My Jennaration

Women thought they came close to cracking the Da Vinci Code of dating once, but it was all a mirage created by He's Just Not That Into You, the Candace Bushnell-Carrie Bradshaw catalyst and those hideous Cosmo quizzes with titles like ''Does he love you even though he's sleeping with your sister's best friend?''

For the single troops still in the trenches of the war against spinsterhood, there's a new form of artillery - dating Google.

Many members of the coalition of the willing (to settle down) are experts in the art of interrogation. It may even be the reason why they are still ''on assignment'', as I'm pretty sure any man would rather endure a prostate exam in public than answer a woman when asked, ''Does my bum look big in this?'' or ''What's so good about Bunnings anyway?''

There's another annoying inquiry women warriors despise asking and being asked: ''Does he like me?''

The advent of sophisticated mobile-phone technology has allowed us to seek geographical directions, compare the sugar content of our favourite yoghurts while standing in the dairy section, and post First-World follies on social networks. However, the one thing single women have struggled to do since the beginning of time (well since the Nokia 2110) is decipher text messages from potential husbands/boyfriends/one-night stands and stalkers.

Considering the chief executives of large telecommunication companies have single women (and the youths of China) to thank for their holiday-house portfolios, one single gal recently ditched the dating scene in Sydney and hot-footed it to Manhattan.


This isn't a typical story of heading offshore to find a suitable suitor in a suit on Wall Street. Lisa Winning went to the Big Apple to take a bite out of the burgeoning technology start-up industry and launched hetexted.com - a site that offers women relationship advice in real time by real people.

Hetexted.com works like this: girl gets a text, is unsure of what it means or what to reply and anonymously posts the text in question to hetexted.com for a bit of feedback.

Other users, a panel of men called ''Ask A Bro'', are able to weigh in and suggest how the lovelorn and sometimes clueless female members should proceed by clicking on ''He's Into You'', ''He's Not Into You'' or ''The Verdict Is Still Out''.

While there are some genuine requests for help, some of the tongue-in-cheek messages are more entertaining than a day with Beyonce and Jay-Z.

''Hey dan we met a few months back in sugar rays. Im pregnant and thinks its urs,'' one user sent.

''Who? Are you that tall bird?'' the ''gentleman'' replied.

''I was taller than u lol. Do u want to meet up? I think im keeping in [sic]. x''

''Out of the office: Daniel Marshall is currently in Australia until 2015. For urgent enquires please email Dan.marshall

15@gmail.com. Thank you.''

As someone who spent their late teens comparing and contrasting novels and deconstructing art in order to bag a bachelor (the degree version, not one with a pulse) - fast forward a few years and I'm the unsuccessful Antony Green of short messaging.

I'm ashamed to say that I have sometimes shopped-out messages to mates to get their opinion, as I've always been a subscriber to the ''if he's not contacting you, he's not interested'' theory, so when they actually get in touch I'm like a fish out of water.

Hetexted.com is the new courting adjudicator or ''like an advice column on steroids'', according to Winning. And winning it is: the site reached an audience of 750,000 in one week and an average of three new users are now signing up every minute.

''Texting really is the modern-day equivalent of poetry or love letters. It's usually the opening shot in embarking on a relationship. That combined with the ambiguities of text mean that not only can things go really right - but also really wrong. It's important to give good text,'' she says.

After touching down in the US, Winning met up with Carrie Henderson McDermott, who was Glamour magazine's beauty editor. She quit her job after she heard about the hetexted.com business model and as co-founder now lets women know that men hate red lipstick on a first date and that a 3am text message should be ignored. She should know, she met her husband on a Tuesday night in a karaoke bar, he texted and wedding bells became her new text tone.

''You can be a very strong, smart woman and get a ridiculous message and want to dissect it at length. It is pretty normal,'' Henderson McDermott said during an interview on Good Morning America last week.

But is the site going to cater for single ladies everywhere?

So far most activity has stemmed from English-speaking countries.

''Aussie guys are real heartbreakers, Brits are a little more reserved and also quite punchy and dry in their texts, and American guys seem to be more open and direct but are big fans of the emoticon, which is a whole other minefield.''

To see our photo gallery of the funniest text messages sent to hetexted.com, head to the Canberra Times website.

■ You can let Jenna know what you think on Twitter by following her @jennamclarke.