I had an interesting conversation with my Dad recently. He pondered why an attractive girl who was on a television show, would have to resort to internet dating. I asked Dad how he met people in his day; "at dances", was his response.
Nightclubbing is not the same thing. People mingled and conversation was possible. There is really no equivalent to getting your dance card filled these days. But perhaps internet dating is the closest thing - eyeing up the intended party to see if you like the look of them, having the opportunity to chat to find out likes and interests, then deciding if you want to meet again in a more personal setting to see if you want to progress things further.
And as I pointed out to Dad, it is just one avenue to meet people. Dances weren't his only way of meeting girls, after all.
I don't think he realised that I had indeed internet dated. I actually met one of my past boyfriends this way - I won't "out" him, as I don't know who he's actually told... I'm aware not everyone is as forthright as me. We are still friends - in fact, he makes a much better friend than he ever did a boyfriend (which will help some of you figure out who I'm referring to!). And I expect he reads my blog, and I'll get a Twitter DM or email shortly *waves*.
Anyhow, I digress. So I've internet dated. I've even speed-dated. The later I think is a somewhat ridiculous way to try and meet someone, though I did suss out some great tips on London restaurants, while also being able to immediately discount people who suggested Maccy-D's. I think the chance of meeting a soul mate is fairly limited these ways, as a general rule. But ultimately, I believe it sets the right frame of mind to be open to meeting people.
In fact, I've met two of my loveliest friends through the internet. One, Cathy, followed my blog, and we got to talking on Twitter. We met up on one of her frequent trips to London, and voile, our friendship was born. We've seen each other many times since, she was at my baby-shower, spoils Pickle rotten, and she even flew to London for my farewell lunch. The other, Deb, I discovered on Twitter once I'd moved to Hervey Bay, and was desperately searching for someone social media savvy in the vicinity; and we just clicked. Hmm, I share a love of good champagne and wine with both these girls... I sense a theme!
So while they're not dates, they are successful relationships spawned through the internet. I don't claim to be an internet dating guru, but I can let you know how to impress me (or not, as the case may be):
- smile in your photos. In one photo at the very least. Looking like a grump, even if you're trying to show your serious side, makes me think you've got absolutely no sense of humour
- have teeth. I've actually shown up to a date, and met a guy who's four top front teeth were missing. I have a thing about teeth - pretty sure this is due to my years of suffering braces - and just can not date someone with horrid (or non existent) teeth. I obviously should have listened to my own advice in the first point.
- don't have a rant at how insincere/obnoxious/full-of-themselves all the women on internet dating sites are. This is completely off-putting and I'm not going to reply to someone like this. I don't even know you and I don't want to, if this is how much luggage you're carrying around.
- actually read my profile. Asking basic questions about things clearly stated is a big turn-off. You never know, you might find some conversation starters in there!
- show an interest. I state that I blog. I use the same name for all social media. It's not hard to find me here, or on Twitter. So far, one, just one, person has actually shown enough savvy to track me down. Not in a stalkerish way (I don't think!).
- don't call me "baby cheeks" or some other cutsey nickname. You don't know me, and frankly, it's just a little creepy. And I might barf.
- drop any sexual inuendos. Or worse, the blatant comments. It's neither clever nor funny. Again, you don't know me. Where's the romance?
- Turn up on time, or call/message to say you'll be late. Before you're actually late. Basic manners, surely? In London, the tube could be blamed for perhaps 15 minutes, but any longer - and in Hervey Bay, were it takes 10 minutes to get anywhere - there is no excuse! And as someone with self-respect, I will leave.
So there's my Dating KangaRue for Dummies guide (Part 1 perhaps?).
Have I missed anything? I'd love to hear any bizarre approaches you've received! How DO people meet other singletons these days?
Cheers, KangaRue :)