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A call for experience daters! Can you help??

(17 Posts)
violetlights Fri 23-Jun-17 21:22:21

Call for help!

I’m writing a play in which one of my main characters was on the ‘dating scene’ from the late 90s to present day. I wanted to refer to her spectrum of dating experience e.g speed dating, online dating, facebooking, newspaper ads. Trouble is I don’t know what I’m talking about as I met my partner when I was a teen and haven’t dated at all. :/ The play is intended to be lighthearted, but also intends to make a serious point about the shit some women have to put up with.

So… I’d be SO grateful for specific lingo or names of dating sites or your own personal experiences. If you can answers any or all of these questions, that’d be amazing. No detail too small!

1.What was the ‘dating scene’ for you in 90s, 00s, 10s, etc? (e.g. blind dates, dating sites, newspaper ads, through facebook?)
2.Can you give me specific names of these sites / activities.
3.Are there issues which constantly come up? (e.g. people posting pictures which don’t look like themselves, speed daters being pervy?).
4.Do you know any evocative terms (and abbreviations) relating to dating activities (e.g. WLTM, dick pics, swipe right) and can you tell me what they mean?!
5.Can you tell me a personal story which you think sums up a particular type of dating experience?

Thank you so much!

p.s. I’m a ‘struggling’ rather than known writer... :/
Pps. I’m also a ‘struggling’ sahm so may not be able to check the thread as often as I would like, but will check back when I can.

Imbeingunreasonable Fri 23-Jun-17 22:31:59

Hi OP,

I think there's a dating thread on he relationships board at the minute. It's about dating advice but I've not really read it.

I know a few people who've met their dates on POF (plenty of fish). For most it just turned out to be for sex and nothing more. I know a bloke who met his conquests on there and two-timed them and got them both pregnant shock.

I met a guy in a bar once. We ended up going on a first date and he told me he once shagged a nurse and she gave him crabs. He was deadly serious saying 'you think being a nurse she'd know better'. I was gobsmacked.

As for terms I only know the usual ones, not sure if times have changed since then but wltm = would love to meet, gsoh = good sense of humour. That's all I can recall from the small ads in the paper

2017lulu Fri 23-Jun-17 22:57:45

Myself and several friends have used Tinder - and all have ridiculous stories.

One guy defo took the best possible picture of himself - I also learnt the you can't tell how tall someone is from just photos...
I meet another guy that said he had 1 kid, but four weeks after real life dating he sent me pic of a room full of kids, saying guess which one was his son and which one was his daughter..... I guessed correctly all 8 of them where his kids! He's bio said he was looking for a wife!
I also met a sailor, who carried about 1k in his wallet for the one date we had. Which I found really strange. He was quite casual about that sitting in his back pocket.
Other guys that I chatted to online would give it all that about coming over and keeping me up all night.
Theres quite range on tinder that will openly say they are just looking for fun, and others that are very clear they don't want to be used and would like a relationship.
Oh, and then there's the profiles where the photos are just kinky things like handcuffs and high heels - the info on those profiles will be that the guy is well groomed and presented and is looking for an attractive female to experience some BDSM with them...

BubblingUp Sat 24-Jun-17 03:34:27

I got my first desktop computer in 1995. The World Wide Web wasn't developed as it is now and wasn't called the internet. It was called WWW or World Wide Web and you accessed it via dial-up. AOL was the most popular way to dial in. You could not dial in during the evening hours at all. AOL had message groups, often with a theme or common interest. You could chat with people, but in every message room, no matter what the topic was supposed to be, the conversation always ended up being about sex. I don't remember any photos - it was all text.

Dating was via newspaper classified ads in the early 1990s. Not sure when that faded out - probably when Match started in 1995.

People were using SWF (straight white female), GBM (gay black man) type acronyms to describe themselves. "SWF seeking SBM"

Zaphodsotherhead Sat 24-Jun-17 05:25:42

From one writer to another - if you really need to learn all this stuff from Mumsnet, then maybe you are writing about the wrong thing? If you aren't writing from your own experience then your play won't have the emotional resonance you need...Maybe ask a friend who did have this dating experience, rather than collecting anecdata.
You know what they say - write about what you know!

