Last weekend, my prospective boyfriend and I went our separate ways. Not because he was a philandering rotter, or a football mad Neanderthal, it was more a question of words.
The snoring and dirty socks, I could put up with, but speaking in fluent cliche was a deal breaker. I know I sound like a verbal pedant, yet it is not a question of being over meticulous, but one of verbal aesthetics.
And it turns out I am not alone. Research published last week, by Purple CV, has discovered that a whopping three-quarters of singles would ditch their date for bad grammar, a lack of sophisticated language, and lazy speak.
And one-third would be more attracted to somebody if they had an expansive vocabulary.
I quite agree. In today’s digital dating world, words matter.
After all, first impressions count. Sending a flirty email littered with spelling mistakes is like turning up on a date in a dirty sweatshirt and baggy jeans. Slovenly and, quite frankly, off putting.
What is going on? Are we are all too busy to write using eloquent language? Believe me, nothing extinguishes the flames of desire more than receiving a message from your future amour: ‘‘How r u? meet 4 a drink l8r? Lol ’’
Text speak might be OK for a 16-year-old, but when you are a high flying businessman, the need to abbreviate everything looks unsophisticated and juvenile.
Even more worrying, when it comes to dating etiquette, are the men who pepper their messages with childish emoji.
When I received a Whatsapp — a couple of weeks ago, from a man I was dating — with a thumbs up and winking face, I wanted to throw in the towel.
At best, these silly symbols are irritating; at worst sending a text with heart-shaped eyes is a clumsy way to express how you feel, and indicates a lack of imagination.
I want to know that I can have an mentally stimulating conversation with the person I am seeing, not adolescent Snap-chat.
Yet, on half of the dates I go on, you’d be forgiven for thinking you had landed on planet Thicko. Just this weekend, I was at dinner in Chelsea with a successful banker in his sixties.
Debonair in his Turnbull and Asser suit, I was beginning the feel the ripples of sweet romance, until he said in a disaffected tone yeah but, it’s you know, like . . .
I reeled back in horror. He may have known his way around the wine list, but when he opened his mouth, he sounded more like an alcopop-swilling teen.
Look I don’t want to sound like a stuffed shirt, but if you are going to message me, and you are over 30, don’t reach for text talk, and step away from the emoticons.
And if you send me an aubergine emoji (look it up) at 11pm, I will delete you. It isn’t cool, it’s just creepy. Lol