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.

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