Ready to date off-line?

Dating site reviewers are seeing more and more signs that, as busy professionals content themselves with online relationships rather than fit in a ‘real’ love life, many are forgetting to speak the language of love.

As recently reported, one of the biggest errors made by dating site members when approaching a potential new partner is use of incorrect grammar, punctuation and tone. But having a perfect patter in word processor does not necessarily equip you with the tools of the trade when your budding on-screen romance leaves the virtual arena and becomes reality.

Given that your newfound online love agrees to meet up, following a glittering array of compliments you have bedazzled them with in Verdana, Courier New or Arial Narrow, whichever font is the barrel from which your love-bullets are fired, your date is not going to be impressed if you turn up at the restaurant with a Kindle.

No sirree – it is time to put away the keypad, and let your body do the talking. If you have forgotten how to construct a sentence in the language of love, here are a few prompts to help you give the ‘backspace’ button a rest.


o assuming that your date has gone to exceptional lengths to look as stunning as possible, you should immediately tell them so. If their first impression of you is being awestruck as they approach, and not either looking at your watch or answering your mobile, then you’re off on the right foot.


o when arranging that first date, take a while beforehand to predict any eventualities that may interrupt it. If your date can only make it on a certain day, and that’s either your duvet-day or 5-a-side night, make sure your usual crowd are informed. Your date must remain the centre of attention, the whole time.


o if you are the gentleman of the party, remember your social graces. Do open doors for your lady, pull out the chair (practise if you’re rusty!) at the dining table and, distance permitting, do ensure she gets home safely. If you’re the lady, do insist on buying a drink, even if he insists on paying the bill; not only will it endow an air of independence, but also reinforces your positivity.


o memories are great, but after a first date, it is imperative to prolong that bond until the next time you meet, either on a second date or back on your dating website. Take along a little something that is very ‘you’; if all has gone well after the date, slip it into their hand (careful!) as a keepsake.


o there is nothing as reassuring as physical contact – even the deftest of strokes, gently clasped hand or a fingertip on the elbow as you whisper your first sweet nothing! Be extremely cautious in assessing this situation beforehand – you do not want to come across as being too forward – however, if there is a good enough rapport, handled correctly, that first contact can overcome psychological barriers.

So, there we have it. Parlez-vous les mots d’amour, mes amies? Oui, bien. À demain, adieu. x

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