Every week for a year, Ursula Hirschkorn writing the dating column for the Daily Mailís Weekend magazine, learnt the deepest secrets of Britainís lonely hearts.
During her year as Cupid, I set up more than 100 people on blind dates. They ranged in age from their mid-20s to almost 70. They came from all walks of life, from teachers to zoo-keepers, lawyers to businessmen. She sent them out ballroom dancing, surfing, skiing and wine tasting.
For a few it was the start of something special, for others it was an experience they would rather forget.
Ursula gained an insight into what makes Britainís lonely singles tick and thus led to the ten secrets to successful dating that she learned from the Daily Mail daters.
1) Do pay attention to presentation. Men in a suit invariably made a good first impression.
2) Do be polite. It sounds simple but paying compliments and opening doors can turn a disaster into a raging success.
3) Do be on time. When either of my daters was late I knew any romance was doomed.
4) Donít drink too much. A bottle or two has you revealing why you hate your ex-wife or bringing out the snapshots of your ex-boyfriend.
5) Donít just boast about your own interests. Give your date also an opportunity to also speak out his/her interests.
6) Do show you want a relationship. Itís great to make your life seem interesting, but not so full that you have no time for love.
7) Donít be bossy. Men do not insist on ordering the womanís food for her.
8) Do be game for anything. Love blossomed for one couple as they got battered and bruised trying their hand at indoor surfing.
9) Do bring gifts. One man wowed his date with a beautifully wrapped bottle of a wine. But donít be creepy, like the man who wrote a poem and made a CD of his favourite songs for their first date.
10) Do give your date a chance. Rather than send our couples on a single blind date, they went on three, and I cannot count the number of times our daters said it gave them the chance to find out how they really felt about each other.
Snap judgments are at the root of many a ruined relationship
You can read Ursula's full story on the Daily Mail website http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2004019/Dating-dos-donts-How-avoid-match-hell.html