A to Z of online dating (for beginners!)
Whatever your age, if you are new to dating then the idea of setting up a profile and meeting someone new online can feel like a total minefield. If you are planning to dip a toe in the virtual matchmaking waters, whether for romance or just pure sex, the following A - Z of online dating will help.
Never fear, LVH is here to give you the lowdown and take you through the issues, delights and terminology you’re likely to come across once you decide to board the Tinder/Grindr/eharmony/Bumble/Match express!
A is for age
An awful lot of people lie about their age on dating sites. Not everyone of course, but a considerable number of us in life are not only vain about our looks, but also hesitant to reveal our real age to strangers that we fancy. Inexperienced youngsters are just as likely to inflate their number of years on the planet, as much as the prowling cougar might lose a decade. Or two.
B is for bulls**t!
You should be able to spot it a mile off. From the modelesque type profile photo, the self indulgent text messages or the boastful comments in your first phone call. You’ll be surprised how quickly you get a feel for picking up on the bulls**t before you waste any time meeting up in person.
C is for copy & paste
When an entertaining story or funny joke has worked well during a previous stint with someone who ended up not quite floating your boat, head back and copy and paste those golden nuggets. This is an especially useful tip if you’re juggling five or more possible dating candidates. Why waste good material for goodness sake?
D is for drinking
What do people who like just two cheeky beers on a Saturday have in common with someone who drinks a bottle of white wine every night of the week? They both tick the ‘drink socially box’ when filling in personal criteria on a dating site. What’s this a likely recipe for? Yes that’s right folks, a dating disaster. It’s probably wise to clarify your drinking habits before you head off to the pub.
E is for effort (or effortless)
Why have you signed up to a dating website? Is it to find true love? Or would you just like to have some fun and thrills with a few one night stands? If it’s the former chances are you’ll have to put a lot of effort into meeting quite a few people until you find the perfect partner. If it’s the latter then this is a fairly easy way of setting up a number of exciting encounters. Either way, enjoy yourself!
F is for food & travelling
If you’ve seen one profile claiming the owner just loves food and travelling, you’ve probably seen a million. Infact once you’ve spent several hours surfing the possibilities of online dates you will realise what a boring and trite statement this really is. Most people like food and seriously, who doesn’t want to travel to sunnier shores? Are we making you think? Get yourself over to your profile now and update your details with something more interesting.
G is for grammar
Looking for a cerebral connection beyond just an entertaining hookup? Then the standard of grammar in the text correspondence coming in via WhatsApp is a good indication of how future real life conversations are going to go.
H is for height
We’re not all concerned about heightist issues in life, and if someone’s tallness or shortness isn’t a game changer for you then please just skip to ‘I’ for the next piece of advice. However if it’s important that your next steady partner stands at the right shoulder level for the perfect Pasodoble with you, then make sure you clarify this detail at the outset.
I is for information
Drawn with extreme interest to a profile picture but there’s hardly any information to read beneath it? Let’s be real with ourselves now, this individual is probably not being shy and reserved. It’s far more likely that details and conversation are just not their thing, and what they are looking for lies more in the physical department. Sounds like your kind of match? Then swipe right.
J is for juggling
Juggling dates, that is. Ok so you’ve set up some pretty interesting killer profiles on several websites, even if you do say so yourself. Your profile pic is looking hot and the matches are coming in fast. Only in a perfect world will the first person you connect with result in Cupid rocking up with his bow and arrow. So now it’s time to brace yourself and be prepared to juggle some dates! If you have the energy, set up two or three a week to really get in the rhythm of things, but try your very best not to get names mixed up!
K is for keep on swiping
And not in the way of a ‘collector’, those waste of timers on dating sites who aren't really invested in finding a soul mate or having a good time, but like to collect matches to feed their vanity or self confidence. No we say ‘keep swiping’ even if you’ve had five dates and they’ve all been low par. There are literally hundreds of people out there who at the very least could be a cool and interesting new friend for you.
L is for location
True love knows no bounds of course, and if the love of your life just happens to live at the other end of the country then all well and good. Of course you would move heaven and earth and apply for a job relocation to make it work with your soulmate. However for most other of the 97% of scenarios it’s just a pain in the arse to casually date someone who lives well over an hour away from your home. So remember that location is key to unstressful dating.
