Online Dating Rules

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So it’s week two over here on Loveawake and just like any new place it takes a little while to work out all the rules.

For starters, any private message you send to someone must be sent with the potential for nothing to happen firmly in mind. Personally I’d rather someone reply with a simple ‘No thanks’ than just do nothing – are all the women out there bombarded by admirers and don’t have time to reply? Even a cut and paste response or two lines would do – but then I’m a stickler for good manners – sorry! In truth, if these slight knock-backs are hurting then it might be too soon to be back in the game.

Sure, I’ve been a little disappointed when someone I’ve been quite keen on hasn’t responded, but I’ve not lost sleep over it. It just means the way is clear for the next person to come through.

I’m also a little unsure as to how people respond to the ‘wink’. It makes perfect sense to me as a way of getting someone to check out your profile, but it’s not really led to anything apart from an exchange that ends up looking like a Monty Python sketch.

But then it all started happening, and within a matter of days I was messaging back and forth with a few women. And it was really good fun too, although it did present a whole other set of worries – namely the fear of appearing too keen. That might sound like daft game-playing, but in an age where you will get an email as soon as you receive a message or you can login to your profile on your smartphone, it’s all too easy to find yourself checking a bit too often.

That also makes you doubt yourself if you don’t get a response in a day or two. A relaxed attitude is a healthy attitude as far as dating is concerned. If you’ve not seen the film ‘Swingers’ (which is about Swing music rather than the group leisure pursuit!) with Jon Favereau and Vince Vaughn, then do so immediately – it is the perfect movie for anyone finding themselves back in the dating game.

That would already be a good week on the dating front, but the week has ended with an extra little bonus. I found myself in very regular contact with one particular woman with whom there was a definite connection and attraction. And after wondering whether it was the right time to go to the next stage (before realising that there is no right time) I decided to take the plunge and ask her out. And I’m delighted to say she said yes!

This is my first date this century (which is quite a scary thought) as well as the first person I’ve met on here, so I’m not pinning all my hopes on it. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited, nervous and a little bit giddy with the thought of meeting someone new and all the possibilities that lie ahead. Wish me luck…

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One Step At A Time

I guess I really shouldn’t have anything to complain about, given that the first person I met on Loveawake has turned out to be an absolute gem. I fully expected to have some hilarious bad date stories to tell, a few near misses and unrequited feelings to get through before finding someone really special. But for some reason I seemed to have skipped to the end rather successfully.

Not that I’m taking anything for granted of course. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from the break up of a long-term relationship and starting a brand new one, it’s that you can’t do anything about what’s going to happen down the line: don’t ask yourself questions like “Will this person be a good life partner?” or “They live quite a long way away, can I live with that?”. Those are questions that will be answered down the line, and only then. All you need to know now is if this person is making you happy – if the answer is yes, then carry on and let tomorrow take care of itself.

And please don’t think I’m sitting here smugly, preaching from on high because I’ve found someone special already. The truth is none of us know what tomorrow will bring, but that’s something to be embraced rather than scared of. So to everyone out there who hasn’t found anyone yet, or has been a little disappointed with the quality of the opposite sex so far, don’t give up! Every broken promise or failed date means you’re just a step closer to finding someone: it’s one long journey (although how long is a piece of string?) and every mismatch is another step on the journey.

I don’t blame you if you’ve reached a point where you just can’t be bothered anymore. My ex is struggling with the same problem, despite having found someone else and is considering just hiding away and being single for fear of getting hurt. But if you choose to avoid getting hurt then you are also denying yourself the chance to be happy.

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