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When e-commerce director Alec Shaw Stewart, 54, joined a dating site for the first time many years ago, he made a classic newbie mistake.

Keen to convey he was a bright-eyed male with real get-up-and-go, he used the word "active" in the title of his dating profile. A storm of electronic abuse from the good-looking women he’d been hoping to attract. It turned out that women didn’t like 'active' at all.

Taking its name from the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel, breadcrumbing involves leading someone on with a trail of flirtatious messages but never following through.

"The word is not offensive to anyone, but let's be honest, most people know what it means," says Duncan Cunningham, director of the The Dating Lab, which runs The Telegraph’s dating service.

Men who choose harmless words like "stocky" or "well built" are also unwittingly awarding themselves extra layers of blubber.

Even if you’re built like a footballer, or a weightlifter, women may suspect you have a serious Krispy Kreme habit with all the adverse consequences that implies. "Inadvertently, people use clichés which others interpret more cynically," says Cunningham.

Experienced internet dater Andrew Gibson, 47, considers himself an expert at recognising the red flags.

On the other end of the spectrum is the dater who practises the 'catch and release'.

This is a move favoured by those who enjoys the 'chase' part of a relationship, the first flirtations before any commitments are made.This playful name is given to the bag a man or woman brings when they spend the night at someone else's place.Most frequently carried in case of a one-night stand.It’s as if a geek in Silicon Valley invented a language, only forgot to tell anybody, let alone publish a dictionary.There you are, profile finally written, ready to step into a world of gorgeous singletons, and nobody warns you about the linguistic pitfalls.Mason urges users to avoid taking blurry selfies and cautions against portrait shots featuring other people. "And a good photo that’s smiley and in focus is the quickest way to get your message across." Read: How to write your online profile In pics: New London Architecture (NLA) has announced the shortlisted entrants for Don’t Move Improve 2016, a competition celebrating London’s best new home extensions.

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