Even when your online dating history is as chequered as Joost’s private life, it can still promote a healthy ego that breeds future success. Murdoch University in Australia found having a huge choice of women can instil rock-star confidence.

“Many of the men we studied who suffered from shyness received a huge boost simply from having so much choice,” says Dr Kirsty Best, who conducted the studies. The biggest mistake is to send out generic messages to your chosen ones. “Women know when they’re being spammed,” says Trish McDermott, one of the brains behind www.match.com. Not calling them “your chosen ones” will also help.

You’ll Never Meet Her In Person

MYTH

It’s not a case of what happens online, stays online. The 2009 Online Dating Research survey found that it took an average of just two weeks from the date that the first email was sent in a budding cyber relationship for it to move into the real world. For an even faster route to offline love, recruit a member of the opposite sex to pimp your profile before posting. “Whether it’s a female work mate you trust or just a good female friend, they will have a better idea of what women want to see and hear,” says McDermott. Expect Call of Duty to be struck from your list of likes.

It’s The Last Chance Saloon Of Dating

MYTH

If you think looking online for a date is like sifting through the clearance bin of love, you’ve clearly never been in a night club at closing time. According to online research, the fastest growing demographic is the under-thirty-fivers. The same research found that a man’s profile photo is second only to age for female browsers.

“You can’t do anything about your age but you can do a lot with your photo,” says psychologist Michael Norton.

“Choose a picture that reinforces your bio. If you’re saying you’re an outdoors type, choose a shot of you halfway up a mountain.” (Rather than one holding up the bar…)

You’ll Meet Your Future Wife Online

MYTH

As well as randy philanderers and crazy-petpic-people, you might just run into Mrs Right online. A 2009 study of 1500 e-daters by consumer group Which? found that one in five people now marry someone they met on the Web. If you think you’ve spotted “the one”, have her at hello.

Analysis of 500 000 first contacts sent by users of www.okcupid.com showed that opening greetings such as “how’s it going?” are far more successful than a bog-standard “hi”. The study also found that men who included the phrase “you mention” in their messages improved their response rates by 48 percent because it suggests you take a real interest in what’s written on her profile.

You Can’t Tell If You Have Chemistry Online

MYTH

Like the Yeti and a Lions’ win in the Super 14, relationship chemistry is an elusive thing. However, a University of Bath study found that if a couple relies on instant messaging rather than email during the online process they have a one in three shot of clicking when they finally meet. “Online dating actually beats other dating methods when it comes to first-date success because individuals are able to make decisions based on physical appearance as well as socio-economic and personal factors,” says Dr Jeff Gavin, who led the study.