16 May 2009

Dos & Donts of Dating

These days, thanks to the age of technology everything is one phone call or one click away ...from tickets, books, movies, groceries, even baby sitters. While I was still getting used to the advances in this world of web, I came across a site where you could find 'LOVE'.

I wasn't surprised, because I have heard of people getting married on Internet, and I could digest the fact that people could find life partners online., But Love? I wasn't sure. Whats the difference u ask me? Well, Finding partners for life doesn't HAVE to include love, but that's a different topic, isn't it?

Anyways, I have had many friends find their "dates" online and gone on Blind dates with a richboy999 or sweetgal25 and even though the thought of going on a DATE is exciting, online dating opens a whole new door for unexpected surprises and questions.

Luck matters a lot when you are looking for friends/dates. So how does it all get started?? There is a reason why sites like orkut/facebook/twitter, etc are called social networking sites. Being a girl, I receive at least 2-3 invites on orkut and facebook every week from strangers wanting to be friends and I am sure many females face the same issue. But for guys it probably becomes a different issue altogether. Many people wrongly assume that using an online dating service is the equivalent of throwing in the towel and screaming, "All right already, I'll do it -- I'm desperate!" Actually, online dating is not for the desperate (alone). It actually could become a very successful way to find 'compatible' people.

So when our mail box shows the magical mail of "Speeddate recommends you rahul007 " the first obvious thing we do is scan their profile. Maybe that is one reason why many online dating services are even hiring psychologists to help with their personality profiles. They want to make sure that they have scientific studies to back their "matching" programs.

Recently, I had one friend of mine come to me with wanting tips for her first experience at online dating. Here's what I told her...

1. Catch Phrase: "Its not personal, its business". These are the kind of lines that suit as a dialogue of a 'godfather' movie, but just imagine the impression it would create on a persona
l profile. You would'nt want your online dating dream to be a business now, would you?? My personal approach to finding the best Catch phrase is --> close your eyes, and take your name. Whats the first thought that comes to your mind? Adjective, quote, or even a cheesy 'about me' line whatever it is, is what defines you.

2. Sorry you are not my type: Don't take these responses from others personally. You may find that you send a lot of "hello" messages, with no replies. The truth is that some people date online more for entertainment and to find out where they stand, than to meet their soul mate. Also, feel free to say "no" to anyone online. And if you don't want your profile tortured by students or desparados, make sure you make a clear mention of the same.

3. Be what you are: Last week, one friend shared with me his frustration that the women he met in person did not match their profiles. Some people aren't honest and don't post recent photos. But be advised, you need to be truthful when describing yourself. Outright lying just won't work -- it'll blow up in your face when your date learns you are not an MBAite, or a professional dancer.

4. Take your time: Studies show that relationships develop faster onlineI would recommend to wait at least two weeks before you meet face-to-face. And, before you meet in person, move the conversation from online to phone. During a phone chat you'll get a better sense of whether your personalities click. (time frame mentioned might differ from person to person..go by your instinct)

5. Oh my gawd, he looks just like Brad Pitt: Avoid choosing your dates based on photos. It’s all too easy to scroll through Internet profiles, selecting the Brad Pitt look-alikes and bypassing the rest. Remember, real men lose their hair and grow love handles , yet if you met them in person, you just might find them charming. Besides, if you’re anything like us, you probably don’t look that much like Angelina. DO brush up on your math if he sounds too good to be true: Subtract 3 inches from his height, Double his weight, half his income, and add a decade to his age.

6. Roop mahal, prem gali, kholi number 420: Avoid disclose where you live or for that matter, personal information that could lead to your address, such as your home phone number, last name, or an email address that includes your last name. While most men on the Internet are just as normal as you are, you don’t want a K..K..Kiran type psycho ringing your doorbell, even if he’s carrying a box of Toblerone chocolates.

7. Beep a.k.a SMS: Avoid asking for a first date via smses. I hate that. It makes the other person seem like you don’t have the balls to call. It’s a regressive approach. Most people want to feel special when they’re asked out on a first date. Why cheapen it by using an electronic medium for that?

8. "Seat belts please" a.k.a Safety rules:
1) When you give someone your phone number online, use your cell, rather than your home or work phone. If things don't work out, cell phone numbers are much easier to block.
2) If you do meet in person, always pick a neutral busy spot like a coffee shop or a mall. Don't have your date pick you up or drive you home.
3) Tell a friend where you are going to meet this person, what time and your date's name.
4) Don't drink too much on the first meeting. People seem much more attractive and interesting after a few glasses of wine and it's easier to say or do something you didn't plan on doing.

9. Follow-up: Always send an sms after the first date. "Had a great time, looking forward to meeting you again" or "Thanks for meeting up. Talk to you soon" would never hurt anyone.

10. Post first-date hangovers: Scenario 1: If you like the guy and don't hear from him within a few days, it's fine to shoot off a quick email: "Thanks for the drink and the fun company. I really enjoyed meeting you." He'll either contact you for a date or not. If it's "or not," cut your losses and move on. Refer to the first tip AGAIN. Scenario 2: You don't like the guy and he keeps bugging you for a return engagement. Just send a quick note: "While I truly enjoyed meeting you, I just didn't feel we were compatible enough to pursue a relationship. But I wish you all the best."

I am still to hear how her dating scene is coming along...but I am sure all of us have had one or few disaster dates...I would love to hear some more experiences.

Till next time..


Anonymous said...
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Anand said...

U gave ur friend all these advices?? Really?

Tanvi said...

haha...koi shak anand??

alok said...

gud1....Subtract 3 inches from his height, Double his weight, half his income, and add a decade to his age...lol.

use of "decade" word was ht.

Sakshi said...

You lucky gal you get 2 to 3 invites every week on orkut?? sniff..sniff...I have not even added my status as married and all I get invites are from relatives..Where do you think I went wrong gal????

Tanvi said...

Haha, Sakshi...the question is...Do u want invites from guys? now that u r married?...lol..

Think over it..