The dumber – and darker – side of dating

Dating news review: week ended 28 sept 2012:

Sometimes dating sites aren’t all they’re cracked up to be – and sometimes they’re downright dangerous, as this week’s news stories reveal.

First up this week we have the extraordinary story of the principal of an American grammar school arrested on drug charges after he contacted an undercover police officer on a gay dating website. Montague Elementary’s principal, Eric Dean Lewis, was arrested this past week on charges of offering to furnish narcotics and on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell once the 42 year old began to chat with the undercover officer through the dating site, and was soon arrested at a ‘date’ he arranged in order to furnish the officer with unspecified narcotics, sources say.

Say what you want about the American educational system and the sort they allow in to shepherd the nation’s youth on their path towards higher education, at least no one was actually hurt – well, besides the reputation of the California grammar school where Lewis was principal. And lest you think that here at home we don’t have lunatics and madmen populating our online dating sites, think again: this week, news broke concerning how one man from Northumberland has been jailed for the indefinite future after meeting multitudes of women on a dating site only to assault and rape them.

Ultimate ladies’ man, Joseph Oroszlan, began a relationship with one woman he met online, only to have a rather strong reaction to the news that she wished to break off the relationship. So strong, in fact, that he met with her face to face after the break up, held her captive, and raped her not once but twice – only to make contact with another woman on the same dating site whilst out on bail for the initial attack!

Unfortunately, this second relationship ended quite abruptly as well, even though it had advanced to the point where Oroszlan and his new girlfriend had moved in together. Once she discovered the rape and assault accusations, she confronted the man, resulting in an additional rape attempt – apparently because, well, it had worked so well the last time for the bloke, hadn’t it?

Thankfully, a judge recently locked Oroszlan up indefinitely in order to protect the public after ruling the man a danger to the public Under the terms of the indefinite sentence, he’ll be behind bars for at least six years and will be a lifetime member of that exclusive club – the sex offender register.

Nothing like good advice – and this is nothing like it

Dating news review: week ended 21 sept 2012:

Everyone needs a bit of good dating advice from time to time, and there’s nothing like it – but sometimes you get nothing like good dating advice as well, like this past week!

One particular online dating service, a particularly low-class outfit going by the name of Shag a Gamer – for, you guessed it, no-strings attached sex with video and computer game players and the women who pretend to love them – has gone to YouTube to launch a mini-series of advice videos for lonely, hapless gamers looking to lose their virginity. The initiative was launched after a Shag a Gamer poll found that more than one out of three survey respondents were still virgins – though the jury is still out on what percentage sport scraggly neckbeards and still live at home with mum and dad.

The videos feature ‘gamer babes’ with dubious credentials giving advice laced with horrible double entendres and gaming puns such as ‘you’re not going to win any trophies by hammering away at any old button’ and ‘sometimes I need someone to overload my buffer.’ This is, of course, both patently offensive to men and women while at the same time pandering to the sweaty gamer virgin demographic, so it’s almost guaranteed to be a hit.

If that’s too much for you, there’s always the other bit of advice from Match.com that equates dating to a business relationship, thanks to Dr Cecilia d’Felice, the dating website’s resident clinical psychologist. Dr d’Felice (who must obviously be an expert since she’s got an advanced degree, right lads?) came forward recently with many ‘excellent’ tips on transferring your business skills into the dating world, turning the whole thing into a transaction instead of a romantic encounter.

The good doctor recommended such activities as ‘researching’ things before a date, much as you would undertake research prior to a business meeting. She doesn’t come out and say you should gather information on the man or woman you’ll be meeting with by stalking them on Facebook, but the implication is there.

Other gems such as ‘self-promotion’ and ‘negotiation’ were given dating analogues as well, with Dr d’Felice offering tips on how to market yourself to a prospective mate by showcasing the sides of your personality you feel are required to seal the deal, and how to gently and subtly steer the date and towards ‘your desired outcome,’ whatever in the world that may be. It’s a better tactic to take than Shag a Gamer with their blatant sexualisation, but it’s closer to Glengarry Glen Ross than it is an actual date.

 

Nothing like a few wrong myths to ruin a perfectly good date

Dating news review: week ended 31 August 2012:

Seems there’s nothing but bad news for people who like old folk wisdom when it comes to dating this week, as more than a few old tales have gotten turned on their head recently.

