Linda Forshaw likes to write about local haunts and far-flung lands. She lives in Liverpool, England, and spends her free time exploring new places and planning adventures with her little girl. Follow her on Twitter @seelindaplay
Published November 15th 2014
Sick of Flying Solo at the Weekend?
You've probably heard many fabulous (and often far-fetched) stories about how other couples first met in the local supermarket - how it was love at first sight as they both reached for the same passion fruit in aisle three. How about the tales of office romance recounting how the shy girl from accounts landed the hottie from sales?
These Romeo and Juliet like tales of romance are all well and good, but what do you do if the most attractive thing in your local grocery store is the BOGOFs and the talent in your office could at best be described as lukewarm? How exactly do you find a date when you've been enjoying the single life for a bit longer than you planned?
Could online dating be the answer? It's certainly enjoyed a bit of a revival from the days of the desperadoes who would send a picture of their meat and two veg if you so much as said hello. It's estimated that one in five modern relationships start online. Exactly how many of those relationships last past the first date is worthy of some debate, but if you're looking for someone special to visit the awesome places featured on WeekendNotes with, perhaps online dating is worth a shot.
Ten Tips to Help You Navigate the Choppy Waters of Online Dating
1. Create the most interesting profile you can, but be truthful. No one will really believe that you can complete a marathon in under an hour. Nor will they buy into a version of your life that sees you spending the best part of every day helping old ladies cross the road (although you should definitely do that should the opportunity arise.
2. Honesty is also the best policy when it comes to describing yourself. Comparing yourself to a young Cindy Crawford or passing yourself off as a beefcake with tats to die for will backfire on the first date if it's a pack of lies. It's especially disappointing if you use someone else's photo (someone entirely more gorgeous than yourself). Don't do it.
3. Be as positive as you can. Your online dating profile is not the place to describe in detail exactly why your last 17 relationships failed. Don't even try to make it sound funny. Unless you're a stand-up comic whose wit comes across particularly well on paper, you'll just come across as bitter and probably a bit twisted too.
4. When you've created a profile that would make the most hardened of hearts swoon on first glance, it's time to actually start introducing yourself to suitors who catch your eye. Contrary to what you might think, having a killer dating profile does not automatically equal an inbox full of messages from gorgeous potential partners begging for a date.
5. Browse profiles of people who match your search criteria - six foot, check, own teeth, check, not a serial killer, check - then it's time to be brave and get in touch. Carpet bombing several hundred users with the same message at the same time is not the best path you can take and will likely end in several hundred rejections - or no responses at all.
6. Hopefully you'll get into an interesting conversation with someone you like the look of. If you happen to get a rejection along the way, crafting an 800 word rant about how they don't know what they're missing is seriously uncool - not to mention the fact that the time would be better spent looking for someone who does understand just how fabulous you really are.
7. Sooner or later it will be time to meet. Finding out whether 'ANGELDELIGHT75' is indeed your soulmate is so exciting. At least it should be. Don't let nerves get the better of you. You'll only start sweating profusely and in no way, shape, or form is that ever a good look for a first date - or a second for that matter.
8. Relax and be yourself on your date. Make sure you turn up clean and not stinking of last night's garlic - or worse - and definitely avoid giving your mates a call half way through dinner to give your date marks out of ten. It won't go down well - especially if you only give them a three.
9. Skipping the restaurant all together is probably not a bad idea. There's nothing quite as awkward as a silence when you're sat facing each other in an intimate restaurant. Opt instead for something a bit different. Heading off to a gallery or a museum might be a better option as you'll have something to talk about. As an added bonus, if your date turns out to be a nutter - or just not the one for you - at least you'll have seen something interesting. Every cloud and all that.
10. Be aware of the most important things - going Dutch, being truthful, and getting frisky. Share the bill first time round and be honest about whether you'd like to see someone again - sometimes it's better to be cruel to be kind. Whether or not you get frisky is down to personal choice and of course mutual agreement. The stigma of having sex on the first date is not what it used to be. Just make sure you've got clean undies on.
Hopefully these tips will help you land the partner of your dreams. If you're wondering where to go on your next date - WeekendNotes has plenty of ideas.
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