Falling in love and following up on first dates – when’s ok?

Okay, so you’ve read and digested everything there is to know about how you should attract, achieve and behave on a first date and it’s paid dividends (see tag #datingguruuk if you need a recap). The night has gone perfectly, you’ve not embarrassed yourself or your online dating partner (now your offline beau) and there were several hints that you both wanted to see each other again. Fantastic – you can’t beat a bit of bully, can you?

You’ve done the ‘text me when you get home safely’ bit, if you’ve not dropped them off or got them a cab back home (if not, why not!?) and you can go to sleep easy – if you can drop down off cloud nine to actually get into bed, obviously. But when’s the best time to follow up? Should you be on their case first thing the next morning? Is leaving it the traditional three days too long, given how hyper-connected we are, both socially and with our love lives?

For those of you old enough to remember a time before e-mail, mobile phones and online dating, the ideal grace period was three days. That was, of course, when homes only had one telephone, a man came around to light your gas lamps, you used to have a bath in front of the fireplace on a Sunday night whether you needed one or not and it didn’t half get cold on the WC in winter when you had to go in the outhouse.

I can categorically tell you that, based on one dating site’s survey earlier in the year, the ideal follow-up time is now one and a half days and not the traditional three, from when the height of social media activity was a party-line phone shared by one and all in different flats in the same block.

Don’t be overly keen – give them chance to breathe, but don’t take too long, making them think you’re not into them. If you’ve been out Friday night, then Sunday dinnertime’s the perfect time to see if the second date is still on the cards.

And talking of overly keen – one last tip for would be offline daters, if you’ve only just progressed from the online dating scenario. Do not rush your opposite number into a relationship they may not be ready for, for a whole host of reasons (remember, they’ll tell you why in good time).

Nothing is scarier than someone developing an all-enveloping crush on you after you’ve only met once or twice and there is little else I can think of more likely to put someone off meeting you again than a relatively new love interest constantly mithering you that you should.

As we aspired to in the first #datingguruuk article this week, love is like a flower and will blossom naturally given the correct bedding and by allowing it to bask in the sunshine. Smothering someone will crush any desire they have to be with you. Let them breathe and give them time to respond – you will only come across as desperate if you keep texting and leaving voice-mails and pm’s on your dating site!

So that’s that – we’ve come full circle in this mini-series designed to help out us poor Brits who are crap at UK dating! And all this advice, you could have paid through the nose for from a relationship expert in EST, USA. And we’ve given it you free – aren’t we just the best!?

Here’s looking forward to your company in February; I’ll let you know where to send my card to. Love always, dating.org.uk.

First dates – keep the personal stuff to a minimum

There is a world of difference on your first date between letting your date know a little bit about you and you either giving them your life history or being that pleased with your achievements that you come across as boastful.

Money is a great thing to have but there are better ways of letting someone you’ve met on a dating site know about it other than by reeling off a list of what you bought with your ‘spare change’ or by actually dropping into the conversation your latest bonus or pay-rise. Sure, that’s the kind of stuff you need to be honest and open about when you’re in a long-term commitment together, but not the kind of subject you want to be discussing at a first date. If you’ve got class, it will shine through in your actions and personality; you won’t have to tell your date about it – they’ll work that one out.

And another slip-up that many singles often make when it’s their first time out with someone they’ve met through a dating site is asking how come the other’s unattached. If they want to discuss that (other than with someone whom they’ve developed a deep relationship), they’ll have mentioned the reason they’re single on their dating site profile or during private communication. If you have to ask, you’ve either not been paying them close enough attention or they’re not ready to talk about it with someone who they hardly know. Leave the subject of past relationships – even if you are totally stuck for anything else to say on your early dates – until your partner starts to open up about them.

Likewise, they will definitely not want to hear in too much detail about everyone you’ve ever snogged the face off. Please, try and remember, dating in the early stages is about getting to know your new partner – past relationships are just that: past. The clue’s in the question, folks.

As well as overwhelming questions, there is also the possibility of rushing the physical aspect of a new relationship. No matter who it is, no matter how good looking he/she is and how much they implore you for a little first date physicality, say no.

