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can anyone talk me through online dating ?

(25 Posts)
anothermum92 Sat 12-Sep-09 19:32:57

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Kally Sat 12-Sep-09 20:49:22

Well I dabbled once and dabbled twice.

I just took my profile off PlentyofFish it's a free one...

About 10 guys got intouch with me, I made the first approach to about 7 (pics I thought looked ok, then read the profile)... Then they start to correspond and you suss a bit more about them. Judging from how they write and what they like to mention you can tell quite a lot. For example I hate it when they start going on about what they have got and how much this or that is worth.

Slowly but surely the number whittles down to a few seriously interested ones, a few want to exchange msn or phone numbers, that is entirely up to you, After a few emails and things if you want you can get them to call, but this all takes a few days of writing and sussing at least.

Theres a lot of weirdos out there and you have to trusdt your instincts if they start being suggestive.

From my last 'sign up' I am in contact with 3 of the herds that I began with. One in particular has my interest and after about a week of chat and calls he offered to come down and see me, but I had to work and we cancelled. but he is coming down next Wednesday.

I swore I wouldn't go in for another LDR, and wanted someone local, but it didn't work out like that again for me. The local one I liked turned out to be an 'let downer'and kept delaying meeting for various flimsy reasons, so I think he just had better offers and I was perhaps way down on his list of favourites...hmm After all they must do the same selecting as well.

So I shall meet this apparently very nice man (so far), we have chatted a lot on msn and he calls me and I am quite looking forward to meeting him. In his picture he doesn't look that great, but there are certain things I discovered about him that appeal to me.

He's not so LDR, but at least he has a car and seems up for the hour drive to mine.

Thats it really. Be brave, take the plunge. Don't go for it too seriously at first - be light and don't give too much info about your life. Just chit chat at first. Good luck x

chelseamorning Sat 12-Sep-09 21:07:25

Go for it! Nothing to lose!

After a long-term relationship broke up a number of years ago, I decided I needed to get back into the dating thing. I found online dating was a good way to get my confidence back and I treated it as a bit of fun. It was nice to get some attention, albeit online. I was up for finding 'Mr Right' but didn't want it to get too heavy.

Kally has summed the process up very well. I would say that you shouldn't rush it. Chat online for a while to get to know people (if you want to spare the time) and then only meet those you feel there's a connection with. I found it all fun and a good way for me to feel more confident around other guys.

Incidentally, I met a guy online during this period. I doubt if we'd have hit it off if we'd met in a bar/party but chatting online for a few weeks allowed us to get to know each other to a deeper level before we finally met. We've been together for 9 years, have lived together for 5 years and have a 3 year old DS. Worked for us!

chelseamorning Sat 12-Sep-09 21:10:10

p.s. From a safety point of view, I can't stress enough how important it is to let a very close friend of yours know what you're doing. If you do go on a blind date, give them the guy's details and when and where you're going to meet. Also, meet during the day in a public place. Common sense, I know, but it's easy to let your guard down. Be safe!

anothermum92 Sat 12-Sep-09 21:28:40

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legrandfromage Sun 13-Sep-09 08:07:55

msn is an instant messaging service, allows you to have a real-time chat rather than just sending emails and waiting for a reply.

I'd second the safety advice from others here. Be cautious about giving out your phone no./email adr etc. I used an old phone if anyone wanted to chat to me to hear my voice and set up a separate email address.

Don't take any of it too seriously - IME there are some right drongoes out there and it takes time to separate the wheat from the chaff grin Some men (I found) could be incredibly rude, others are very nice. At the very least, you will get some evenings out.

I did it for a couple of months a while back. I had emails off maybe 10, filtered out some no-hopers, met up with 4 who in RL didn't really float my boat and one who did.

One informed me that I would be having a soft drink as I was driving (he also didn't look a whole lot like his photo, had never married and still lived with his mother at the age of 40. The comination triggered my spider sense); another turned out to be married (had tell-tales signs on wedding ring finger); one has become a very good friend (he did nothing for me, but is dating a friend of mine now); the 4th was a bit of a knob!

The 5th, however, is a totally & utterly lovely dreamboat.

