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Seven tips to successful online dating in Spain

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Seven tips to successful online dating in Spain
Photo: MandyGodbehear/Depositphotos
13:08 CET+01:00
Navigatating the dating scene can be a minefield especially if you are looking for love in a culture different to your own. But don't worry, The Local's dating guru Sally Fazakerley has some tips.

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

Photo: MandyGodbehear/Depositphotos

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

If a man has any of these items in his profile you need to discount him immediately:

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

It isn't just the hombres who need to step it up with their profile. How you present yourself makes all the difference to whether they are gonna treat you like a lady or the tramp. If you are looking for no strings attached nookie then blow him away with bikini shots on the Costa del Sol. Selfie away loves! For those of you with a more discerning pallate of paella and wine before hopping into bed, go for the 'ooh look at me with my fun-loving smile, in modest but flirty outfit, various friends and interests surround me' pic.

First messages count


Photo: Slphotography/Depositphotos

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.

READ MORE: Eleven types of men you might typically date in Spain

More haste, more speed


Photo: Nullplus/Depositphotos

Quick! Come on! Meet him! When all I want is a text chat, I whatsapp my mum. She is way more sensitive than most of the reprobates that are typing away to me whilst I am on the metro asking the same stuff the last guy did. So as I copy and paste my same generic responses to equally generic questions posed by dudes, my question is, how long do you wait until you meet up? My advice is as soon as possible without seeming desperate. When is that? 3-5 days. Also, don't erratically text him your life story. You will have nothing to talk about when you finally meet and he will assume you have nobody else to communicate with besides him. Believing this he will put you in the category of women who own boyfriend pillows, cats or multiple cats, more than 8 self help books, an active myspace account or a star named after them.

Don't replace real communication with swiping to the left/right


Photo: Grivalds/Depositphotos

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!

READ MORE: Ten golden tips for snagging a Spanish man

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

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