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Last updated on February 10, 2014 | by Aet Suvari


Finding a Valentines date online – mission impossible?

The best time for any online dating site is January. Every site knows that. Daters know it too but sometimes they don’t know that they know it.

In January a whole lot of new people join online dating sites as the New Year kicks in and they feel fresh and reinvigorated to re-enter the dating scene.

Maybe it’s a New Year resolution, maybe it’s all about turning a new page, leaving the old year behind you and starting the new one off from clean slate… or maybe it’s about the fact that Valentine’s Day is only a month and a half away and people feel the pressure to have a date by that all-important day.

I know what sceptics are going to say here – and it’s not like I haven’t said it myself: should Valentine’s Day really put us under such pressure?

Is it right that we’re so dependent on this very commercial holiday that is much more about sickly sweet red hearts in shop windows than it’s about true love?

No, of course it’s not right just like it’s not right that Christmas is all about presents but there isn’t really much you and I or anyone else can do about it.

So instead of fighting Valentine’s, it makes more sense to work around it and make it work in the circumstances.

After all, it’s only natural to want a date for Valentine’s Day.

Be up front

So what exactly can you do to make it easier (and less obvious) in February that you don’t want to spend Valentine’s evening dating a bottle of Merlot?

Especially as this year it’s actually a Friday, which makes it even more painful to sit around dateless while everyone else is out there having the date of their life. Or so it seems.

First, if you really don’t want it to seem desperate that you’re so obviously looking for a date for Valentine’s Day, how about you do just that: be obvious!

There’s being covertly obvious and thus seeming needy and desperate and that’s just not attractive.

That happens when you suddenly get super-active on your online dating site in February, sending out loads of messages, checking out profiles, leaving winks and icebreakers behind.

Achieving your goal under pressure is so much harder because finding a date online is rarely a simple business.

You could just state it loud and clear on your profile: you’d like to have a Valentine’s Day date.

Who would dare to judge you for that?

Every online dater is secretly hoping for the same thing, so coming up with this in a controlled and confident way can only help your chances.

There’s probably a bunch of people on the site who are looking for exactly the same thing, so they’ll probably appreciate your honesty and straightforwardness.

You’re not trying to trick anyone. And you’re not being all moany and whiny about it either, drowning in selp-pity over the fact that you don’t yet have a date for Valentine’s.

Make a light-hearted, self-deprecating joke on it, state it’s also a Friday then sit back and watch the offers roll in (hopefully!).

Time for a makeover

Valentines dating gone wrong
Come to think of it, there’s another thing you can do to make your chances even better.

How about giving your whole profile a makeover?

Change that old photo, put up something fresh and seasonal.

Look through your likes and dislikes, rewrite some of the description bit.

Most of us probably rely on the same old profile we created when we initially joined, but it doesn’t hurt to change it every now and then.

So if you haven’t done it yet, this would be the perfect occasion to get it done.

As opposed to the day when you signed up, you now have a little more time to dwell on it and you also already know what’s on offer on the site, so you know a little better what kind of profile would stand out on this particular site.

Take an advantage of your experience!

You don’t even need to stick with the new profile for a long time, it’s ok to change it again in a couple of months’ time.

Just don’t revamp it entirely every few weeks – that might make you seem a bit erratic and frantic.

Asking for a Valentines date

Let’s say you’re already talking to someone on the dating site. How can you ask her/him out on Valentine’s Day without it sounding like a big deal?

Well, you can’t. Whoever you’re asking is probably going to think it IS a big deal. It’s one thing to say it on your profile and then agree a date with someone in a similar situation – in this case you’ll both be pretty chilled about it but if the first time you’re asking someone out on a date will be Valentine’s Day, it’s quite likely they feel like there’s something on the cards.

So if you’re not sure you’re THAT interested in the person, it would be wise to meet up with her/him on some other day. It’s not like you can go into explaining that even though you’re asking them out on February 14, you are not sure about the whole thing – that would just be rude and inconsiderate.

However, if you are sure you’d like to spend your Valentine’s evening with said person, it would also do not to be too over-excited about the fact beforehand.

You could just casually ask if they wanted to meet up on the Friday night. If they make a connection themselves and refer to Valentine’s Day, you can be a little bashful and humorous about it, but don’t make it sound like a big deal. The first date is hard enough, without the added pressure of expectations of romance.

Valentine’s Dating etiquette

What should the proper etiquette be if you do manage to land a date for that night?

I’d say: keep it as low key as possible.

Romance has to come naturally, you can’t really create an aura of romance if neither of you feels it yet.

It would just feel artificial and wrong, it might even ruin the whole thing.

Why not just grab a drink or two in a pub or a bar?

Going for a dinner won’t work anyway, as most places will be fully booked that night.

Even if you managed to get a table, how would you feel on a first date in the romantic setting of a restaurant with all the other tables filled with happy couples?

I’d doubt it you felt like you fit right in. Drinks in a pub is a much better option as it takes the edge off – and at the same time you’re still out with a date on a Valentine’s night!

In the end Valentine’s Day is just one day amongst many.

If you’re not lucky enough to get a date for that night even if you desperately want it, don’t let it discourage you.

It’s probably actually better to be without a date on that night than to be with someone random or someone plainly wrong for you as you might just feel awkward while everyone else is feeling romantic (or at least pretending to be!).

It doesn’t matter if you don’t get that date right now – you might get it next week instead, or a week after.

Patience really is the best way to getting it right.

About the Author

has been reviewing and writing about the world of online dating since 2008 and the launch of Online Dating Help. A stickler for promoting ethical practices within the UK dating industry she champions the sites that get it right while highlighting those holding it back. You can follow her on Google+

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