When I started writing this sort of online dating handbook, I thought I would try to dispense advice on how to make it as painless an experience as possible. This brought to writing about dont’s much more often than do’s. The fact is, I hardly have any dont’s this time. Because truth be told, I am very surprised myself of how well it all went. And no, this lesson is not going to be long and hard. I guess against all odds, I’m going to have to abandon the negative perspective and just write about the good things that can happen. But for one bullet, owed from the last post.  So here we go, TS3:

1) Do not, under any circumstance, get carried away by your cybernetic self. I may want to explain this. When I chat or write e-mail to guys online I completely conceal my identity. Of course, any rookie hacker could find out everything about me, but as far as my tech knowledge goes, I leave no clues. No surname, no addresses, no names of companies or places where I spend my time, no facebook, nothing. The realm of vagueness. And still, here I go and give access to my FB public profile to a guy I am going to date (see previous post “Lie to me”). Because this is the point: the bad thing is not that he’s a stranger and shouldn’t know stuff about me, the fact is Facebook is always going to tell people secrets about you that they are not supposed to know. So just don’t. Especially if you have secrets, and we all do, so again, just don’t. I was lucky, he didn’t see it and the trouble-shooter e-mail I sent was more than enough for him, but you may very well end up blowing it and missing out on some great guy. You never know, so don’t risk it.

2) Don’t be too definitive after just one date, not always. This is the opposite anyone would ever tell you to do under normal circumstances, but I have an angle, or rather Maddie does. There are thousands of good reasons not to see a guy ever again, you just know if you don’t want to, but at times it gets strange. The date was great. I wasn’t excessively nervous, we hit it off basically from the start, he is exactly as crazy and smart as he seemed from his e-mails and makes me laugh all the time. But there wasn’t that spark, not like with TS2. At the end of the evening what I thought was that I definitely wanted this person in my life, but just as a friend, and I wanted to tell him straight away. Then I talked to Maddie about it and she told me to wait. And I think she has a point. One date may not be enough. I am not sure about this but I don’t think it’s so common and usual for things to go this well, so I guess there is a very valid point in just leaving things simmer for a while before reaching one of those easy to make but very difficult to unmake decisions. If it feels like it could be one of those things that may come with time, allow yourself some time. Just be sure it’s not just because he is the only meat available in that precise moment. You may end up spending your weekend thinking about him anyway, so it’s worth giving it another shot.

3) Don’t overdo it too soon. Somebody once said: overdressed is never an issue. Not true. Of course consider the place you’re going to – i.e. don’t show up in sneakers at a 200£ restaurant but don’t wear your Jimmy Choo’s to go to the cinema to watch The Hobbit either. My point is absurd, but still: don’t be too stunning. In the end, you don’t know if you’ll like the guy, if it’s a first date, don’t show up dressed as if you already knew he’s the man of your life or if you were trying your absolute best to get laid. If there is going to be a second date, it might be better to leave some room to impress the guy further when you definitely know you want to impress him. Thumb rule: increase the hight of your heels by 1 or 2  centimeters per date in order to reach the highest on the third date. By then, you probably won’t need shoes anymore in order to impress them anyway.

4) It’s ok to pause for a while. If that creates casualties, too bad. I don’t have much time for dating, truth be told. Right now, I’m really devoting most of my free time to training. I can hardly handle two second dates this week. So I won’t go looking for a third. People available on a dating site are not infinite. There’s always the same people around, it may look like it’s raining men at the beginning, but after a while it gets stale. It might be worth pausing for a couple of weeks and allowing some fresh water to flow in. In the mean time, don’t be bothered by the e-mails you will receive in the meantime, just rest. So you won’t be needing tons of make up to conceal bags under your eyes. Ok, this bullet is more to myself than anyone out there…

5) Power is in numbers. I feel extremely lucky because two out of three dates with people met online were actually great. Maybe it’s not just luck, its skimming. If you decide to meet just anyone who chats you up online, you may very well end up with unbearable guys; you need to be extremely selective. With pictures it’s much harder to understand if he looks ok or not, but it’s pretty easy to tell if he looks really bad. Leave those out, even if it’s possible that he is just not photogenic. Read very well his profile, it will give you an idea of who he is; do not accept compromises: if you know he has children and that’s not ok with you, if his level of education is too low, if he lives too far away, if he is too short, if he has dogs and you’re allergic… whatever…  do not waste your time; of course, in real life these can be considered superficial things, but online dating is a bitch and what looks like the perfect guy on-screen, is going to be just normal, not astounding. Of course this means giving up on the vast majority of the subscribers, but one in a hundred is going to be ok for you. I still consider myself lucky, but I have ignored literally hundreds of messages before hitting these two, so maybe it’s more about effective search criteria than good ol’ fashioned fortune.