Online dating


Online dating has become the phenomenon of the 21st century and makes for some great choices of how, who, and where to date.

Long gone are the days of getting chatted up with corny chat up lines in the bars and nightclubs.

Don’t get me wrong, they still exist but very few work these days – unless they are linked to an online profile.

Oh and blind dates? You can understand why being fixed up by your friends is not appealing, especially when their idea of who suits you can be very, very wrong.

If you aren’t meeting people out and about and the very idea of a blind date gives you chills then you are probably one of the millions using online dating. Like myself.

If you are fortunate to be dating without the help of the of the Internet, then you could be one of the very few in this day and age.

Online Dating Doesn’t Have To Be Scary

Online dating can be scary if you are new to it but it’s not as horrifying as it may seem. As long as you know what you are looking for and you keep it real.

Being a 42-year-old single woman on the hunt for Mr Right, I have  gone on my fair share of dates both disastrous  and great.

Some were for fun and others were for a long-lasting relationship.

I’ve taken advantage of singles nights, mobile provider dates, “Toothing” (picking up via Bluetooth via your phone)  blind dates, Facebook dates, dating agencies and more than my fair share of online dating sites.

The First Online Dates

When the Internet first came into fashion which was literally overnight in the early 2000s, hundreds of dating sites started appearing. Some offered you your dream date whilst others promised locals looking for fun.

You can imagine just how many singletons thought they had won the relationship lottery and without having to leave the comfort of their own home!

I was fortunate to be a young adult before online dating arrived and I regularly joked with friends about being able to order my perfect man via a catalogue.

Imagine my excitement when internet dating arrived… fast forward 15 years and I am a professional online date still looking for my Mr. Right.

I have travelled the world on dates looking for love from various dating sites and had some amazing times, however I’ve also had disastrous ones I had to sit though, some I’ve even run from.

Mr Magnum PI

I remember one date where  I was swept of my feet by a distinguished Dallas lawyer . He advertised himself as 52, 6ft tall with blonde hair and had a picture to match.

He sounded sincere on the phone and after a few months of emailing he brought me a premium class ticket to Dallas so we could meet in person.

Imagine my horror when I turned up in Dallas Fort Worth airport being greeted by  a man clearly in his late 60s, maybe even 70s wearing dark shades and acting like Magnum PI – standing next to  a shiny black Porsche with the roof down.

For those that have not heard of Magnum PI, he was a well-known American actor played by Tom Selleck in the 80s.

He played the part of a man living a luxurious life surrounded by riches and was a complete ladies man, only my guy looked old enough to be my granddad.

The date lasted 2 days before I changed my flight and ran out his house while he was sleeping.

Staying Optimistic

Of course not all dates are disastrous, I would say only 10% of them and the rest have been either good, great and  some even fantastic and very memorable.

You never know, online dating could just be the key that unlocks your future happiness.

My Golden Rules

I have hundreds of stories I could write for you but they can wait, as this article is about some golden rules I advise you to follow, before taking the plunge and diving head first into online dating.

Choosing The Right Website

There are literally hundreds of websites and apps available for people looking for love or some Adult fun. It all just depends on what you are looking for.

In my personal opinion, any dating site to which you don’t have to pay to join or has no fees attached to sending or receiving messages, is not going to be providing an ideal partner.

If someone is willing to invest in a long-term relationship and has strong values in relationships, will pay the fee for his or her investment.

So if you are looking for a long-term partner bear this in mind.

Short-Term Dating

If you are just shopping around and not looking for anything serious, then phone apps such as Tinder are quick and easy and based pretty much on looks.

If you like the look of  them and they respond, then you seriously can have your cake and eat it.

Dating Profile

When it comes to dating profiles my advice is keep it real, don’t over kill with information by writing an essay.
Too much information can bore people and they will click the back button in no time.

What Do You Have To Offer?

Instead keep it about yourself, what you have to offer and what you are looking for in a relationship.

Don’t go on about wanting your ideal man to be Mr. Perfect because trust me, you are going to be waiting a long time. Instead write about you and what you have to offer.

Too many dating profiles advertise what people are looking for and not what they have to offer. Personally, I want to know what the man has to offer me before I further indulge.

I already know what I have to offer and I always make it clear on my profile. This way, it cuts out unsuitable matches. Remember it’s about them complementing you and not you changing for them.

Up-To-Date Profile Picture

The profile picture should be no older than 6 months old, and be a true reflection of how you look today.

Obviously if last week you had long dark hair and today you have short pink hair then take a new picture.

There is nothing worse than turning up on a date and realising the person is nothing like their  picture, like my date who had a picture at least 10 years old as his profile shot.

It’s just not fair and is just time-wasting for the pair of you.

Keep Your Clothes On

Another tip is to keep your clothes on if it’s the long-term relationship and the hope of finding Mr. Right (or Mrs Right) you’re after.

There is nothing worse than a skimpy dressed woman advertising herself as “a woman looking  for respect” or a guy with half-naked shots, showing off his torso on his profile saying he is looking for his princess.

Both of these spell short-lived lustful relationships. Of course if this is what you are after then so be it.

3 Decent Pictures

Instead have at least 3 decent pictures, at least 1 full length and the other of a true you at your happiest, preferably showing your eyes.

There is nothing better than being won over by a smile. Happiness and laughter are 2 of the most attractive features in a  person.

First Date Talk

Talk on a first date depends on what you are looking for but should cover several topics. You need to have a meaningful discussion on what it is you both want from a relationship and the standards you expect in the relationship.

It does not have to be a cross-examination but you need to find out if your date is fully available and what their  expectations are.

I have had several dates where men have conveniently forgot  to mention having a partner at home and on occasion, a wife and children.

If you are brave enough you can cover the subject of sex but be careful in case your date gets the wrong idea and thinks your going to put out on your first date.

If you are looking for a second date my advice is do not put out on a first date at any  cost.

Take your time as relationships should not be rushed. Ask yourself, would you drive a car without knowing its history? Probably not.

If the guy pressures you then do what I have done on many occasions and just leave.

Security And Protecting Yourself

Unfortunately not everything can be assumed 100% safe these days and online dating is often associated with negative press so please make sure you follow some golden rules.

Protect Your Personal Data

If possible set up a separate  email account for dating sites, this way you can protect all your personal data from strangers.

Never Reveal Your Address

Never reveal your address until you have met the person a few times and you are sure they can be trusted. Always meet on mutual ground such as a cafe which you both know.

I say cafe as I do recommend a first date to be coffee or lunch before commencing to a dinner date. This is because coffee or lunch are quicker than dinner and generally only one course with no alcohol involved.

It also helps you get to know the person a little before accepting an evening date and it also gives you the chance to hear one another’s expectations from the relationship.

Tell Someone Where You Are

Another golden rule is always let someone know where you are and who with in the early days.

If you want to go one step further google search your dates name and make sure they are who they say they are.

Remember dating is about having fun, flirting, butterflies in the belly, an excuse to buy a new outfit and meeting new people who compliment  you.

Enjoy it as much as possible and good luck!

Lianne Young

As well as giving pro dating advice, Lianne Young has also presented her own fitness show for SKY TV and has appeared as a regular sex consultant on major British television channels.


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