If you become single in your 40s and attempt to re enter the dating scene, the universe should present you, on arrival, with an honorary hashtag, that you will eventually work out has something to do with twitter. It is this
If you had hoped that the folly of your youth was behind you, and the worst disasters that could happen already had, you are W.R.O.N.G.! If you have managed to steer clear of errors since the 80s and the last ones you remember were that ambitious home perm, Faberge jeans and overconsumption of Ouzo,
be aware that you have now entered a whole new territory of peril.
Your valuable life experience in navigating your way into your 40s means nothing when it comes to the new era of traps for (not-so) young players. The era of social media, the online dating phenomenon and texting didn’t exist when you were last single and have joined forces with the age-old demons of alcohol and everyday poor-judgment to provide unrivaled potential for error.
It took less than a 15 minute lunchtime survey of my single friends to compile this list of the classic #rookiemistakes.
Not proof reading your online dating profile
Sounds relatively innocuous, but in the cut-throat demographic of the 40something on a dating website, anything less than robust literacy can have you cut off at the knees given the sheer number of singles who can get this right/pay someone to check it for them.
One of my surveyees reminded me she had culled a potential that matched all her criteria, over a minor matter of punctuation. Note: a simple spellcheck is NOT ENOUGH!
The premature and random shirtless selfie
Again, thankfully, not one of mine, but there’s something new and uncharted in the male psyche that prompts them to send you the more-than-occasional unsolicited selfie.
If you happen to be dabbling in the gen Y demographic, its likely to be more than shirtless
Guys – don’t be that person.
FB stalking catastrophe
If ever there was a place for the rookie mistake it is Facebook. The upside: if your new romantic entanglement is a little liberal with his facebook settings, you will be able to analyse every detail of his social media history, at your leisure and without any bunny-boiler connotations.
Just be VERY, VERY careful that when you systematically stalk all the female companions in his last three months of FB photos that you NEVER accidentally click LIKE on one of their photos.
Worse still, don’t click on Friend Request on one of those girl’s profiles –unlike the blessed ‘UNLIKE’ option that may remove all traces almost as quickly as you erred….. – there’s no taking that one back……..
The FB overshare
While we are on FB, if things are going swimmingly, there is one surefire way to
a) send it cascading straight to hell
b) have your other, long time single friends de-friend you
Post something like this
Go for 100% compatibility
The beauty of online dating is that you can either use your own criteria to narrow down your search to the exact person that shares your love of crossfit/ossobucco/scrapbooking/Bhutan/single malts/gel kayano 19s/Ben&Jerry’s clusterfluff or just have the rocket-scientist devised algorithms deliver your perfect match to you almost daily.
The downside – you actually don’t want the person who is EXACTLY like you.
Be hungover on your first date
Navigate all the new social media traps, and it is still old-fashioned alcohol that will let you down. Any day of the week. An early warning – don’t even over-indulge the NIGHT BEFORE a first date. Another true story offered by one of my mates who has no fear about her experiences being blog fodder….. Her date turned up despite suffering the serious side effects of a big night before. All points for trying, kudos for ordering a three course meal to allow intervals for the possible discreet dash for projectile vomiting, but he took on the WRONG WOMAN. She knows from bitter experience how to recognise a sweaty hangover sheen, knew that even inhaling near him put her at risk of a DUI and dispatched him promptly into a cab and out of her RSVP inbox. When she declined to give him a second shot, he referred to HER decision as an error of judgement. Go figure.
And while we are on the topic of alcohol, avoid the true #rookiemistake and consider a change of outfit stashed in your handbag in case you take the walk of shame………..check out the video…