Self help books that espouse clever chat up lines, psychological mind-games and manipulation of body language actually make it harder to find a soulmate, it was said.
Instead, singles of both sexes should focus on just being themselves and having fun, according to Dr Petra Boynton, an expert in sex and relationships.
The social psychologist from University College London, dismissed most of the advice given in dating guides and self-help books as unscientific "bunkum".
Speaking at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, she said: "They talk about `science has shown` or `biology says` or `in evolutionary terms men are programmed to be the aggressors and women are not`. "
“But they never cite any of the science they`re talking about and when you look at the way they apply it, it`s just rhetoric. There`s no science to actually back up what they`re saying. ”
This week Dr. Boynton invited 60 members of the public to a speed dating event at Aston University where they discussed the art of match-making.
Her advice to nervous daters was to keep things simple, be themselves, and get into practice talking.
"If you`re thinking about having to present yourself in a particular way and having to manage a line it comes over as contrived," she said.
"Certainly what doesn`t particularly help is when you`ve got to do a lot of game-playing, posing or reading body language."
She debunked a number of myths related to the so-called expert "rules" of dating.
She said for men clever chat-up lines do not generally work. They appear contrived and can be horribly fluffed.
Also a popular phenomenon known as negging or offering a "back-handed" compliment which was meant to make a man look confident and self assured, was more likely to cause her to "run for the hills".
Not calling him first, or not answering his calls, and generally playing hard to get to keep him "on his toes" is bad advice, Dr. Boynton said. Instead he might just walk away.
dismiss 自心中摒除, 不再考虑或谈论
back-handed (恭维话)讽刺挖苦的, 假惺惺的
rhetoric 雄辩言辞, 虚夸的言辞
debunk 揭穿真相, 暴露