3 winks per minute in mad 2 days for lady in red swimsuit

We have spoken at great length, over the last six months, about the importance of deliberating over your dating site profile, getting it just so and tweaking it specifically for whichever dating site you choose as your preferred platform. Shows what we know, dunnit!?

Louise Leech, a widow from Glasgow, had been signed up to three dating sites for two years and received little traffic based upon her eloquently-crafted profile and conservative profile photograph, which was perhaps what she felt appropriate, given her time of life. But this story goes to prove that age is neither a barrier to being attractive to the opposite sex nor pulling off a sleek all-in-one swimsuit if you’ve still got the figure to do so, which Louise did with astonishing success.

Louise is a writer of romantic fiction from Dennistoun in Scotland’s second city, so what better background for attracting a man could there be? One of her characters couldn’t have pulled off as dramatic a stunt to woo an, as yet unknown, potential suitor. But, in real life, she was getting nowhere fast; that was until she decided to take a leaf out of Dame Helen Mirren’s book and invest in a passionate red shapewear swimsuit from Marks and Sparks, as has been seen modelled by the gorgeous Lisa Snowdon.

It’s fair to say that Louise had experienced, up to the point of taking the plunge and posting the photograph of herself in the red swimsuit on senior dating site seniorfishdating.com, a bit of a rollercoaster experience from online dating.

Following the death of her husband, Louise spent the first year letting the natural grieving process take its course. But as she came out the other side, she was only fifty five and, looking nowhere near that age, she decided to give online dating a punt.

That initial rush of excitement of taking a definitive step to actively change the single aspect of her life was soon quashed; her original dating profile photo drew little response from possible suitors and, by her own admission, like the hermit crab she shrunk back into her shell. The red swimsuit was, in effect, going to be her last hurrah, having decided that she was perhaps destined to be alone, given that she was now 57.

With the Lady in Red photo uploaded, she went about her daily routine and logged back into the dating site some two days later.

What happened next, however, absolutely overwhelmed her.

Over the two days, 900 prospective partners had responded to the new profile photo – that’s almost three a minute constantly for two days solid. Her inbox was crammed with hopeful silver singles, quite a difference for the woman who admits that getting back into the dating scene had proved more difficult than she’d thought, especially given that she’d been with her husband for thirty years before his untimely passing at the age of sixty-three.

So, what next for Ms Leech? Well, after she’s sorted the wheat from the chaff in her inbox, what’s the betting the next romance novel is about a woman who steps beyond the norm to rediscover herself via an online dating platform? Or maybe that’s just another example of truth being a wee bit stranger than fiction.

Is it our dating profile ageing or has the mirror cracked?

There is a very real difference between what dating site owners perceive their users’ experience of their facility is and what the dating site member actually gets from the service. This is personified by a blog I read earlier that backs up something we wrote about here on dating.org.uk only last week, but sheds a little more light on the matter. Today’s other post will back this up further, too.

Earlier this week we reported that nine out of ten people lie on their dating site profile. And that one in ten profiles are made up. Now that figure assumed that the ten percent were sickos, wierdos or perverts. However, having seen evidence today to the contrary, it seems that people are creating multiple profiles purely to extend the net of who they can attract if their existing personals are starting to seem a bit dowdy and not attracting as many hits, messages or coming up in the ‘popular’ search results as often as they did when the dating site member first joined the site.

Now, what does this do to the numbers of members that dating sites claim to have? What makes the story worse for the blogger in question who’d contemplated setting up a second account was that she was already in a relationship with someone she’d met online. By her own admission, she’d been away from the dating site for six months and hadn’t been hit upon as much recently since she stopped using the facility on a regular basis. It seems that, for vanity’s sake only, she was now going to create another persona.

