I wrote an article about online dating a few years ago and it’s something I love talking about. Done properly you can have some craic and meet lovely people along the way. I was lucky enough one day to stumble across a profile almost identical to mine and hey presto, boyfriend and I are still together.
The stigma of online dating is nowhere near what it used to be but it’s something that should be done safely and sensibly. Here are a few pointers:-
DO Put a picture of yourself up.
Yes, you will feel wick and yes, there is a good chance that someone you know will identify you and squeal, ‘haha I saw you on the internet’ but the stats are all there. You will find you get much more attention if your picture has a profile – without one people will assume you have something to hide. Also try and make it an up to date one. If you’re not 21 and size 8 anymore, he will only be disappointed.
DON’T put up random pictures.
Boys, girls are not interested in football stadiums, motorbikes or random formula one cars. Girls, boys couldn’t care less about shoes, make-up or your adorable cat/dog. You’re more likely to turn people off or on. For something a little different pics of you doing unusual activities are more likely to appeal, snorkelling, sky-diving and the like. Probably best to crop your ex out of it though…
DO write a detailed profile
You can be as weird and whacky as you like but if all you can think to say about yourself is ‘lovin’ life, LOL, YOLO’ you’re not selling yourself.
It doesn’t matter that you tend not to go bungee jumping at weekends or don’t attend book clubs three days a week in between your wine tasting group. Just talk about the food, places and things you like to spend time at. It’s OK to say that you spend every Sunday at your mum’s because she makes the best roast in the world – at least you’re getting out of the house.
DON’T use text speak. Ever.
Alrit sexi, u luk gr8 wot u up 2.
Be still my beating heart.
But seriously, if you can’t muster the concentration to string a sentence together, how on earth are you going to manage a date?
DO be safe.
Before meeting in person take as long as you like chatting online and don’t feel pressured to cut that short. When you do get to meeting arrange a coffee date – they usually last for around an hour so there’s a get out quick clause if your date is as dull as dishwater. When meeting someone online though always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS let someone know where you are and who you’re with. It’s not unheard of to have a friend hiding behind a menu on the other side of the venue just in case. Never, ever disclose personal information such as addresses or bank details over the internet.
DON’T make it up
I once saw a colleague’s online dating profile. He listed himself as 5”10 but in real life he was not even 5”2. There’s not hiding that in real life.
DO make the first move
Wink, nudge, message, flirt, chat and communicate with as many people you like the look of as you can. The internet is not real life and there’s a good chance you may never see or hear of any of these people again but there’s nothing wrong with be proactive. Confidence is a turn on and no-one else is going to do the winking for you.
DON’T send generic emails
‘Hey what’s up’ is hardly a scintillating conversation starter. If you’re going to communicate with someone, read their profile and ask them questions about it. It shows you have actually paid attention to them and are interested. Direct questions will also more likely result in direct replies and lo, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a conversation.
DO pay for your online dating
Yes there are plenty of free dating websites out there but unless you’re just looking for, ahem, a bit of fun. Sign up and pay the subscription. Aside from the fact that these sites will be better monitored and constructed, there will be less timewasters. People are less likely to pay £20 a month if they aren’t serious about dating. Mind you, if you are just looking for a hook up, plentyoffish.com and benaughty.com might be right up your street.