Online dating turn-ons no.3: Gentle charm

I got an email from a new guy on the dating site yesterday. I replied the same day and have had another one from him today. And they are both just lovely messages.

No grovelling or hero-worshipping of me involved 😉 but rather he comes across as thoughtful, gentle, intelligent and charming. Charming in a nice, old-fashioned kind of way. Not in a Bill Clinton way. 😀

He’s shown interest in me and has volunteered just the right level of information about himself. He’s paid attention to my profile and responded in a curious way to a few openers I dropped into my reply to him. He’s shown a hint of humour and yes, he can write in full sentences (admittedly not 100% perfect, but I’m learning to let that go a little!).

And he asked me a very interesting ‘If you could…’ question. Which I’ve not yet found the perfect answer to but it has been in the back of my mind all day. Clever man… subtlely getting me to think about him… heh heh.

Oh and he’s reeeeally tall and it looks like he has very nice teeth 😉

Watch this space.

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When his ex is someone you know

So I’ve actually found a guy on my internet dating site who can string a decent sentence together. That’s certainly a promising start 🙂

Of course, I looked him up on Facebook (stalk, stalk… well, he did it first…) and there I found photos of him wrapped around someone I know, taken a few years ago. I don’t know his ex well – she’s a casual acquaintance really – very cool girl (and she’s madly in love with someone else these days).

Irrational Me leaps to conclusions: ‘Oh no, if he used to date her, and they broke up, there must be something wrong with him.’

Rational Me retorts: ‘What’s not right for one person may be perfect for another. Anyway, maybe there was something wrong with her.’

Irrational Me: ‘But it’d be weird dating someone who used to date someone I know.’

Rational Me: ‘Easy tiger… you’ve exchanged precisely TWO emails with this guy. You might not even like each other that way. And it’s not like she’s your sister / best friend. You barely know her. Plus you’re in your thirties – anyone you meet WILL have dated other people in the past. Deal with it.’

Irrational Me laughs and gets over herself! 🙂

Does it matter to you if a potential new guy has a history with someone you know? Have you ever been there? Would you ask his ex about him before getting involved? Food for thought…

Online dating profile pics – some interesting research

According to research by OKCupid, if a guy wants to attract attention on an online dating site, he should have a mysterious, unsmiling look on his face and preferably be holding an animal. Apparently depicting himself in a travel context will garner him the least responses.

Women should look flirtily (is that a word?!) into the camera, be outdoors and show a hint of cleavage.

Hmm. My online dating pic shows me grinning broadly, indoors, with no cleavage on show. I should switch it for a week and see what happens. Interestingly, I am much more likely to initiate contact with a guy who has a travel photo – to me, that’s interesting and a conversation opener.

For the full report, click here.

Online dating turn-offs #4: When your relationship status says ‘Ask me later’ or you’re never online on weekends

Why would anyone who is single say I should ‘ask him later’ what his relationship status is? Doh – obviously he’s not single.

If you’re not single, what the hell are you doing on a dating website? I believe there are plenty of websites for married people who like to play away. Go and mess around there and leave us legitimate singles alone, please.

Although I (grudgingly) have a little more respect for people who are obtuse or downright upfront about their non-single status online than those who lie about being single and actually have a girlfriend / fiancee / wife stashed away at home.

The latter are the ones – in my experience – who aren’t online over the weekend. Possibly because they do their internet dating correspondence at work, where they’re less likely to get caught.

I connected with a seemingly-wonderful guy when I was internet dating a few years ago. He not only looked rather yummy, but he could also string a sentence together and wrote me the most interesting emails. We mailed furiously for a week or so, and after one particularly lovely letter from him, I replied saying, ‘You really do seem too good to be true. Are you sure you’re not married?’ I never heard another word from him. Which answers my question.

I do believe in trusting one’s gut – if he seems too good to be true, or your suspect he might not *really* be single, go with your intuition. You’re probably right.

Online dating turn-offs # 3: Incomplete profiles

His photo looks nice. You click on it to access his profile. The first part sounds great and then… He’s not bothered to write much about himself (perhaps just the minimum 25 words that are required), nor has he completed the rest of his profile.

With so little to go on, do you bother making contact? I usually don’t. Because then it means I’m mostly assessing him on his looks (and I try not to do that… much!) and also who knows what weird habits / interests / fetishes are lurking behind his picture? 🙂

OK, I know a lot of guys list themselves on dating sites for a laugh, or just to see how much sex they can get. And maybe it’s those who don’t take the time to complete their profiles. Those are not really the kinds of people I want to connect with anyway, so for me, an incomplete profile means MOVE ON.

