Talk to anyone about online dating and you’ll get a barrage of disaster stories. Whether they looked nothing like their photos, which seems to be a common complaint especially amongst men (ladies are we over photoshopping?). Dates disappearing off to the toilet and never coming back, to the poor souls who can’t find anyone to agree to even having that first date.

So where are many going wrong? I have joined a number of different dating sites in a bid to see just what seems to be the problem with online dating and why the success rate seems to be so relatively low.

1. The photo

If women are guilty of choosing their best shot, men seem to be guilty of the opposite. You know the awful way you look when you accidentally open your phones camera and catch an image of yourself looking gormlessly into it, that’s ALOT of mens profile picture.
I can assure you that is not going to get you a date. The picture is going to be anyones biggest selling point online so really make it a good one. Also for the attention of men, a shirtless profile picture or one where your shirt is open to the chest, not sexy, just sleazy. Ladies with a lot of cleavage on display, you might get a lot of attention with this picture but but might also be the reason you’re complaining “there are no good guys”. I think a warm smile works best and at least 4 other pictures that show you each in a different light, from social to active so potential dates get the gist of who you are. Also as a side note, the picture of you with your ex cropped out but a bit of their head or arm still in shot, not cool.

2. The approach
As soon as you join a dating site, if you’ve got the profile picture right you will be bombarded! most sites rank newbies first so a lot of people will contact you. It can be flattering but also overwhelming. You must filter through with a keen eye and not be distracted by a the hottest one. First note if the message you are receiving looks like it could be copied and pasted, is this person playing a numbers game and if so avoid!! If you are approaching someone else write something genuine about them that caught your attention, whether their smile or a shared love of skiing.
These lines should not get you dates
“How are you finding the site?”
“You’re hot”

3. Step 2

If you’ve found someone you find acceptably attractive, right height and can spell well enough to past muster, I recommend a phone call. There is no point wasting endless hours and fantasizing about what could be over someone you’ve never spoken to. A quick call to hear the persons voice, access their intelligence and wits could save many a horrible bad first date encounter.
Best ways to open the phone call….
“Is now a good time to talk?”
“How has your day been?”
Bad ways to open the call
“How do I say your name?”
“Your pictures looked hot.”

4. Where to meet?
If the phone call went well, the meeting should be arrange by the man during that call. Make it soon and personally I think the evening works best, lunch dates are too impersonal and we’re not in the frame of mind during work to be at our flirting best. I’m a big believer in having a drink during a date but limited quantities, everyone is awesome once you’re drunk and you won’t be able to make rational decisions on compatibility once you’re plastered. The more simple the location the better at this stage, don’t over complicate things with extravagant plans, I once had a date with a guy who was so nervous from planning the date all day, he was a bumbling mess by the time it came around and drunk himself under the table to compensate.

5. Ensuring a second date

The sad story of the one date wonders, this is the most common complaint of online daters. Here are some simple tips to seal in date two.
The longer a date goes, the more there is not to like about you. I know that sounds cruel but during this first date it’s quite likely you are being viewed with skepticism and distrust. Lets say all the points leading up to the date make you ideal, you’ve been honest about your looks, age, job, why on earth would someone meet you and not like you? That’s what the other person is generally trying to find out too. Keep the date short and sweet, where you can first be seen so they know you are as smoking hot as your pictures suggest. You’re witty and interesting of course, it’s going well, they seem to really like you, great! Now leave. In the time that follows your date will be intrigued to find out more about you as apposed to feeling like they know enough to unjustly right you off. It can take a very small comment to offend someone on a first date, so try and be positive and keep all your skeletons firmly in the closet for now.

Pretty Little Thing Sale