There was no suggestion that she and ‘Banjo Boy’ had stopped dating, just that she liked popping back for a ‘quickie’ but had got the impression that her profile had reached an expiry date. The complex had been brought on by the fact that she’d sent four first messages (an art in which she was prolific, if her self-appraisal is accurate) to singles with PhD’s and none of them had replied. Was she punching above her weight or, by her own admission, were they just not interested in being hunted by the cougar?

Is it right to create another profile just because you want a little more attention than your real information is attracting? Or should she, as another dating site regular commenting on her blog suggested she’d done recently, re-write her profile to reflect her current circumstances, throw out all the old pictures, refresh the words and the photos? Although, it has to be said, she’s not on her own in this; profile photos is one area that both men and women fail at on dating sites. The fairer sex tend to be the worse of the two, using a profile photo eighteen months old and mens a mere six months in comparison, according to one recent survey.

The concluding question was along the line of: “has anyone experienced a similar profile ageing process?” I don’t think it’s the dating site profile that’s got the issue with ageing, do you?

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.

Can you stand to acid test your dating profile?

I’m honoured that so many of you feel my contribution worthy to your dating cause; and yes, as well as the many other dating site profile tips we’ve written, I’ll be only too glad to expand.

It seems that many of you out there in dating land are still not getting enough responses; let me clarify, responses that you think your personality and dating site profile deserve.

Okay, here’s a little test – and this is an acid test of you and your online dating buddies; for brut honesty and so that the answers aren’t subjected to bias of any kind, run this test on people you’ve only recently started to get to know. Think of it as: I’ve made my first impression; what’s your impression of my first impression? They’re more likely to go with their gut than someone who you’ve known for a while and started to build up a rapport or relationship with.

It is an acid test, remember, so be prepared for the fall out and choose your subjects wisely. You have to get down to the nitty gritty and ask them what they think of you. If you’re honest with yourself, you know what your shortcomings are so create the questions with an answer to that end in mind, but don’t be so deliberate as to outright ask the question you’re looking for the answer to.

For instance, you want to know what someone who you may be interested in dating thinks about your hair. First, make sure that the dating profile photo online is the one you want the opinion of and that the member’s got access to. Never hurts to double check the detail.

Instead of blurting out: “Do you like my hair?”, which for one is a direct question and someone could just give a yes or no to, which satisfies one query but opens up a whole string of unanswered questions, but it is also obvious that you’re fishing for a yes answer.

You’re better to construct the question something along the lines of: “What colour tint do you think would look good with my hairstyle?” or “I’m not so sure whether my hair looks better straight or with a wave; what do you think?” It not only encourages more than a one-syllable answer, but also for them to justify their response. And you can do this with so many personality traits, as well as the physical aspects of your make up, that pretty soon you’ll be tweaking your dating site profile to the best effect – but only ever to the extent that you’re happy with.  If they say: “Shave it off!” and you’ve been growing it for two years, perhaps that person doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

Up next, to read in conjunction with this article: Call in the SWOT team for a dating site makeover

How to create the perfect dating site profile 3

Thank you for getting back to us, as we almost draw the line under you and your perfect dating site profile. The first bit of advice today is going to seem a little contradictory to yesterday’s piece which stated that the words in a dating site profile are more important than a photo for wanting another single on your dating site to get in touch with you.

I stand by that statement, however, before someone takes the time out to read about what you have in common to perhaps form the basis of an offline relationship, you need a photograph that’s going to enrapture them in the first instance. Simple? It’s easier said than done, getting that just-so look.

By ‘just-so’, I don’t mean contrived. A professionally shot photograph I’m sure has its place – your dating site profile photo ain’t that place. If your pic is a bit too polished, it does somewhat give the impression of ‘too much maintenance’, and that, no matter what time and effort your future partner puts in, you’ll only ever be interested in how you look or feel, no one else.

In this world today where everything you buy has a digital camera of some description fitted into it somewhere, there is no excuse for not having a decent photo of yourself that you can upload. For the ladies, one with as little make-up as you would dare walk out of the house in is the ticket. Guys genuinely want to see the real you, not a Boots make-up assistant, plastered up in #7.

