In 13 years it seems online dating hasn’t changed. It makes me feel good to be settled in a relationship.

What is success criteria for online dating? I’m way out of the loop on dating and I’m seriously not interested in it, but curiosity (and stupidity) lead me to follow a few blogs about peoples dating experiences.

So what was my success criteria? Engagement, not ring on the finger engagement, but being able to engage someone in conversation and to take it further. Frankly, I don’t know if there is a measure of date site success, but if it’s getting to know people I was actively engaged in three or four conversations most night, I’d get to go out on dates two or so times a week and as for sex well it was one to two women a fortnight.

It was a lot of fun, I lived alone and I barely knew my work colleagues and it was a good way to get company. I’m not much of a man’s man, conversations about sport, thrup’penny’s and arseholes aren’t my thing. Plus being in IT the conversation inevitably turns to code or networks and I don’t want to talk work in my personal time.

So as I said I don’t know if the criteria is successful or not, but here are some of the things I discovered.

When attempting to engage someone in a conversation,find out something about them. That’s what the bloody profile is for, it not are they blond and do they swallow, it what do they like? Do I know anything about what they like? Can I effectively talk to this person on a level that makes them want to communicate back to me.

Then there is the photo, it not a case of saying, “I can’t see your tit’s show ’em to me”, it’s something interesting about what’s in photo’s (yes, I know tits are interesting but there’s more to life), such as nice clothes, cool hair do or look like a nice place, but with additional open endedness about. Something that gives a person a reason to answer.

Next, don’t wade in and tell them how fucking brilliant you are, again open endedness, if someone likes what you’ve said they’ll click on your profile. See its all about engagement.

The thing is, is that the same applies in real life. Take an interest in someone, give them cause to talk and open up and don’t be bloody boring, and don’t make stuff up. Don’t pretend to know something about a subject that someone else is interested in, you’ll only end up looking like a tool.

Also think a little bit out of the box, that way you’ll have more fun and they will have more fun and if it doesn’t work out, don’t be tiresom, move on.

So this is what I used to do. On a Sunday and Tuesday, scroll through a list of people, select five, read the profile and send individual messages about something, even if it was a “sorry, I know nothing about your interest but could you tell me what you like about it”.

That way I start off one or two conversations and pick up with ones I started. The conversations I’d started previously would lead to a date or two that week, as well as the dates from the previous week leading to another one that was a potential fuck. Sometimes the second date went no where, sometimes the first date ended up in bed.

I didn’t go for online dating to find a partner, it was a case of wanting company which I got.

But guy’s it’s been thirteen years since I’ve used online dating and you still look like you need to learn a thing or two.