Eight things guys always say, decoded.
Pokémon Go: the latest and most dangerous form of online dating.
My name is Elizabeth, and I’m mentally ill.
Note to self: Don’t always offer second chances.
Because we should steer people in the ‘white’ direction.
History tells us, that for as long as romantic relationships have existed, people have sought help in finding them. From centuries old arranged marriages and matchmaking clubs through to personal ads and well-intentioned-friend-orchestrated blind dates.
And more recently, yet unsurprisingly, modern technology has been enlisted as the new cupid.
But with the internet‘s irruption into modern relationships, you have to wonder: has the internet changed the way we date, and is online dating better than traditional dating?
The answer to the first part of the question is simple, and relationship experts agree – the way we date has changed. Dramatically. No longer are we confined to love matches being sought from within our existing social or professional networks. No longer are we bound by geography to find our perfect match. The internet crashes through these barriers and opens a deeper pool of potential partners.
Not only has the internet broadened the love pool, but it has also changed the way in which we seek a partner. We no longer rely on those who intimately know us to help select our other half. Instead, we place our romantic fate in the hands of computer systems and algorithms designed to monitor our dating behaviour and preferences.
And to a certain degree, with online dating, we no longer ‘choose our chase’ based purely on the physical, as we would when spotting a love interest across the room. Instead, online dating offers a brief snapshot into the life of another in the form of a profile, which at least initially allows us to connect on a more cerebral rather than physical level.
But with the many (seemingly beneficial) changes brought about by the internet, is online dating actually better than traditional dating?
On this, the jury is out. And the debate centres around communication, chemistry and commitment.
Communicating online is not always as straightforward as it seems, and sometimes, through lengthy emails and texts, a false intimacy between strangers can develop, leading to unrealistic love expectations. The only way for online daters to really know if they will be good together, is to meet on a traditional date, face-to-face.
Which brings us to chemistry. With a slew of profiles on offer, the catalogue style of online dating can create a ‘shop around’ mentality. Many online dating websites allow the user to specify height, body shape, hair and even the eye colour of their potential mate, and it becomes tempting to by-pass any profiles that don’t meet your criteria. But chemistry is more complex than physicality alone, and if you were to meet on a more traditional date, perhaps the charms of a person would give you reason to take a second look.
Which brings us to commitment. The act of browsing large numbers of profiles can lead online daters to view each other less as people and more as one opportunity amongst the many, which in turn can reduce their willingness to commit. Simply put, we no longer take the time to get to know one another, especially when our next date is only a few profiles away.
So while the debate of online dating vs traditional dating plays on in the background of life, I offer my opinion. In your search for the good life, do both – use online dating as part of your overall approach to love. But remember, no romantic pen-pals! The ultimate goal is to take your dating offline.
I did, and so far so good. So very, very good.
Image via Pixabay.com
Who hasn’t joined Tinder at one point or another? Whether it’s been to check-up on the ex (don’t lie), have a laugh with friends, or to get that big ego-boost when you instantly match with someone. Regardless of your motivation, below are a few tried and tested dating tips from yours truly – so, relax and have fun!
Location, location, location
Proximity counts. Who wants to be matched to a good-looking, (eligible) bachelor who lives more than 40km away? Did you just waste all that banter for nothing? Make sure to bring down the location to at least 10-20km – something which actually seems plausible.
We matched… Now what?
Have you ever matched with someone on Tinder only to be let down by the lack of conversation? Start it yourself, girl! Most users will actually swipe right to multiple women at the one time, then come back to the drawing board afterwards. If you like what you see, start a casual conversation. You’ve got nothing to lose and who cares if he doesn’t reply? *Unmatched*
It’s good to have a bit of variety in your pictures on Tinder. Isn’t it annoying finally finding someone who only has one photo of themselves – which doesn’t even show their face? Post pictures of yourself, but don’t over-do it with an in-flux of images with your friends. How will they know who you are? Oh the frustration!
Don’t over-do it in the description section. Keep it short and sweet without offending people in the process. Tinder now has a new function which allows you to link your Instagram account into the game of love – that is, if you want random strangers lurking at your profile.
Whether we want to believe it or not, there are hundreds of fake profiles circulating around Tinder for a multitude of different reasons. Use your discretion and never reveal too much personal information about yourself to someone you’re unsure about.
Check to see if you have common friends and interests – this will usually be a great indication as to who the person is you’re speaking to.
So… You’ve matched with a friend?
