The third person is not your ideal first choice date

According to one recent study, fifty percent of adults across the pond have reported knowing someone who initially began their relationship online. However, startling new insights into the results – namely what happened after dating began – perhaps show that not all dating site relationships end up happily ever after.

On the day before Valentine’s Day, results were published of a survey that Euro RSCG Worldwide had commissioned. The marketing group surveyed 1,000 individuals, twenty percent of whom admitted to having had a sexual encounter or starting seeing a partner whom they had met via a dating site or other online platform.

In a separate report, you start to recognise the evidence pile up against seeing someone who is an avid user of dating sites. Thirty three percent of those questioned in the second survey were aware of relationships that had been brought to a grinding halt because of one half of the couple’s continued actions online. And the same set of individuals confirmed, or at least a motion-carrying seventy five percent of them anyway, that stepping outside the lines of relationship etiquette on a dating site whilst going steady was tantamount to infidelity.

Norm Yustin, Group President for RSCG Chicago, reflected on the results and how the online world – one was totally separate to the day-to-day offline world, is now becoming such a very real part of everyday life that it’s becoming difficult to separate the two. Or, at least the influence of cyberspace in any real sense on the way individuals react to each other.

The whole concept of online dating is based on an element of untruth. Very few dating site members ever write a 100% truthful dating profile. Two university professors who teach in human communication, sampled 78 matchmaking site profiles – eighty percent of them exaggerated or were conservative with the truth at one time or another during their online experience.

Here’s something to look out for next time you’re eyeing up a potential partner online – if they are using negatives to precede their adjectives – i.e., rather than say they’re handsome, they say they’re not ugly – it’s a good chance they’re hiding something. When questioned about themselves to anything that’s not fully explained in their dating profile, the answer will be brief and they will shy away from addressing themselves in the first person, as if they are physically distancing their online persona away from the real them in a defiant act of escapism.

The theory behind their lack of self-expression or description is quite simple – the less lies they tell about themselves, the less chance they have of being found out or tripped up later on if they’ve forgotten a little bit of fantasy they’ve thrown in previously.

So, folks – expressive, consistent people who use the site less often when they’re in a relationship but who are on your dating site when they’re single are the ones to go for! Good luck – the won’t stay single very long, according to all reports.

Getting your message through to your online partner

Whether you like it or not, communication is vital unless you want to lock yourself away in a lighthouse on your own for the rest of your life. My guess is, as you’re reading an article on a dating site, that’s not the case.

Each and every day, you’re involved in levels of communication that can take on very different characteristics. Before you leave for work, you could be dropping your child off at daycare, kissing a loved one goodbye or trying to get one of your teenage offspring to brush their hair or, even worse, put a coat on.

When you get to work, likewise. You could be embroiled in an argument with your logistics manager, have to smarm to a boss you’re not so impressed by or even watch your p’s and q’s if you’re summoned by the MD.

However different all of these confrontations or pleasantries may seem, they all have a similarity that is uncommon with any conversation you may have later with someone on your dating site: in each and every instance, the person with whom you’re holding that tête-à-tête knows you.

The art of communicating love over the miles of cyberspace on your chosen dating platform requires a different angle altogether, purely down to the fact that you’re trying to attract someone (or drop them like a housebrick) who hasn’t got the advantage of being able to read your body language, which, according to many experts, can count for up to as much as 90% of any given signal that you’re sending out.

Although you may not realise it, your bosses, children and even parents are constantly analysing the mood you’re in before approaching you, assessing the situation based on your pre-existing relationship and then adapting their tone, accordingly. Don’t believe me? Ask them. Or better still, when next you’re opening a conversation with someone you know, see how much time you spend appraising them before you commit to your opening line and how much their demeanour affects your tone, even affects what you actually say.

Take that onto your dating site when you’re sending private messages or e-mails, look at what you’ve written – even better, think about it before you write anything – and read your text and how it will be interpretted by the recipient who’s not got the advantage of being able to translate your body language before they open the correspondence. Does it say what you mean? Worth thinking about, no?

Ready to date off-line?

Dating site reviewers are seeing more and more signs that, as busy professionals content themselves with online relationships rather than fit in a ‘real’ love life, many are forgetting to speak the language of love.

As recently reported, one of the biggest errors made by dating site members when approaching a potential new partner is use of incorrect grammar, punctuation and tone. But having a perfect patter in word processor does not necessarily equip you with the tools of the trade when your budding on-screen romance leaves the virtual arena and becomes reality.

Given that your newfound online love agrees to meet up, following a glittering array of compliments you have bedazzled them with in Verdana, Courier New or Arial Narrow, whichever font is the barrel from which your love-bullets are fired, your date is not going to be impressed if you turn up at the restaurant with a Kindle.

No sirree – it is time to put away the keypad, and let your body do the talking. If you have forgotten how to construct a sentence in the language of love, here are a few prompts to help you give the ‘backspace’ button a rest.

positivity

o assuming that your date has gone to exceptional lengths to look as stunning as possible, you should immediately tell them so. If their first impression of you is being awestruck as they approach, and not either looking at your watch or answering your mobile, then you’re off on the right foot.

focus

o when arranging that first date, take a while beforehand to predict any eventualities that may interrupt it. If your date can only make it on a certain day, and that’s either your duvet-day or 5-a-side night, make sure your usual crowd are informed. Your date must remain the centre of attention, the whole time.

responsibility

o if you are the gentleman of the party, remember your social graces. Do open doors for your lady, pull out the chair (practise if you’re rusty!) at the dining table and, distance permitting, do ensure she gets home safely. If you’re the lady, do insist on buying a drink, even if he insists on paying the bill; not only will it endow an air of independence, but also reinforces your positivity.

tokens

o memories are great, but after a first date, it is imperative to prolong that bond until the next time you meet, either on a second date or back on your dating website. Take along a little something that is very ‘you’; if all has gone well after the date, slip it into their hand (careful!) as a keepsake.

connectivity

o there is nothing as reassuring as physical contact – even the deftest of strokes, gently clasped hand or a fingertip on the elbow as you whisper your first sweet nothing! Be extremely cautious in assessing this situation beforehand – you do not want to come across as being too forward – however, if there is a good enough rapport, handled correctly, that first contact can overcome psychological barriers.

So, there we have it. Parlez-vous les mots d’amour, mes amies? Oui, bien. À demain, adieu. x