Today, finding love in cyberspace is a bona fide way of searching for one's perfect mate. No longer the exclusive realm of oddballs, internet dating gives the user the ability to pick and choose without having to go to the trouble of meeting a multitude of no-hopers.
Choosing your date in much the same way as you pick dishes from a menu lacks the finesse and subtlety of traditional courtship, but it opens you up to a world of possibility that is simply not available through conventional channels.
In order to succeed, some basic principles must be adhered to...
- Honesty is always the best policy: being creative with photographs or profiles will lead to eventual downfall when the man/woman of your dreams finally meets you.
- Make sure you use the best photograph you have: if the picture isn't up to scratch, potential lovers won't even bother reading the profile.
- Internet daters have serious competition - literally thousands of profiles are available at the click of a button, so presenting a unique selling point is a must.
- Steer clear of clichés and innuendo, aim for wit without sarcasm, and avoid excessive modesty as this will invariably backfire. It's a competitive world in cyberspace, and to succeed you have to sell yourself.
- Keep initial approaches brief and light-hearted.
- Officially it's rude to ignore overtures, so a response is always appropriate, no matter how brief.
- Once you have reached stalemate and are no longer interested in someone, tell them rather than ignoring them.
- Not everyone will abide by the rules of the game, though, so if you are ignored by someone you've taken an interest in, give up graciously after two messages are left unanswered.
- Do not lose sight of the ultimate aim of internet dating: if you wish to turn an online interest into reality, one of you must take the leap of faith and suggest meeting in the flesh. Women should not assume that this is the man's responsibility.