Gents, clean shaven, please. Even if you sport a beard or stubble, make sure it’s trimmed and not like you’ve just not shaven for three days. And smile, genuine, with the eyes as well as the teeth – knocks girls bandy, a winning smile and a bit of a dimple, so I’m reliably told. Classy black and white is always a good touch (any digital media device or laptop has this facility, quick and easy to do, too), especially if you’re wanting to stand out from the rest of the dating site crowd and draw the ladies to the rest of your exceptional profile.

So, yes – perhaps I did understate the purpose of a photograph yesterday, but if I’d not done, you’d have taken no notice of those notes and just gone off happy-snapping, which was not the point of the exercise. One last word about photos: if the online dating facility you are using allows you to upload a gallery (usually a feature with paid dating sites), do it, showing off as many of your good sides as your modesty – or the dating site – will allow, if you know what I mean?

Join me a little later on today when we talk about why honesty is always the best policy and how expressing yourself is as important to your dating site fan club as an indirect question is to a psychologist. Laters. x

Kevin, meet Barry – you’re both going home single, tonight

In a recent study by German dating site eDarling.de, they found Kevin and Dennis the least likely names to attract responses from the female dating population amongst its membership. Guys, if you’re reading this, head down under as the Kiwis have no such aversion to your monikers.

If, on the other hand, your name is Barry, you’d be better advised to stay in the northern hemisphere as the Bazza’s of this world had no luck whatsoever on the dating sites New Zealand had to offer.

Hang on, Barry, Kevin and Dennis – it’s the cast from Auf wiedersehn, Pet, innit?  Mmm, suppose The Kiwis are close to Oz.  Ah, well – on with the show…

Hot Rods and blistering Brads

If, on the other hand, you were lucky enough to be christened Rod or Brad, you were more or less guaranteed to have your response at least read by an anxious single awaiting your contact. Having your messages opened, however, was not necessarily the be all and end all, according to findsomeone’s manager, Rick Davies.

Rick concocted an algorithm that deduced, from the amount of mail traffic and the number of smiles (beats having a wink, I guess) someone received what were the hot names, the cool (as in frigid) ones, but also those that experienced the most success. The results prove conclusively that the name is not the only factor and that, how articulate or funny you are and what you have in your dating profile, does count.

Of all the male names in the country, Cameroon Cameron took the biscuit for the best pulling name across the dating site for 2011; this was based on the fact that, once they’d been contacted, they were seen on the dating site no more. Leaving the rest to feed off the crumbs, no doubt.

However, victorious names did alter from state to state. In Wellington, for example, the Daniels really put the boot into the Barry’s, whereas the Fiona’s left the Angela’s sole-destroyed.

Nationally, for the ladies event, Mel just pipped Tina to first spot as the most likely name to actually findsomeone, although the guys found Becky to be the hottest, having the highest ratio of responses to online dating contact.

The camera never lies

Joining Barry as the most spurned members from the female half of the dating site was Jacqueline; however, Davies did have some advice for all of those who appeared on the least-wanted lists. And that was to give yourself maximum exposure. Your name may be off-putting to the dating site community but if you’re picture perfect, then upload a gallery of yourself.

He went on to underline the fact that any success, whether it is what you scribe in your dating profile or the quality of your show-reel of photos, it’s all about advertising yourself.

His results also indicated that ill-written or -conceived grammar could be a barrier to your dating success. Poor punctuation often failed to get a response, as did sleaze. Rather, the emphasis was about getting things right, from the profile, up. Good advice to anyone considering having a crack at online dating!

Can you see the real me?

Quadrophenia – the coolest film ever made in the UK, opens with Jimmy riding through the London streets at night on his Lambretta LI150 to a backdrop of Roger Daltery’s coarse vocals warbling the refrain “Can you see the real me, can yer, CAN YER?” then Pete, John and Keith notch up the volume to what is the greatest soundtrack in the all-time who’s who of soundtracks.