First up, it looks like gentlemen may prefer blondes, but not by that much to be really statistically significant. New research into the old relationship myth conducted by a dating website found that the difference between men who choose blondes over brunettes was a paltry 3 per cent – so yes, this marginally means the myth is true, but barely so and not really to the point where there are shedloads of forlorn brunettes sitting at home and crying into their perfectly coiffed hair every night.

In actuality, the biggest revelation from the survey had nothing to do with hair color at all – 27 per cent of men said they prefer women with an overall attractive figure, with ‘curvy’ women being the most sought-after. Seems that Marilyn Monroe would have been popular with today’s lads no matter her hair colour!

Next we found out this week that not everyone is looking to start a sordid office affair with you if they sign an email with an X. New research indicates that more often than not receiving an email that’s been ‘sealed with a kiss’ is nothing more than a desire to appear friendly, believe it or not, – some even sign emails to their bosses with little X’s – though there was a strong minority that still interpreted a long line of kisses as a flirtatious come-on.

The research study pointed out that this friendly connotation begins and ends in the UK, as other English-speaking countries are much less familiar when it comes to an innocuous kiss. Our “slightly” Puritanical cousins across the pond in America would be absolutely mortified to receive a missive dripping in X’s, as the accepted custom in the US is to only include such terms of endearment with your closest of loved ones and family members.

It’s a bit odd to think that our ebullient, sometimes even overwhelmingly loud former colonists are so scared of a bit of harmless affection in an email. Let that be a lesson to you if you’ve ever got to correspond to a work colleague across the Atlantic: unless you want to confuse them and make them incredibly uncomfortable, leave off the X’s.

Unless you fancy their accent over Skype. In that case, go ahead and flirt away – but don’t expect long-distance dating to be easy!

Revenge: a dish best served by a dating website profile?

Apparently they do things a bit different in the regions: one parish council chairman grew so incensed with a rival that he signed her up to a dating website against her will!

Councillor Marilyn Ray had been a thorn in the side of Douglas Staples, since the two had changed roles for chairman. Staples had been inundated by Freedom of Information requests from the 65 year old Ray, even though she was just a villager at that time, winding up the man so much that he signed her up to a dating site to flood her e-mail address with would be sexagenarian suitors.

The council chairman’s scheme came unraveled recently, leading to a restraining order following an harassment charge. He’s also now facing £700 in legal costs and court fees for his behaviour.

Of course, Mrs Ray wasn’t exactly a pleasant person to Mr Staples, as they had a falling out after she inundated him with more than 70 complaints over a period of five years. Then, after her retirement, she was a constant fixture at meetings as a villager, taking copious notes and lodging more complaints until Mr Staples decided to sign her up for some online dating – perhaps under the incorrect thought that finding a little love might calm her down and get her out of his hair, but it looks like that plan backfired.

Listen, lords and ladies: only sign yourself up for dating sites, not your nearest and dearest friends and enemies. It just doesn’t work very well as a revenge technique, especially after you get dragged before the magistrate and are publicly shown to be about as mature as a 12 year old boy.

Don’t believe what you read online, new survey says

While most singletons looking for love through a dating website often read online profiles with a healthy grain of salt, a new survey gives credence to our belief that you can’t necessarily trust what you read online.

Both sexes were found to embellish and sometimes outright lie when it comes to their personal details. Both men and women were found to be highly duplicitous when it came to how fit they were (or weren’t), with many stating that they’re much slimmer than they actually are, while women also tend to exaggerate their bust size as well.

Before you go pointing a finger at the fairer sex for exaggerating their feminine traits, men aren’t exactly blameless when it comes to other areas. The survey found that a large number of men will describe their job in glowing terms instead of what it truly is in an effort to seem more appealing – a dustman becomes a refuse disposal specialist, while someone who works in a takeaway might call themselves an Asian cuisine chef – while some will create a completely fictitious job out of whole cloth to seem more interesting, usually in the film, finance, or healthcare industries.

The research also found men often lie about their wage when filling out an online dating profile, with 40 per cent of survey respondents indicating that they may ‘enhance’ their earnings potential by as much as 20 per cent. It’s also quite common to see men pretend they have a more senior role at their place of employment in order to present themselves as more authoritative as well.