Unless, of course, the object of the date is purely on the pre-determined understanding that you’re just meeting up for an ‘online dating friends with benefits’ type of arrangement, of course. It has been known to happen but, generally speaking, if all someone wants is adult dating, they will head towards a dating site that specialises in quickie dates or one-off intimate liaisons; it is not the done thing on a first date with a member from one of the mainstream dating sites.

There is more about that aspect in our first date tips for him, for her and for the two of you series, if you need further clarification as to why that type of activity is not the best basis for a long-term relationship.

So, one more article to go for January from the #datingguruuk series, then we’re into the month of lurve…February!

The first date – about me and you, not me and me

The whole purpose of a first date is to get to know the person you envisage may be your next partner. Whether you’ve met on your dating site or been introduced matters little; the rules for dating offline remain the same.

If you turn up to your date and all you do is talk all night (it can only really be about yourself as you know very little about your dating partner, only what you’ve been privvy to in private messages or from within the confines of the online dating platform upon which you’ve met), you will learn nothing about your partner. If you know nothing about them, how can you judge in retrospect whether you want to see them again?

To be honest, that decision may no longer be in your hands. If all you’ve done is relate tales of your own life, however fascinating it is to you, the chances are your partner zoned out at some point and you won’t be hearing from them again, anyway.

If you know you beforehand that you are the sort of person who rambles when they get nervous and you’ve had the jitters all day long, the first thing you need to do when you meet up with your date is tell them. Be honest from the off – think of a keyword that you can tell them to use when you do start to go off on one and explain why. If you mention to your date that you’ve been anxious about hooking up all day, it may serve to settle their nerves, too.

But don’t leave it all to them – if you notice you are talking about yourself too much, try to reign in your focus and concentrate on your date, the purpose of your mission!

However, it is important to get the balance right. Don’t clam up on purpose – if you have something to say, say it, but give your potential partner the opportunity to respond and listen to what they have to say. Otherwise, the whole affair will have been a pointless exercise. You may even come across as being arrogant, if you show that you’re choosing not to respond to something they’ve interjected.

You do not want your date leaving with the impression that you only commented on topics that you started or worse, that you seemed to have no interest in what they seemed passionate about, whatsoever.  Whether you are or not, you risk coming across as extremely self-centred.

This is also a danger if you you go on and on about your life and express no interest in theirs. It can be tricky as it is, finding things to say, but trying to temper your responses can take a few attempts to get the right balance for a cordial evening and getting the opportunity for that second date.

Relationship experts and their roles on dating sites

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have seen a growing number of articles relating to high-end dating sites and the fact that the singles who sign up for these ‘all-in-one’ sites rely heavily on a relationship expert to take care of their every dating whim for them.

Okay, from the various write-ups in the media surrounding the increased interest well-to-do singles have in online dating of this stature, I guess there has to be a little more to it than what all the glossies have been printing. I mean, you’re not going to pay over the odds for dating advice that someone is going to print in the press for free, are you?

And you’re not going to part with four-figure monthly dating site fees (in three-month subscription chunks, I hastened to add) for information that some relationship coaches are giving away for free, surely?  You ARE?!?!

And that, I suppose, is really the key – the difference between me and those 6-figure city slicker earners who think nothing of blowing £12,000 a year on a dating site subscription because they’ve not got the time to research and digest that which, with a little research and patience, is waiting in cyberspace for zip, just an e-mail subscription away.

And relationship expert, dating coach, lifestyle guru – whatever moniker you want to attach to them – they’re all out there, dangling the carrot with free pdf downloads to get you to sign up in the hope that you’ll one day go on and buy one of their products off of them. Providing you’ve got the time to read, interpret (for an English audience – the majority are American, as you’d guess, with the rest badly re-written copies in a language that starts off close to English in the first paragraph to draw the reader in but then soon descends into gibberish to avoid the plagiarism checkers) and then learn how to act upon the information, you’re quids in!

So, purely in the name of delivering quality dating advice to you, my loyal readership, that the dating royalty in London, New York and Miami pay through the nose for, I’m going to give the rest of January over to what I believe is the closest we’ll get to expert relationship advice, for free!