For those who have not seen the cult classic it’s about a young mod torn between how he thinks he ought to appear in the eyes of his family, the ‘sawdust caesars’ who are his peers (males and females), his colleagues and bosses at work and the establishment, hence the four faces. Ultimately, our hero crashes and burns, after his constant search for his true self leaves him alone and desperate, especially when he realises that, in order to progress and be socially accepted, there has to be compromise.

Dating site members could learn a lot from James Michael Cooper’s struggles as he flits from one day to the next, never knowing which of the four faces he should be wearing, and very often getting it wrong when he finally chooses which quarter of his quadrophenic personality is most appropriate.

The key is, just be true to yourself. You are, after all, looking for someone who is going to like you for who you are, and not someone you are trying to be. If someone falls for one of your faces that you have trouble wearing, you are only making a lifetime of hardship for yourself, should you take that you into a long-term relationship.

Looks are vital – show a profile photo of a recent you, in a natural pose, not some postulating, sun-tanned image taken on Brighton beach two years ago (watch out for falling GS150 Vespas, if you do!).

Things that make you tick are also totally relevant. To take it to the extreme, not that I understand the motives of either I’ll use in my example, but if you absolutely love foxhunting, it’s in your blood, say so on your dating site profile. Can you imagine if your first date was with an anti-vivisectionist who’d likewise been scant about her interests and she turned up just as you were being blooded?

Jimmy, in Quadrophenia, has a very flawed personality. No, four personas, none of whom were quite right. “Why should I care if I have to cut my hair? Got to move with the fashion, or be outcast.”

Everyone who’s seen the film will know the scene that line comes from – it highlights so many issues. But you ask any mod, or rocker, for that matter – Do you love Jimmy? His humanity reaches out to everyone who has gone through that rebellious, growing stage. I guarantee, only the prudes will say no.

Flaws show your personality – get them out in the open on your dating site profile. Well, if you’re a homicidal maniac, best leave that out and go seek help professionally before looking to date online.

So, when you can sing: “I can see, that this is me, I am the one!” then you know your dating site profile is good to go.

All lines quote from Quadrophenia, 1973, Track Records; © Pete Townsend/The Who

Truckloads of men learning how to pick up

Online dating can be a daunting place when you have never done it before. It is one of the most competitive marketplaces online, with millions of new users signing up every month, in all the different variants, in many, many countries. How do you make yourself stand out in the crowd, in the face of possibly millions of other men competing for the same woman?

For a start, that is highly unlikely to happen. Especially on matchmaking sites, where you are aligned with other singles looking for love online based on information you have input about yourself in your dating site profile. Many members stretch the truth about themselves, but there is a degree of enhancing your image that is tolerated, expected even, in the world of online dating.

Despite the volumes of potential partners online, many men still struggle to land that first date. It can be a frustrating time, especially if you are paying for the privilege of being turned down and not just trying your luck on a free dating site. There is help at hand, however. As well as a multitude of (hopefully) helpful articles posted here, there is a new breed of dating site springing up online designed to give men the upper hand when setting out on that tortuos, and torturous, road of finding that elusive long-term relationship on your chosen dating site(s).

One of the rising stars in this genre, featured recently as part of a BBC article looking at how diverse the £2bn a year online dating industry has become, is the site Pick Up Artist Training. Although based in the US, it has ‘boot camps’ on both sides of the pond to help us limey’s new to UK dating approach, talk to and secure a date from women both off- and online.

First look at the site and it would appear to be like the title suggests, a pick-up site. But it is a little more subtle, especially when you start reading the blog.

Richard La Ruina, aka The Gambler, explained to the BBC earlier in the year that not everyone who attends the bootcamp is looking to make conquests of every woman they meet. Rather, many men genuinely struggle to find a comfort zone when attempting to approach a desired member of the opposite sex and the intensive course helps men who “…want to just meet the right person”.

