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Talk to me about online dating. The basics!

(15 Posts)
ZansForCans Sat 25-Jun-16 19:17:51

I've namechanged as I've had the same name for a while and just don't want exP to recognise this if by any chance he recognises any other posts. But I am a longstanding MNer.

I'm newly single aged 46 and after a long relationship. I didn't think I was interested in sex at all because as the relationship deteriorated (communication probs, dishonesty and PA behaviour from him) I went right off it. But having ended it and preparing to have our own places, I realise I am interested - not really in a relationship or living with a man ever again but maybe, eventually, in dating or casual flings.

But I've never ever done OLD though I've head plenty about the horrors.

What I want to know is - can you dip your toe in the water and have a look, just to see what it's like / the men are like - without having to put up a profile of your own? One problem for me is that I'm kind of known in a certain field - I'm not famous but I do have a public profile and image to maintain (in my field). I don't like the idea of just putting my details on a site until I'm really sure. So is it possible to kind of "lurk" on OLD sites without actually offering up your own details until you're ready? How does the whole thing work?

Also I have no idea which OLD sites would suit me. Professional, highly educated, creative job, I'd be looking for interesting, sciency or creative tall, hot, Hugh-Laurie-a-like men. Not asking much am I? grin

If anyone can give me a run-down of how to just have a look / lurk that would be great!

merville Sat 25-Jun-16 19:37:57

Well if you're interested in flings, casual dating etc. OLD is definitely for you; cause the majority of the men on there are looking for the same (!)

Sites most associated with casual/hook-ups are tinder (strictly speaking a phone app but there is an online site too, plenty of fish (pl look for relationships on there too but a lot of guys seem to think it is a hook-up site), ame with okcupid. There are also 'married dating' sites like ashley madison for attached people, however you will find some singles on there as well. Sites like match & eharmony are seen more as the relationship oriented ones but there will be plenty of men very ahppy t have casual/fling encounters.

You may be able to browse profiles without joining on some sites, not on others. You can put as much or as little info. (or fake info.) in your profile as you want. Some will require a photo but you don;t have to put an actual photo of you; many ppl do not for many reasons. You can swap photos by private message etc. before meeting up if you want to.

One things for sure, if you're looking for casual, you will be inundated with men ranging from 18 to 60 and beyond.

merville Sat 25-Jun-16 19:38:56

Apologies for the typos

ZansForCans Sat 25-Jun-16 21:38:41

Thanks merville, that's all v useful. I'm not interested in attached blokes, though I suppose it can be hard to tell sad

I don't think I'm ready to plunge in yet anyway - it's too soon - but I want to just look and see what's there and what the deal is.

Walkacrossthesand Sat 25-Jun-16 21:47:01

Someone I know did something interesting with her OLD profile pic - she was smiling but looking down, so you couldn't actually see her eyes, and wouldn't really have recognised her unless you knew her well. I thought that was a clever ruse for someone who wanted a pic up (because a lot of OLDers won't respond to pic-free profiles) but didn't want to be spotted too easily by people who knew her IRL

Helennn Sat 25-Jun-16 21:53:39

I would recommend Plenty of fish. It's free, you don't have to put up a photo and you can fill in a fake profile if you want. Don't go too mad though with your area or you won't see the relevant men for you and you can't change your age once it's on there. As you become more confident you can add a photo and more details. Good luck, Saturday is usually a busy night on there, go for it!

merville Sat 25-Jun-16 22:04:58

You can def. search pof without creating a profile.
Re. attached men; even off the 'married dating'(!) sites, just be aware that men presenting themselves as single may not be. I think I saw an article with a conservative estimate of 30% shock.

If you use no photo or a photo of something other than yourself, you will not be contacted much/at all & you'll have to do the contacting .. ppl will naturally ask for photos quite quickly and you can usually send them by some form of messaging.

As walk has said, you could just use an image that is not clear.

Re. meeting someone - ask them for as many images as possible to get a real grasp of their looks/demeanour.
Meet up relatively quickly so as not to build something way up for wks/months and then realise there is 'nada' when you meet in real life.

Check out safety recommendations for meeting up if/when you do (public place, person you text/phone during or after to say safe etc.) until you get to know them well.

There is a good vid on youtube re. online dating by the rather sweet Bernardo Mendes (though more aimed at relationship seeking than casual I think), here it is;

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVOdbyylLvE

ZansForCans Sat 25-Jun-16 23:09:59

Thanks guys, and I'll have that Bernardo for starters smile

Men pretending to be single - I've heard a lot about that and it seems obvious that they would as plenty do in RL to get sex. The truth is despite fancying some action I'm also in a kind of "men are twats" place mentally so I need to wait for the dust to settle. I'll just be checking it all out for now.

