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It feels a bit more intimate.” Of course, if you’re nervous, there are other things you can do to speed up the getting-to-know-you process.

One friend tells me that, if she has a positive feeling about someone, she gives them the details of her Facebook account and switches to messaging them away from the dating site.

You can tell more about a person in half an hour, than weeks of emailing. “It's always better to meet an online date sooner than later - it's too easy to message endlessly, and you need to find out whether you have chemistry off-screen before you down a flirty emoticon rabbit hole that could last for weeks or months,” she explains.

“Try not to message for more than two weeks, and if you're nervous, you could always speak on the phone first.

But you also don’t want to put it off for too long. Well, there are things you can take away from it for next time. Should you avoid people who make grammatical errors in their profile? But answering these questions is a useful way to progress the process of online dating.

Of course, exchanging a barrage of emails – even phone calls or Skyping– can seem more secure.But in all likelihood, you’re probably going to have a drink with someone who just doesn’t do it for you. I recall a friend excitedly going off for a first date with a chap - ‘I just have a good feeling about this one, he’s an academic you know’ - only to discover he was a librarian who spent the entire meal talking about dust jackets.The sooner you can assess whether those online sparks translate into real-life chemistry, the better.But it’s a thorny issue - and one that must be tackled, as more and more of us turn to the online dating.No longer do we see tabloid headlines screaming ‘meet the couple who found love ON THE INTERNET!You can ‘get to know’ someone from behind the safety of a screen.

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