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Online dating....not exactly a confidence booster!

(42 Posts)
VenusStarr Tue 02-Apr-13 11:55:10

So after being single for 3 years and edging ever closer to 30, with all my friends settled down, having babies, I decided to dip my toe in the online dating water.

I signed up to Guardian Soulmates. I'm not subscribed yet, just browsing at the mo. my sister and her partner helped me with my profile (good to get a male perspective, no?) Now I know I'm impatient as its only been up a day, but out of 23 views, one person likes me. He seems ok, over my ideal age, bit more orange than I'd like...

Feeling a bit deflated. So, is it because I've picked the wrong site, I'm too fussy (I am), I've not sold myself well (i thought it sounded ok), i stated a preference that potential datee does not hate cats (i don't rxpect them to love them!) or is it because I am an inherently unattractive potential partner and am destined to be single forever?

oopsadaisymaisy Tue 02-Apr-13 11:59:14

You're definitely not destined to be single forever smile you're very young and you need patience when it comes to OD. Guardian can be great. My friend was on there for years before she met her now husband. Be patient. Good luck.

SoHHKB Tue 02-Apr-13 12:06:34

I'm sure you're beautiful and charming, it's just that I think that on 'paying' sites, your profile is bumped higher once you are a subscriber.

Maybe go on a couple of free sites ( and play around to get a bit of practice before shelling out...? Chat to anyone and everyone - you can quickly block those who make suggestions too lewd for delicate ears wink - and meet up quickly in a safe place if you think you might like someone...

I met my dp on oasis - I only clicked on his profile because I wanted to ask if his photo had been taken in my univesity town grin

Lueji Tue 02-Apr-13 12:09:08

It's not how many, it's the quality of them...

And it's only been a day!!!

And it was Easter.

Give it time. smile

Mumsyblouse Tue 02-Apr-13 12:40:32

If you sign up to somewhere free like POF you will have possibly hundreds of contacts, but the you have to weed through- one poster on here had 163 in a week but has met no nice people whatsoever out of it. I agree with quality not quantity, but nothing is stopping you checking out profiles elsewhere, or considering a dating agency.

VenusStarr Tue 02-Apr-13 16:02:51

Thanks for the advice. I may try a free site. I just know they tend to have a bad reputation, but I suppose if I keep my wits about me, with my finger hovering over the block button, it might be ok.

I've had nothing more on the site. Rubbish.

I'm watching that other thread mumseyblouse smile

samsonthecat Tue 02-Apr-13 16:12:27

I met do on pof, we've been together for a year and he is great ;)
We even have a mutual friend which we descovered on the first date. There is someone out there some where who is perfect for you, don't give up.

60sname Tue 02-Apr-13 19:52:40

I used GSM and sometimes it felt like no-one was biting. It does take a little time to be noticed on there, but things should pick up now it's after Easter.

Whenever I started getting despondent about my search - and it can get tedious - I tried to remember that I only needed one guy to be right for me. That and reading the success stories kept me on there.

Anyway I struck gold after four months and three years on we're saving for a house, and he's also saving for a ring grin

ohtobecleo Tue 02-Apr-13 19:56:42

I've been on GSM for ages (not unsuccessfully) and having tried many other sites, it's the best in my opinion. However....I initiated a lot of the conversations that ended in dates. Have you put a picture up? If not then you're unlikely to get much interest (sad but true).

Don't give up yet...they will come. Good luck.

HollaAtMeBaby Tue 02-Apr-13 22:16:57

Don't mention cats! Men will assume that you are a mad cat-loving spinster with enough furry friends to form a feline football team. They tend not to go for this grin

JaceyBee Tue 02-Apr-13 22:34:16

Yeah maybe lose the cat thing! I've just signed up to GSM a couple of weeks ago and so far 15 people 'like' me, which sounds ok except for 68 have viewed my profile which means a grand total of 22% of those who checked me out like me. Which sounds rubbish!

I've not signed up yet, am waiting to see if I get an offer I can't refuse. Maybe that's not the best way to play it though?

VenusStarr Tue 02-Apr-13 23:31:15

Ok I shall remove the cats! smile

JaceyBee my like rate is 12% (if I worked that out right - 3 likes, 25 views) and the 3 that liked me aren't my type. I'm not being a snob, but one claims to be an academic with 2 masters degrees and doesn't know the different between there and their. Maybe I am being a grammar snob, but that irritates me!

hollaatmebaby I kind of am at cat loving spinster! 100 years ago I would definitely be on the shelf sad but I will follow your advice and not mention them ;)

ohtobecleo I have got a picture, does this mean I am unattractive then [sigh] I am being lighthearted, but it does feel like hard work!

60sname congratulations! smile see I know it can work...

JaceyBee Tue 02-Apr-13 23:45:34

Haha, that annoys me too! Although its still possible he could be an academic, my ex was a journalist and didn't know the difference between your and you're! That's what spell check/editing is for I guess!

One or two of mine look reasonable but nothing to get too excited about. Still, I'm in no hurry. Am watching the other thread with interest too. I'm wondering if my profile is too honest by which I mean it sounds a little ambivalent and cynical and I haven't really tried to sell myself very well. Some of the women on there are stunning so might have to try and up my game!

CuChullain Wed 03-Apr-13 08:27:29

What were you expecting after one day? A full inbox and half a dozen offers to be taken to Michelin stared restaurants?

Remember, internet dating is just another iron in the fire, it is not there to replace all existing forms of meeting people and you rarely have overnight success.

I used several years ago, I probably met well over 30 different women before I met ‘the one’. It will take a few dates before you find your radar so to speak, by that I mean the ability to spot the timewasters and oddballs. After a few initial fruitcakes I say with confidence that all the women I met were smart, funny, attractive and very interesting people, even if the spark or chemistry was not present there was still enough common ground to have a great evening out, I have since become very good friends with a number of my ‘failed’ dates and at the very least it opens up your social life in new and unexpected directions.

You also have to be proactive yourself, I could be wrong but your OP reads as if you have just loaded up a profile and you are now sitting back waiting for the offers to flow in. It does not work that way, and if you have any notions of ‘the guy should make the first move’ then you really are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Also, I would drop the ‘he must love cats’ bits from your profile; although it is inaccurate, it does conjure up the stereotype of ‘mad cat women’ which is an instant turn off.

My advice is to set up a separate email address just for dating.

Write a profile, be honest, get a trusted friend to read it, mention what you like in life, your passions, don’t be negative, its amazing how many people list things they don’t like in a prospective partner, they just come across as high maintenance. Include lots of recent photos, preferably you being natural, not some staged black and white art house studio shot (it does happen!). Playing tennis once on holiday 4 years ago is not a hobby and try and avoid clichés like ‘I love to relax on the sofa with a good bottle of wine and a DVD’ , everyone likes that !!!

After initially exchanging a few emails, move on to chatting on msn and then on the telephone, seriously, don’t waste weeks writing essays to each other and building up your expectations only to find when you meet there is absolutely no attraction. Chatting on the phone early on really helps you decide on whether you want to take something further or not, if that bloke who wrote the thoughtful, witty and flattering emails can’t string a sentence together on the phone you are going to have a long evening if you meet in person.

Trust your gut feeling

Always make first dates a midweek drink after work or a weekend light lunch, never go for a full dinner until you are sure get on.

Tell a friend were you are going.

If you find yourself in a situation where the guy is keen and you are not, just a polite text after the date saying ‘you had a nice time but no longer want things further’ is considered good form.

Don’t play games, or follow any other glossy mag inspired ‘rules of engagement’, if you really like the chap, and he had made his feelings clear, just let him know, it makes life so much easier.

Notsurehowthathappened Wed 03-Apr-13 08:44:05

Name changed because someone else seems to be using my nickname shock

I have used GS on and off for a while and have learned quite a lot on the way.

The men on there seem to be much slower off the mark than other sites I have used, but for some reason more likely to turn into a long term thing. That could have something to do with the fact that there are fewer of them so they don't feel the need to be so competetive initially. They take their time choosing who to contact.

Many will also expect and like it, if you make the first move.

Some of the men I have met and gone on to have great friendships with (I am not looking for marriage or a live in relationship at the moment) have told me that there are a number of things that they find offputting. Very needy women are top of the list, followed by someone who is clearly not over their previous relationship and women who are openly critical of the male species as a whole. However, being very contrary they also dont like it if your profile screams too strong and independent.

My conclusion is that you just need to be your real self. You are not wanting all those people who have passed your profile by!! When the right man looks at your profile he will hit the send button.

(Oh and just one more tip - they never look like their photos. Some of the best looking men I have met, looked grim on their profile. I now talk first and meet a.s.a.p. That way no-one gets hurt if you decide they are not for you)

ohtobecleo Wed 03-Apr-13 08:53:33

^^I'll second that re photos. Almost all of the men I've met on GSM are better looking than their pictures. BUT....they're also consistently shorter than they claim to be smile.
I've also made some friends on there and had lots of frank and hilarious conversations with many of them and 90% of them have said that neediness/desperation can be detected a mile away.

Don't focus on your 'like' rate. It's about quality not quantity. You want the one really good catch rather than the facebook-style 'lots of likes'.

CuChullain Wed 03-Apr-13 10:10:55

@ Notsurehowthathappened

I agree with most of your post but I take issue with your following observation:

“However, being very contrary they also don’t like it if your profile screams too strong and independent.”

I think if you are a ‘strong and independent’ women then that is exactly how you should come across in your profile, the last thing you want to do draw the attention of men who are so insecure that they feel threatened by someone who thinks for herself and does not say ‘yes dear’ all the time. Speaking for myself and my wider peer group of male friends a woman who comes across as ‘strong and independent’ it seen as exceptionally attractive, who wants to date a doormat (sad insecure twats aside).

AndMiffyWentToSleep Wed 03-Apr-13 10:21:33

I agree that you need to contact men first on GSM - I found that they rarely used 'likes' either, you just have to contact them.
Good luck!

GoSuckEggs Wed 03-Apr-13 10:29:19

I was on a free site for a month or two. LOTS of dirty proposals, but they just got blocked. I then met the most handsome man ever and now 5yrs later we are engaged and looking to marry shortly!!

ALittleStranger Wed 03-Apr-13 12:42:56

Excellent advice from CC. Especially the need not to expect overnight success or to sit back and wait.

The consensus seems to be that gsm is slow but higher quality. In six months I've had about 400 views, 100 likes and about 20 dates. None have lead anywhere yet but they've nearly all been fun evenings. Several I'd happily have been friends with but I do think that transition is difficult.

But with one exception they have all been less attractive than their photos. I've had a couple of flake outs, but I've cancelled on people too. This is how it works offline too.

OD is just a way to meet people, it's not Ocado.

Zilvernblue Wed 03-Apr-13 12:49:06

Speaking for myself and my wider peer group of male friends a woman who comes across as ‘strong and independent’ it seen as exceptionally attractive, who wants to date a doormat (sad insecure twats aside)

I've lost count of the number of times I've been told since I moved to this city, both in real life and in online dating, that having a professional job (although I only work 0.75%!) and being good at sport is a turn off. You can literally see their interest wane in you. My favourite response was that I sounded "too busy" for a boyfriend.

ALittleStranger Wed 03-Apr-13 12:54:42

Agree with that, all will say independent and not a bimbo, but then visibly deflate at any sign someone is too brainy, too sporty or too busy. Annoying as it is I don't want to date anyone who's intimidated by me anyway.

Notsurehowthathappened Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:22

CC fantastic advice.

With regard to the 'strong and independent' issue,I have seen both sides of the coin. Some people have been put off from the outset by what they perceive as an independent lifestyle and we haven't progressed beyond talking / first date. Others have accepted that as part of who I am and we have gone on to be great friends (my career doesn't make it easy to have a live in relationship, because I am often away).

However, it all boils down to the same thing. I only want to meet the right person and can happily accept that if someone finds me or my lifestlye intimidating, then I am never going to be right for them and they won't be right for me!!

CuChullain Wed 03-Apr-13 14:18:58

Indeed Notsurehowthathappened

Rather have people with those attitudes weeded out early on!

I simply don't get how some guys get unsettled if they meet a successful/independent/sporty women. Surely thats a good thing?.

Mrs CuChullain is seriously into her rowing, trains like a trooper, she was telling me about her ex who got upset when she got selected to row at Henley rowing regatta, a huge acheivement, its one of the biggest events on the rowing calander. He rowed as well, but nowhere near the level she was at so he had a piss fit over her 'making him look bad'. She then got a pay rise at work which meant she earned more then him, again, sulking and moaning. Not a congratulations. Anyway, glad he fucked up and she saw sense as we are getting married next year!!

VenusStarr Wed 03-Apr-13 21:28:00

CuChallain this thread was lighthearted, I've not been sitting waiting for men to pop into my inbox, I have scoured profiles and 'liked' the ones I thought I'd get on with, there were quite a few. Don't forget I'm trying before I'm buying, which I'm glad I've done as not one of the ones I like has responded. Also, I said it would be ideal if a potential didn't hate cats, not must love cats. And I think the general consensus on here was lose the cats, which I did say I'd done. But thank you for the other advice smile

notsurewhathappened thanks for the advice, I do think it may take time, I'll keep popping in and seeing if there is anyone who takes my fancy. You say try to be myself which is what i think I am doing, however, I am strong and independent. I don't want to be someone's princess, but I have been very careful not to be 'man-hating' and only put my hobbies and interests.

ohtobecleo yes will focus on quality not quantity smile

andmiffywenttosleep I don't think i can send messages as I'm not subscribed? That may be a problem, however I think it's quite expensive given my first impressions.

gosuckeggs that's ace, congratulations!

JaceyBee I did have a look at other girls profiles, might have to have another look to get some tips.

Incidentally I signed up to POF. It's not terrible, have been chatting to a few nice guys, some I even made the first move! Not had any horrible propositions, yet! I've had a few just saying 'hi' but a few who have taken the time to read my profile and tried to make conversation based on shared interests.

Thanks for all your comments, it is helpful to hear from others who have been there, done that. I'll go back and review GSM to see how I come across smile

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