I was having dinner with a good friend a few hours ago, and she asked me if I could give her some tips for online dating. Well, well, well, I definitely can. About four years ago I thought it would be a good idea to write a book called ‘How to Meet Mr Right on the Internet’, which of course called for lots of research. I remember there was one week when I went on a date every single day. Most dates were just ‘alright’. I usually met men in my local area (I lived in London at the time), had a coffee, pleasant conversation and afterwards went on my merry way home. You very often knew straightaway whether you and your date had any chemistry at all. If there was no chemistry no one made the effort to contact the other person the following day. There was one man who put me off because he sipped his tea with a teaspoon. With another man, we had so much fun over drinks that we went to a nearby restaurant for a meal, and then went to a different bar for drinks. Just before midnight he casually said “Oh its good, that you live nearby, I can crash at yours” “Oh no, I won’t be comfortable with that”…and therein ended our date. There was another man who stood out from men I had been on dates with. In my profile I had specified that I only wanted to date Black men, but found that the vast majority of ‘eligible’ men who contacted me were White. I quickly came to the conclusion that if I restricted myself to Black men that would mean I wouldn’t go on any dates so I dated men of all races, whilst still leaving my official preference as ‘Black’. Despite this, only one White guy commented about this preference I had stated for Black men. “You’re so cheeky”, he said on our first date. “How can you say you will only date Black men?”. We laughed about it and went on a couple of fun dates, eventually he told me that he didn’t think I was the one he was looking for. That was annoying, but c’est la vie.
So based on my experiences of online dating which is about four years old, I would like to offer the following tips.
- Be very specific in the kind of person you are looking for. What should he or she look like? What kind of income should they earn? What religious background if any should they have?
- Be honest about how you describe yourself. Do not describe yourself as slim, when you know you’re voluptuous. Do not state you earn x amount of money, when you don’t.
- Place real pictures of yourself online. Place pictures that show you as you are in your different contexts. If I was to place pictures of myself on an online dating site now, I would put a picture of me wearing glasses, a picture of me looking casual, as well as a picture where I’m all glammed up.
- Take the relationship offline as soon as possible. Its very easy to spend a lot of time building rapport with someone online but then you meet the person and…
- Make your first date a short one, preferably meet for a drink so the costs are low and the time together is short. If you are having such a great time you can always arrange a second date.
- If you are a woman always reach for your purse and be prepared to pay half the bill. As a matter of personal choice, I would allow the other party to pay if they insisted.
Have you tried online dating before? What have been your experiences? What tips can you add to the list above?