I'm Miss M. Here are some of my Online Dating tips, backed up by my sometimes hilarious, and often disconcerting stories…
There are so many variables when it comes to Online Dating…
Will they be as cool as their profile? Will they look like their picture? Will they be complete sex-pests and try to get us drunk on the first date? You never know what you’re in for, which makes Online Dating even scarier than real life “pick them up in a bar and then date them” dating. Unless you were really drunk when you picked them up… In which case, you don’t know what you’re in for and it is equally scary.
It’s hard to know who we should invest our time and energy in. But I reckon give them a shot if their profile appeals to you. All you have to lose is one night of your life. As I say that, I can hear you screaming…
But what about my pride and dignity?!
Well, to that I say… Shoosh.
Only you can control how you feel about yourself. A bad date will only affect that if you let it. I’m allowed to push this piece of advice, because Mr Drainer made me feel worthless – even though he wanted to see me again. I don’t know exactly how that happened, but hindsight shows me it was his problem, not mine. So I shook the feeling and vowed to move forward.
So, we’ve mustered up our courage, put on some decent clothes, and gone on a first date.
Now, the real decision making begins.
How can a few hours tell us whether this person might be the one to put a ring on it? And once we kind of know that (when do we ever REALLY know?!) how do we decide whether we should contact them, or wait for them to contact us?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to start revising the rules of THE GAME. If you ask me, The Game SUCKS and anyone who waits three days to call without a legitimate reason is a tool-bag.
There’s no way of finding a right or wrong way to proceed after an initial meeting. We can only ever learn from experience, so unless you have the magical ability to look into the future, you’re making your decisions blind. Fun!
Yeah, that sounds scary, but there’s one thing we can do to ensure we’ll never get it wrong: follow our instincts.
Oooh, that sounds a bit “self-help” aisle doesn’t it? But trust me, it’s solid advice.
I know this because I went against it when I decided to go on a second date with Mr Sex Pest. Despite his hunky body, dreamy eyes, and heart-wrenching sob story, I knew he’d NEVER end up being my man. Hate to be judgemental, but the whole sleazy vibe didn’t really do it for me. But, I let the shallow stuff cloud my judgement.
Sure, all I really lost was the time it takes to watch 3 sets of tennis. But I also validated his gross behaviour, and led him to believe I was actually interested. He started texting constantly, and I realised kicking him out of my life was going to be much harder than if I’d just said no to the second date.
After a week of luke warm text replies from me, he didn’t get the message. In fact, he suggested we meet up again – this time, for dinner at his house. The thought of being alone with him, with his bed only meters away, made me feel sick. Literally.
This was my gut saying: Don’t waste his time, or your own. You have to set him free.
And so I did what any Gen-Y person would do and texted him saying it’s not going to work. (Don’t shake your head at me! I know many of you out there wouldn’t have even done that… I’ve had MANY guys fail to respond at all, even after months of dating. Please don’t do it. Not knowing where you stand is horrible. So grow some balls and just be honest). Rant over.
Okay, maybe it would’ve been nicer to call him, but after two crappy dates, I figured I didn’t really owe him that much. But of course, he wasn’t going to let me get away with it that easily…
He sent a reply saying I was a tease, and that he wish he’d never met me. I got upset at first, but then I realised he’d actually helped validate my instincts. Not only would I never want to have children with this JERK, he wasn’t even worthy of another text. I’d been honest, he’d been a loser. And that was the end of Mr Sex Pest. Good riddance!
Experience proves that if I’d followed my gut initially I would have saved us both a fair bit of awkwardness. Live and learn, hey?
So how do you know what your gut is telling you to do?
Our instincts can take shape in many different ways:
Gut Reaction #1:
Literal gut reaction. If we like them, we feel butterflies. If they disgust us, we want to vom in their face. If there’s no gut reaction, you’re either disinterested, or don’t have enough info to go on. Bite the bullet and let it go (sometimes life is just too short to push things), or if you have the energy – go out one more time.
Gut Reaction #2:
A little voice inside our brain. If you’re like me, your brain spins about 50 million thoughts a second. This often doubles when it comes to matters of the heart. Somewhere in there lies the answer. You might find it by weighing up the pros and cons. Or maybe you need complete silence – a lack of bullshit in the brain to lead you down the right path. I’m a pros and cons girl myself, but sometimes that’s quite tiring, so I’ve recently taken up meditation to try and find some silence.
It’s not going so well at the moment… As soon as I get like a second of peace, a menial thought like, “Mmm I should have some of that ice cream in the freezer,” or, “is my car due for a service?” pops into my head. But I’m going to stick at it, so I’ll let you know how it goes.
Gut Reaction #3:
Arguing. Sometimes we’re not sure, so we turn to a friend for advice. I do this about 77 times a day. As my friends have grown to know me quite well, their advice is usually spot on. But then other times, I find myself arguing with them, or feeling dissatisfied with their opinion – which inturn leads me to my gut answer.
I know it sounds simple, but how often do we really follow our gut? It’s so easy to let outside factors; people’s expectations, the need to impress, the fear of dying alone, get in the way of what we know is right for us.
I’ve thrown a lot at you. But I will say one more thing:
Once you’ve made your gut decision, don’t look back.
Second guessing ourselves is a complete waste of time. And even worse, it forces us to lose confidence in our instincts – which makes us do dumb shit. So look forward – things are much prettier there if you ask me.
Wow, I sound so resolved… But rest assured, despite all this enlightenment, I STILL managed to make a complete fool of myself on my next date…