Peer pressure determines boyfriend online dating choice

Another new dating site has surfaced and, perhaps rather predictably, it has just released a survey into its customers dating preferences.

Part of the survey carried out by new website datewithamate.com looked at the effect that friends’ approval had on dating behaviour.

Clients were asked if they were concerned if their friends approved of their new boyfriend or not and what they would do if they did not.

Nearly 1200 people were surveyed and one assumes that they were all single females.

Surprisingly, a majority seemed to be very concerned that their friends liked their boyfriend and approved of the relationship. 89% said that they were bothered about their friends’ feelings, while a lot less – 59% were bothered about what their boyfriend’s own friends thought about their relationship.

The survey was carried out by the new dating site because, according to the founder, Luke Pomaro, they wanted to know more about their client base and what made them tick.

More facts and figures revealed in the survey included the fact that 12% said that they would dump a boyfriend if their friends did not approve, which showed that their friends’ opinion counted a little more than their mum’s, because only 7% said that they would end a relationship if mum did not approve!

Datewithamate.com is a “double dating” website, which means that it arranges dates with a friend. Perhaps it is no surprise, Mr Pomaro said, that anybody who signed up to the new site would take their friends’ opinions seriously in terms of choice of who to date.

However, Mr Poimaro was a little shocked at the number of people who took their friendship with their friends more seriously than their friendship with their boyfriend.

He said that while it was fine to take one’s friends thoughts into consideration, it was important not to take them so seriously that it would cause the relationship to end.

He said that any healthy relationship depended on what the two people themselves thought about each other, rather than what other people thought.

Zoosk steps up marketing profile

Online dating site Zoosk is seeking out a consumer agency to market it to become the leading romantic dating website online and on a mobile.

The site has requested that interested parties should send proposals by 30th April. The expanding dating website is on the lookout for creative and proactive local professional assistance to assist it with communication to the British market in a dynamic, forward looking and original manner that mirrors Zoosk’s fundamental personality.

The British market is the website’s second biggest membership after the USA and the time is right to put more investment into promotional tactics to follow its large marketing campaign late last year in order to wage war with rivals such as eHarmony and Match.com.

The company reveals that its survey news has not been able to achieve much in Britain and that it is trying to transform itself from its current flavour of being a social dating community to a base for more romantic social networking, but this has to be advertised through a consumer consciousness and education campaign.

The website executive is intending upon choosing an agency that will set up a strategy of communication to the site’s main audience in the 25 to 49 age group to get them to create and discuss their romantic encounters, whether they are already married or still single.

Zoosk’s communications team is about to fly to London from San Francisco, where it is based, on the 10th and 11th May to conduct face-to-face interviews with interested agencies.

Zoosk currently has a 50 million membership, which is spread across more than seventy countries and members can make arrangements for dates by using the business’s website, mobile applications, a Facebook app and the desktop application.

Intimate inmates 1

Many posts on this dating website have been written specifically to promote members’ awareness of the fact that, behind many profiles, lies the face of a criminal just waiting to coax you out of your hard-earned cash.

To some, this is no surprise; yet others are genuinely shocked when they fall for the sob stories without realising that Jeanette from Dagenham is really a college graduate from Nigeria working from his laptop in a cafe well on his way to earning $60k a year, towards which your ‘gift’ is just a token contribution.

It is quite possible, too, that your ‘Jeanette’ on one dating site is ‘Rachel’ on another, or at least the real person behind the front is one and the same. Your tokens of affection, which you assume are heading to different parts of the UK, will never be cashed in a European bank. If you could trace the wire that sent the money transfer, you’d see your money sitting in a bank in Africa.

This is deceitful, but nonetheless commonplace; some people carry on for years, transferring huge amounts of money before they realise that they’ve been duped by a criminal mastermind.

There are, however, very different kinds of criminals on dating sites, becoming all the more popular. If there is such a thing, these criminals are legitimate, posting their loosely disguised dating profiles on ‘pen-pal’ sites from their cells across the US. There is a substantial market for women who genuinely want to date men on the inside, likewise, men who become enthralled with female prisoners.

Not that inmates have a PC waiting for them when they check in to whichever penitentiary it is they are to serve their time. The onus is on their circle of friends from ‘the outside’ to get them set up on dating sites – this can incur a charge, depending upon the site and the type of service they purport to offer.