We’ve all done it before… Re-connected with an old friend from high school on Tinder. This scenario is easy enough to avoid, especially if you’re both working with a similar sense of humour. Otherwise, you have no option but to pretend it never happened. Ever.
Also known as too much information, this type of thing will happen a lot on Tinder. It goes without saying sometimes. If you don’t want to talk, the Unmatch button is simply just one click away. Tinder is only as serious as you make it out to be.
Images via Words From Abby, Tinder Lines, That’s Mags,
This month’s Australian Open could tell us more about our love lives than we might think, with the eHarmony Dating Index revealing that Aussies’ interest around romance and dating increases around major sporting events and long weekends.
The new research from leading online dating site eHarmony.com.au compared overall interest in dating against established measures and events like economic factors, key political moments, and popular culture phenomena such as Royal Fever to reveal the factors that impact Australians’ dating habits.
The eHarmony Dating Index measured interest in dating from 2012-2014 using Google search data for relevant terms like ‘online dating’ and ‘date venues’, social media mentions of phrases such as ‘date tonight’, and traffic to eHarmony.com.au, to plot daily interest in dating on a scale between 0 and 100. It found that the average daily score for Australia is 41.
Among the findings, the Index shows that yearly interest in love and dating starts to climb from the end of September and continues to surge around the AFL and NRL grand finals, as well as the October Labour Day long weekend, when the Dating Index increases by approximately seven points over the daily average score – suggesting that the warmer weather, combined with the extra time off work and national sporting excitement are the perfect boosters to dating activity.
This trend continues over the summer season, with heightened interest in love and dating over the Christmas and New Year break, Australia Day and towards the end of the Australian Open, with an average Dating Index increase of 27 per cent, from 41 to 52.
One standout date on the Dating Index was 29 September 2012 when the average daily score rose to 60 – the day of the AFL grand final, with the NRL grand final and October Labour Day public holiday taking place the succeeding days; a pattern not repeated in subsequent years.
eHarmony dating and relationship expert, Melanie Schilling, says the Australia Day holiday is the perfect opportunity for singles to make the most of the social opportunities the long weekend has to offer.
“Those looking to enter or re-enter the dating world should get out there, be vital, actively mingle and fully participate in all that the Aussie summer and sporting culture has to offer!”
One exception to the warm weather trend is Melbourne Cup, when the Index drops to an average score of 35, signifying Aussies are more interested in the ‘Race that Stops the Nation’ than they are in looking for love.
The research, also carried out in the UK, found the economy has the biggest impact on Britons’ dating habits, with interest in dating tending to rise or fall with UK economic growth. The UK index also heated up during the week of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement.
In Australia, however, the Dating Index shows little relationship between economic indicators or Royal fever and dating, even throughout the Royal visit to Australia. Instead, local dating patterns are seemingly more affected by seasonal factors, holidays and sporting events.
“This is not entirely surprising given our economy is more buoyant than the UK. Relatively speaking, Aussies still have a reasonable disposable income to invest in our dating pursuits, and as a sporting nation, we’re more inspired by Kyrgios and Hewitt than we are by Kate’s pregnancies,” Schilling said.
Despite the impact of sports on Australians’ dating habits, it seems the weather has the biggest bearing. Major sporting events during the colder months, including the 2014 Soccer World Cup, 2012 London Olympics, and year-on-year State of Origin matches is when Aussies show the least interest in dating, with the average Dating Index score dropping to 37.
“If 2015 follows the Dating Index trends we’ve seen from over the past three years then we’re heading into a really busy dating period. With the Australian Open and Australia Day long weekend in late January, we can expect to see Aussies going on more dates which makes it an exciting time for both singles and couples.”
To make the most of this period, Schilling suggests that singles take advantage of the social atmosphere and keep an eye out for potential matches.
“Treat each event as an opportunity to present the best version of yourself, go with an open mind and be prepared to mingle with people outside of your usual ‘type’. Call it a social experiment and see how many different people you can connect with during this peak social period. Collect some phone numbers so you can reap the benefits of your efforts during the quieter, coming months.”
‘Tis the season to be jolly, so why not wave goodbye to being single and say hello to a new partner this festive season? With online dating sites such as My Single Friend offering a convenient and simple way to meet people around your busy lifestyle there’s no excuse for being lonely under the mistletoe, so here are five useful tips to find a Christmas cracker.
