Archive for the ‘Dating Wisdoomed’ Category

The tyranny of a picture

Probably the biggest determinant of whether you are going to get a reply from that MBA hunk or the sporty lawyer on an online matchmaking website is your profile pictures.

There, I said it. I hear you protest – that can’t be true; what about my native wit and charm, my professional heft and my intellectual gravitas? Do they count for nothing? Surely looks can’t be the most important factor in choosing a life-partner?

And you would be right, but not in the world of online dating. It sounds desperately shallow and yes there are exceptions but for a majority of the male species, your profile pictures are what would turn them your way (or away).

So here is my hypothesis. That insolent guy who ignored your Like message on iBluebottle, he would have definitely talked to you had you met at the workplace or at a friend’s gathering. Politeness would have been a factor (it doesn’t appear as rude on a website to ignore a compliment) but more importantly he wouldn’t have been burdened with all the romantic baggage the online dating game brings. A Like message on iBluebottle indicates an explicit romantic gesture however minuscule, and people are going to be far more cagey.

You can’t blame them really. When you talk to someone face to face, there is a shared atmosphere and you quickly get a full sense of the person. Browsing an online profile is a completely different proposition. Even though iBluebottle’s famously comprehensive profiles are far better than other websites, there isn’t any body-language to help in your assessment. So your pictures become the main focus.

I believe understanding these differences in online and offline prospecting can be useful in your search.

A picture

Given the fact that your pictures are so important, and that you can’t pass of Katrina’s pictures as your own, what can you do?

Firstly, don’t be that gal who is too cool for her pictures. You might have tons of attitude but a profile picture is not where you show it. So smile, unless being morose is your default state. Face the camera directly and spare everyone the filters. You have Instagram for that.

Secondly, upload pictures that have you as the centrepiece. Not pictures where it requires a magnifying glass to make out your features. That pagoda you visited in Thailand, no need to show that in all its glory. The pagoda is not looking for a partner, you are.

Thirdly, get the technical stuff right. Ensure that your pictures are bright and clear. You might like dark moods but again, no need to display them in your pictures. Never ever ever (as Arnab would say) upload low-resolution pictures. They indicate that you do not think it is worth the effort to present yourself in the best possible way.

Bad pictures do a profound disservice to your profile, which would have taken you considerable time and effort to complete. Replace them and you just might be surprised how inviting your profile becomes. If you don’t have good pictures handy, go out and get them.

As narrated by a female iBluebottle member who noticed a marked uptick in her Likes after she replaced her pictures with better quality ones.


Dumb Ways To Marry !

The Dumb Ways To Marry video is now live !

Do you need a dating coach?

Would you like to be turned into “a stud from a dud”? Would you like to dazzle your date with your native wit and charm instead of that nervous throat-clearing you do when talking to an intelligent and attractive woman? Or maybe you run out of conversation topics and start blabbering about some random friend of yours who your date knows nothing about? Congratulations, you appear to be a perfect prospect for a dating coach!

A dating coach seems a relatively new profession but the problem it tries to solve is an old one – how to have a great date and avoid rejection. There have been numerous self-help books that claim to demystify women so that men (who are not and probably do not want to be seen as mysterious) can”get” them – in both senses of the word. But a dating guru who explicitly coaches on dating tactics is a recent phenomenon brought forward by the immense popularity of online matchmaking.

Dating coach

A quick google search for “dating coach” throws out a mishmash of cheesy-sounding websites which are all trying to sell their Platinum/Gold  dating packages. Most of them claim to convert you from “duds to studs” or effect some other equally improbably rhyming transformation. A few tend to ply their trade in more subtle undertones with blurbs like “The freedom to be your true, outrageous self without fear of rejection.” Others have no qualms touting their services a bit more commercially -Revealed : How to attract women with one AMAZING stealth strategy!!.

And then we came across a desi version – something called the Real Man Academy. They claim to be India’s first dating consultancy and conduct a four day bootcamp that teaches men how to approach women. The website targets Indians but all the pictures on the website are of Westerners and the copy has mildly surreal aphorisms like “Every father should teach this to his son’. Dating advise from dad ? Brilliant. Their workshop slots are shown fully booked but err…these go back all the way to January. Maybe they got saddled with real duds and the bootcamp is taking longer than usual.

How effective is date coaching? There have been little research done on date coaches and there is no accreditation agency. Shiva, the guy who purportedly runs the Real Man Academy cites ‘slaps, kicks, drinks thrown in my face, thrown out by security guards’ amongst his credentials which qualify him to become a dating coach.

As more young people graduate with honours in Facebook, online gaming and virtual socializing, face-to-face conversation skills are bound to get scarcer. We will probably see dating coaches become mainstream in the next few years. But for now even though you might benefit from some generic common-sense advice, it is unlikely that you would have a harem anytime soon after a coaching bootcamp.

Break-up in style (use dropdown menus)

One of the most frustrating situations in the process of finding a partner occurs when your prospective match suddenly becomes unresponsive.