So, in totally English fashion, let’s start with five articles looking at where you’re going wrong, why you’re still single and why you’re coming back time and again to dating sites to find ‘the one’.

(article series tag: #datingguruuk)

Start dating as you mean to go on – drop the fibs

So, yes – welcome back to the #datingguruuk series, taking a sneak peek for free into what the mega-loaded singles from the dating capitals of the world pay a fortune for every month. Yep, it’s only a peep – I’m not going to offer to call you up for a fifteen minute ‘get-to-know-you’ session (it’s true – if I’d lived in US EST zone, I’d have got one!). But that just shows why eHarmony have felt the need to completely revamp the ads for their UK dating sites compared to those in the US. We do look at dating in a totally different way to our American cousins. Oceans apart, geographically and in our love lives, it seems. Anyway, before I board that Titanic, as promised, why we’re so useless at dating:

Have you been to Amazon recently and seen how many books there are about dating? 14,100. That’s just under the tag dating. Then there’s the ‘for women’ (6,500+), ‘for men’ (a similar 6,500+) – there’s even a selection of 20 titles for dating the undead! The state of UK dating must be pretty awful if we’re buying guide books in love on the off-chance that a lycan or succubus is gonna drop by!

And I’m not one to suggest that the menfolk need a helping hand, but there is a strong selection entitled ‘dating tips for men’, yet they’ve dispensed with a similar section for the fairer sex. I did suggest over the weekend that women know how to get what they want, didn’t I?  Even Amazon are backing me up, there!

Do we need help dating in the UK? Oh, yes.

So, back to my e-mail series from the lovely EST lady in the US and our first fallibility when it comes to striking up a potential relationship: honesty.

Not to make out that we’re a nation of fibbers (rich, coming from the country that tried to convince us we’d landed on the moon, that Elvis was dead and that Iraq were building nuclear power heads – okay, one of them may be true: RIP the king), but telling porkies almost seems to become a habit when we’re in the process of doing our chatting up.

In the context of online dating, it starts with out dating site profile. Studies have shown that there is an accepted tolerance of height, weight, the age of our photo and what we do for a living, where the truth is even expected to be stretched a little.

But it appears that many folk can’t get out of the habit when it comes to dating offline, either. The problem is that when you start with a little white lie, you often find you have to tell another one to get around the original. Before you know it, you’re spinning a whole web of deceit and the only one getting caught up in it is you.

So, the message is clear. Start your relationship as you mean to go on. Be as honest as you can. If there is some bad gunky, use your judgement and wait until the relationship can support its gravitas before you throw it in, but never lie about it! See you over the page; remember: #datingguruuk

The hopes and fears of expectant singles

The #datingguruuk is back with another installment of why we Brits could do with a little helping hand when it comes to dating. Lots to get through, so straight into the mixer:

Take a chance on me

Fear of the unknown is one thing – it’s irrational, there’s very little reason to it. Like being scared of the dark: there’s nothing that’s metamorphosed just because you’ve turned out the light switch.

Rejection, however, can be a very real possibility. No matter how well you’ve developed your relationship on your dating site, when it comes to the crunch in reality, your date may just not be that in to you (metaphorically speaking – you should never let him get that far on a first date!). You have to prepare yourself for that possibility.

What you mustn’t do is let that tentativeness at least stop you from giving dating a go. It’s an absolute fact that nothing tangible will ever happen between you if you just stay online dating all your lives. Yes, you may not want to risk breaking up a cyberspace friendship but, in reality, if you get on that well on your dating site that you feel ready to date, you should at least have a decent time, no matter what the romantic outcome.

Don’t build your hopes up too high

The danger is, of course, that if you let your nerves build up to such an extent, you’ll also find that your expectations increment at a similar rate. Regain focus.

It may feel like such an achievement that you’ve actually asked your online partner to start dating, and it so is, but what may be a first time for you may be a regular jaunt for your newfound partner. It’s a first date you’re going on, not your honeymoon; keep it in perspective.

Love at first sight happens, but rarely

Your first date may have left you feeling a little deflated, it is usual. But that is usually because you set your expectation level too high in the first instance. If the birds aren’t singing his name or you’ve not started annoying your mates down the pub with hers yet, don’t panic – and certainly don’t judge someone on this basis.

