DATING guru Anna Williamson is predicting a summer of love, with lockdown inspiring many to find their perfect match.
The resident expert on Channel 4’s Celebs Go Dating says: “The pandemic has given us all a chance to slow down and take stock of who we are and what we want.
“It has made us more empathetic to others.
“People are really going for it with bucket lists. A ‘seize the day’ attitude has kicked in and that’s great news for dating. We have recognised our own mortality and had to change how we have lived our lives.
“Many of us are clearer on what we want. I believe the dating world will be enriched, with more considered daters. Love is in the air.”
The 39-year-old counsellor from Herts shared these top tips for finding love online or via an app.
STAGE 1: WRITE A PROFILE
FIND the right app for you: There are so many apps and websites to choose from.
Have a little mix-and-match of paid and unpaid apps.
Find a free app such as Tinder – you don’t need to pay to find a date[/caption]
There is a myth that if you pay, you will find more considered daters. That isn’t always the case.
Pick a free one such as match.com or Tinder and you could look for something more specific based on your age and sexuality.
Pick one or two — any more than that might be overwhelming when all the messages roll in. You don’t want it to become an extra job.
Dating should be fun, not a chore.
Be in the right headspace: Don’t write your profile when you are in a bad mood, annoyed about work or the kids have wound you up. And don’t do it while drinking.
Stay positive and those upbeat vibes will shine through.
Make sure you are in a good mood when you write your profile[/caption]
Avoid politics and exes: Keep politics out of it. That can be discussed further down the line. And don’t slag off your exes. I have seen comments such as: “I’m not looking for another bunny boiler.” Focus on what you want, not what you don’t.
Be clear and avoid cliches: A great dating profile should be clear, concise and cliche-free.
Avoid stuff like: “I’m looking for a partner in crime.” It doesn’t mean anything.
One of the worst is: “Doesn’t take life too seriously.” We all want people to take some aspects of life seriously. Otherwise, why bother?
Avoid tick lists: The more “tick boxes” you include, the less likely you are to find love. Yes, in an ideal world you want a man who is 6ft tall, dark and handsome, into tennis, only wears designer shoes and loves pizza. But that is being materialistic. Don’t pigeon-hole yourself.
Persevere: Don’t get jaded if you have a bad experience with one app or website. There is only so much an algorithm can do. Don’t shut it down at the first hurdle. The more widely you cast your net, the more likely something will stick. If you get fatigued, pause, think about where you went wrong, then try again.
Be honest: You want someone to like you for who you are. If you like chess, dressing in Scottish clothes and hiking at the weekend, then say so. You will cut time-wasting . . . for you and others.
STAGE 2: CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOS
Showing off won’t win you meaningful dates, so choose your pictures well[/caption]
DON’T show off: Top turn-offs include a guy with his shirt off standing next to a flash car, posing by a fierce animal at the zoo or hanging off a cliff on a pre-uni gap year.
And take off the sunglasses! The eyes are the windows to the soul. Let people see yours.
Avoid group shots: The worst-case scenario is the person fancies your friend, not you. But you also get lost in the crowd.
Ask a friend to take your pic. This is far better than a selfie.
STAGE 3: PICK YOUR DATE
Virtual dating is a cheap and safe way of getting to know someoneI[/caption]
AVOID negativity: Beware of people that use passive-aggressive language such as “not looking for time wasters” and anyone too sarcastic. They may have a chip on their shoulder or not be in the right mindset for dating.
Beware bad spelling: This is important in your profile and others’. Correct spelling and grammar show they have put in effort. Weed out half-hearted suitors.
Go virtual dating first: This is a cheap and safe way of getting to know someone and assessing if you have chemistry. Speak on the phone or have a video date.
STAGE 4: DATE TIME
Pick a public place to meet up[/caption]
MEETING up: If there is mutual attraction and you’re on the same page about where you want a relationship to end up, plan to meet up.
This should happen within a few months. If not then, why not? This could be a red flag.
Go public: Meet in a public place, away from work and where you live. For now, keep your address private.
Pick your venue: A classic choice is a bar or restaurant but the pandemic taught us the simple things count most. Take a walk in a park or have a picnic. Bike rides and boating lakes are also great ice-breakers.
Be sensitive: This is more important now than ever. Many people have anxiety. Others might be rusty about communicating or dating specifically.
Don’t bundle in with a hug until you know your date is comfortable. Set boundaries.
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Compliment your date: Say you like their outfit or hair. Make them feel good about themselves.
Don’t flash the cash: Start with something reasonably cheap. Initially it is all about building connections and finding shared values. Don’t go all-out too soon. Work your way up to the fancy meals out for two.
Be mindful about alcohol: A couple of drinks is fine but don’t get smashed on a first date. Keep safe and don’t make a fool of yourself.