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

Call in the SWOT team for a dating site makeover

I knew if I paid attention long enough at business school, some of it would come in handy, one day. Today, we’re going to talk about SWOT. Not the US strong arm of the police force, but a self-assessment you can do so you have some idea of how you’re perceived by your dating site buddies and what you can do to raise your dating site profile.

SWOT, in business terms, is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. If you know your strengths and the opportunities for growth you can play the dating site to those tunes. If you’re aware of areas that need attention, your weaknesses and threats, you can bolster and barricade against them, with the aim of turning them into the two positive factors. So, in a dating site sense, here’s your SWOT makeover.

Strengths. It’s great to have them, but you have to get the balance just right. If you possess a great set of pearly whites, capped off with a cute little dimple, that will make for a winning smile. Make sure your dating site profile image captures those elements in the best light. If you try to emphasise your terrific teeth too much, you may just come across as looking goofy. Always get a real close friend to take your dating site profile photo with a quality digital camera. They’ll tell you honestly when you’ve got the look just so.

Weaknesses. Everyone has a fallibility, no matter who they are. What you need to take care not to do is emphasise them in your profile. Your particular fondness of cats, for example, to you may be natural but it has become synonymous with the bachelorette. If you’re trying to attract someone for a long-term relationship, sure, mention your cat’s name if you must, but keep in mind what your dating profile’s there for and introduce the degree of your passion when the relationship can support it.

Opportunities. Right now, you may be an underling in the office, but you know you’re working on a vocational qualification or day-release course that pretty soon is going to usurp your current role. Don’t dumb down your existing role, but big up what it is you’re aiming to be at work and start to think like person. It may just attract someone who you thought out of your league. A word of warning: don’t get carried away – you’ve got to get that qualification first!

Threats. Competition on dating sites can be immense, even though there are so many millions of users. Do not be drawn into bitchy games with someone else on your dating site who’s gunning for your man/woman. Play it cool, be yourself and apply dignity to every response you make. If the person you’ve got in your sights has anything about them, they’ll recognise your integrity. If they don’t, then it’s their loss, not yours.

The key to the whole SWOT table is identifying the negative aspects and turning them into positives. The more adept you get at that, not only will you be a more sought after target on your dating site, but you’ll be a more rounded person for it.