“A key member of the Monster Raving Loony Party? Really?” (Getty Images)
Dating apps are pretty much the only way to meet nowadays – and during lockdown, they proved a lifeline for Britain’s singles, robbed of office flirtations and banter in clubs and bars.
The only problem is, striking up the chat can be awkward, as many failed liaisons have proved. Some go too emotionally deep too soon, others make crude jokes or ramble due to nerves. Some get hot and heavy before they’ve even exchanged basic details, others hold back, or weep over their exes.
So to avoid your new online romance going sour before the profile photo loads, here’s what goes well as a conversational topic – and what isn’t quite so welcome, according to a new survey by Curry’s PC World.
Read more: Online daters can tell if they have a connection in just 30 seconds, research reveals
A hefty 38% said hobbies are the top ‘safe’ topic, allowing you to reveal a little about yourself without going too far. An efficient 29% thought work was a good bet, and a foward-planning 27% were keen to talk about future goals and plans.
Meanwhile, almost a quarter thought it best to get down to basics, and discuss why you’re on the app in the first place.
However, once the polite stuff is out of the way, daters can stray into a minefield.
“Yeah Baby, Yeah!” (Getty Images)
A huge 93% thought discussions of each other’s finances were a big no-no, with only 7% willing to open up on that topic- perhaps because they’re very rich and happy to boast.
Almost as bad was sexual preferences. In an initial ‘getting to know you’ chat, 91% thought this was out of bounds. However, that still leaves 9% perfectly happy to reveal all to a total stranger, and we’re guessing they might be mostly male.
A significant 89% thought going anywhere near politics initially was a bad idea, perhaps all too aware that words such as ‘Brexit’ and ‘masks’ could spark a meltdown on both sides.
Political debate and disagreement is generally saved for further down the line, usually when you’re meeting their parents for the first time and suddenly realise they’re terrible old bigots.
Read more: Men who choose a topless picture for their profile get fewer matches on dating apps
A sensible 86% also steer clear of discussing past relationships, knowing that any chat about exes- particularly recent ones – can never go well. It will either end in them crying because they’re not over the ex, getting angry because they’re not over the ex, or being bitter because they’re not over the ex. If they are, there’s no need to bring them up – ever, except in the most basic, factual terms.
“I’m absolutely fine, but just listen to what he said when we broke up…” (Getty Images)
(“Yes, Juan was a marine biologist in Chile who wrote amazing poetry. But he’s happily married now, and we send Christmas cards.”)
Explaining why you got divorced (“…and it really affected my daughter’s school work, we had to get her extra tuition..”) is a clear case of TMI at this stage.
The fifth most terrible idea, …….