One of the first reactions, other than ‘what do the couple gain physically from the relationship’ is ‘why do prisoner governors allow this?’

Many are, as mentioned, fronted as a pure contact site, however the details of the profile are straight from any ‘dating site in a box’ you can buy or affiliate from the internet. Otherwise, being able to form a remote relationship beyond the confines of the prison establishment promotes a sense of self that can be so difficult to find once one gets sentenced to spend time behind bars.

Prisoners with a sense of purpose and something to look forward to once they have served their time are much more likely to stay away from activities that would jeopardise parole than those with nothing to lose by flouting the laws whilst incarcerated.

Intimate inmates 2

It takes a special type of person to have both the patience and foresight to commit to someone who may never be free from their cell. Yet there are successful relationships on dating sites for prison inmates, even marriages are not that uncommon.

However, as the younger generation grow up with social media very much a part of their everyday lives, talking to people on line, even falling in love or becoming infatuated, is absolutely the norm. Furthermore, latest figures show that 10% of the 2bn global internet population have registered their information on a dating site. For a significant sector of those 200,000,000 people, connecting online is enough.

There are many sites dedicated to promoting the virtues of inmates and, if it was not for the prison number and the fact that the address is a correction facility or state jail, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were perusing any one of the thousands of mainstream dating sites that populate the internet, today.

Some of the URLs can be misleading and lead you to a set of blog-search results by Google for ‘similar’ type dating facilities but the genuine prison dating archives provide an invaluable outlet for inmates across the globe, not just the US, where their rise in popularity is rife.

Some of the larger dating sites showcasing incarcerated felons did genuinely start out as pen-pal mediums ; however, since the first websites of this type launched in 1996, the natural progression and acceptance of meeting singles online has sat well with the general public more easily in recent years. Of the top ten key players in this market, some boast as many as 10,000 potential partners with their profiles filled in awaiting your correspondence.

The amount of information displayed for its members can differ for each dating site. The aim is to present the inmate in the best possible light and to that end, the accent certainly is on the positive with the profile information listed.

If you are interested in connecting with a prisoner, there is sufficient detail to at least get you on the way to making an informed decision. It is rare that the crime for which they are serving time is listed but you will find a personal introduction penned by the inmate beneath a suitably-chosen profile picture. If the prisoner has took part in self-learning or vocational activities and courses as a first step on the road to the enlightened them, you can expect to find that information there, too, alongside the usual data, such as height, weight, date of birth, etc.

What may be key, depending on whether you are looking for a purely online relationship or hoping to make it physical by visiting as well as writing or actual dating once their time is served is the release date. If you only ever want a genuine pen-pal service, it may be worth considering prisoners with lengthy sentences. On the other hand, should you wish to make more of your new-found friend and take the liaison offline, you may want to concentrate your search to someone who is soon to be released.

There are many, many people currently serving time who are truly repentant and are making great strides to put the past behind them and start afresh. If you want to be a part of their new life, even if it’s as a time-passing written correspondent, there are many inmates just awaiting your post.

Don’t hang about on your dating site

There are many types of dating site offering to match you with your perfect partner. Some would like to charge you for their services, whereas others offer to pair you with prospective partners for free.

When you set out on the road to find a match online, how can you tell whether a dating site is going to fulfil your requirements? With limited time for busy professionals, who only just about have time to date online, let alone find a mate in the real world, time wasting is not an option. Likewise any consideration of wasting funds is also out of the question in this prolonged global economic turmoil, so how do you cut through the swathes to streamline your efforts?

According to one online relationship expert one of the most essential tests you can carry out before going through the entire process of fully completing your online dating profile is examine the profiles of your possible matches.

Many dating sites often entice you to ‘search your matches for free’, even if they charge a nominal fee for actually contacting anyone who catches your eye. In order for dating sites to attain respectability, it is important that they perform; they can have the coolest gadgets, most user-friendly interfaces and largest membership but that all counts for nothing if they cannot deliver its membership matches with whom they are likely to connect.

if at first you don’t succeed, quit

Assuming those criteria are adhered, it makes sense that the initial batches of prospective dates you’re exposed to are your closest matches, based on the scant information you have entered thus far. If there is no one in those first few visits to your new dating site, even after applying a few tweaks, with whom you envisage developing a relationship, then it is unlikely that the matchmaking facility and its membership database will suit you long term. Obviously, the more information you choose to enter, the more refined and appropriate your search results will be, improving the likelihood of suitable matches available.