Love is like a flower, a thing of natural beauty that takes time to root, nurture, grow and eventually blossom. If you got on well with your date, had plenty in common and don’t recall anything that rang any alarm bells, give the relationship the exposure it needs to bloom, its day in the sunshine, and see how you feel after the pressure of a first date is not hanging over you like a dementor.

Feeling ready to start dating, yet? A few more lessons tomorrow, then you should be done. See you then. x

Dating sugar daddies sure beats flippin’ sloppy joes

Sugar dating is, whether Florida likes the statistic or not, helping to fund many young female graduates progression through their in-state university system. According to one recent report, college students account for 4 out of 10 ‘sugar babies‘ new sign-ups on one of the most publicised sugar daddy dating sites, SeekingArrangement.com. The adult dating site now claims over 1,000,000 members and its CEO, Brandon Wade, likes very much to keep the odds stacked in favour of the daddies. That’s where the money is, he never wants to let them down, so he always ensures the books never run out of fresh babies for the daddies to lavish their money on. That’s a lot of college girls leaning on wealthy, older men to see them through school.

Although the dating site has had allegations that it is nothing more than a front for legalised prostitution, the relationships are not all about sex. The onus is very much put on both sides of the partnership to express what they want from the relationship – if the two halves of the one requirement match, then you’re in business. No pimps, no cajoling – everything is up front and in the open (within the dating site confines). If it’s not working out, you simply call the relationship a day, learn from any mistakes and build on that for another scoot around the sugar block.

If that all sounds a little too formal – more like a business contract than any real kinship to a loving relationship – then that’s because it is. This type of dating site is not about any pretence towards love or marriage or any of the other yardsticks you tend to measure the mainstream dating sites by. Indeed, many of the sugar daddies are married men, so any thoughts about falling in love and being happy ever after are blown out of the water from the off. Girls need money to get through college. Older, well-to-do business men spend a lot of time in Florida doing trade. Whilst they’re there, they like to have some familiarity around them to share in their wealth and success. But then the trip’s over, back to the wife, settle the dating site fees, end of transaction. Is it cold? Is it commercial? You betcha it is.

Brandon Wade is no mug. As online dating figures started to increase from this avenue, he didn’t bask in the wonder of it. He up-sold that market, branding the sign-ups from the universities as ‘college sugar babies‘ on his dating site, giving them their own .edu domain for their e-mails (using this filter to compile the data on the sign-up percentages) and publishing a list of the top 20 schools that were supplying him the 40% of new sign-ups in a league format on the dating website.

Florida’s universities feature three times in the list, contributing 219 sugar baby dating site sign-ups for 2011. Although you cannot search specifically by college, you can adapt filters to within a region – pretty important parameters if you’re only out of town on business two or three days a month.

By adopting a Miami-focused search on the dating site, with the additional ‘College Sugar Baby’ status, you can drill down to your catchment target area, leaving you with a clue that the girls you find are either at South, Central or International universities. Given some of the dating site profiles for the girls within those search parameters, it really is no wonder that none of the three universities cared to comment on this growing trend amongst its pupils.

Is sugar dating legal prostitution, older men manipulating younger women or vice versa? The only people I hear complaining are those not getting any of the action…

Florida – the dating, like the oranges, is sugar-sweet

We have all seen the recent press about what it will take to even get a place at one of the established universities in the UK, these days. What separates the English universities from some of the other global academic institutions, however, is that there are well-to-do parents not just from this fine nation of ours but from all over the world willing to fund their offspring’s education just so that it has ‘educated in the UK’ on their curriculum vitae, semper et in perpetuum.

For universities in other cultures, especially those as diverse as in the US where this level of education is almost mandatory if you want to do anything with your life, there is perhaps not so much of an abundance of readily-available wealth, or parental willingness, to support the whole three year stint completely from the family nest egg. The onus is very much, therefore, on the shoulders of the said son or daughter to at least part-fund their further education through this critical stage of US adolescence into young adulthood.

