Tinder, Down, OkCupid, Jswipe or whichever other one floats your boat. We all know it's true. We live in modern times where the use of dating apps is a necessary evil you can hardly ignore. Living abroad in Spain can make it even more disastrous as you try to navigate the rules of engagement in a new territory. Here are Sally Fazakerley's top tips of exactly what to do online.
Make your language level clear on your profile
Although there are other sluttier ways to communicate besides talking, I would add your language skills to your profile anyway. If you have been on a few dates here as a single lady, you know the agony of one where you barely understand each other. If your Spanish is crap, don't date someone who is clearly google translating his messages to you. All that happens is you get hammered on the date out of awkwardness and go home with him anyway. If he is really hot then ignore everything I just said (as needs must).
Avoid these men at all costs
If he uses a mirror to take a selfie, don't even go there. Photo: Syda_productions/Depositphotos
1. They are holding a cat or a baby
It could be a cat, a baby, a dog or a rabbit for all I care. They believe it adds a level of sensitivity to them when really they are an asshole who probably kicked the thing as soon as the photo was taken (including the baby).
2. They have the word YOLO anywhere.
It means... 'You Only Live Once'. But what it really means is 'I play Xbox everyday.'
3. No clear photo of their face and head.
If they are too scared to show you a recent pic, then they are as bald as the day they were born. This in itself is 'sin problema', the fact that they are insecure and need to hide it... big problema.
4. Selfie, mirror selfie, shirtless selfie, selfie in toilet, selfie in messy as fuck bedroom which they hardly noticed as they were too busy admiring themselves.
Dress to impress
Look like you have made an effort. Photo: DemitriPoch/Depositphotos
First messages count
Obviously the photos someone puts up matter, but so does the first message. Add a few hobbies and interests to your page to give them a conversation starter. I don't expect to receive War and Peace electronically in order to get my attention but ,if all they can be arsed to send is “Hola,” or 'Hey,” how much energy do you think they will drum up in the bedroom? Me thinks very little. And for god's sake don't text first. Have some self respect.
More haste, more speed
Don't replace real communication with swiping to the left/right
I've been there. I open a bottle of ribeira and I can't even be bothered to dry shampoo my hair (let alone take a shower) to be in any fit state to go out on the prowl. I want instant gratification so I sit down with my mobile, eyes glazed over, and mindlessly swipe and swipe and swipe. I typically end up missing some decent looking guys (from what I remember in my tipsy state) as I am so bored I reject some without really looking at them first. What is it time to do? Get out of the house. Even though dating apps are getting more popular in Spain, there is a strong social culture here to be social in real life. Yes people, real life. Reduce the slob factor by 20 percent and step out onto the street. It's glorious!
Sally Fazakerley is a British woman in her early 30s who has been living in Madrid since 2010. After finishing her degree in Psychology she moved to Spain to teach and sing in a band while undertaking an unofficial psychological study of Spanish men.
Photo: Yasmin Alnajjar / @yasminagraphy