The art of meeting people has changed from when you had to walk up to someone and find the courage to talk to them. Nowadays, we meet people, go home, look them up online, and then present a polished version of ourselves to initiate contact. But people find ways to botch up this simple process; the following advice is for them. 

Although it has become common practice to find out every tiny detail about a person online before you approach them, people still don't appreciate the fact that nothing about them is any longer a secret. So, when you first interact with someone, it's better not to mention the fact that the timing of the message was calculated immaculately so that it falls between their singing lessons and their average dinner time on Thursdays, coinciding with the time which is their busiest in terms of online activity. It's good that you're using spreadsheets to pursue your love interests, but keep that a secret. Let them tell you things you already know about them, and react accordingly. 

Typos are the devil lovechild parented by fat thumbs and spell check. We can be sympathetic of you when it comes to typos, but if you're texting your crush for the first time, it doesn't take too much of an effort to go through the text and check for mistakes. Typos say that you simply didn't care enough to avoid them. Also, “Hey soup?” sounds like you're asking someone out for a soup date, which is unusual in its own way, when all you wanted to ask was “Hey 'sup?”. If the person you're into is somewhat of a grammar Nazi, then bad grammar is also extremely harmful to your cause. 

It might take you one moment to fall in love with someone and plan a life full of late night discussions about the struggle of the proletariat, but it's extremely unlikely that they think so too. Take the time to see if they actually like those things, and if they don't, take the time to explore different interests. Wait to see if the sparks are flying at all. A conversation that begins with: “Hey” > “Hi” > “I think we should get married in December and have three kids” doesn't usually have an ending. It also tends to end abruptly when, during your first conversation, you suggest that you're meant to be together because you wrote their name with colourful pencils and tacky patterns on the back of all your notebooks from age 13 to 16. 

In your excitement, you might want to tell them every tiny detail about yourself at the first go, like your bedwetting tendencies or that you never really stopped believing that Liverpool is the best club in England. While sharing secrets tells the other person that you are willing to trust them, there remains the possibility of going too far too soon, telling them enough things about your dark history to drive them away. If the secrets are too bad, you might consider hiding them for all eternity, or you can roll them out one by one once you're closer. But to test their tolerance when you first talk would be a grave mistake. 

In all our careful planning, we often forget to be ourselves, and in most cases, that's all it takes. That is, unless you're someone who can relate heavily to the quirks mentioned in this article. Then you need to change yourself, NOW. 

When he's not obsessing over football, Azmin spends his time devising ways of not getting mugged, only to fail miserably. Give him advice at


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