On the whole I'd say there are those on on-line sites with an over-inflated sense of their own desirablility; there are others on there who are playing games; there are a few on there who are genuine.

go for it - there's nothing to lose!

mumoverseas Sun 13-Sep-09 09:21:09

like chelsea, it worked for me. I 'chatted' to a couple of guys on friends reunited dating but didn't have anything in common with them. Then started chatting to another one, exchanged emails, phone calls etc. After the first call I said to my best friend I'd either hate him the minute I met him or marry him.

I married him 5 months to the day after 'meeting' online, we've been married just over 4 years and have two gorgeous children. grin

purplepeony Sun 13-Sep-09 09:22:05

I haven't, as I am married, but have a close friend who has, and a male friend who has too.

My friend had disppointments, as happens however you meet a guy. She had coffee dates where it was clear there was no chemistry, a few short flings, but then often the guys backed out and weren't ready for me,even though they thought they were, and now she has been with a guy who was temporarily on the other side of the world when they were met online, and it looks like it could be permanent.
Her attitude was meet them then decide- and she would often meet 3-4 over a weekend just for coffee.

You have to be quite thick skinned, as you might wink/email and get nothing back. You also have to be aware that guys may not be truthful- does "separated" really mean that or are they just playing away?

A male friend I know who does on line dating gets tired of women who won't meet- they just seem to want a pen friend, and keep emailing or phoning for ever. He always suggests somewhere daytime, and for a coffee in a neutral and public place.

Just go for it, but take it as it comes.

anothermum92 Sun 13-Sep-09 14:17:26

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AnAuntieNotAMum Mon 14-Sep-09 02:41:54

I would say too, don't waste too much time emailing with someone, try and have a phone chat early on and meet early on. You can spend ages emailing with someone only to find there's no chemistry - and don't rule someone out or in on photo -I remember meeting a really good looking guy who seemed dead behind the eyes in real life. Always go with your gut instinct - if anything doesn't feel right, don't bother to continue contact.

If anyone makes excuses about why you can't see where they live/can't be phoned during the evening at home....red flag...I came across a few married ones pretending to be single.

good advice so far.

i've done similar. go on for a week or so email few. whittle it down to a bunch that are serious and then go on a coffee with each.

again as my free time is sparce i have been known to have a couple of coffee's on the same day.

have also been known to have a coffee which expanded to lunch, dinner and an evening out.

so make sure you go dressed in something that can handle being day or eveningwear, where if spontaneous urges to continue the date grab you you can go for it.

this is my 2nd time on POF.. of this batch

1- had big gums i couldn't see in pics
2- married
3 - great looking, real gent. but absolutely zip spark.
4 - lunch which turned into day in park and dinner, still dating but he buggered off on three week holiday
5 - "quick drink" that lasted 24 hrs.

numbers 1-3 where the ones who matched up well on paper and with email contact were good. seemed really great.met met all these in under 3 weeks.

but in RL they were the worst.

4&5 - number 4 took about 6 weeks to meet, number 5 took about 3 months.

so another problem of the system is you will have to choose early on if you like 2 of your dates. so suss them out and dont be scared to be straight and direct if they have certain opinions and red flags.

find out about them and their hobbies and family and views on family through email/text/msn. because if your choosing between 2 men based solely on a couple of dates i can be very tricky if you know very very little about them.

for example.
feel free to ask how long they have been single once you have been talking a while, and why they split. if it was a simple reason then great, leave it be and no more interrogation required.

but if you get the line
"she was a pscho, etc etc",

find out and dont be afraid to ask if all ex's were pscho's (red flag)

thats the beauty of online dating. those with major defects can be spotted before you give them your number or PM.

another good thing to ask is why they choose online dating over RL.

there's a huge variations of answers and which they give is a good indicator of their character.

beware - those who say they are on it because they are "bored" in evenings.

were not where [rolls eyes]

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nickelbabe Mon 14-Sep-09 15:59:50

my ex has joined match.com and he says he's having the time of his life.
he's met a few rather nice ladies and seems to have become quite attached to one
recently.
that sounds really 19th century....

not sure it works for everyone, but when new oh's last relationship had ended he joined one and he got matched up with his ex-girlf. he was not happy. other than that he only had one match.
but that was 4 years ago, so it's all changed a heck of a lot since then.

you really just have to go for it if you join an agency.
it's always worth a go!

anothermum92 Mon 14-Sep-09 20:26:45

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queenofdenial2009 Mon 14-Sep-09 21:43:05

I've been dabbling in internet dating again, having spilt up with my partner of seven years who I also met on the Internet. I'm using match.com, which I've used in the past and having trialled a few others it's still the one that works best for me.