WildBelle Sat 24-Jun-17 09:54:24

Some things I've learnt from online dating over the years:

1. Everyone has one good photo of themselves. Doesn't equate to them actually being attractive in real life.

2. If a man is wearing a hat in all of his pictures, it's because he has no hair.

3. Men's inches are different to women's inches. 5'8" seems to be considered the minimum height they feel they can put on their profile. However, this usually means that they are at least a couple of inches shorter than that.

Shockers Sat 24-Jun-17 09:57:53

"Men's inches are different to women's inches."


ImperialBlether Sat 24-Jun-17 10:01:58

I agree about writing about what you know. It would be obvious if you didn't.

Mylittlestsunshine Sat 24-Jun-17 10:02:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ellisandra Sat 24-Jun-17 10:06:18

<sigh> I wish #1 was true! I hated trying to find even one decent photo! I scrub up fine IRL, just not too photogenic!

OP, I echo a PP who said write about what you know. Plenty of writers write about a period they weren't alive during and do a lot of research. But I think they tend to have a particular link or interest. (Like "Everyone Brave is Forgiven")

Perhaps your observations from the outside as someone who didn't date this way would ring more true. What you remember, what you missed... one of my favourite Alan Bennett lines is about missing out on the swinging 60s as it came late to Leeds. So much more meaningful and funny than it would be if he wrote about a scene that he didn't experience.

singleandfabulous Sat 24-Jun-17 12:29:50

Hi OP. I'm your woman! or gurl as i was back then. wink

The main dating website from 1998 to about 2005 was Dating Direct.It was massive and pretty much like Match is now. Mobiles /texts and emails were used to arrange dates as well as the messaging part of the site.

Newspaper classifieds were still going and lots of people used friends reuinited website too. MySpace and Bibo were huge but I dont remember Facebook before 2007. God I had some stories! Dined out on them for years! grin

TroysMammy Sat 24-Jun-17 12:43:06

I used newspaper ads around 2003. It was called Find A Partner. You would phone a number. You listened to someone's voice message and if you liked you would leave them your number for them to ring you. I remember I had a notebook to write the basic information in, eg name, age, telephone number, area they lived in, job, interests and if I spoke to them I would update the page with further information. I'm a bit strange in that respect but I didn't want stalkers.

If I agreed to meet someone for a date it mostly felt like I was interviewing them. No-one made second date except the last one on my list, we had 8 years together but split up nearly 5 years ago.

ImperialBlether Sat 24-Jun-17 13:30:05

TroysMammy, I remember a night when my friend came round and we listened (drunk) to every advert on Guardian Soulmates in the newspaper - didn't leave a message for them, thank god. A few weeks later I had an extra £45 on my phone bill - we hadn't realised there was a cost.

violetlights Sun 25-Jun-17 13:49:50

Thanks so much everybody - this is just what I'm looking for! Appreciate all the stories. smile And sorry for not coming back sooner, I had a poorly child.

Also thanks to those suggesting I should write what I know about - I knew I'd get people saying saying that! But it's either include it or change the whole plot, (which I'm very enthusiastic about). It's not the main part of the story, just a side issue which needs reference to, so hopefully there won't be enough to expose the fact I've researched rather than experienced myself.

Thanks again!

RoganJosh Sun 25-Jun-17 13:53:32

2004 online dating was all about Match or Dating Direct websites. POF wasn't around then (or not in a big way).

That's all I can remember really. It had a slightly dubious reputation in that people would think you were a bit desperate for using it. (I did though!)

abbey44 Sun 25-Jun-17 14:32:19

If you didn't want to enter the fray of dating columns in the papers, there were matchmaking agencies around in the early 00's. I used a couple - one (quite well known one) charged about £1000 I think, but guaranteed a certain number of 'high quality' vetted matches over the year's membership. Sounded great in theory, but actually they never came up with even one for me, saying that I was in that 'tricky age range' to match - men of my age (40) wanted much younger women. They didn't refund the bloody subscription either. The other, a local set-up, was much better in finding matches, and I went out with some really lovely men, though there were a couple who were a bit iffy...

It was quite a good way to meet people, I think - it was reassuring to know that someone had met and verified them first and could introduce you to someone they felt would be a good match. Do they still have stuff like this now, I wonder, or has it all been replaced by online dating?

singleandfabulous Sun 25-Jun-17 15:35:18

Yes theyre still around (drawing down the moon is one) they cost anywhere between £3,000 and £10,000 though. shock Above that youre talking serious wealth matching companies.

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