What I have learned about Online Dating
I’ve been single a long time right? So long in fact I wrote a show about it, Song of the Single Girl (making it’s return to the London scene soon watch this spaaaaace!). I’m pretty qualified at being single. I know how it works. There’s lots of things that perpetually single folk like me hate. One is the assumption that we’re all really depressed, watching Bridget Jones on repeat (I’m PRETTY SURE my face will never get eaten by an alsatian). Another is when people in couples say, “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” I swear on Liza’s sweet ravaged tonsils the next person who says that will feel my wrath. It is the most ridiculous phrase in the world. If someone is already single, logically, there is nothing else to expect apart from not being single anymore. IT IS THE OPPOSITE. Next person who says that to me is going to hear me tut so loud it will kill a snail and my eyes will roll so hard people will think I’m having a fit.
However, being twentysomething and single is quite tricky sometimes. It’s actually jolly difficult to meet people most of the time. Once you’ve graduated and don’t meet new people everyday in clubs and bumping up against each other in lectures, life sort of gets in the way. There’s work to do, rent to pay, friends to catch up with, family to visit, money to save. London is a blooming big city, yet it can, in its funny way be exceptionally lonely to live in sometimes.
So what’s a gal to do eh? The solution is obvious. It’s perfect. It’s easy, it’s convenient, it will connect you with hundreds of other single folk and you won’t even have to shave your legs (seriously, mine are so bad at the moment people are starting to call me Fuzz Lightyear).
Welcome to the wonderful world of Online Dating!
It’s become absolutely one hundred percent acceptable and encouraged to online date these days. Everyone has a story to tell about their friend who met their perfect partner online, and ever since that chumpy guy with a guitar serenaded the gal on the opposite platform, sites have sprung up everywhere. One is spoilt for choice when it comes to dating sites. You can be Matched, find your Soulmate through the Guardian, find your own bit of eHarmony, fulfil a roleplay fantasy at UniformDating, sift through Plenty of Fish, get your friend to big you up on mysinglefriend, say OK to Cupid and you can totally judge all the books by their cover with a flick of your thumb over on Tinder.
It’s an absolute minefield. I’ve signed up to a few sites and whilst I don’t doubt that for some people it works, I started to login purely to lol. So much of what I experience when trying to online date makes me goggle and guffaw at my screen. So, here’s a bit of what I have learned about online dating.
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED ABOUT ONLINE DATING
The Golden Rule
Do not do anything via online dating that you wouldn’t do were to be meeting this person for the first time at a bar or at a friend’s party. IT SEEMS SIMPLE DOESN’T IT. You will be astounded at how difficult 98% of online potential suitors find this, as you’re about to find out.
Smiling, great. Out with friends, good. Showing off a love of a hobby, wonderful. There is literally no point in setting your profile picture as a picture of your cock. Lots of gentlemen on dating sites are really into this. Generally speaking, female brains do not work in the same ways as our lovely male counterparts. Send me poems, roses that are red and violets that are blue, drown me in Milk Tray, but please do not send me a picture of something purpley and pulsating. There’s only so turned on I’m going to get by seeing a selfie of a stranger’s knob. I’m sure you’ve got lovely willies lads! However, my response will be less “I MUST HAVE THAT IN ME NOW”, and more “Oh look. That’s a picture of a penis.” accompanied by a huge shrug. You might as well send me a picture of a shelving unit or your elbow mate honestly. Unless its live, and attached to someone who makes my knees wobble, I’m not really arsed about it.
Sending cock pictures also creates a problem should I ever agree to actually meet someone for a date. I tend to recognise people in the normal way, by seeing their face. It might be a bit awkward to stroll into All Bar One and ask all the men if I could just take a quick glimpse at their knackers to check whether they’re my hot date for the evening. (Actually I should patent that, that will probably become a hit dating night soon, run in some trendy Hoxton Haunt. HANDS OFF PLENTY OF FISH I THOUGHT OF IT FIRST).
The golden rule: You wouldn’t walk up to a girl in a bar, tap her to get her attention and then show her your cock for her to have a look at, so don’t do it online.
This is not the time for a pun. Descriptive, clean and normal please. Something like, John29_London, or Thom_Actor are both fine. JagerBombKing and Legolas_2k (who, incidentally informed me he would like to be Lord of my Ring. brb just off to kill myself.) are not so much. This modest chap was also a particular highlight:
Also, do not panic upon having to choose your username or choose rashly however, like a pal of mine did. Blonde, Caucasian and from Nottingham, she is known to potential suitors as ‘Beyonce1’. We obviously rip it out of her all the time. We’re good to her like that.
Should be short, witty, breezy and informative. Think of this as being like your UCAS personal statement, if you were trying to bum your tutor. One of the best ones I ever saw, was a chap who stated that he was looking for an ambitious girl with a good job to support him so he could stay home and play video games all day. GET HIM WHILE HE’S HOT GIRLS.
Also, never underestimate the power of good grammar and spelling. A proper use of a semi-colon will get you laid.
Generally, these seem to range from the hugely explicit and outrageous, to the most mundane and dull. It is really pointless to message someone saying “hi hon x” ,”how are you babe?” YA TRYING TO WOO HERE MATE. Another time a gent looked at my profile 3 times (you get informed of who is looking at your profile on most sites), then actively took the plunge and sent me a message that just said “nah”. Cheers lad.
Here’s a few choice ones I’ve received in the past to give you some inspiration: (n.b- some of these are a little bit rudey just to WARN.)
Additionally, WATCH OUT FOR TYPOS. They can really scupper a beautiful, well crafted opening gambit:
Also, be aware, humour is often not overly appreciated. A chap once messaged me asking me to send him a ‘dirty pic’ so I sent him this:
He didn’t bother to pursue me any further.
If you are unsure of what to say in your opening message, a good test is to say your message out loud, and apply the golden rule. Would I say this to someone if I met them in real life? If so, hit that send button with all your might! If not, step away from the QWERTY and go have a cold shower and a kit-kat.
There you are! That is some of my limited wisdom and humble experiences of online dating. IT IS SO LOL GUYS. Saying all this however, I have some male friends who do online dating, and they are wonderful and ABSOLUTE CATCHES. So maybe all is not lost yet. Maybe I’ll message JagerBombKing back finally.
One last thing. If this post hasn’t scared you a bit, I google imaged the phrase ‘Online Dating’ and this was one of the top pictures. I CANNOT COPE WITH HOW FUNNY LIFE IS HAHAHAHA.
If you too have had any online dating disasters, do tweet them to me at @katie_brennan using the hashtag #ReasonsNotToOnlineDate. Let’s share in some wonderfully toe-curling moments together!
Peace out folks xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx