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Customer Review

30 September 2018
Whatever you’re after - from feet or fetish to love and romance - Gareth Fosberry’s new book gets to the heart of what works and what doesn’t in the world of online dating.

Whether you’re looking for a new Mr Right or just a flirty fling, Cupid now has an app to help. Unfortunately, however, Cupid’s new digital arrows don’t always hit the target.

Thankfully, Gareth Fosberry’s new book is here to help. Love at First Swipe: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Dating (out now) sets out to arm singletons with the know-how and insider knowledge they’ll need to keep Cupid’s arrows straight and true.

Fosberry, a relationship guru, draws on his own dating experiences over some 15 years to help dating newbies and swipe-weary veterans get the most out of their online dating experiences. It’s a handy guidebook that sets out to educate readers about the nuances of online flirting and to arm them with knowledge they need to find love (or lust) in an increasingly confusing world of online dating. It also weighs-up the seven most popular apps on the market, which for first-timers is especially useful. Perhaps most importantly of all, it includes practical information about how to stay safe and secure in the process.

As its title suggests, this book leans towards helping people who are looking for long-term love online. But it also shows readers how to make every date as much fun - for both parties - as possible. Its ultimate aim is to help singletons expedite the search - or, as Fosberry puts it, to help them avoid a situation where trawling through potential dates becomes a “second, full-time job”.

He recommends, for instance, taking the time to get to know someone well online before agreeing to meeting up in person (the astonishing average cost of a first date in the UK makes that a sound financial move, if nothing else!) and also sets out practical tips on what descriptive words are most likely to make men and women swipe right (interestingly, these include ‘physically fit’ and ‘outgoing’ for men; ‘ambitious’ and ‘thoughtful’ for women) as well as looking at dating etiquette such as ‘the ex-factor’ (don’t mention the ex on a first date! Just don’t!) and when it’s appropriate to go Dutch.

His advice won’t ring true for every reader, but there’s a wealth of good information – especially about safety - to consider before uploading that new profile picture or agreeing to that coffee or glass of wine. Here’s where Love at First Swipe comes into its own: it helps readers recognise the warning signs of a scammer, serial dater, scary stalker or any other online undesirable. As well as handing out common sense tips - (sexy photos shared too soon can fall into the wrong hands, don’t divulge your financial details, only arrange meetings in public places) - Fosberry gives clear, practical advice about checking privacy settings, in order to avoid accidentally revealing more about yourself than you bargained for. Some of the statistics he quotes are scary: “In a recent study of nine online dating apps by Kaspersky Internet Security, their researchers discovered that four of the nine they investigated allowed potential criminals to work out who was hiding behind a nickname, based on data provided by the users themselves. For example, Tinder, Happn and Bumble let anyone see a user’s specified place of work or study”.

Then there’s the dating horror stories. Love at First Swipe doesn’t disappoint thanks to an entire section devoted to the subject. One reads, “He started saying ‘I can’t do this! Flung £40 in notes on the table and walked out. I began crying myself and was consoled by my pupil and my friend”.

And that’s before we get to the subject of the rise in STDs that has been attributed to the rise in popularity of online apps. Stay safe out there, ladies!

But although it pays to be cautious, Love at First Swipe is essentially a positive book aimed at helping people of all ages, genders and sexual orientation (including single parents, the over-50s and the disabled) avoid the potential pitfalls and get the most out of online dating. Newbies will be pleased to hear that it also explains ‘ghosting’, ‘catfishing’ and other dating terminology.

As the book points out, looking for love can be full of ups and downs, but as long as you’re securely strapped in, it should be a fun ride.

In short, if you’re already dabbling in online dating already or thinking of giving it a try, this is the book to read. Here’s to happy, safe online dating everyone!
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