M is for making notes
Take notes! We can’t emphasise enough how important this is if you are perusing several websites at the same time, and have more than a handful of possible romantic candidates on the go. If communications are going well with ‘Andrew the handsome gardener, age 33, divorced with two children: Jamie and Florence’ don’t get him confused with ‘Toby the funny DJ, who hates kids and has two cats’.
N is for nerves
Be kind, be patient and remember that nerves can make the most normal of people sound like complete and utter idiots. If you like the sound of someone from their texts, but find it hard to follow them on the phone, it’s highly possible they are overcome with the jitters and once they pass you will enjoy their conversation.
O is for oblig-swiping
The latest term for when a swipe is not an action of interest in dating, but an action without much thought and little or no intention of finding a partner of any kind. Don’t be disheartened when a seemingly gorgeous person creates a match with you but fails to respond when you get in touch. These people invariably never take matters further, and it wasn’t because your intro message was dull. It really isn’t you, it’s them.
P is for photo
Here’s the area of your profile that really takes some deliberating. It all comes down to the profile pic. What kind of impression are you trying to make? Do you want to appear funny? Or oozing sexuality? Or perhaps you’re a serious type of dude? Whatever you choose we highly recommend you don’t include that photo of you from the holiday in Ibiza when you were ten years younger and 10lbs lighter. There’s nothing worse than an expression of utter disappointment during a first time video call or hookup.
Q is for questions
Too many questions can be annoying, but not enough questions can be very boring. It’s a mighty fine balance. Just saying.
R is for roaching
You really don't want to be roaching. Honestly it’s only going to get you into hot water at some point. Roaching is the term for pretending that you are not dating anyone else other than the person you are currently making contact with. And then to make matters worse when you get caught in the act you claim you didn’t realise it was a monogamous relationship, even though that’s exactly what you’ve been indicating all along.
S is for swipe left, swipe right & super swipe
You need to know your swipes from your likes. Likes are easy; if you like something on Facebook or Twitter, just hit the like button. If you don’t like it, you don’t need to move your cursor in any direction at all. However when looking for a potential match you’re going to have to commit to a swipe of some sort at some point. Swiping left means you are rejecting a profile. Swiping right means you like it. With most dating sites once you have committed to a left swipe you won’t be able to go back if you change your mind. On some platforms like Tinder you have the option of a Super Like, the ultimate in ‘likes’ and a gesture that means you are really really into that person.
T is for take your time
Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something before you’ve had the time to think it through. Yes, you might be scouring the dating site horizons for just thrills and spills, but that doesn’t mean you have to sexually engage with someone if it’s not the right moment.
U is for unexpected sexual opportunities
As any seasoned online dater will tell you, offers of sex are normally, to put it frankly, unexpectedly numerous when you sign up to a dating website. And no, they aren’t restricted to the end of a drunken first meeting in a dark pub that went off remarkably well. Brace yourself for sex to be proposed at the point of swapping first messages, and during a coffee break on a Wednesday morning. If it’s sexual encounters that you are after, you’re in for a very exciting time.
V is for voice
The voice of a stranger can do immense things to a human being. They can make knees tremble and hearts flutter, but they can also be a complete and utter turn off. It’s therefore a really good idea to talk on the phone before you make arrangements to meet up with anyone. Especially if you have an aversion to a particular accent or someone who swears a lot.
W is for walk away
Don’t be afraid to just walk away from any conversation or situation you don’t feel comfortable in. You don’t have to be polite and meet up with someone because you think it would be rude not to. This is your life and you are on a mission for love, sex or fun. If none of the above is on the cards, then it’s time to move on.
X is for Xanadu
We all have that perfect person in mind that we would like to meet. Whatever you have in mind, either for true love or a breathtaking sexual romp, our dreams are for the perfect beautiful person. The human Xanadu. But don’t hold out on ticking all the utopian boxes because no one on this planet is perfect and without flaws. Give some leeway on your standards, both in personality traits and appearance, you will not only feel a great deal less disappointed, but you will also come across things you didn’t even know you liked.
Y is for yes
Say yes more. Yes to matches, yes to telephone calls, and yes to meeting up. Open up your horizons and grab as many opportunities as you can.
Z is for Zoom
You’ve found a match, exchanged messages, talked on WhatsApp and set up a meeting for the following week. Still feeling curious or unsure and want to know more about your intended date? Then now is the time to suggest a video call. You may feel daunted by the prospect of meeting onscreen, you may even feel seriously dismayed once it connects, but hey, better than when you are in the flesh! But if things work out you can have almost as much fun on the virtual pre-date!
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