Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Gemma's Guide to Online Dating

So this month I took up the little adventure of online dating. Although I don't have trouble in the man department, online dating has always intrigued me. After one month I have been on a few dates, spoke to a lot of men, deleted loads of messages from weirdo's, flicked through lots of photos of men and been showered with lovely compliments. I have been inspired to write down some little pointers for the people out there who want to take up the 'challenge' of online dating:

Your profile
  • Be honest- Nobody likes a liar! Write your profile as honestly as you can. Your potential dates will see that your genuine rather than a weirdo who's just writing things you think people want to hear. The more honest you are there's more chance you will meet someone.
  • Use a current picture- Don't put bad quality pictures of you from years ago when you were 3 stone lighter... that's just not cool and a shock for your date. When I was looking I only messaged guys back who had more than two pictures so maybe put a variety of pictures of you on there. Oh and of course a (fully clothed) body picture. Who cares if you have wobbly bits... get them up there it just shows your honest, serious and not hiding anything. Don't include photos of friends or the opposite sex in your pictures... big NO NO. Do not use photos of you from nights out unless you really are a lager lout. 
  • Be safe- Do not put your contact details in your 'about me' section! There's plenty of weirdo's on there who would be happy to stalk you. If you have been messaging a potential date and your getting on that's cool if you give them your contact details but do not post them up for all the world to see! 
  • Say exactly what you want- Don't fanny about... tell your  potentials what you are looking for. 

While searching and talking to your 'potential'
  • Be polite- Refrain from sending crude messages to people. How are you expected to get a date if you just put ' Hey Sexy! Your tits are amazing fancy a F***' (Yep this is taken from my inbox) If you're serious about finding a date then take time to write a  nice personal message and definitely not one you just copy and paste to everyone.
  • Be brutal- Don't reply to weirdo's out of pity... it just makes it harder when you try and get rid of them later down the line. If you don't like them do not reply. I know it sounds harsh but it just wastes time and maybe you could miss a potential date while being to busy trying to get rid of a weirdo.
  • Be yourself-  Don't say things you think the person you are talking to wants to hear. Just be yourself! If they don't like it that every Tuesday you like reading comics while watching sponge bob square pants then they are not for you. 
  • Be wary- Not everyone on online dating sites are nice and honest. Sometimes they might say things to get you into bed... or they are just weirdo's with hidden secrets. Just don't be naive!!  Keep your wits about you and don't believe everything everyone on there says.

The Date

  • Give them a call- Once you have found a date online (wooohoo go you!) I would advise you speak to them on the phone before the big date. Just hearing someones voice and having banter on the phone brings an element of familiarity to the situation. Its a great icebreaker and will make you more relaxed when you have to meet them face to face. If you're more high tech and daring try skype!
  • When?-  Give it a couple of weeks before your date. Get to know them first and then meet DO NOT rush into it. 
  • Where?- Pick somewhere busy and familiar.
  • Love or Lust?- So the dates going well and you are attracted to someone BUT what you need to think about is this love or lust? and the same goes for your date... do they just want to have their dirty way with you or do they actually want to start something with you.
  • Be safe- Make sure people know where you are, what you're doing and who your with. Before I went on a date I would send Emma the guys picture, their number, little bit of info about them, where I was going and text her at random times during the date. I know this sounds like too much but its better to be safe than sorry. :-) 

The aftermath

If the date went well... wooohooo BUT if it didn't then don't worry! Get up, dust yourself off and try again! There are plenty more fish out there on online dating sites (trust me I know). Rejection and no spark between you and your date is horrible but take it as a learning experience. Say goodbye, forget about them, then get back on the website and I promise within minutes you would have found someone else!

Check out our Ask a Chap/Bird articles for more helpful tips, advice and relationship woes.

So that's it... Happy hunting online daters <3


  1. This is brilliant Gemma and very sound advice, just wish I could pluck up the courage to do it!
    G xx

  2. This is a really honest post, nice to see someone finally opening up and talking about online dating, I've fallen prey to some of these issues myself, good to know other people have had the same encounters. Handy tips... time I took down the photos of me drinking pints.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this post! I've been online dating for a couple of months now and haven't had much luck. Really spurred me on to be honest on my dating profile! Thanks Gemma for writing such an honest and down to earth post. Keep up the good work! Linda xx

  4. I love this website that analyses online dating trends... e.g. a man is more likely to get contacted if his profile pic is taken with an animal...

  5. Been there, done that and got the tshirt. Well, ok I lied, there's no tshirt but if there was one I'd definitely have it! I only went on a dating site after a girl in work recommended I have a look after a bit of a dating dry spell. If anything it was worth loading a profile on just for the ego boost that quickly followed. My inbox didn't stop all night! Some perhaps weren't really my type but nice to know guys thought you looked "a bit of alright" (that's from my inbox!). Gemma your advice is spot on and anyone thinking about it should be really careful (and avoid those guys who pose with their tops off - nothing good can come of it!). But I like Julie's comment before mine: "a man is more likely to get contacted if his profile pic is taken with an animal"...I must be the minority - I'm allergic to dogs and most other animals with hair. If there's an animal sadly they get no reply from me...sorry guys! Sian xx

  6. I read once that online dating is a bit like job hunting... and it is! Doing your profile is like polishing your CV, and you have to accustom yourself to guys not replying to you, and contacts from weirdos!
    The worst date I had from online was last year, the guy managed to hide what he looked like and turned out to be much fatter than his rubbish standing-far-away-from-the-camera picture, I'm not fattist when it comes to men but I felt like I'd been deceived. Then he kept drawing attention to our age difference, which I hadn't seen as a big deal, and bored me rigid about his enthusiasm for obscure rock bands. Total waste of make up!

    Good advice here, the photo thing is so hard, I definitely need better pictures. Combing facebook for good ones to post often doesn't yield good results (my pictures are mostly of me boozing or in fancy dress!) Thanks for a good article.

  7. Excellent article Gemma; a really good rundown of the dos and do not dos. The graphs on the site Julie linked to are interesting too - gentlemen grab an animal!