Write a quirky profile
These days, many people log on to find a potential love match with internet dating now thought to be the second most popular way to pick up a date. That means there are many profiles out there to sift through so try to make yours stand out from the crowd. Be fun, interesting, engaging and avoid waffle at all cost to avoid boring people.
Don’t please the masses
There are many things you could say that are sure to please the masses such as: ‘I’m kind, loving and patient,’ or, ‘I’m hardworking, passionate and loyal.’ These statements are all well and good but they won’t set you apart from anyone else, so try focussing on things you really like and enjoy – even if it excludes the masses. Saying you’re a Star Wars fanatic might send people running for the hills but it could also attract your perfect love match.
Include a picture
Believe it or not, there are many rules to follow if you want to post the perfect profile picture. The right snap could get you noticed so opt for smiley profiles, action shots and full-length images and make sure anything you put online is recent, after all, no one cares how you used to look ten years ago. Professional shots are nice but more natural ones can also be appealing so include a variety.
Use correct spelling and grammar
The strange thing about the internet is that people can and will judge you before they’ve even met you. They’ll scrutinise your photo as well as your spelling and grammar so always check everything thoroughly before posting it as numerous errors can be off-putting. If the written language isn’t your strong point, try writing things in a Word document first and using spellcheck before copying and pasting into your profile. That way you should spot mistakes before your page goes live.
Be honest and open
When people go online they can feel a sudden urge to create a persona and lie about their hobbies, job or appearance. If you’re looking for true love making up lies will do you no favours in the long run, so be as open and honest as possible. The truth has a strange habit of coming out, so don’t say you’re 6ft 4ins if you’re 5ft as this will make a first date awkward and don’t pretend to be in a different profession just to try and impress. Be truthful upfront and you’re more likely to find a suitable love match.
Internet dating is supposed to be fun and could lead to new and exciting opportunities so if you’re single it’s certainly worth giving it a go. You never know, you could find the love of your life which is sure to get 2015 off to a great start.
Does love also depend on money? A recent survey asked 500 singles for their thoughts on the role money plays in relationships. While neither men nor women think they would just date someone because of their wealth (just 4 per cent of men and 8 per cent of women said yes), the typical female single opinion appears to be one of ambivalence.
A majority of female respondents (69 per cent) said the income of their partner is ‘important’, in comparison to just 19 per cent of the men asked. Women also seem uncertain about marrying a man earning less than them – just 25 per cent said they’d do so, while 29 per cent would if their man had possessions to balance things up.
The survey by ELITESINGLES found that, for men, income is barely a consideration, with just 4 per cent put off by an inferior income. And while just 44 per cent of women would lend – unconditionally – money to a partner, 81 per cent of men would do so.
But why do men and women have such different perspectives on money within a couple? According to psychologist and researcher Dr Wiebke Neberich: “The results of our survey show the conflict between women’s evolutionary character and their desire for independence. Women today have long fought for social and financial independence from men, and rightly treasure this achievement.
“The female desire for security and a resource-rich partner may, at first glance, appear to be a contradiction. But this can be explained by women’s natural role as the more dependent person during the phase of starting a family – even in today’s more equal society. Considered from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that women look for a well-off partner.”
Good listening and communication skills, loyalty, and a sense of humour – these are the basic building blocks for long lasting relationships – not only of the romantic variety, but friendships too, according to eHarmony. In the second instalment of the online dating site’s Relationship Study, friendships come under the spotlight, focusing on the qualities that make for strong bonds, similarities between friendships and romantic relationships, and perceptions of best friends.
Friends are same as partners – sort of
eHarmony’s study finds that Aussies ultimately seek the same qualities in a friend as they do in a partner, with good listening skills and loyalty topping the list as the most valued qualities in both relationships. This also shows that a foundation based on friendship is essential to long-term romantic relationships. In fact, the study found that nearly 90 per cent of Aussies think a partner should actually be a best friend.
As for the differences, it seems it takes more to qualify as a partner, with Aussies preferring intelligence, attractiveness, strong morals and a hard working attitude much more in a romantic partner than friend. The only qualities we value more in a friend are a supportive nature and good listening skills.
Commenting on the findings, eHarmony’s Marie-Claire Ducharme Sayers says that the qualities we seek in a friend are not far off from what we seek in a romantic partner: “Our study finds that a solid foundation based on compatibility, trustworthiness and good communication is key when it comes to important relationships, whether it be with a best friend or a partner.”