IMO, I would use one you have to pay for rather than the free ones. I just think people are a bit more serious about it. Also focus on what you want from someone and spend a bit of time writing your profile. About 80% of people seem to say they like coutry walks and staying in with a bottle of red wine but they're quite wacky and love a good night out. It's a bit unconvincing and they all sound the same.

It makes you realise what matters to you. I've realised I have limited tolerance for people who can't spell or write in full sentences. Also (that old cliche) be yourself; I've had quite a few men e-mail saying how they like the fact that I sound normal, down to earth, interesting etc. I've also looked at the competition (no, I don't really see it that way) and most women my age either describe themselves as recently divorced single mum of three or fiercly independent, don't need a man to complete me. I'm sure people don't describe themselves that way in real life, so I don't know what comes over them.

Otherwise, I also have a separate e-mail address and am meeting a nice man from the Home Office for coffee on Thursday. I personally prefer e-mails to get to know someone as my time is limited by work and DD.

Obviously, any man who posts a photo of himself with no top on is to be avoided - you'd be surprised how many there are.

purplepeony Tue 15-Sep-09 12:02:46

The only other thing I would add is not to expect men or yourself- to be "monogamous" at first- unless you both know it's really special.

IMO internet dating is a numbers game where people often meet several people for drinks etc etc until someone "sticks".

You have to be pretty thick skinned, as most people know within 10 minutes if the chemistry is there- and you might not get any follow up after a date. This is very different from where you meet someone at a party, at work, through friends etc where you can get to know them over an evening, with other people around, without taking it to a dating senario.

I'd really suggest you talk as soon as possible- emailing is all very well, but you need to hear the guy's voice which might be a real turn on, or a real turn-off!

People can also be very articulate and open in emails and clam up in real life, so you have a false impression.

Just look at it as another way to meet people, but keep building up your social life in other ways.

NotMeAnyMore Tue 15-Sep-09 21:42:43

I'm just venturing into online dating, being single after 7 years. I'm emailing with a few guys and one just asked to meet next weekend. I've had messages from 11 guys and I contacted 2 others that I thought were interesting, so far 4 of them are conversing back and forth. A few I didn't even reply to if their profiles just weren't interesting to me, if their messages were too suggestive or written in incomprehensible text speak.

Can I ask those experienced daters a few question -

how do you phrase it if you meet someone and there's just no spark/they're boring/big gums and you don't want to meet again?

also if you're messaging with someone, and you don't think you want to meet them or carry on messaging because they sound a bit dull now you've got chatting, is it better to just stop replying or send a message saying sorry but you're dull (in a nicer way than that, obviously!)

I've hardly dated in my life, 2 long term relationships that just happened meeting through friends, let alone meeting strangers I found on the web, it's all very strange.

anyway you're not alone anothermum92!

purplepeony Wed 16-Sep-09 08:31:32

Not having done this, I can only suggest what my friends and brother have done.
If you are unsure, maybe be open and say "hope to hear from you- give me a call."
If you are sure you want to see them, ay the above but be more enthusiastic?

If you don'tlike them, thenmaybe the feeling is mutaul, and you will just thank each toerh for coming, for the drink/meal etc and leave it at that- I think most guys know if you like them and if there is a spark.

If they don't get the signals, I think you have to be honest either at the end of the date, or later...you just need to say, you enjoyed the date, but you don't want to take it further.

