You’re newly single, and you have the sudden – horrific – realisation that everything (literally everything) has changed since you were last dating. In fact, the mere concept of meeting someone in a bar, is laughable. Nobody is just ‘dating’ anymore, they’re online dating. And trust me when I say there’s a difference.
Once upon a time it was perfectly acceptable to go out on the pull with your squad. If it happened it happened, if it didn’t it didn’t. These days, there’s a different etiquette and it’s online.
So, with a whole new world of potentials ahead of you – here’s the ultimate guide to online dating.
What apps to use?
The age old question and usually the first one that a newbie will ask. The answer? Well, there is no straight and fast answer. It basically depends on what you’re after. Here’s a snapshot.
- A bit of ‘Bob’s your uncle’ / ‘argie bargie’ = POF (Plenty of Fish) / Tinder
- Gay girls = HER / Tinder (just be sure to change your settings)
- Gay guys = Grindr / Tinder (again change your settings)
- Serious relationship = Match / Elite Singles / My Single Friend
- Casual dating = Tinder
How to position yourself?
Be honest, put up a couple of nice pics and a little description and leave it at that. Don’t try to be a wise crack, unless you are a wise crack, and don’t try to be creative if you’re dull as hell. Just be honest.
How to stay safe?
Catfish profiles tend to be pretty obvious to track down. So just avoid them. These tips will also help you avoid the odd troll too:
- Before exchanging numbers ask for social profiles – if they don’t have social profiles, it just screams of dodgy
- Once you’ve exchanged numbers use WhatsApp so you can check their profile pic
- If you agree to meet up, make sure you turn on find my friend or similar and ensure one of your mates knows where you are etc.
- FaceTime of Skype pre-date
- Just go with your gut, if it feels wrong it probably is.
How to get rid of the cling-ons?
Unfortunately, from time to time you get a cling on that won’t fuck off. It sounds horrible, but just be honest with these people and then block them. You don’t want your drunken needy self tapping them up – the consequences are just not worth it.
Expect to feel disheartened!
People tend to think they’ve had an awful dating experience. They haven’t, dating is just awful. With sites like Tinder making people a disposable commodity, expect to feel shit at times. My biggest piece of advice would be to only start dating when you’re totally cool with yourself and you’re happy on your own. Otherwise you will invest way too much into people that aren’t available or are willing to treat you like shit. Hold your own and don’t sacrifice your self worth for some date crazed scumbag.
Online dating is supposed to be fun, so if it’s starting to make you feel like shit, then just delete the app and have some time off. You don’t need to be checking your apps non-stop to feel good. That’s what your friends are for. If it’s all starting to feel a bit too much, cancel the dates, run a bath, stock up on wine and stick on Sex and the City – trust me Carrie’s pathetic life choices will make you feel a whole lot better about your own wildly misinformed sense of judgement.
Be clear about what you want out of online dating and stick to it. If you want something serious, don’t hang out with someone who doesn’t want anything. If you don’t want anything, don’t hang out with someone who’s after a relationship. It’s the best way to avoid heartbreak.