Top qualities that make for good relationships:
|Good shoulder to cry on||51%||49%|
|Good moral compass||50%||62%|
When looking at friendships more broadly, the research shows more than ninety percent of Aussies believe it’s better to have one friend than 10 acquaintances, with the majority (88 per cent) realising that some friendships are not meant to last forever.
eHarmony Relationship and Dating Expert Melanie Schilling says this is a trend that has come out of social media sites creating shallow connections. “With the rise of online networking, hundreds of thousands of interactions occur by the minute. But our research reveals we are overwhelmingly seeking deeper, more meaningful relationships with a core group of friends.”
“Although social communication is easier than ever before, our capacity for maintaining emotionally close relationships is finite. And while this number may vary from person to person, what holds true in all cases is that quality relationships, founded on compatibility, loyalty and empathy, are most important,” Schilling said.
When it comes to best friends, those aged 18 to 24 have phased out the notion of having a single best friend, instead defining this as a tier of people (75 per cent) – a feeling that consistently diminishes as people age.
Interestingly for some, work seems to double up as a social hub, with more than 60 per cent of Aussies having met some of their best friends in the workplace.
They say actions speak louder than words, but when it comes to online dating, the words we use in our profiles can have a serious impact on our appeal to the opposite sex, according to eHarmony.com.au. In a study of 12,000 members, it uncovered the words that are most likely to attract attention from compatible singles, as well as those that might turn them off.
For men, adjectives like perceptive, physically fit and passionate are more likely to see women initiate conversations with them, while the terms quiet, energetic and respectful can have a negative impact on their dating profiles’ appeal.
Women who use words such as sweet, funny and ambitious receive more approaches from the opposite sex, while words like spiritual, quiet and romantic fall flat.
And these extra approaches are far from insignificant. Perceptive and physically fit men attract between 58-143% more interest from women who want to get to know them better; whereas sweet, funny or ambitious women get between 28-38% more approaches.
eHarmony’s Marie-Claire Ducharme Sayers said:
“Both men and women respond more favourably to positive and extroverted terms, while quiet or modest descriptors are shown to have an adverse effect on the attractiveness of a dating profile.
“While there is evidence to show the words you use can have an impact on how you’re perceived by the opposite sex, eHarmony matches its members based on core personality traits and values, which, when it comes to great dates and long-lasting relationships, is really what matters.”
Top 10 best words to use in an online dating profile
- Physically fit
It seems that there are more negative aspects about the world of online dating, rather than positives such as making a long-life connection with someone. News headlines are now more than ever reporting on catfish scams which are slowly filling up dating websites across the world. Online dating can open up a new world and connect you to potential matches that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to link with due to geographic proximity. Rather, be aware of the signs if something just doesn’t seem right, and remember to always protect yourself.
These scams are generally made to lure vulnerable people in through means of sweet talking, to give the scammer whatever they desire. Think large sums of money, and time, both of which you can never get back from these people. Most popular are the Nigerian ‘419 scams’ whereby the main objective is to seduce, use and fraud someone into sending large sums of cash over the internet for an even larger return. Seems rather impossible doesn’t it? These scammers prey on the older and more vulnerable members of society, and scams can go on for months or even years.
If someone has ever asked you for large sums of money, or for any sum of many for that matter, shut down the conversation as fast as you can.
Chatting and online dating often invite a larger level of intimacy since you could be talking for many hours a day. Make sure to keep your correspondence strictly online, until you are sure that this person is the real deal. It’s best not to hand out a strong of social media accounts such as Twitter, and befriend each other on Facebook at this stage. Ask yourself if this is moving too fast, and generally make sure to tell a close friend about what is going on. If you’re too embarrassed to confide in a friend, maybe the intimacy is stepping over the mark a little. If you’re still interested, just wind it back and firstly try to befriend this person and build a friendship. A relationship can always follow.
No ‘real’ connection?
Many people are highly against purely online dating since you lack the genuine connection you might have with ‘the one’ when you meet them. First dates generally are the best ways to realise if you have a connection or basis of a friendship with this person, and if it’s the right thing to pursue it any further. Online dating is more calculated, where each party will only display a version of themselves they would like the other to see. Lying and manipulating are more common in this area, since they are more difficult to pick-up online.
- Be cautious and remember that although you might be pouring your heart out, you will never really be sure the the person on the other side is being truthful about who they are.
- If you feel a genuine connection based on similar personality traits, goals and aspirations, suggest a highly populated place to meet up, (such as a coffee shop). Be sure to tell a close friend if you have intentions to meet up, just in case it goes sour.