I know some people who have been fobbed off with excuses such as "I had met someone else before you and he/she has come back to me so I want to follow that up.." it's not usually true but it is maybe kinder...???

i think it's only courteous to bring it to an end openly rather than leave a guy hanging on- that's what you'd want for you, isn't it?

redwiner Wed 16-Sep-09 08:51:53

I think online dating is a great idea, both my sister and brother have met their long term partners that way, and sis has just had twins so can't be too bad!
I met my second husband (who died in an accident-not divorced)through a newspaper dating site which was also ok, but there were no pics so I had to go on voice and hope he was telling the truth about looks! (which he was, thankfully). I would say meet up for lunch initially, as that way it need only last an hour and a half or so if you want to get away, also, and this is a BIG also, you must arrange for a friend/sister etc to phone you about 30 mins after the arranged meeting time and pretend they are babysitter/parent-carer or whatever so if you need to get away you can because you've just been told about this 'emergency' back home that you simply must go to. If you're having a really good time you just say to the caller that you're busy and will call them back. Then you can go to the loo a bit later and say all is ok. Also you could be totally up-front and say you want his car reg.no and that you are giving it to your bezzie mate so that if you never make it home there is a trail. If he's genuine he won't mind in the least, in fact, may totally approve. While most people are total fab there will always be a few nutters, so just be careful, and but also try to enjoy yourself.

purplepeony Wed 16-Sep-09 09:26:08

Blimey- asking for his car eg? That's really weird, RW. And the phone calls too!

Surely if you meet in a public place, ideally daytime, all is more or less okay?

Most women these days travel alone, all over the world often, and have their own cars, so if you arrive by car and leave in your car, you should be okay.

Most of the online dating sites offer advice on how to keep safe- certainly Match.com does. And it's the usual stuff, like don't give your home address, work place (exact location) etc etc- meet public place, etc etc.

When my brother has met incompatible women for a drink or coffee, the silences sually show they both think it's a waste of time. I think in most cases, both parties know when it's time to leave.

Yes, there are a few nutters out there, butyou can take some simple safety precautions.

redwiner Wed 16-Sep-09 09:34:47

Well purplepeony you may think that the advice is excessive, and it certainly may be, but I got it from my sister, who is a police officer,and it's never failed me yet. Certainly if you are driving yourself to/from the date you don't have to worry about the car reg bit, but sometimes to actually say to someone that you want to leave earlier than expected can be embarrassing, it's just a get-out if you need it. Also - and this is a really good tip if you are going out for an evening- say pub or dinner - always have a pale drink, lemonade, white wine, gin and tonic, because if you were to be slipped something (rohypnol) in a drink it will show. If you have a dark drink (coke, red wine etc) it won't. Again, tips from the police who have seen it all before!

legrandfromage Wed 16-Sep-09 16:14:23

I'd second redwiner 's advice about the get-out phone call. If all is well, there's no problem. If all is not well, you have your exit strategy.

Personally, I've never felt the need to get a car reg number and it has never ocurred to me to worry about rohypnol. There'd be no harm in being aware of the situation you're in, though, would there?

notmeanymore get out strategies for no spark etc - I have said to one "yes, give me a ring later in the week" (then ignored the call); married man asked to see me again at the end of the date, I asked him to make sure his wife was ok with it. Another one - I made arrangements to see him again at the end of the first date. At the end of that one I asked him if he could be honest and tell me if there was a spark there. He admitted there wasn't, but that he'd very much like to keep in touch. One date I escaped from using my getmeoutofhere phone call off a friend. The last one - at the end of the date he said "we must do that again" and looked like he was being genuine. I asked "when?". blush Keen? moi?

as for stopping chatting - my usual one was to say I'm looking for someone closer to where I live! I did have one bloke say to me that he didn't think there was any chemistry building. And several who would chat for a bit, then disappear. You need to have a thick skin and not take it personally - these people are strangers, after all.

purplepeony Wed 16-Sep-09 19:17:56

redwiner I just don't get that about the car reg- unless you are standing next to the guy and his car, he could give you any car reg- just make it up! Is the idea that you email/ask on phone before the date? Is the idea that he might drug you and kidnap you in a pub or coffee shop?

I do understand about being careful, but also be realistic!

Good idea to get a mate to call, but how much better just to be assertive, say after an hour "Sorry,I really must go now. Lovely to have met you."

Only saying htis as that is what my brother did afer conversation dried up with several women over a coffee. Most people don't mind- it is in fact a blind date.

chelseamorning Mon 28-Sep-09 18:26:15

I met a Moroccan guy who asked me how long it normally took me to develop a relationship with a guy! Bizarre question. hmm I think he may have been after a visa!! grin

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