The boot camps are run regularly, once or twice a month, in the UK.  If you’ve got £779* spare and would like expert advise on how to pick up women, then perhaps this is the course you’ve been looking for.
*price correct as at time of writing

Dystopian dating sites being analysed – two

To conclude our who’s who of contributors to the studies we’re looking at over the next couple of days to determine how the scientists are collating our dating site information to try and get a fresh handle on love is Helen Fisher PhD. An authority on human nature, specifically regarding the differences between men and women and the cranial rope they use in the tug-of-war of love, she has taken her knowledge further to create one of the most successful matchmaking sites on the web, chemistry.com.

One of the most difficult concepts that these voyeurs of human nature failed to get their heads around is why, when the average dating sitee may be paying a substantial monthly subscription fee to attract Mr or Mrs Right, would they then lie about their own personality and risk potentially attracting someone less suited to their true nature?

The whole point of a ‘matchmaking’ site is to take your specific details and match them with an appropriate other using the information they have input to make a couple. If both halves of the same couple stretch their particulars too far, it is likely that the pairing will find no common ground, so why do it?

what gave me away, your honour?

But many, many do, so much so that the Big Brother scientists have determined patterns about both sexes propensities to fib.

Women stretched the truth about their weight by stripping a considerable eight and a half pounds off their online dating self – if they could bottle that formula and bring it into the real world they’d be millionaires overnight! Men were a lot more realistic, only setting the bar two pounds below what they truly weighed in at. They did, however, make up for that by adding on a half inch to their height (yes, height – only adult dating sites may ask for that much detail) to their online dating persona in an attempt to make them appear more burly.

Surprisingly, most singles who took part, either anonymously or having volunteered their information, were straight up about their age. The photos the dating site members used though weren’t so on the mark, with many women choosing to use an image that was approximately eighteen months old and men proffering a six-month’s younger portrayal of themselves.

The conclusion made by the researchers was that many of those looking for love online are not deliberately trying to mislead potential partners with the media they use, but want to coax other dating hopefuls to them who they believe will see them as their target market.

Well, there is some bull involved if that’s your aim, but surely it’s the bull’s-eye you should have in your sights.

A date a place no time two

part one

How long do you reckon to skim through one dating site profile? Five minutes to do it justice and at least pay homage to the time spent by a dating site peer trying to scream across the white noise created by millions of other singles desperately seeking their soul mate, wherever they may be in the global date-most-fear?

Allowing 16 hours per day if you did nothing but scour online dating sites other than nourish for one hour and sleep for seven, the maximum dating profiles you could get through is 192 – call it 200 for round figures. On just this one dating site, Badoo, you would only be capturing 0.014% of its daily new membership.

According to another report I read recently (it was part of a sales campaign so I didn’t really give it much credence until I started looking into these other figures) but there are one million new internet users every single day of the week. We’re not talking about existing web-savvy explorers – we mean newbies discovering cyberspace for the virgin flight into the technological unknown.

The figure astounded me at first; my initial reaction was: how is that possible?
Then I looked into world population statistics, current registered internet users and trends in recent growth of the world wide web.

The total world population now 7bn people, of which 2bn are already internet-registered, that leaves 5,000,000,000 people not yet online, theoretically.

If you write off ten percent as intellectually incapable, either to old or too young, that leaves approximately 4,500,000,000 yet to log on to the net. Even at 1M per day, it would take 4,500 days, or just over twelve years, to accomplish the feat of everyone in the world being online. By which time, those born at the start of that cycle will be ready to launch a generation of their own fledging cyberspace fleet.

