I’m not picky. I just have standards.

Yeah okay I do have a fair share of dating disaster/failed relationship stories (partly why I started this blog in the first place)… so when I spill the latest to my various groups of friends, they seem to think the “pattern” is due to my pickiness and high maintenance attitude. Well, I humbly disagree. I’m far from picky and not even close to high maintenance – really, that’s the truth. Besides, I’m from South East London… say no more init!

In terms of qualities and characteristics, I don’t ask for much. Just someone who is capable of being honest, can hold a good conversation, has a sense of humour, respectful and has direction/ambition in life. For some reason though in today’s society, even those 5 things can be a challenge to find in a person!

For those who are unfamiliar or new to the online dating scene, I want to give a bit of detail on how I filter out the absolute lunatics from the ones that appear “normal” (not to put you off but a good percentage of these “normal” people still end up having major issues, they’re just pros at putting on a facade!)

Anyway!!! Before I get into it, let me quickly explain why I decided to flock over to dating apps. Firstly, I (and I’m sure the majority of people) would prefer to meet someone in real life. It enables you to cut through the bullshit, see if you have chemistry right away and figure out if you’re attracted to the person (not depending on or being disappointed by misleading photos!) However, currently, for me anyway, there isn’t much opportunity to meet someone in the traditional way (i.e. social events, during a night out) and there’s a few reasons for this:


1. My circle of friends are mostly married with kids so getting dolled up and going out to clubs/bars/lounges are a thing of the past. Besides, I couldn’t think of anything worse. I stopped going out years ago, and even if something did crop up, I’d happily pass and spend the evening in bed!

2. I also want to highlight that the types of people approaching me at clubs/bars/lounges were usually very sleazy and after one thing. It’s the same grotesque kind that have the audacity to ask for your number when they’re parked up in their cars or stopped at traffic lights.

3. Social gatherings – yes these happen once in a (rare) while but it’s highly likely that I’d be familiar with everyone there already!

4. Meeting people at work… hmm, not a big fan of mixing business with pleasure but okay I wouldn’t rule it out. As long as we worked in very different departments! It’s how I met one of my exes to be fair… but clearly that didn’t last (nothing to do with work, tell you about it later) but truthfully… finding a potential partner when I’m at work is the last thing on my mind!

5. Meeting people through friends – I find it very cringeworthy when a friend tries to play matchmaker. Not to mention that I don’t trust their taste and judgement in character! Lol! Sorry guys!! …Look, it’s not like I straight up say no, I do ask for a few details and a photo. Then I’ll get a response like: “Yeah so he works with me, he’s really nice, super smart but… he does dabble in drugs.”


A couple years back, with a lot of convincing from my old work colleagues, I finally gave in and created a few accounts across 4 dating apps. Tinder – which lasted for about an hour. Plenty of Fish… well, that’s another topic for later. OKCupid – great for blog fodder. Bumble – meh, guys look good, not much substance though.

Since it was unfamiliar territory, I asked my colleagues (a bunch of lads) how it all worked. Apparently the best way to find “hot chicks” was to continuously swipe right on everyone, then save the filtering for after… “it’s the most efficient way of getting matches” they claimed. Erm… sure? Except I wasn’t looking for “hot chicks”!


Not many females I know use dating apps (I can see why!) so I had to figure out my own filtering style.
And seeing as photos are the first thing people look at, I’ve listed the kind that instantly make me swipe left:

USING ON PHOTO (EVEN IF IT’S A GOOD ONE)
I can’t trust that.

MYSTERIOUS PHOTOS
Wearing sunglasses in every photo. Blurry photos.

HALF NAKED/GYM POSERS/AB SHOTS
No.

THROWING UP GANG SIGNS
Are you not like… 37?

PHOTOS OF PRIZED POSESSIONS
Cars, properties, gadgets… *yawn*

WTF PHOTOS
i.e close up of a beard, close up of an eye, a photo of a garden shovel.

SOMEONE I RECOGNISE FROM SCHOOL/WORK

OMG.

…okay, that’s the first stage of filtering out of the way.


The second filtering stage focuses more on the substance. Below are things I find rather off-putting or consider deal breakers:

CHEESY QUOTES/STATEMENTS
i.e. “Live laugh love.” or “I’m looking for my partner in crime.”

NO BIO/MINIMAL EFFORT
“Ask and find out.” – This displays laziness to me. Make some effort please? Bullet points will suffice.

THIS KINDA STUFF…
“Hookups”, “I’m only here for the weekend”, “Want to have fun”, “I’m very kinky and need a submissive woman”

WEIRD NAMES
i.e. Rubber Alien (the dude was wearing a gimp suit), Black Magic, FootSlave, Mr. Nice Guy

“HAVE KIDS”
Works for some. Just not for me unfortunately.

“ENTREPRENEUR” OR “SELF EMPLOYED”
I fully respect anyone that has their own business and built it from the ground up… and if I can see that displayed on their profile, it’s all good. From personal experience, I find that the genuine people will include the name of their company. The “dreamers” however… they like to talk a good game. You’re basically unemployed.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE
That’s their business. I’m not judging but it’s a deal breaker for me.


So there you have it! My two stages of filtering. It’s much easier to be cut throat when you know what you want and don’t want. The only thing left after second stage is to figure out whether these “normal” people are actually wearing a mask!

At this point, some conversation would have started and that’s when the third stage of filtering kicks in… it’s a bit tricky from here but don’t play detective too much, you don’t want to kill the vibe with a nice, genuine person!

Oh and please don’t go stalking them on Facebook / Instagram / LinkedIn (unless you really feel the need to). The best thing to do is just enjoy getting to know each other, go out on dates, have fun, don’t set any expectations but also:

1. Don’t neglect that intuition!
2. Be aware of red flags!
3. Don’t lower your standards out of desperation/fear of loneliness!


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