The hypnotherapist come dating site aficionado adds a little further advice. Women should not instinctively reach for their credit card when joining a new dating site community; even though the site may state clearly that it has a paid membership, many sites offer their facilities to the fairer sex for free. Although this seems sexist, without this option, many adult dating sites especially would be over-subscribed with men and would soon cease to provide a viable service.

The imbalance would see numbers dwindle and, in a catch 22 situation, would soon spiral until new members stopped signing up altogether.

The money pit of online dating fraud

There seems so much to take in when someone new approaches you on your dating site, it is easy to see why many members miss the glaring signs that should be telling you ‘you’re being set up for a fall’.

However, as Action Fraud have recently reported, backed by Soca and many other leading crime and academic investigations, there are indicators that should draw your attention to the fact that your new online love may not be the real deal.

Grooming is a massive part of the process. If some of the signs reported in this series so far have pricked your conscience somewhat, but you think you are safe because you have a long-term relationship with your distant partner, take heed!

These dating site confidence tricksters are in it for the long haul. The investigations have recorded relationships lasting for five years before the final sting, all the while gently building up confidence via flattery and character history, altogether plausible in the eyes of the smitten dating site member.

Along the way, there may be requests for small gifts, such as replacement phones to stay in touch, or bolder requests for more up to date pc equipment so that they can prolong their long-distance dating site relationship. By submitting to these requests you’re confirming to the conman that you have disposable income; they will not relent until they have fleeced you up to the point you evetually realise what is happening. You may have spent £1,000’s before you even realise that Sonia the carer from Singapore is actually Mattheu from Nigeria.

Once they have your confidence, they may even ask for money to enable travel – this could be to meet you to develop the relationship, visit a relative who has the money repay you for what they have leant so far or a job interview so they can start to earn the money to give you back your kind, heartfelt donations. They may even give you a number to contact their UK relative whom your funds will facilitate visiting – it is a number set up to transfer to Africa, or wherever the operation is based, yet assures the infatuated dating site member, who needs little further convincing, that the story holds water.

The fraudulent love letter

As reported yesterday, this week we will be running a special series highlighting the telltale signs that could indicate you are being targeted by a fraudster on your dating site.

Many dating site members who have been targeted and subsequently succumbed to the temptation of giving money to someone whose plight seems oh so real across these platforms do not report the violation after they grasp the concept that they have been conned; if they ever do realise, that is.

Those feelings of guilt and shame, that gut-wrenching sense of despair in the moment you ask yourself ‘How could I have been so stupid?’ stop you from coming forward and reporting the crime. Not only is it difficult to know who to approach, but that sense of pride kicks in and we do not want to publicise our naïvity for fear of reproach. This is playing further into the criminals’ hands.

You are not, however, alone. If you have been conned, you are no different from the other estimated 200,000 UK dating site members and social media fans who have caved in, likewise – that is the estimated figure based upon the findings of the first real investigation into this crime in the UK by the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

If you’re unsure that you are being targeted through your dating site profile, here we start the breakdown of a typical letter sent by the gangsters, either e-mailed as an attachment or its embodiment via your online dating platform.

the signature of a dating site fraudster’s letter

Based upon SOCA’s findings, working with Leicester & Westminster Universities, if any of these signs ring alarm bells, stop what you’re doing and alert the relevant admin department or report the misdemeanour to action fraud, immediately.

They don’t waste any time relaxing you and putting you off your guard. The opening address will be overtly sickly sweet, like ‘my sweetest sweetheart’, in an attempt to endear you to them from the outset. The term also may not be one you are used to seeing. If you saw: “hiya, m’ darlin”’, you’d think nothing of it; but ‘Dearest darling’ or ‘sweetest sweetheart’ – these are clues that the letter is from someone on the dating website whose mother tongue may not be English.

Somewhere in the opening paragraphs, they will try to get you to contact them off the domain hosting your dating website. Online dating has done much to improve their targeting of anyone who can do their reputation damage and are making great strides to wheedle out the miscreants.

