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How to avoid an online dating disaster

6th January 2014 Print
Don't judge a book by its cover

With Christmas firmly out of the way and the January blues setting in, many of us will no doubt be looking ahead to the next big calendar event of the year to cheer us up – Valentine’s Day.

However, for those of us who are single and looking for love, February 14 may not actually be that cheerful and finding yourself the only singleton amongst loved up friends can certainly be disheartening.

Paul Fox, author of – a guide to 21st Century dating, says that there is no need to panic: “21st century dating brings with it many new ways to meet Mr or Mrs Right, though it is important to precede with caution and follow my top tips to avoid an online dating disaster.”

Don’t judge a book by its cover

The age old saying is certainly true when it comes to online dating. With so much choice out there, it’s little wonder why everyone will want only their best mug shot online to tempt others. However, for those less fortunate than some (and with access to the latest photo editing software), it’s not uncommon to find that an image online isn’t really a true reflection of the person sitting behind the monitor. If Mr Right only has his abs to show you online, then it’s quite certain he’s got something to hide – be aware!

Talk it out

There was once a time when the average singleton would go to their local bar or similar in a bid to meet a potential partner. However, a combination of busy lives and a lack of time has meant that online dating has taken the need to leave the house to meet people a thing of the past. That said, in the digital age of instant text-based communication, it’s still essential to converse properly prior to meeting someone. A quick ‘let’s meet I’m horny’ exchange should set the alarm bells ringing – so talk it out and make sure you’re meeting the right person.

Don’t be too picky

Of course we all have an ideal person in mind when it comes to finding someone to spend time with, and online dating makes whittling down the potentials a little easier than before. However, don’t be tempted to go into too much detail as to what and who you’re looking for. A brunette is nice enough, but stating that you need to find a brunette who listens to Elton John whilst driving an Alfa Romeo may lead to your inbox being empty for quite some time. Remember, treat your profile as a trailer for the full movie and you’ll have more to talk about when you do meet that significant other.

Tell your friends

Bad dates always happen, regardless of the platform you use to get one in the first place. Telling your friends who you’re with and where will help you get out of a potential date disaster. If in doubt, your friend can always give you that ‘emergency’ call or text, giving you a good reason to get out of an uncomfortable situation quickly.

Build an offline network

Online dating is just one of the many different ways you can find love, but avoid a dating disaster by building your offline network too. Asking family, friends and colleagues if they know of anyone suitable for you may lead to a chance encounter with someone special. Love really can happen when you least expect it.

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Don't judge a book by its cover An emergency text can help you get out of a bad date Love can happen when you least expect it