Picture the scenario. You have had a couple of dates and you are starting to like the guy. You think he is interested as well and you are looking forward to meeting him again. You wait for him to confirm your next date. Nothing. You don’t want to come across as too eager so you force yourself not to text him. After two days you call him and leave a voicemail. No callback. Then you send a text. Still no reply. By now you are stewing in a mixture of unequal parts self-pity, resentment, confusion and rage. Then an email – sorry have been busy at work, will call later. And then nothing. Total silence. You are left wondering where it all went wrong.

Wonder no more and ask him directly but in a more impersonal way. Check out and its specialized dropdown menus of breaking-up reasons. Using this website you send him a “feedback” request and then all he needs to do is select the most appropriate reason from the 149 choices and voila – you have your answer. How nice and convenient! You couldn’t make this stuff up.

This is how it works. First you choose how you want to sound regarding the whole thing. You could select cool, confused, philosophical or sincere from a dropdown menu. If you chose “cool” then you get to send a supposedly coolness-exuding email template :

So it’s a bummer things didn’t work out between us.  But that’s the way it goes. I’d appreciate it if you could do me a favour and let me know, from your perspective, where things went wrong.”

When he receives this “feedback” request, the-guy-who-vanished is invited to select a reason for the break-up from a really exhaustive dropdown menu. The reasons are thoughtfully grouped under categories like Physical/Sexual, You are too much, Lifestyle, Something is missing, It is how you treat me etc. Each category then has a number of reasons which range from the delightfully descriptive “Bad in bed” to the more prosaic “You are too nagging”.

A note of caution though for people planning to send a “feedback” request. There is a fair chance that someone perusing these 149 reasons for breaking-up might be tempted to select more than one. It is not known if the website does allow multiple selections but you would do well to grow a thick skin!


Dating with a spreadsheet

Chalk it up as a rare triumph for Microsoft Excel in the world of dating. Apparently a financial-services guy was so overwhelmed by the number of suitors that he resorted to making an expansive spreadsheet to keep track of all his dates.

The spreadsheet had status updates, detailed date commentary on every meeting, how each girl was to be monitored (closely or casually) and a possible pipeline. Colour coded for easy referencing. Never before was so much romance captured in the  cells of Excel.

So why would you do such a thing? You can claim that you are a super organized person. That you want some kind of logical markers to help you track your relationships with all the girls you are meeting. Fair enough. Logic is good.

Imagine you are such a guy going on a date. Even before you reach the venue your minute-taking mind is taking over. The starters arrive but you are already thinking about the most succinct description for the cell D32 of your glorious spreadsheet. Refining and reformatting. Maybe you don’t like wrap-text and so would need to be more concise. By the time the mains are dealt with, you have already visualised the entries for the whole row for this hapless girl. And dessert brings the tricky bit of thought about the final, concluding remarks that you will write in bold. The subjugation of feelings by data is complete.

But is it any worse than keeping all this information in little neat squares in your mind? Does the fact that you have written it down for easy collation make you a jerk? What if you need a little help with your memory?

There is no easy answer and people will invariably take sides on this one. If you are at a stage where you need to keep written records of your dates, you are probably dating too many girls at the same time. It is unlikely that you have the emotional bandwidth to deal with all of them fairly.

No offense to Excel, but there is something irremediably rotten when you start treating a potential life-partner nothing more than an entry in an Excel cell.


5 things not to do on your second date (for guys)

For the purpose of this post I am going to assume you are a guy. Nothing against the girls of course; indeed they merit their own post which will follow soon.

So you have scored a second date. Congratulations! According to our ongoing research project, The Great Indian Matchmaking Challenge, only 23% manage to go on a second date.

Assuming you are amongst those lucky ones who were given the benefit of the doubt the first time around, get ready for the crunch time.

Your second date is most likely to be a decisive one. During the course of your lunch/dinner your date would either start wondering why on earth did she agree for the second meeting or you two would get along so famously that you risk resentment-glances from other patrons in the establishment.

StopHow can you have a great second date ?  By (not) doing these five things :

  1. Do not wear the same shirt you wore on your first date. Yes, you read that right. Even if all your shirts are the same shade of blue. And even if your first date was two weeks back in a restaurant where the light was so dim that you had trouble eating your dim-sum. Girls notice these things.
  2. Do not take her to a vada-paav or falafal joint. Just because she agreed to come on a second date doesn’t mean that you start treating her as one of you best buddies.  “He was taking me for granted” is one of the most potent arrows in the rejection arsenal.
  3. Do not swear. Some poor guys have this misguided notion that if they acted cool and swore a lot nonchalantly, they raise their cool quotient. Girls start thinking of long division if you do that and you will be left looking like a sad remainder.
  4. Do not let her pay. Some girls will absolutely, occasionally in a militant fashion, insist on sharing the bill or worse, even paying for your portion. Be forewarned that this is a test and you need to negotiate it with finesse. First of all, do not panic. Pretend that you have agreed to share the bill and take her card in your hand so that you can hand it over to the waiter. When the waiter approaches , magically produce your own card and pay the full amount.
  5. Do not let her feel stranded after the date. Offer to drop her wherever she wants to go. If she is taking public transport, accompany her to the station and wait till she boards her train/bus. All girls love to be treated like proper ladies – be a gentleman.

Here’s wishing you good luck for your second date. Let us know how your “encounter” goes and we will publish the most interesting (and educational) ones.