Email etiquette for online dating

So refrain from the likes of ‘hi beautiful’, ‘you look nice’ and ‘let’s chat’, and put together a thought-out message that won’t end up in the trash.

Something that says ‘Hey, I took the time to read your profile, we seem to have things in common and I’d like to know more about you, if you like my profile too’ (not literally though! How to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’If you were approached in a bar by someone you weren’t that interested in you wouldn’t just ignore them, would you?

Always read through your messages before you send them - keep an eye out for slips of spelling and grammar and make sure that what you have written reflects what you really want to say.

It’s also important to strike the right tone: you don’t want to sound formal or cold, but, equally, you want to sound relaxed rather than over-familiar.

Would you manage a plate of snails with more panache than Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?

Those aren’t questions you need to wrack your brains over, but when you’re online dating, little points of etiquette really can make a difference.

Busy week, other things to focus on – sometimes I forget I sent a note at all.

But when she writes back, when she makes eye contact, then the rejection becomes personal and I have to think about it.

‘All the best’, or maybe something like ‘Cheers’ is probably closest to the right sort of tone.

Dating etiquette still applies online so in order to succeed, here are some basic principles that must still be adhered to.

What not to say in a first message I can’t tell you how many times I have seen guys (and it's always guys) crash and burn with an inane ‘wanna chat’ first message - just those two words, nothing else.

If, for example, a man who has a moustache gets in touch with a woman who says she doesn’t like beards, he needs to play things carefully!

Generally, putting things in writing demands greater care than spoken communication - and the speed and ease of email can be both seductive and deceptive.

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

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