LinkedIn, networking and ‘naming and shaming’ dating site dates

I’m not a gambler – just the odd occasional flutter for fun.  I prefer roulette – there’s a real childish excitement about watching the wheel spin and waiting for the little silver ball to land on its final number.  As you know, I rarely discuss my personal life in this blog.  Much of it is not appropriate for a weekly update that’s shared with the world.  However, there’s one story that I’ve told several times this week that’s left people absolutely shrieking with laughter – or in jaw-dropping disbelief.

Having signed up on a dating website (it’s much like LinkedIn in a lot of ways) I started chatting with a lovely looking man whose photo was more creative and appealing than many.  I did also check him out on LinkedIn, actually, as that shows much about a person’s character as well as their professional standing.  (The power of testimonials again…!!)  Then when I clicked on his Facebook page I was astounded to see that, out of the 48,000ish men on line, he and I shared several mutual friends.

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No, I’m not including his photo (as nice as it was!)

All seemed marvelous!  He phoned me, we chatted, we seemed to have loads in common…. So when he invited me to the Hippodrome in Leicester Square for a late-night cocktail I said yes.  It was downhill from there…  First of all, the artistic photo that had caught my eye was ‘several’ years old.  I don’t judge; there could be reasons.  I couldn’t find any. But what was so shocking about that was when he told me he’d previously agreed to date a woman whose photo turned out to be six years old – and he’d promptly walked out!  He hadn’t even waited to find out whether she was a nice person.  He simply branded her a liar.  Hmmm… pot, kettle…

Having spent a good two hours (in the long two hours sense, not the pleasant one) telling me of his vast fortunes, he gave me £10 and instructed me towards the roulette table to “Go have some fun!”  So I did, winning a nice tidy £110!!  The polite thing is obviously to offer to share it with my date – or go immediately to spend it together in a lovely candlelit restaurant.  I was fairly sure he’d refuse to take a penny, being a gentleman of course.  But… In fact… he pocketed the lot!!!  (You couldn’t make it up…)

I don’t often wish bad thoughts on people, but I do hope my winnings burnt a nasty hole right through his designer trousers and scorched his leg!  Although everyone I’ve told has found the whole thing hysterical, I did actually check with Amanda – a Facebook friend who ran a party roulette business before battling successfully against Cancer.  (She now writes a brilliant blog based on her health experiences and positive thinking, the Law of Attraction and the power of the subconscious mind.)  She confirmed the winnings were legally, ethically and morally mine – and even if they weren’t, It Was A Date!!

One moral of this story is to keep your social media profiles up to date – whether they’re business or personal.  Also… just be nice, genuine and natural.  (I know that’s possible – and there are lovely people out there, but that’s another story…!)  The key moral should be to be extremely careful who you date, if you’re dating at all, or planning to.  I’m thinking of writing an ebook on disastrous, ridiculous and laugh-out-loud funny dates; if you have any personal stories please feel free to email me.  When I receive 20 I’ll begin the book.  All anonymous, of course, and without naming and shaming anyone. Just the stories please…

At the YBC networking event on Thursday night, I bumped into Clayton Coke, a wonderful man who specialises in helping businesses to improve their cashflow.  He told me he’d been worried when we met up last autumn as I’d recently become single, and he gave me a good (as in useful!) talking to on personal safety for women.  I have taken heed.  And I’d like to reiterate that, while social media is a fantastic tool for business, on a social level don’t assume that sharing mutual friends means someone is all they paint themselves to be.

The networking event was fab, as always, in the shiny crystal arena within the RBS building at Spitalfields with red wine and batter coated jumbo prawns.  Thanks to Ted for arranging that.

As I’m writing this blog I’m also reading of Cilla’s sudden death.  So sad.  And personally ironic in a week that I have a blind date, so I’m closing today with this: “I know that from today I will see it in the way you look at me – and say you love me.  So let it rain.  What do I care?  Deep in your heart, I’ll still be there.  And when I’m there I see the love of the loved.”

RIP Cilla.

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