I have a confession. Since my break up with Mr Not-so-Right back in the summer, I've been trying out something new. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been parading round town in PVC knickers and nipple tassels, trying to tempt Gerard Butler lookalikes into a homemade dungeon, however, for the sake of femininity, and my own niggling curiosity, I have been doing something that I'd never really considered previously. I decided to sign up to Internet Dating site Plenty of Fish
To say it has been an adventure is an understatement. In just 16 weeks, I have read through 2049 emails from dating fisherman, potentially risked my life by meeting up with two of them (one of whom had a very deceiving profile and turned out to be a 4ft chav who could barely string a sentence together), gained an online stalker, been recognised in the street, been called a 'fat, ugly, arrogant c*nt', and been offered money for sexual favours. It's safe to say, that the online dating world is a crazier one than I could ever have imagined, and I cannot wait to fill you in on every single juicy detail of the adventure so far. (May I just clarify, I did not accept the offer of cash for sexual favours.)
This week's instalment is a Kathy B style, male directed guide to the rules of sending that oh-so-important first message. My favourite first messages, for all the wrong reasons, have been:
'Dominant or submissive?' To this I replied, 'Class clown or Class A pr*ck?' (I know, I am a legend).
'hi bbz just wanted 2 say ur welll pretty and i really fink u have beatufiul eyes. do u wana meet up some tym i would love to buy you diner and wine hehehe xxxxx' I would rather go to dinner with a Dyson hoover.
'Let me take you shopping. I'll buy you whatever you want.' Sure thing, you creep. Buy me a Juicy Couture handbag. So I can hit you over the head with it.
There are no second chances in the Internet Dating world, and with 9 out of every 10 messages I receive being top notch in deal-breaking offences, it is an issue that has been playing on my mind since the very first day of my investigation. 'MilfRider89', you should probably read this twice, you disgraceful excuse of a human being.
How to send message No.1, in a manner that will potentially get you a reply:
Please do not write like a chimpanzee/school dropout/uneducated chav. I am a writer, you inconsiderate ass. Sending me a message littered with hideous spelling mistakes, words that have been stolen directly from the cast of TOWIE, and non-existant grammar/punctuation, will make you an instant no-go. I don't expect you to be a writer, or even enjoy it, but utilising 6 brain cells and showing some respect for the English language is hardly an Olympic event!
Do not send me a picture of your genitalia. Granted, this has only happened once or twice, but my gosh, it should never have happened at all. Guys, you wouldn't see a woman you liked the look of in a bar and thrust your 'love stick' in her face to get her attention, so why the devil do you suddenly think it's appropriate in the online dating-o-sphere?! I do not care if you are hung like a racehorse, and I certainly have no interest in how you have styled your pubic hair. You will remain single for as long as you think that this is appropriate/charming/not disgusting. Cough, 'MilfRider89', cough.
Mention something you liked about my profile, and compliment/ask me about it. Yes, you may be able to write to an adequate ability, and you may have refrained from flashing your man parts at me, but if you haven't evidenced the fact that you've actually read through my profile and appreciated my efforts, then there is no way on earth I am going to respond to you. Copying and pasting the same message to 214 girls indicates that you are desperate, and this isn't exactly something that fills me with desire to go on a date with you.
Remember that I am 20 years old. If you are 30+, I will disregard your message and write you off as a raving pervert. You are almost old enough to be my father, for goodness sake! Added to this, I do not want to come round yours for 'fun' while your wife is away, I am not remotely interested in spending your cash (I will earn mine myself, thank you very much), and finally, you are a pervert.
In my IDI (Internet Dating Investigation) piece next week, I'll be giving you all a sneaky peak at my profile. I'm sure you can hardly wait...
Have any of you joined an Internet Dating site? What's the worst first message you have ever received?!
HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!
Lots of love!