Samantha Scholfield on online dating

I just joined a highly recommended online dating site, but feel my profile is lame. I'm new at this and don't really know what I'm doing. Any tips for making it better?

You want your profile to be unique, genuine and honest, but not a laundry list of either your positive or negative attributes. If you have an unusual hobby, talk about it. If you're looking to get married in the next year, make it clear so you can avoid those who are looking for flings. Choose pictures that represent your life, with at least one recent good close-up of your face, at least one with friends (showing you're social and fun), and at least one full-body picture. Avoid clichd "likes and dislikes" (everyone likes long walks on the beach) and avoid making yourself out to be someone you think others will like — authenticity is sexy.


I have a great profile on a dating site. However, I get no replies to the emails I send out. What am I doing wrong?

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The key is to be interesting, genuine and non- generic. Make the focus of your e-mail not about how attractive you think they are but about something interesting they've put in their profile that you want to know more about. This shows you've a) read their profile and b) care about more than how they look. You get bonus points for being witty, funny and intelligent in a first e-mail and also for spelling everything correctly. And make sure you ask a question that needs answering so they have an easy way to keep the conversation going.


I had my first date last night with someone I met online and knew after five minutes it would never work. How long do you need to stay on an internet date you know isn't working?

This is very common because although you may feel you have a connection with someone through e-mail, it's impossible to tell if the chemistry exists until you meet. The best way to handle it is to be honest. Hang in there for 20 minutes, then once you've finished your drink, say: "It was really great to meet you, but I'm just not feeling a connection. Thanks for the coffee (if they paid). I wish you the best of luck." Always schedule first online dates for a coffee or a drink — something that doesn't take too long. That way, you won't be wasting too much of each other's time if there's no connection.

Samantha Scholfield is a dating coach, freelance writer and author of The Sassy Girl's Guide to Picking Up Hot Guys. See and for more information.

• This article was first published in Scotland on Sunday, July 11, 2010


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