With a national economy in a very similar condition to our own, many of the part-time jobs are spoken for and those that do become available are right at the bottom rung of the employment, the vacantors of those posts moving on to positions that pay more than minimum wage. Credit is also an issue – it can be made available for graduates but rules and regulations for paying those fees back are a lot more stringent than we have in the UK, so what’s a girl supposed to do to get herself through university without spending any inheritance before it’s earned or trying to make split-ends meet after working a six-hour shift serving sloppy joes?

Surely that’s obvious – become a sugar baby! Sure beats flippin’ burgers to earn your crust and the perks far outweigh the downsides, that’s for sure. However, according to one recent report out of Florida, the number of registered sugar babies on dating sites could end up wiping out half of the country’s wealth, laying within the bank accounts of the sugar daddies registered on these very adult dating sites in one semester if the girls from the colleges who are currently signing up (a figure put at 40% of all new sign-ups according to SeekingArrangement.com’s founder and marketing mogul, Brandon Wade) really put the effort in.

And – here’s a new one on me – it’s not just for older men seeking a specific relationship with a significantly younger female, either; not to be outdone, the cougars (mustn’t have liked the moniker) are now flocking to the site and re-branding themselves as Sugar Mommies in order to bag a toy boy whom their benevolence can put through college. The relationships, as you would expect, all come with a price tag, some as much as five-figures a month, depending upon what each of the prospective partners negotiate for the services they are expected to provide. You don’t see Arnie or Rob Lowe bragging about that in the adverts for California, do you?

Next up, we look at some of the fascinating facts and figures that make up this niche area of the dating site world; while you head on over, I’ll just be checking out some uni’s in Florida, to see what spaces they have coming this fall (see, getting the lingo, by jingo, already…).

Men can be their own worst dating site enemy

In the previous article, “The quickest way to a mans wallet is via his crotch” we questioned the safety of unwitting males on dating sites being lured in by women who know how to get what they want from their male counterparts. Not only via their online dating platform, but offline, to devastating effect.

I cannot help wondering, though, if men haven’t contributed to their own downfalls – you can put all the danger signs up you like, but as the age old saying suggests, when there is the opportunity of a bit of adult fun, they stop thinking with their brain.

As well as in bars, I’ve worked in offices long enough to hear the ladies, mainly the younger ones (but I’m reliably informed that the cougars of this dating world are not averse to similar tactics), relate tales of their weekends on Monday morning in which they bear no shame in having been out all weekend, have more money in their purses than before they hit the town on Friday evening, and yet still managed to maintain a level of inebriation throughout the 3-day binge that would have Ollie and George paying them homage, and all courtesy of the male population’s affability.

And I say ‘no shame’ not to induce the image of brazen hussies cruising the bars looking for men to buy them drinks (although there were elements of that in many of the Monday morning tales), but almost as if there’s a level of expectation at the outcome, that it was guaranteed even before the starter’s whistle had been raised to his lips that the weekend binge would cost them zip.

And again, as in the previous article, many of these girls were not single. Their partners’ knew the score (that other men would be paying for their drinks whilst said menfolk stayed home watching the kid[s], whilst playing Xbox 360 and smoking dope) and they were happy that others were footing their ladies’ beer-bill as it saved on the household expenditure. Is it any wonder that men are setting themselves up as targets on dating sites for women who have made extracting money an art form?

So has the world gone mad, the dating one as well as the offline version? I know I used to help out the odd damsel in distress in my time but, as a gang of guys we soon used to get to know the, well, we did have a name for them: p****-teasers (substitute the **** with the forename of 80’s crooner Mr Astley and you get the picture) and we used to avoid them at any cost. No matter how far they went on a first date.

So, gentlemen, be afraid, be very afraid, if you are asked for money by women on your dating site. Their in-boxes are, more likely than not, filled with responses to plenty of other PM’s they’ve sent, creating a whole manner of plights that could see them getting what they want, just because they know how the male machine is wired. You have been warned.

The quickest way to a man’s wallet is via his crotch

Continuing where we left off in our last dating post, looking into concerns for men’s safety on dating site platforms, we look at how easily many men give away their hearts for all of the wrong reasons, notwithstanding that the ‘woman’ may be anything other than a front for a whole manner of fraudulent behaviour beyond a ‘too good to be truedating profile.