Tinkerbellx Sun 26-Jun-16 12:31:57

Hi
I'm pretty much the same age and was in the same position as you .
I joined match .
I'd suggest join for a month and see how it goes .
I did meet a few lovely men from there . All professional nice gents and had some good experiences and Id never dated in my life before ! ( 25 yr marriage ) .
My personal experience was far better on a paid for site .
Most men are honest with what there're looking for .
I particularly liked the ones looking for friendship and see where it goes profiles .
Some say straight up they just want a casual no strings attached sex and some want a full on relationship and nothing less .
I wrote my own list of likes and dislikes and stuck to it .
There's a great thread on here for OLD .
I only put my picture on when j was actually online and sometimes I'd leave it on when I was hoping to hear back from someone .
I was a lot like you .... Well known local professional and didn't want it public ... Then I realised actually so what ! The only people looking will be men looking for similar and that's what I want . I only ever saw one person I knew locally and it was my GP . I just thought well done for getting out there .

Tinder would be different as half the county are signed up from what my daughter tells me .

Anyway I learnt to develop a thick skin , not take things too personally and above all stick to my list of what I was looking for .
Honestly had a fantastic few experiences OLD .
Good luck X

Freya84 Sun 26-Jun-16 17:27:30

I used to be on Plenty of Fish and after a while Oasis. You do need thick skin to some degree, there's some rather unpleasant people out there. Over the course of about a year and a half, I met up with four of the guys that I started chatting to. I went to the same place each time, somewhere I knew and only after we'd been chatting for a couple of weeks and checked out their facebook profile. I always told someone where I was going and when. It was always day time too.
After meeting up with one guy, I found out he was racist. That didn't come across in messages! Another guy was still sleeping with his ex. The third guy was actually a politician. He was very open and honest in his OLD profile. Don't be ashamed of using OLD, even if you are a public figure of sorts. Sometimes it is the only way to meet people, it was for me. I saw one guy on one site that was a local newsreader.
You don't have to use your actual name remember.
I also made a couple of friends out of the guys I chatted to, which really, was all I was expecting.
You'll know if someone seems a bit off or dodgy, and if you're not sure then just don't meet up with them. Also, you can block people on the OLD if they're bothering you in anyway. I can't remember but you can probably report them too.
Good luck with it.

If you're wondering about the fourth guy, I married him smile

CiaoVerona Sun 26-Jun-16 17:48:42

Its simply not true all men treat online dating sites as a place to hook up there are plenty of guys looking for relationships.

Sure, you'll find some guys looking for only sex and will say what ever to get there you'll also find those guys in your local bar hitting on a bar stool, they are by no means unique to online dating.

Depending on your location you'll find some online dating sites better then others. Free sites tend to be busy with that comes more dross to scroll through, in my experience paid sites do not mean better people I've seen the same people on every site.

Have a look at the dating thread its gives you a good idea about whats its like online dating.

n0ne Sun 26-Jun-16 19:08:53

I used to do OLD back in the day. One of my favourite pics I used for my profile had me drinking a coconut which obscured most of my face. I still got loads of interest. I met some decent guys, some weirdos, and eventually now-DH grin

But you can easily find hook-ups all the way up to LTRs. Women can really take their pic. Enjoy!

n0ne Sun 26-Jun-16 19:09:44

*pick, not pic

LellyMcKelly Sun 26-Jun-16 22:13:18

I joined Match. Put up a pic of me with lots of hair half covering my face and a cheeky grin. Got a lot of interest - even ended up going on 6 dates in 5 days at one point. It was great fun. And then I met someone after about a month, and it clicked. Instantly, just like that. And he's so wonderful and I wish I'd met him years ago. My advice would be, treat it as a fun way to meet new people, have no expectations - you're just going for a coffee/drink and a bit of a laugh, know your own value and what you're bringing to the table (it will give you confidence), if it doesn't click it doesn't click - it's no big deal, and if it does click, relax and take it as it comes. There's nothing worse that a needy man/woman in a new relationship. Define for yourself the kind of relationship you want, and if you're not getting something fairly close to that, walk.

whatam1doing Mon 27-Jun-16 05:46:56

I've used tinder and paid for match. Tinder is free and links to Facebook but you can do what I did and set up a fake FB (slightly different spelling of my name eg Jayne not Jane ) and pics had me drinking cocktails so not clear shot of face. Met some nice guys and some freaks !

Match has been a waste of money and have suspended account. Joined pof started chatting to a guy first night. Wasn't sure about him so left him on the back burner ...just answered messages as and when could be bothered. He persisted and I eventually met him ..... Oh my god we just click. Infact tonight I'm meeting him to dtd!!! Eek

There's a thread here with lots of us in the same boat gives tips and helps cope with the general wierd was of OLD. feel free to join us

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/2655402-Were-Stayin-Alive-its-DATING-THREAD-105

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