If you show up and your date looks nothing like his photo––and this does happen––don't run screaming for the exit.The best thing you can do is be polite and keep the date short, says Spira. "You know he looks nothing like his photo; he knows he looks nothing like his photo. Becoming Exclusive Since being on an online dating site puts you out there for everyone to contact, it can be hard to know when you have become exclusive with a partner. If you broach the topic and he says that he isn't ready to pull down his profile, Spira recommends saying something like, "Well, I am. I guess I'll keep mine up as well and continue dating."9.

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.

"The amount of times that people are approached when they have photos is multitudes more than when they don't," says Gian Gonzaga, Ph D, e Harmony's senior director of research and development and head of e Harmony Labs. Leave behind group shots, which can make it confusing for other people to identify you, advises Spira, and choose a headshot in which you are smiling.

"Your primary photo should be all about you." She recommends posting between three to five photos only—any more and "it's as if you're already smothering your future partner." Also, be sure to include a shot where you can see your body.

It doesn't have to be provocative (and you most certainly do not have to have a perfect figure!

), but it gives the impression that you have nothing to hide; confidence is always attractive.

"If you don't have any phone chemistry, then it's unlikely that there will be a spark in person," says Spira. 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.

Gonzaga, "and since you both probably have to get back to work, there's a specified end time if the date doesn't work out." Spira prefers dinner dates because the extended length can give you a deeper sense of your date's personality.

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.

Take Advantage Dating multiple people at a time is a strange habit to get used to, and can often seem irresponsible, but when it comes to online dating, meeting a variety of new people at once is a smart move. "I know people who go on dates three times a day, every day!