- Back away if anyone asks you for money, or gives some soap-opera story line about not being able to meet. If they sound too good to be true, they probably are.
Image via Libby Fordham
By Felicia Sapountzis
Take your pride and bury it. Trust me, you don’t need it as much as you think you do. Online dating is an alternative universe with no correlation to the real world. What you want is a full inbox of prospective mates. Actually filtering through the men is up to you, but I can help you with the all that come beforehand.
Sign up. You have now entered the matrix of internet romance, where fantasy reigns.
Be original with your self description – within reason. Understand there are key words men like to hear: Spontaneous, independent and active. You might be rolling your eyes but think about it from a man’s perspective. They are terrified of meeting a dependapotamos who expects to be taken care of. You’re just worried about meeting a serial killer. The words ‘active and spontaneous’ give the impression you have the resources and the independence to leave your house every now and again. If you really are a hermit, be funny about it. I once read a woman’s profile where she said, “I hate hiking. I don’t even like going outside.” She won points for humour.
Describe your interests. Men are scanning your photos first but they do actually read the profile. This is where you talk about the things you are interested in. If it is rock climbing – explain why. What is it about hanging off a boulder you like so much? I’m actually interested in this answer because it looks like such a weird way to get from A to B, but that’s just me. Explain the attraction to it. This also gives the impression you have other passions, aside from nabbing a boyfriend. If you write a profile which reads like a resume, it is hard for people to tailor a message about you. Men love romantic comedies almost as much as women and they are hoping to be delighted, so swallow your pride and do your best Zooey Deschanel.
Keep it short. Especially if you think you are really good at this kind of thing. Well-written, short descriptions get the most replies and we are now using algorithms and advanced math to get you a boyfriend. Don’t be afraid to tell a little story, but make it a vignette. No one actually reads short stories.
Before you upload your profile, take out the description of yourself as someone who loves to laugh. Be funny, instead. Dry, sardonic, self-deprecating. Scan your profile like you are writing for Seinfeld and make a funny. Even if it falls flat, the attempt will be appreciated. Even if it’s not funny, a joke is the online equivalent of signaling it is safe to approach you. If we were chimpanzees, you would bend forward and expose your genitals. There are online dating sites devoted to this kind of thing, but don’t do it on Match.com or RSVP.
Work out what you are looking for. Some people get stuck here for years. Don’t mention your list of must-haves in a partner or even the deal-breakers. In fact, take out anything negative. Touch on a few qualities you are looking for, but the list of a 101 must-haves is best kept in your hope chest (yes, the one you haven’t used yet).
Fill out the questionnaire. Be honest with yourself. The questionnaire is where you mention if you want to get married and have children or not. Read their answers and see how you feel about them. Their answers will let you know where they sit on the kinky sex spectrum and who knows, you might have just found your Dominant Daddy.
Text or call before you meet. This is important in case they are a troll who lives under a bridge. Some people Skype before they meet. Skyping really depends on how you come off on camera, it can be kind of unforgiving. Also, prepping the backdrop so you look breezy and sophisticated can’t hurt. Remember: everyone is lying through their teeth and they always have in the game of love and romance. If you do Skype, try not to stare at your own image during the entire conversation. They can see that.
Write to people. Try to be less generic than, “Hi”. Some of these people will not write back to you. A handsome man told me women write to him all the time and say, “You’re the first person I have ever messaged!” When he doesn’t write back, he notices their profiles have been deleted a week later. Don’t delete your profile out of shock. If it is any consolation – you were getting rejected all the time in real life, it just wasn’t so blatant. The hotties are getting 20 messages or more a day. They might be seeing someone but kept their profile up as a vanity project. If you’re the one being bombarded with too many messages then forget everything I just said.
Be very specific about what you are looking for. Let the men eliminate themselves. You are looking for someone who shares your core values. What are core values? That’s another question which takes years to answer, but for a quick preview: Look at what you spend your money on and time thinking about.
Go on the date, anyway. Listen. Ask questions. Do the bravest thing of all and just sit there with nothing to say. That is usually when the most surprising thing happens. Don’t check your phone. Look at their lips and wonder what it is like to kiss them. Don’t visibly recoil if you are not attracted to them. Try not to mentally check out either because they know and it is unkind. Forgive them if they lied about their height, their weight or their income. Online dating is an alternative universe. The only thing truthful is what happens when you both sit down to talk and all the misrepresentations start tumbling out. The gap between who we want you to think we are and who we really are is where the whole of humanity lives.
By Vivienne Walshe