If you are being asked to talk on Skype, GTalk, IM or other instant messenger services, your online partner does not want the dating site picking up the conversation on their radar. Tell them to blip off, in the nicest possible way, of course – no need to stoop to their level.

Online dating – the after work quickie

As we recently reported, the days of the official ‘first date’ being a long, drawn out affair are in decline. The quick lunchtime date is growing in popularity as online dating members already know much about their prospective partner from their profile.

However, with no set times for lunch in the business world, a midday meeting can be impractical. There is a happy medium, however – somewhere between an all-out date and the lightning liaison of a lunchtime quickie – the after-work date.

The absolute best thing about a date after work, no matter what you have planned afterwards, you have the perfect opportunity to chill and have a beer or wine before you move on. You have to meet somewhere and it is worth researching a bar beforehand (oh, the hardship) that will set the tone for the evening. Stay away from dowdy ‘old men’s’ bars or those that, although cheaper, may attract characters who have wiled away the day there – you want to start out on a positive note.

The one good thing about meeting in a bar – if you are absolutely convinced the date is going to be a washout – there is no better place to make an absolute spectacle of yourself to put your date off forever!

if the drinks have gone splendidly, what next?

Both sports fans? Why not take in a game? Either go to one locally or head off to the sports bar to watch it, live. If conversation is short, as can be the first time you hook up with someone from your dating site, the game itself will throw up plenty to talk about.

If you’re nearby a city or large town, galleries and art museums often stay open until the early evening; use this to judge how culturally alike you are.

Shopping malls also stay open until late. An insight to fashion sense, shopping tolerance and how interested your partner is in your tastes will come to the fore. Most malls often have bars attached or are on commercial centres with restaurants to hand if you fancy extending the date into a meal.

A wonder around the park at twilight, with woods as a backdrop to the suns last hurrahs, can be a memory-making end to a first date.

And, as we approach Christmas, the many Bavarian and winter markets that descend from Europe can provide plenty to aid the conversation, and provide a snack and a drink as you’re huddled together with your hat and scarf as the chill bites as day turns to night with the seasonal setting bringing romance to within touching distance, if the mulled wine takes effect.

So, there we have plenty of options for your first brief encounter, bringing your online dating partner into your world, for just a glimpse of what’s to come.

Better make it a quickie

Tradition states that the first date is something a bit special, out of the ordinary and an event for which hours of planning and deliberation must be attributed to create that all-important first impression. But, then again, history dictates that meeting someone from an online dating community is a perilous notion (I can just see the Cholmondey-Warner documentary playing out now), but how that has changed in recent times.

The en vogue way to meet up with a prospective partner, especially if utilising a location-friendly application, is by fitting the first date into your lunchtime break.

The ideology of a bouquet of flowers, extravagant setting and pricey meal have all been trashed in favour of a mocha-latte, a sizzler or a friendly little tapas bar, depending upon the amenities close to your work-place. How as this transition happened?

Social media and online dating sites, whereby your profile is visible to those whom you permit to access it, help with a lot of the initial groundwork. Whereas, in the past, that first date was all about getting to know your fellow single, you already have an insight into what makes them tick.

Some dating site profile questionnaires, especially those dedicated to ‘matchmaking’ based on the criteria you enter, that  which forms your personality and what you are looking for in a possible mate, long- or short-term, ascertain more information about you than anyone from those bygone days would ever dream of asking on the initial meeting, wherever it was held.

Theoretically, you are already a comparable match and time-consuming fillers, such as asking about occupations, interests and hobbies, have already been gleaned from the dating website. Any prospective partner worth their salt should already have read, understood and digested this information about you to allow focus on the date itself.

The added bonus, of course, about dating in your lunchtime, is that there is a the reduced opportunity to lead to embarrassing situations at the end. Okay, if you feel a peck on the cheek appropriate or exchanging of contact details other than those to get you together initially, you may feel put on the spot before you head off back to the office.

But if your date has not gone as well as expected, you do not have to make any excuses whatsoever about moving on to somewhere else or coming in for a coffee or getting home if you’re abandoned in the middle of nowhere late at night. Your date knows you have to head back to work and that’s the end of it.

Lunchtime dates may not offer the glitz of The Ritz, but you can see why this slightly one better than speed-dating option is growing in popularity amongst the online dating crowd.

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.