Online dating turn-offs #2: Dodgy photos

If you decide to pop your profile on an internet dating site, you’d think the logical thing would be to include an attractive photo of yourself, wouldn’t you? It’s amazing how many guys get deleted from my matches because their photos turn me off. (Yes, I am ruthless!) I’m not referring to discarding the ugly people, but those with the following pics:

  • Shirtless. Come on. As a first impression? If you’re well-built, I’ll worry that looks are everything to you / you won’t consider any girl who’s less than supermodel-esque / you spend an unhealthy amount of time in the gym or on creatine supplements. If you’re weedy, please keep it under wraps, at least until we’ve got to know each other a little. If you’re in between, leave a little to the imagination, why don’tcha? Women are not as visual as men (yes I know, I’ve just contradicted the entire topic of this post!) and you’re more likely to hook us with your sparkling personality than your well-oiled pecs.
  • Face obscured. What is the point of putting a photo up of yourself if we can’t see your face properly? Lose the sunglasses, peaked caps, long hair, etc. etc. and just show us what you look like. I favourited a guy years ago who only had photos of himself in sunglasses on his profile – I wanted to see his eyes before I met up with him. He had beautiful, soulful eyes – no idea why he kept them hidden.
  • Webcam shots. A photo of yourself taken with your webcam will NEVER be flattering. Period. Guaranteed to give you a a big nose and forehead – and creepy pallor.
  • Unidentifiable in a group shot. So your profile pic is a little grainy but hooray, there are six other photos in your profile I can look at. Only problem is that they’re all group photos and it’s impossible to pick out which person you are in any of them. De-lete.
  • With your kids. Personally, I’m not keen on dating a guy who has kids, but then again, never say never. I just don’t think an internet dating site is the best place to show off your family photos. There are weirdos and stalkers out there. If we get chatting and I’m interested, I’ll ask to see a pic of them. Right now, I’m interested in YOU.
  • With members of the opposite sex draped all over you. Oh so you’re reeeally popular with the chicks, are you? Mr Studmuffin? Then why are you on an internet dating site? Hmmm.
  • In what looks like your wedding outfit. Was it YOUR wedding? Are you still married? If you’re divorced, don’t you think it’s highly inappropriate to use your wedding photo as your online dating profile picture?! If it wasn’t your wedding, please say so on your profile: ‘my profile picture was at my best friend’s wedding, where I was the best man’ will help put my mind at rest!
  • With a kitten / dolphin/ in uniform / [insert cheesy cliche here]. I’ve actually become good friends with a guy who used to change his profile photo regularly from one cheesy option to the next. Apparently it worked with other, non-cynical girls… For me, it wasn’t so much a turn-off as great way to tease him: ‘what’s next – you shirtless, tenderly holding a baby?’ Hee hee!

So guys, if you’re reading this, here are my tips for a dating profile picture that will at least get me clicking through to read more about you:

  1. Smile! Look friendly, relaxed, kind and approachable. (Sounds like a no-brainer but seriously, just take a browse on any dating website…) Caveat – only do this if you actually have those qualities. If you’re an unfriendly, stressed out, mean grouch, your photo should reflect that…
  2. Try to find – or take – a photo that captures you attractively and naturally. Make sure it looks like you normally look (lose the airbrushing…) so I can recognise you when we meet up. I’ll find out eventually what you really look like, so why not let me know sooner rather than later?
  3. Show your eyes.
  4. Keep your kit on.
  5. Give us something to work with. Include pictures of you doing something unusual, or in an intriguing place. I’m less concerned about the other people in the photos – I’m not interested in them. This will pique my interest and also gives me a conversation opener.

OK, I’m off to check my matches…

Online dating turn-offs #1: I only date white/black/purple people

I mentioned a while back that I’d decided to give online dating another go. My heart hasn’t really been in it and I’ve yet to connect with anyone interesting. But browing through my (somewhat dull) matches last night, I got thinking about the things in people’s profiles that are automatic turn-offs.

When I see someone has specified just one race as ‘non-negotiable’ on their ideal match criteria, it makes me wonder whether they’re maybe a little racist. Are they, or are they just sticking to ‘what they know’ (which in itself is rather closed-minded)?

Surely it doesn’t matter what race your soulmate is? Doesn’t that ‘oh my, he’s amazing, I think I’m falling for him’ feeling supersede skin colour?

For me, race does not matter if there’s an attraction and connection. It’s about shared values, interests, backgrounds/education and outlooks.

I was so nervous for my very first actually-meeting-in-real-life internet date. The guy looked great on paper (screen?), had sounded nice on the phone but when I got to the bar, I didn’t even recognise him from his photos. And he had a very different idea of what six foot tall means than the rest of us do. But worst of all were his comments about inter-racial dating (“birds and bees don’t *&#$, do they?” <– what?!). I think he wrote me off immediately when he learned that I have dated outside my race and would be quite happy to do so again. Not that him writing me off bothered me one bit. I left the bar that night thinking ‘I was nervous about impressing THAT?!’

Stay tuned for Online Dating Turn-offs #2 and more… there are quite a few!