Being unceremoniously dumped by a potential love interest you met online would put many singletons off dating websites for life.But one former City worker has used her heartbreak to become a top romance blogger — and is now launching one of the country’s first dating awards to help others through the often treacherous world of online dating.
Determined not to let the experience put her off, she embarked on 30 blind dates in the three months before her 30th birthday.
They included one at a burlesque club (he “clearly got the wrong idea”), one on a tour of London’s public toilets (“unusual, but actually acted as an ice-breaker”) and another which saw her date drunkenly shout abuse at people on the Underground (“I had to give him a lecture, which was awkward”).
Ms Lester, who lives in Battersea, added: “I never count difficult or memorable dates as disasters as I learnt something from them both which I can now use to help others.
I am now a sort of unwitting Carrie Bradshaw — giving advice to people looking for love.”Ms Lester’s 30 Dates blog gets about 15,000 hits a month.
Dating industry professionals have approached her for feedback — with restaurants and potential date venues requesting reviews.
Ms Lester, who has a broadcast journalism degree, was also offered a role editing a popular dating site as well as work writing dating advice.In July, Ms Lester gave up her job as a project manager in the City to concentrate on her work in the dating industry.Her latest project is the launch of what she says are the country’s first dating awards — which she hopes will help daters “get impartial, knowledgeable advice about which services and sites to use”.There will be more than 30 categories, including best app, best dating journalist and London’s favourite dating site.Ms Lester, who is still single, told the Standard: “The dating industry is completely unregulated, so I wanted to create the equivalent of Michelin stars for dating.“I’ve been really lucky in that the industry has trusted me, and some of the biggest sites and names in dating have entered, which means the awards can actually go to the right people.The likes of Match.com, e Harmony, Lovestruck and Guardian Soulmates have all got involved, which is great.”The first UK Dating Awards will be held next month.