Now, here’s the point that truly justifies how Miss $120,000 meal ticket may never need pay for a lunch again, if flitting between dating sites is her wont. The Pew Research Centre has ascertained that 10% of all internet users have tried out online dating. That would certainly explain why the pasttime has lost its stigma in recent months. If you assume the user profile split is 50/50 male/female, that gives Miss $120,000 a whopping 100,000,000 men to go for ‘online now’, let alone factoring those who will hit a landing page for the first time in generations to come.

That’s some target audience – a market place that will never run short and, in densely populated areas, you can understand how she’s managing to flit from cafe to bar to restaurant every single night with a new beau on her arm, the hand of which never quite reaches to the clasp of her own purse.

It’s simple – never give money to your online date!

We bring to a conclusion our analysis of Action Fraud’s report on how to spot a dating site fraudster and how to protect yourself from being duped in this post. By the time you’ve read and digested this information you will be armed and able to spot a scam before you’ve read past the ‘Dear Sweetest Sweetheart’.

To the crunch – these conmen who target singles on dating sites across the world are after your money, pure and simple. Often, in order to entice you to donate to whichever mythical cause they have invented that needs your money to tide them over, they will mention the vast wealth they own that, for an equally untrue reason, they cannot get their hands on in time.

There will often be the promise that you will be paid back double, once the ‘plant’, the third party interjected into the tale of woe to instil confidence in their targeted dating site member, can get their money back to them. As Michael Stipe once crooned ‘if you believe they put a man on the moon, nothing is real, nothing is cool.’

Following investigations made by Australian fraud departments, as well as other crime fighting departments across the globe, the root of this evil is very often buried deep in African soil. There are crime syndicates who train many, many people to adopt multiple personas across singles and matchmaking sites in the US, Europe and particularly UK dating sites.

Wherever there is perceived wealth, you will find false dating profiles; often alluding to respected professions to gain your trust, they will groom you until your trust is believable and complete. Whether it be a high-ranking member of the armed forces, lawyers or doctors – all of whom will have had a back-story created to justify why they are where they are – you will be asked to send your money to Africa, more often than not.

And it will not be through PayPal or bank transfer – because of how difficult it is to trace once sent, your fraudulent online dating partner will ask you to send the cash by wire transfer. They will never ask you to pay it into their bank account, as that would mean revealing a name – this name would not match the moniker on the dating site profile, that’s for sure! Of course, this last aspect should not even arise; if you have picked up on any of the details in this series, you will not be considering sending money, full stop.

And that really is what it boils down to. Regardless of anything mentioned this week, or if your date is begging you for money in their barrage of letters before you’ve ever even met them, remember: DO NOT SEND MONEY TO ANYONE YOU HAVE MET ON A DATING SITE!

Online dating – you are front page news!

You’ve signed up for your brand new dating site, your re-shot, just-so new photo is ‘synced’ with your PC, ready to upload to your profile and you are excited. Something in your water tells you that this is the one, the last time you’ll ever have to fill in a profile and sign up to a matchmaking site again!

All goes well, but then you get to the ‘about me’ snippet – the ‘alt text’ of your photo that’s going to grab a prospective partner’s eye whilst they eagerly await your .jpeg to load – and you grind to a miserable halt.

More than anything, this one- or two-sentence overview is the difference between you getting clicks through to your profile or whether your hyperlink will just be used as a stepping stone to an online dating résumé that is more creative in its introduction than yours, a real headline maker!

Your snippet is your welcome mat and can potentially communicate more about you than anything else in your dating profile. There are many ways you can say hello to your new dating site community – how you convey your greeting will be the difference between being greeted with a cheery smile and swift, chirpy response or simply being flipped the bird. It is pointless having a professionally crafted dating site profile if your headline dissuades members from reading any further than the introduction.

keep your dating site profile light and upbeat

It is very important to stay true to yourself, but accentuate the positives – a negative vibe will put prospective partners on a downer even if they are dogged and proceed to read the rest of your detail. Do not lead with phrases such as ‘I am only here because the divorce has just come through’ or ‘I didn’t want to do this, but…’ – this type of phrase only suggests that your heart’s not in it and you’re here to satisfy someone else’s ill-advised intentions, not for your own reward.

