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Until you've had a conversation about retiring your profiles, says Spira, assume that he is still dating other people. Spira employs a buddy system for initial meet-ups: Tell a friend where you're going and whom you're meeting. Be Patient If at first you don't succeed, don't give up!

Midway through the meal, go to the bathroom and call or text your friend to let him or her know whether you're OK or feel uncomfortable. Even if sparks don't fly with someone you initially meet online, it doesn't mean that he won't turn into a great friend or helpful business contact.

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.

This is likely because an initial message serves mostly to make your profile available to the other person.Make a Move In your initial e-mail to a potential partner, it's crucial to indicate that you've read his profile and took an interest in it.According to Ok Trends, the top three phrases in initial e-mails with the highest response rate are "you mention," "good taste" and "noticed that." So, describe something that resonated with you from his profile, advises Spira, but avoid physical compliments because "they seem too clichéd." And keep it brief: Ok Trends found that the ideal first message length is only 200 characters, or one minute's worth of typing for the average writer.After that, have a phone conversation—trade cell phone numbers, never home numbers.Or better yet, call him so that you won't have to give out your number at all. The Ideal First Date The perfect first date is a personal decision. "You can get a good feel for someone in 20 minutes," says Dr.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.

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