Online dating (The previously unwritten rules of online dating)

It’s the 21st Century. Online dating is a “thing”. You’re single. You’re also at the age where you see scantily clad girls on a night out and your first thought is no longer “Phwoar! They’re hot!”, but rather the opposite “They must be freezing in that skirt!”.

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Worse than that, you begin to see the kids of your best friends out drinking with their mates. You’re plainly too old to pull on a night out and eventually you decide to try online dating.

But all is not lost. We are, after all, more than two years into the second decade of the 21st century. No matter that between 6 billion of us we haven’t worked out how to refer to that decade (my guess is that we’ll settle on ‘The Teens’ in about four years time and forever confuse the next generation of kids who will grow up believing that the numbers 10, 11 and 12 can all be considered teen numbers.)

Rules of Online Dating - WWTBAM

In the world of DannyUK, the questions are far more interesting…

If you have been single at any time in the past few years, chances are that you have probably thought about this subject, if not actually tried it. I realise I haven’t actually named the subject yet, but if this were a real life conversation I would no doubt be slipping into my best Chris Tarrant impression and offering you some guesses.

“Is it A) Anal sex. B) Dogging. C) Buying a Ferrari or D) Internet dating?”

I wish the answer were B) as it’d make this article more fun, not least for naming and shaming the Chelmsford car parks where you can partake in such an activity. (Not that I speak first-hand, but it’s amazing what you can find on the internet.)

Instead, I am talking about internet dating. Now that the 90s are long gone (and THERE was a decade with a decent title. None of this “Naughties” crap.) you no longer have to fly out to Texas to find the love of your life. Instead, you can log in and find hundreds of people locally.

Granted, by the time you sieve through those that you would and those that you wouldn’t (you can make your own minds up as to what ‘would’ refers to), the number is far lower, and when you start getting rejected by anyone normal looking you end up with maybe one or two that you’d meet up with, at most.

Rules of Online Dating - Read the unwritten rules in this DannyUK.com article

Plenty of Fish. Likely to bring you Plenty of crabs.

I’ll admit it. I’ve used internet dating before. There is something sad about admitting to everyone that you’ve been on a dating site, but let’s be honest, it’s not that unusual these days. In fact, it is thanks to my perusal and use of these sites that I am able to sit here and offer you my tips.

Now, the world of online dating is fraught with danger. You need thick skin to get over the constant rejection, and a stomach lined with lead to keep your dinner down at the state of some of the singletons on the web. Fear no more, though, for I – DannyUK – have come up with the basics:

Rules of online dating.

The “Two photo minimum” rule: Any woman with less than two photos on their profile is hiding something. Normally a few extra chins or a wedding ring.

The “Spot the anomaly” rule: Anyone who includes a picture of their dog, especially if there is a caption declaring their undying love for the animal, is not going to be the all-night-clubbing, love-’em and leave-’em insatiable lover they claim in their profile.

The “Don’t hide the obvious” rule: Not, as you may suspect, a rule that infers we can all tell you’re sucking your gut in on that photo. Instead, it’s revealing that you are a dad of 4 will result in being blocked by anyone with less than 3 kids. Never trust anyone who, when answering the question “Do you have kids” on their profile, responds “Prefer not to say.” this means that they have kids and are somehow ashamed of this.

The “Do it sober” rule: It is never a good idea to browse dating websites when drunk. You will only end up contacting people that you had deemed too old, ugly or boring earlier when you were sober. Worse still, when you inevitably get a response from the grandmother that you contacted at 3 am, you’ll end up meeting her in a fit of feeling sorry for her. On the plus side, she is probably meeting you for the exact same reason.

The “Have some imagination” rule: Answering “surprise me!” when asked where best to go on a first date doesn’t make you sound mysterious and exciting. It just shows that you lack imagination.

The “Don’t confuse the two” rule: 90% of men in their 30s on a dating website really ARE looking for a relationship. That doesn’t mean that the same 90% wouldn’t settle for just getting laid.

The “One swallow does not make a Summer” rule: Activities. This section is pure lies. All lies. Even the mundane stuff that people put as a favoured activity is not to be believed. “I enjoy long walks in the country.” Really? I enjoy being given a blow job, it doesn’t mean it’s something that happens with any regularity. And yes, we all enjoy “a night out in town” but are “equally happy snuggling up on the sofa watching a DVD”.

I’m sure this must be in the template of every profile on every dating website. I’ll admit that I don’t expect brutal honesty in every post, as I’ve no doubt that every woman would tire of reading “looking for someone I can pop round and shag when I’m feeling horny and when I can’t be arsed to spend time and money chatting someone up” as much as every man would tire of reading “looking for someone that will come round, shag me silly and then stay, chat and help pick out soft furnishings from John Lewis in the morning.” But something that isn’t far removed from everyday reality would be nice to see.

Oh, and congratulations if you’re mature enough to not have laughed at the “swallow” part of the rule title.

Rules of Online Dating - Heart key - taken from Independent.co.uk - Proof that you CAN polish a turd

The “If you spell like that you must be fantastic at Scrabble” rule: Spelling and grammar. The internet is a tool that has made communication easier. No longer do you have to wire a telegram to someone, or to post something in the mail. Email, instant messenger and various other advances have made is easier than ever to chat to someone else. For this reason alone, there is no need to purposely drop letters from the words you are writing. No-one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes.

Spelling is, has been and always will be tricky at times. But would it really kill you to type the word “you” instead of “u”? Even if you are the most ham-fisted typer in the world, those two extra letters won’t take a great deal longer at all, and will make you ever so slightly more appealing.

Oh, and it’s spelt “is”, not “iz”. That’s not even saving you any time. That’s taking as long to type as the correct spelling of the word would take, and your continued use of it leads me to believe that it’s not a typo as I first suspected it may be.

The “Three strikes” rule: Rejection. If I email you and you don’t respond, that’s fine, I can take a hint and move on. If you email me and I don’t respond, that isn’t a green light for several more emails, each getting more and more desperate than the last.

I can’t think of one occasion where I have thought “Oh, I didn’t think much of that first email, but now that this lady has emailed me for the seventh time, the spelling errors and increasing sense of having a stalker is becoming more and more appealing to me.”

Two emails – at a push, three – are plenty to garner a response. Equally, replying to an email with one sentence answers (or worse still, one-word answers) is just rude and lazy. If I have to struggle to make conversation with you by email, I’m never going to do it easily in real life.

The “You CAN polish a turd” rule: Confidence. You may not be the most attractive person in the world, or the funniest, or the best dressed, or the most likely to succeed at anything. But there is a world of difference between knowing that and telling that to someone you’ve never spoken to.

There really is no correct response to someone putting themselves down in an email. Self-deprecation has a place, but it’s best used sparingly. Accentuate the positives people, and if you don’t have any positives then just don’t mention the negatives.

There you have it. Armed with this basic information for rules of online dating, you should now be able to avoid any potential mines in the minefield of online dating sites. Adversely, by ignoring them all, you will probably get laid. It’s your choice, single person. Either way, good luck.

by DannyUK

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