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Prince Charming has lost my phone number

Or at least I’m fairly sure that’s what his excuse will be if I ever see him again. In a world where you only get one happy ending the odds are fairly stacked on the opposing side. Finding myself single after five long years, I have seen the lie of the land these past nine months, and it’s not looking pretty.

When I told friends about this column we sat with several bottles of wine and talked about our dating disasters. With two of them in very happy relationships most of these came from me but I’m a firm believer that if something is going to be a funny story one day you might as well start laughing about it straight away! Their first suggestion was one that made the most sense – online dating. Any activity where I can be fabulous and interesting whilst sat in my pyjamas with a glass of wine in my living room is instantly a winner for me.

After several night club encounters where the guys have been lucky to leave with their own genitalia let alone anyone else’s I’m quite happy to stay indoors. So I signed up and much to my delight was greeted with a whole buffet of men to choose from! Then it hit me. Some of them were too goodlooking – so what could possibly be wrong with them?! The irony that I was dismissing men purely on the basis that they were dating online wasn’t lost on me. Yes, I was on there too but they weren’t playing fair – I already know what’s wrong with me!

Baptism of fire over I’ve done the legwork and discovered some handy survival tips for any of you considering heading into the online dating jungle.

1. Grammar
You can tell me I’m gorgeous all you want – it’s not going to be enough if you start the sentence with ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re’. That’s a deal breaker.

2. Photos
If they don’t have one, don’t bother. Online dating is like window shopping – and you’re not going to buy anything from the guy missing a vital part of his display.

3. Messages
You start off with good intentions. Sending thanks but no thanks messages to all your potential suitors and wishing them luck in their search for love. This won’t last.

4. Personal Information
Goes without saying but if you wouldn’t say it to a stranger in a bar DON’T say it to a stranger online. Addresses, phone numbers, where you work etc. are not facts you should be sharing at this stage.

5. Be Thick Skinned
You won’t be everyone’s type. This doesn’t mean you’re not attractive or interesting at all; just that you weren’t right for them. It’s a fact of life and, let’s face it, how exhausting would it be to be attracted to everyone you ever came in to contact with?!

Of course if that was really all there was to it I doubt any of us would be single but on the plus side my knowledge of British geography could now win me a pub quiz! Happy Hunting!