The “D” Word: Ready to mingle

You’re single and ready to mingle.  You have the flattering sexy dress / outfit, you nailed your make-up, you’re oozing confidence but there’s a hitch:

How do you meet people to date?!

Seriously?  What do you do?!  Cover yourself in bacon and stand in the middle of a club to twerk?  Set up a Wile E. Coyote trap with a decent steak and beer, stooped round the corner holding the other end of the string?  How was I going to get into the dating scene?!

Dating-16

So I did some research and found an article on Huffington Post by Bill Coles for women about “how to meet the man of your dream“.  I was a little intrigued to hear what Coles said… I mean, I don’t know this guy but surely he has an insight into this dating scene that I have somehow missed since I bowed out for four years.

So here’s the low down of Coles’ suggestions (his headers):

  1. Rope in your friends
  2. Marathons and ultra-marathons
  3. Long, hard swims
  4. Football and rugby
  5. Cricket
  6. Car-fest
  7. University degrees
  8. China
  9. Sailing and skiing and beer-fests
  10. Career change

Dude…  Really?   It’s that easy?  Just do these things and you’ll meet THE MAN OF YOUR DREAMS.  Hear that, mum?  There’s hope for me yet!

Well.  Not quite.  Coles has probably done a lot of research considering all aspects of the single woman dating world.  Maybe he watched “Sex and the City” and followed Carrie’s tussle with finding Mr Right?  Maybe he read the reams and reams of research carried out by interested parties?  Maybe he listened in to clutches of women sharing dating horror stories and success rates?  Or maybe he didn’t.  But let’s put that to one side, let’s focus on what his suggestions are and what they mean.

In summary, Coles suggests:

  • Beg / bribe your friends to find you a willing victim (seriously, read the article… my favourite lines are:  “You have to let it be known that you will pay, say, a case of Bollinger Champagne to the person who provides you with the next boyfriend…. Might sound pricy. Are we really putting a price on true love?” because, ladies and gentlemen, desperation is sexy!)
  • Put yourself in situations where you’re outnumbered by men “10 to 1″… like whilst running marathons, swimming, go to China, etc.  And whilst you’re at it, you’ll show off how unfit you are by sweating like a pig, and realise how much you hate sports.
  • Feign interest in things you have NO INTEREST IN.  Like football, rugby, cricket, cars, beer… because everyone know to catch a man you have to not be yourself.
  • Change everything about you; go to university and change your job – maybe go into law, accountancy, politics!

Oh, Bill.  Can I call you that?  Actually, who cares… Bill, you need to realise something.  You, my dear, are very misguided.  And not the good, fun kind.  Go back under your Edinburgh rock.  All of your suggestions are for women to meet you… that’s fine, if you were the man of our dreams but what’s the likelihood of that?  (Honestly, guys… read the article.  It’s amusing if anything!)

So, let’s think about this realistically.  How could you meet people?

  • DIY online – dating websites mostly.  Depends who you want to meet and what you’re after; if you want to meet someone for a non-committed liaison then check out the freebies, but there’s paid ones where you’d hope the bottom of the gene pool wouldn’t venture.
  • Social situations like parties, pubs and hobby groups… surrounding yourself with like minded people who may or may not be single.
  • Dating agencies, speed dating and the like… hard work but you’ll be meeting definitely single people keen to change their relationship status.

But what I would really recommend:

Do whatever makes you comfortable.

 

What about me?

Since I was 18, I used online dating as a way to get over my shyness and for guys to not be intimidated when they see me (6 foot, cheeky quick wit, and no-shit aura).  But recently, after my last break-up – I was a little hesitant.  I was older, tired and fed up.  I also gave up on trying to be attractive to others, instead I approached the profile like I would with anything else… with honesty, openness and fact.

But before I limbered up for an epic monologue about how epic I am, I thought carefully about my intended audience and took several attempts to nail a profile I was proud of.  I found the below points useful when reviewing my profile:

 

What am I looking for?

Dating-22

I adore my bed!  But honestly, I don’t really have a tick-box approach to dating; I was generally seeing what happened, and if I met a genuinely nice guy to hangout with then awesome.  But I wanted to meet people who were interesting, and just happy to see where things go.  If it was a date, then I’ll bring my A-game but if I make a friend on the way – yay.  But the one thing I was not interested in, as alluded to in my previous dating post (“The “D” word: Dating“), was a casual sexual relationship.

That meant marketing (because online dating is a personal advert whichever way you look at it) myself to weed out the chancers and hopefully make myself attractive to potential matches whilst making sure the profile was something I wouldn’t be embarrassed about a friend or my mum finding!

 

What do I want to happen?

Like I’ve said above, online dating is a self marketing campaign.  The aim of my profile in particular is to encourage the people I want to make contact to feel encouraged or confident to, and to attempt to represent myself in an honest account.  You need to consider what you want your profile to do or achieve.

Ultimately, I just want this:

Dating-3

 

The dreaded profile

With most profiles there are three elements which are a potential minefield to navigate!

  • Profile photos
  • Tag line
  • “About Me”

Reading the “helpful hints” prompts for these things, doesn’t make it any easier!  They suggest a face-photo, and photos of you doing stuff to prove you go outside maybe?  So I picked a couple (okay, four) of selfies and my trusty metal stead (well, my motorbike)!

Dating-profile-2

Whilst using online dating, I had seen some awesome and truly terrible taglines.  Some were focused on a pun using the site’s name but others were just “hi” or “nice guy”; but my tagline had changed over the year.  It started with “Wanted: Minion for World Domination plans” which actually gave loads of people the opportunity to message me with varying opening lines such as their applications, jokes about evil masterminds or just plain punny jokes!  But my recent tagline was “Want to be seduced by awkwardness?” which I love but who knows?!

The hardest part will always be the “about me” section… this is where you need to keep in mind who you want to attract.  I wanted someone who liked me, so I wrote the section for myself:

Dating-Profile-1

I know… I sound like a dynamite girl!  Form an orderly queue, people!!

I decided on bullet points with chunks of interesting facts on me.  I could have written paragraphs but knowing how people use the internet / dating, hardly anyone reads properly on their phone / computers.  They skim, and I couldn’t be bothered to type all of that!

You can also see the points that I added after reading a couple of people’s profiles; in particular my response to guys who work out all the time.  And I have to be honest, I got a lot of messages saying “for someone who doesn’t work out, you have a great figure”… thanks, but no.

I hope my profile is a honest representation of me… but apparently there are things that you shouldn’t include!  For example:

Dating-Facebook-3

Still makes me laugh!!!

 

So did it work?

When you’re seriously looking for a partner, Coles is right – you need to put yourself out there but, what Coles didn’t say is, in ways that are within your comfort zones.  I wouldn’t recommend chasing down people (China?!) and pretending to be someone you’re not (car-fests… still makes me laugh!).

But let’s be honest, just using online dating alone isn’t going to improve your success rates.  In fact, it’s hard work!  You have to suffer a lot of fools, and go on some soul destroying dates (future blog posts incoming!), until you find someone who you think is cool and then… life happens.  But so long as you are safe (another future post!!) and look after yourself, then it can be a huge learning curve about yourself and what you want.

 

As with everything… this is all based on my perspective.  But I think the important thing to realise is…

Feb 22 0