As well as men who are trying their hand at online dating having to suss out the scammers, they also have to be aware of real women who are very aware of their own charms. The majority of women who use dating sites do so for all the right reasons – looking to find someone with whom they have passions in common, searching for the perfect partner online, trying to eek out a love life from the ashes of a past disaster. You name it, there are a thousand honourable routes to finding yourself all of a sudden hooked on online dating.

However, there are a minority who use dating sites purely for selfish reasons, some lawful ones, others criminal. They know that the right combination of body, looks and flattery will soon have most men eating out of their hands and, because men make so amiable targets for practise when there’s the sniff of a little romance in the air, they have become really quite good at pushing the right buttons in real life and even more successful in the ethereal dating land of cyberspace cupids.

Let’s face facts: the quickest way into a man’s wallet is via his crotch (sorry to sound so crude, but that’s the truth of it); not to suggest women try this at home but if a woman was to flash her assets (teeth and eyes, I mean – what were you thinking?) next to a single bloke at the bar of the local hostelry, you can see the reaction, it’s almost chemical. The same chain of events, wallet and crotch literally being joined at the hip, must happen a million times a day on dating sites the world over.

I’ve worked behind enough bars to know the signs, even been on friendly enough terms with a lot of women for them, on occasion, to confide in me that instead of cruising around their dating sites, they’re having a night out on the pull, spiced up with a bit of a wager across the party (of not necessarily all single females) betting on who can bag the most drinks bought for them over the course of the night.

And who is to say that there is not a similar clique going on offline between women, comparing notes as is their wont, only on this occasion measuring how much they have extracted from the men on the various dating sites that they haunt?

Read More [Men can be their own worst dating site enemy]

Men aren’t immune to online dating scammers

In recent times there have been huge strides taken in the online dating industry to protect the female of the species online. Not from just scammers masquerading as love-lorn singles but also from men who have a dubious past and, as they may have become social lepers, turn their trade to unfortunate victims online.

However, as much as it is fantastic to see the warning signs gradually becoming more commonplace on existing and up and coming dating sites to advise women to be careful who they’re sharing their innermost secrets and stockpiles of cash with, spare a thought for the men out there who themselves are not invincible.

Every woman I’ve ever met knows that men are suckers for a winning smile, twinkly eyes and a flash of cleavage. One word of flattery from a ‘woman’ who posts a dating site profile ticking all of those boxes pretty much guarantees that the newbie dating male will be putty in their hands; or not, as the case may be.

If all of the women in the world know this and can use these charms to great effect to get what they want – to be fair, most honest men know it, too – do we not think that the scammers of this world realise it, also? It’s a tactic that works time and again for fraudsters on dating sites: a bit of flattery, get chatting, and pretty soon they’re not only exchanging phone numbers with the blinkered male, the ‘woman’s’ number running through a relay in the US or UK to make it convincing (and many organised gangs of African scammers have got some serious wedge behind them to be able to do this, it’s so lucrative an industry), but they’re exchanging credit card numbers, too, in order to fund and overcome whatever ‘unforeseeable’ event has stopped the ‘woman’ from hopping on the next domestic flight or express train to be at the unsuspecting male’s side.

Okay, said naïve gent may not be so green as to fall for the same ploy twice (but he might); you can just imagine the tills chinging with $100 cash-transfers from the thousands of lonely men wiring money to their super-good-looking, fictitious online partner who, in reality, is a young Nigerian male wearing a shirt and tie in a small African village, juggling ten or twenty similar profiles on his laptop, all to the same effect.

Gents, if it seems too good to be true that this beautiful Nordic blonde you’ve met on your dating site wants to meet up but has ran out of cash just at the moment she’d decided to abandon her native Scandinavia to be at your side, then it probably is.

Seal of approval for dating site writers

A lot of ‘articles’ that we read in cyberspace that supposedly contain information about online dating are nothing but cannon-fodder for Google. Search-engine friendly they may be; next winner of the crystal clear writing award, I think not. There are one or two exceptional writers out there in dating land whose posts I always take the time out to read, showcasing their opinions on global dating sites, Kelly Seal being one such writer who never fails to deliver fresh content from a different perspective and puts a bit of the writer into the prose and it shows. It’s refreshing.  If ever there was a solid argument for Web 2.0, eradicating spammers, scammers and spinners has got to be it.