Another mistake people make is quoting a lyric from a film or TV series. There are a couple of issues with this type of approach. Firstly, catchy it may be, but it was written for a certain script in a specific setting – you may dig the reference, but it could be totally lost on other dating site members. Also, if an association is made by someone checking you out, what does the film say about you regarding age, taste and style? You may be unnecessarily alienating yourself with your choice. This train of thought can also apply to an inappropriate literary reference or song lyric. Okay, Shirley Bassey has a great voice, but she does tend to have an overtly ‘sweet’ following.

To greatly improve your chances of a response – this may sound backwards – make your opening gambit less about you. Ask an indirect question, one that invites explanation rather than a blunt ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Oh – and avoid politics and religion; really, more people are likely to admit to having had an affair than reveal their preferred party or deity!

And make the answer not so blindingly obvious that you come across as uneducated; invite answers that will help you build rapport, understand the schematic and encourage a broad section of the dating site community to contribute. But make the question appropriate to you, with some end design in mind; you will still want to be involved, even if the ‘clique’ dating site members try to muscle in on the thread. After all, it’s your headline and you want to attract potential partners to you, not the competition.

Here’s lookin’ at you, kid…

Online dating fraud – don’t fall for the lies

There is absolutely nothing worse than building up a relationship over any length of time only to find out that it has been based upon a pack of lies. This is true in online dating and in the real world.

What compounds that act is when the person who you have opened your heart to has also left you devoid of cash as well as emotion. It’s sad, but true, that this is a constant thorn in the side of UK dating sites; indeed, across the whole of the web these crooks are pouncing, buttering up singles who they choose at random or with forethought, and it is a stigma that the dating site industry, in co-operation with fraud squads across the world, are trying to rid themselves of.

We continue our report into published documentation by Action Fraud, a UK organisation who are bringing to our attention a whole set of criteria that, when recognised, helps us spot these conmen on our dating sites, with a look into the extent these swindlers will go to in order to spin a believable yarn. The sooner you can nip this in the bud, the better. The longest case on record involved one dating site member who was groomed over a five-year period; even if it is token trinkets that the masqueraders entice you to send, the longer your ‘relationship’ continues, the grander the final bill!

no excuse for not spotting a fraudulent dating site profile

When the conman thinks you are primed and ready – you may have already sent small sums or mobile phones to enable them to stay in touch – you will be asked for the big one: the letter that their months of patience have been building up to. It can come in the form of an e-mail, private message on the dating site (not likely , as they will have tried to get you to communicate by other means away from dating site security and admin checks), by air-mail or, the most likely method, by instant messenger.

There will always have been a major catastrophe which has beset them; either their cousin needs £10,000 to stop their house being repossessed, their daughter is in need of medical attention, or a tragic occurrence that has befallen them on the way with the money to repay what they have already leant and their money, which does not exist, is with a.n.other, rendering it thus inaccessible.

That third party, like their money, is mythical – by including another human element, they believe it gives credence to their story, especially if that person was the cog in the machine that was going to get your money to you.

It may sound altogether convincing as you’re reading this alongside that false image on their dating site profile but beware – none of it is real. If you have given, stop; if you’re yet to give, reconsider: just how well do you know your online love? Politely refuse and move on; it may be hard, but it will save you more than simply face and heartache in the long run.

Trust the basis of online relationships

Like all relationships, if trust isn’t at the very foundation, you may as well send in the bulldozers to finish the job. Dating online is no different, if not even more subjective to someone being able to believe your profile, as there can be no expectation of eye contact until the barrier of trust is taken off the dating site and into real life.

And not only does your dating site profile have to convey that you are a good stick, forthright pillar of the community and worthy of a prospective partner travelling to fulfil a liaison, but also deliver conviction, and a confidence that initiates contact in the first instance.

