Inside the world of virtual dating
Charlotte Pearson meets an author who is putting her dating experience to good use.
The way in which we date has changed. Whereas before you were likely to meet someone in a pub or club it has now been replaced with apps and online dating profiles.
However, meeting people online doesn’t make it any less of a minefield.
With more factors in the mix as to what profile picture to have and how to best describe yourself sometimes it is hard knowing where to start.
Thankfully, for those taking their first steps into the world of online dating, hairdresser Hayley O’Hare from Aldwick has written a handy guide called ‘Tinder Tactics’.
With an estimated 50 million users, Tinder is the go to dating app for many people regardless of if they are 18 or 80.
“I was at an event and someone told me their dad had met someone online. He was in his 80s and she was in her 90s I think,” reveals Hayley.
Finding herself single after coming out of a long-term relationship, 29-year-old Hayley says that friends persuaded her to use the app.
“I suppose as well I needed a bit of an ego boost,” she smiles. “So I got logged in and started dating people.”
The idea for the unofficial guide to Tinder came when Hayley noticed how interested people were in her dating experiences and how many people started asking her for advice.
“I had never written anything before and I had no agent but I had this idea,” she explains. “I researched the market and then got in touch with publisher Scarlet Editions and pitched it.
“They loved it and asked to see what I had done, so I had two weeks to write it.”
One thing paramount to Hayley when she was writing was she wanted it to be lighthearted and fun, and not be taken too seriously.
The book isn’t filled with dating stories but offers tips and suggestions for those on the dating scene.
“It includes things like how to subtly get away from a boring date,” she smiles. “I had one once and he text me the next day saying what an amazing time he had and wanted to met up again, I just remember thinking ‘were we on the same date?’.
“There is a stay safe section, and also how to deal with issues of being sent certain types of pictures.
“It is a perfect guide which you can just thumb through and pick up some tips.”
Although many people use online dating sites and apps to find ‘the one’ Hayley wasn’t looking for a boyfriend but saw it as an experience.
“I met so many lovely people and got to do amazing things like see new bands, visit new places and have great meals out,” she says.
“It was a great way for me to get back on the dating scene, and I was going out a lot.”
And it would seem she is not exaggerating about the latter when you realise there is a section on how to fit in two dates in one night.
“Well I would go out for early drinks with one person and then meet someone else later on for dinner,” she reveals.
“It is ideal for people who don’t have a lot of free time so you can meet these great people.”
The support Hayley says she has received in the lead up to the book being published last month has been amazing, and her boyfriend has been with her every step of the way.
So did they meet on Tinder?
“No,” smiles Hayley, “we actually met in a nightclub.”
Looking to the future Hayley has already started thinking about a sequel, but what about a dating agency?
“Who knows,” she laughs. “I did once set up some friends. They are called Adam and India and are getting married in July 2017 in Chichester, so maybe I could set up my own agency.
With dating shows like ‘First Dates’ and ‘The Undateables’ proving very popular at the moment it seems that Hayley has tapped into a market which people are interested in and one thing is for sure this dating guru has a lot more up her sleeve.
Hayley’s book is available on Amazon.
For more information, visit hayleyohare.com
Pictures: Kate Shemilt
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