However, until that day arrives, I accept my lot that the feeds upon which I base some of the more nitty-gritty aspects of online dating, such as figures, statistics and research (yeah, I know: boring, but often relevant), I have to wade through copious amounts of poorly scribed English, punctuation, tense and spelling errors before I actually decide that there were “78% of dating site members populating on the forums”, and not “copulating on the forums,” as stated – I nearly cut my fingers with credit card plastic to sign up before I realised the err in spelling on that occasion, I can tell you.

However, to the point of this little aside article, other than to acknowledge the wonderful Kelly Seal who, if Google’s new parameters truly are “Content is king” when it comes to judging page rank (although, on the evidence of the above, I’m yet to be convinced that they have got the algorithm for filtering out spun material bang on, yet), will one day be my queen as we lay waste and look out upon the devastation we have caused before us, when it comes to re-writing the rules about writing dating site content, I did come across a feed earlier this week by a writer who, although not of native English tongue, had a good enough grasp of the concept to make a few very valid points about men on dating sites, their attitudes towards the fairer sex and sex itself, and women’s perceptions of said males.

So, in my next article, I will pay homage to said writer who, rather than just use article spin software did try to re-write those words in as close as a version as they could muster to the mother tongue of our nation and made a fair stab at it, to boot.

If you’re lucky enough to have been paid this side of the end of the month, I guess you’ll be out meeting guys and gals who you’ve been in contact with on your dating site during these last long, dark teatimes of the soul since last we were paid – doesn’t it seem like an age? For all the rest of you out there in dating land, see you here tomorrow!

Keep your target in your dating sites range

Online dating has changed the way people perceive dating forever, that goes without saying. But, according to one recent report, many dating site members are connecting as much through the forums or chat-rooms on their dating sites as they are via direct hits on their profile. Today, we look at why this may be the case.

Your dating site profile is there to be shot at, if you like, as a target to draw in the fire that you will either pick up and run with or leave drowning in the trenches, dependent upon who’s doing the shooting. You can control your returning salvo of responses but can do very little about who’s taking the initial pop-shots at this ‘stand-alone’ target. Yes, you can make that dating profile scary as hell, but then is the creation of your online persona a self-defeating exercise by wording it thus, putting people off contacting you, rather than attracting them?

The tables are very much turned in the forums where you choose to jump in to conversations either because you know about the subject or because you have someone else who’s joined in the thread very much in your own sights. This gives you the chance of targeted response, which will put off people from contacting you who have little value to add to the proven existing knowledge exhibited via your comments.

Don’t ask me why, but men get quite squeamish when they think that women are more knowledgeable about a subject than they are. It’s true.  Even when it comes to make up or other ‘girly-girl’ subjects, men still have this inherent belief that they have a rite to be right about everything. If you, as a lady within the confines of your chat-room, can show unequivocally that you are a domineering force on la journal du jour, only male members who have what they believe to be a justifiable opposing view or can add further to your own enlightened comments will respond. Hence, eradicating the dweebs and instigating conversation with someone who you can go on to develop a relationship with via the exchange of mind-fodder, in the first instance – you may very well find you have much more in common and start dating as a result.  Result!

A word of warning for the ladies on this matter, though. If you are joining a thread purely to scout someone who you have developed a passing fancy to, don’t be tempted to rain on their parade in a topic they’ve commented on, going in all guns blazing, just because you know you can to prove your feminine superiority!  Another self-defeating dating tactic, if ever there was one.

Rather, assess their opinion and, providing that they’re not too far off the mark from your own beliefs, support their point with empathy (not sympathy) and win their trust through this proven stealth tactic. If you do have heavy feelings for the thread topic but you had to bite your literary tongue when composing your response, wait a while before there is the strength in the relationship to support the weight of your conviction before you drop it into the mix.