Trust is a two-way street – the more carriageways you can add to the initial lane to supercharge your tarmac into a super-highway, the speedier you can expedite a runway to long-term happiness. So where is your navvy to make you this savvy?

There are several rules you need to follow to fast-track your dating profile to the extent where other dating site members will trust you as they would an agony aunt:

•Honesty is the best policy:

o There are accepted parameters whereby you can stretch the truth a little, such as the age of your profile photo (18 months women/6 months man, average) or weight and height – stick within the realms of reality to a) sound credible, as many seasoned online dating site users can spot an out and out lie from the off, and b} remember, your intention is to date off-screen! So many dating site members have been ridiculed after it has been revealed that their dating profile is about as akin to the real them as Arnie Schwarzenegger and Danny De Vito convinced us they were twins.

• Use both highways:

o If you open up to someone and let the real you shine through, it is human nature that they do the same as the two of you reach common, safe ground.

• The truth will out:

o Lies have a funny way of coming back to bite you on the rear. Whether it’s forgetting that one little detail that was poignant to another dating site member but insignificant to you or implying that you are something that you’re not will not only cause embarrassment thee and then but will probably destroy your credibility interminably. Even when you get away with a fib, it is usually at the expense of someone else’s feelings, so keep in mind the passive harm you could be administering with that ‘little white lie’.

Those are the basics for asserting trust and having it reciprocated through your online dating profile; use them wisely to see a whole new road open up ahead of you. Only you can say where that road will lead.

Spice up your love life

Incontrovertible evidence tells us that more and more singles on the UK dating scene are utilising the myriad services offered by online dating sites to attract new mates. This is all well and good for the stealth agent, who can deliberate for hours on end, tweaking the many aspects of their online dating profile, which they have spent countless hours researching on other dating websites and blogs offering tips, guides and how-to’s.

The nett result is a formidable online persona, apt to engage the attentions of any target they please and successfully convert their efforts to enhance their entire online experience, enjoying the thrill of the chase as much as the actual date itself.

However, a study by one online dating facility, Doingsomething.co.uk, has revealed results that suggest this is where the creativity ends; when it comes to the task of taking the date off-screen into the real, wide world mundanity becomes as predictable as whether it’s the man or woman who gets the sticky bit to lie on after years of marriage.

dates that are too PC just plod on

For those who achieved regular success in winning dates online, they reported that 20 times a year, the first date would follow the exact same routine, even down to the permissible amount of alcohol socially condoned as allowed for this type of liaison.

That’s three glasses – no more, no less – if you were wondering. All I’ll say about that is that it’s a good job I’m married, now – how politically incorrect would my bottle of Thunderbird whilst I was getting ready be, nowadays? That may, however, explain why I didn’t actually tie the knot until my mid-thirties, but I digress: the format.

As well as a half of bottle of wine, the first date almost always incorporates Italian food of some designation, and we’re not talking a take-away from Dominos. The occasion was almost always on a Thursday or Friday night (the theory being that young revellers do not want to spoil their other chances by ditching the regular Saturday night hang out with their buds), and the protocol to signify the end of the transaction was a polite peck on the cheek.

Guys – you need to spice it up, somewhat; this tried and tested method no longer does the trick, according to the poll results, as only one in four first dates executed in this fashion led to a second off-line encounter. Rather, 3 out of 4 were sent packing, back off to trawl the internet to find out what went wrong and deliberate for hours how tweaking their matchmaking site profile will help them get to second base, next time.

The clue is in the question. The survey reported a better success rate for ‘out of the ordinary’ dates, like a walk or cycle in the park, perhaps throwing the ducks a few crumbs or seeing their captivated cousins in local zoological gardens – 9 out of 10 surveyed who were treated thus went back for second helpings, when offered a little something different from the menu for the first course.