightful, an online dating service for women to make them "more dateable." Right.

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.