The dummies guide to internet dating

And you can do so, but only if you know the Five Golden Steps, taught for the most persistent disciplines within the walls of the Grand Monastery, on the misty peeks of Mount S’ayapo. This is your lucky day, and our dating experts share the secret with you.

We highly recommend holding onto yourself before jumping right into action with the first offer you see on the web.

You and your potential partner have stories to share, layers of personality to explore, and entrenched habits and opinions that may require some finessing.

Remember, you’re seeking a significant other, not just an other!

Pick a Good Profile Picture For better or for worse, all forms of online dating start with one initial interest: the profile picture.

If you’re an animal lover, get your pug in the picture. I used to, and I think at times I might even have enjoyed it. S from Tinder is smiley and chatty with faultless social skills. Wine with M from Lovestruck – the first date I’ve really enjoyed, and the first woman I found attractive just by looking at her photo.But after one romantic disaster too many, I reviewed my dating history and concluded there was something wrong either with a) every girl I’d ever dated or b) me. R from Lovestruck is Japanese – lovely, totally incomprehensible. When she was a baby she was kissed by Marshal Tito. She’s Italian, sort of like a sexless Sophia Loren. The algorithms that sites such as Lovestruck use to match people seem somewhat redundant post-Tinder, where appearance is everything. After a couple of false starts, I unwittingly use a blinding opener to attract C: “Nice bracelet.” This half-arsed hello is, remarkably, golden.Now I’m ready to give it another shot, because I’ve hit upon a theory – one that will exorcise my dating demons and turn me into a great seducer of women. If we’d met on a Friday, who knows what would have happened. I think she enjoyed our chat but it was hard to tell. I produce a biography of Tito from my bag but the coincidence fails to stimulate conversation. Apparently women like someone noticing little details in their outfit. Conversation – or the lack of it – has been playing on my mind.It’s called meta-learning and, while it sounds like -style pick-up artistry, it’s far less arch. Here's 5 grooming tips to grab her attention) Later, I line up dates on the various websites I’ve signed up for. While marvelling at Ok Cupid (seemingly designed for egomaniacs and oversharers) I decide a bland profile is best. Quinn’s advice is to ignore the dating cliché that asking lots of questions will win women over: “Volunteer information about yourself – it encourages people to open up.” I talk about my upbringing and, blow me, it works. I call Sean Brickell, a public speaking coach, and relay the day’s chat to him in the hope of reassurance. “Silences at the start of conversations are image killers,” he tells me.