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After I was snorting with derision re: eHarmony’s new TV ads on Twitter (eHarmony matches for me in America were the bizarre end of bonkers. ATV-riding farmhands with no passports from the back end of New Jersey who lived with their mothers? Why, yes please, eHarmony and your algorithm of INSANITY, I’ll take five), I fell into discussing the wonderful world of internet dating with various online friends. I dated online a lot in New York in 2007 – and wrote about quite a few of the nutjobs I met on LLG (look under the Dating category for my war stories.) So, as the New Year is prime signing up for lurrrrve time, I thought I’d share my hard-won internet blind dating tips.

Okay: here goes:

1) Most people have a selection of photos. Find the one where they look their worst. The photo they threw in there just at the last minute, as makeweight, thinking that the glory of the other photos will over shine the less good pic.
That, THAT photo will be the one that looks most like them. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the bad photo is an aberration and that rather gorgeous one where they look a little bit like David Tennant (personal choice here) is the real deal. It isn’t.

2) Do not spend weeks in email conversation with the object of your affections. Cut to the chase. If you discover he can spell, has a sense of humour and doesn’t refer to his mother in his messages, ask him out.

a) Because there is simply no point in establishing a connection with someone in the ether, only to meet and discover that the new love of your life is distinguished by his galloping dandruff, halitosis, a comb over, shoe lifts and a clammy handshake. I’ve fallen almost in love before online and been utterly miserable when there was zero real-life attraction.
b) Because you can bet he’ll be talking to other women too, so get in there first. (See pt 8 re: male/female ratio) I distinctly remember some ace-sounding men disappearing without trace.

3) Same goes for phone calls prior to first dating: I’m sorry but anyone with half an ounce of intelligence can make themselves appealing on the phone. The entire phone stage should be cut out IMHO.

4) Resist the temptation to write essays in your emails: you do need something left to talk about in person, & miles of gushing prose are best left for your secret diary.

5) This is a personal thing, but I don’t tell people about my blog before I meet them. But I think the same thing goes for the name of the company you work for. It’s all about an element of privacy. If your new object of affection (now referred to as NOOA) turns out to be loop-la-loop/borderline stalker-ish (it has been known), the last thing you want is them being able to track you down.

6) Which leads me neatly to: Google. We all do it, & I’m in a favour of a cursory search just to check that they do exist and that their wedding photos aren’t on display, but try not to track down their entire life history before you meet. Not least because the NOOA will doubtless be a bit freaked out if, after a glass of wine, you start referring to parts of his life he has yet to tell you about.

7) This is commonsense, but don’t trip off to your first blind date with your NOOA without telling someone else where you are going, and arranging to SMS/call them at a set time during and afterwards to let them know you haven’t been Mr Kipper-ed.

8 ) Unless you are just looking for a hot one night-er, resist the temptation to hop into bed with the NOOA on date one. Online dating sites are riddled with men gleefully playing the field: it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that the hot girl/hot man ratio is hideously skewed in the male favour and, if you are looking for lurrrrve, keeping your knickers on is a good way to sort the sheeps from the goat-ish.

9) Do not meet for supper, an exhibition, a movie or anything else that requires close proximity for more than 45minutes on date one. I used to favour weekend coffees, brisk walks in the park (nice bit of multi-tasking there), or quick after work drinks. If you like them, great, go on another date,  or out for dinner, but being stuck with someone you can’t abide for even a nano-second more than necessary is purgatory.

10) At all times maintain a sense of humour. Even if you are on a date with this guy. Or this guy.

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38 comments

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Not the nicest way to meet lol

http://www.haideeandco.blogspot.com/

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@Haidee: Oh I don’t agree at all. Surely picking completely random people up in bars is twenty times worse? LLGxx

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I met my husband through online dating and we’ve been together five years now.
I absolutely completely agree with 2a).

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@Flora Fauna Dinner:

Also note: he is 6’7″…

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@Flora Fauna Dinner: Thank you for sharing! It’s great to know about success stories! LLGxx

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Thanks for this……hmmmmmm…..thinking about signing up to some bloody site…..just thinking mind x

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@lulu: hahaha! DO IT DO IT DO IT! LLGxx

ps See below for why!

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In 2008 I followed your tips to loveandfriends (the UK dating site) to give it a go, although I didn’t think it would lead to anything. My first internet blind date was almost as blog-worthy as in your ‘this guy’ and ‘this guy’, and I almost gave up after the deflating first attempt. I’m glad I didn’t because I married internet blind date no. 2 last year, after being together for 2 years since a whirlwind first date. Honestly, from the worst date ever to the best date ever. Can’t agree with your tips more….and…. a very very very big thank you. I am a lucky woman.

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@Char: This, this I LOVE. Oh my the power of blogging! Ahem. I feel a post coming on! And, of course, congratulations – belatedly!.

*Does a little happy dance*

LLGxx

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I really enjoyed reading this post. Not for advice, but because it was entertaining and well-written. I think I’ll just pop on over to your war story links as well 🙂

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@The Tote Trove: Why, thank you! LLGxx

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Bang on! You nailed the problems and mistakes of online dating in this post! I have some hilarious anecdotes (from the early 21st century, when online dating was NEW!) about “real man vs profile pictures” and even funnier ‘explanation’ of the discrepancy when confronted!!
I met my husband online about 9 years ago and as blissfully happy as we are, we printed on our wedding invite – “Experts involved, do not try this at home!”
I have a question for you –
Why do women have more ‘dates from hell’ online then men ( question not based on any study, just words of mouth from girlfriends and reading about girly mags!) Are we more honest? saner? less desperate (this seems hard to believe!)

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@style-delights: I’ve never really thought about this before…maybe because women are just more willing to share?

Certainly in my case I’ve only ever written (and that was nearly five years ago) or dished about bad dates. I never, ever write, Tweet or otherwise communicate about my good dates!

LLGxx

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All good tips but it begs the question why you prefer to ask men out more than guys asking you out?

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@David Webb: I don’t necessarily. But anyway, why on earth wld it be an issue? We do live in the 21st century, right?

*Checks calendar to see if we have been mysteriously time-travelled back to the 1950s*

LLGxx

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I agree very much with number 9. I had once a blind date with a guy I knew I wouldn’t see again after talking to him for 5 minutes in real life. It went on for 4 hours and was like waiting for a bad movie to end without a way out.
Great Tips! http://madrilicious.com

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