Stealth the key to commanding dating site chat-rooms

Here’s a bit of a tip for those of you out there in dating land who have seen someone you quite fancy but are perhaps new to online dating and haven’t quite got the hang of approaching other singles on your dating site, yet or are not quite convinced by someone’s dating profile that you want to actually strike up a relationship with them.

Most dating sites have a chat-room or dating site forum that you can literally add your comment to any one of the threads that are live. Some dating sites have these facilities for paid members only, but even on free dating sites this is usually one of the features they advertise to entice sign-ups.

First of all, copy the user name of the single you’re interested in; you can write it down and search manually through the live threads but, for this tip, you’re better off highlighting the user name then either right-clicking it and clicking ‘Copy’ from the drop-down menu or pressing the CTRL + C function if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled in your browser.

Then, head over to the chat-room, open in a new window and press the CTRL + F keys which, in theory, should take you through all of the instances that the user name appears on the forum. Now – that’s the easy bit.

Dating site forums can be on diverse topics – everything from the latest soap news (sad but true), to how tight your last date was to dating site etiquette – it’s all covered on there. Find a thread where the single’s made a comment or, even better, started the thread, then make a comment on the same thread. But make the topic one that you know something about; the idea is to impress this target single with your knowledge on a subject they’ve chosen to comment on, hence they have at least a passing interest in.  If there’s nothing that you’re up to speed with but you sooo want to make contact, do a little research first.

One of the great things about threads is that they don’t have to be live giving you ample opportunity to go away and polish up on your knowledge first; only then respond with a killer comment. The bonus comes when the ‘online now‘ icon flashes next to the single’s user id and it is a topic you’re passionate about – you can dive straight into the action and see if they’re all that their dating profile makes them out to be.

This will improve your stealth tactics and get you chatting with new members; even if your target single isn’t the one to respond, you will have started to strike up relationships with others and you’ll have more of an idea whether this dating site is worth sticking around for – often, you get more feedback about any chosen online dating site from its existing membership than anything the site professes to offer in its advertising.

Blow the dust off your dating site profile

Is your dating site profile still giving you grief? Do you want to sell yourself more but not sure when you’re overstepping the mark? Well, here’s a quick overview of several aspects that, even though you may have been online dating for a while, never hurt to run a fine-toothed comb through to eradicate any nits. What a shocking image to portray for a dating site

Okay – first and foremost, how recent is your photograph and when was the last time you changed it? You may have paid for the upgrade to your dating site membership, but there are possibly others who are solely checking out profiles based on the one image that the dating site has granted them access to before they decide to take the plunge, themselves. Brains are quite acute when it comes to recognising images they’ve seen before. Your Mr. Right could be right now browsing the profile photos and skimming over yours if he’s seen it once or twice previously.

Shake your gallery up a bit, even if it’s just to prove you’ve got more than one good side to those with whom you’ve been corresponding for some time. A change of scenery or style of outfit will soon have dating site members with different interests taking a second look at you (if they weren’t before) and that new profile image now plays to their weakness.

Dating site trends change. What was en vogue last month can become de rigeur overnight. If you’ve seen a drop off in your popularity rate, take the time out to see what the ‘most viewed’ profiles (nearly every dating site‘s got a section like that) are saying about themselves. There may be a common theme that is likewise one of your attributes, but you’ve just not thought to include it in your profile.

Is there an element of your dating profile that’s mundane? I like chocolate, for example. If you like Rocky Road, then emphasise it – “I was having a Thornton’s slab of Rocky Road the other day and it made me droooolll” – okay, that’s perhaps not something you wanna put exactly in those words, but it was better than saying ‘it nearly gave me an orgasm’ – that’s seriously messed up! But you get the picture.

Okay – and the last one for today: does anything in your dating site profile seem far-fetched to the point that no one quite believes you’re on the level? Excelling at something shows pure talent, but to greet someone for the first time with: “I’ve got the highest IQ in the world” may well be true, but it may come across as boastful and even induce inferiority, enough put a prospective date off initiating contact. Mention that you have intellectual tendencies by all means, but keep the real heavy stuff in your armoury – you never know if you’re gonna need back-up when the competition hots up, later on.

Happy dating, y’all – let’s hope today’s three articles can entice a few more hopeful singles your way, leaving you spoilt for choice.