The lesson: Spend time on your profile, and don't stress too much about your first e-mail! Be Direct When it comes to virtual dating, forget playing "hard to get." If someone you're interested in contacts you, it won't pay off to "casually" wait a few days to reply."If you play games and wait to get back to him, he may have already run off into the sunset with someone else," says Spira.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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Why is it, then, that in dating, many of us think happiness will simply find us versus the other way around?

It’s as if we think we have a sign on our foreheads flashing, “Single and ready to mingle.” Unfortunately, that’s just not how it works. Try sorting by newest members first, people last online, age, people closest to you, etc.

Dating is complicated enough on its own; when you add in the confusion of online dating sites, it can be just plain intimidating. There is a technique to navigating the virtual playing field.

Not to mention effective: Each day, an average of 236 people who met on e get married. So, how do you go from logging on to finding your perfect match?

First of all, when searching for a potential partner, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: 1. In the long run, will it really matter if someone is 5’8 vs. Many women think that making the first move might make them lose the upper hand at the get-go or seem less feminine. Again, we need to go for what we want in life, and it starts here.

Also, many people don’t take point number 2 above to heart, and their search criteria may not catch you.

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.

Instead of saying that you like to cook (which plenty of people will do), describe in detail what your favorite meal to make is.