THIS PIECE WAS WRITTEN BY A WOMAN: Kicking and screaming, dragging my feet all the way, after more than four years offline, I finally joined an online dating site. I was trying to avoid it, but I decided that, while I was was meeting guys in person, I wanted meet a wider variety of guys. I am happy to say, that so far, it’s not so bad. But I’ve noticed a few things that guys are consistently doing wrong in my humble opinion. After the jump, some things dudes need to stop doing if they want to improve their luck online.
1. Writing bad first messages. I suppose most guys have no idea what to say when they write a first message to a girl they don’t know. It’s awkward. It takes a lot of courage to send that message, so I commend your bravery for doing it (over and over again). That being said: I’ve found emoticons, “hi,” or “you’re hot” to be waaaaay overused. I’m not exaggerating here. In two weeks, I’ve received more than 20 messages that say nothing more. Let me be frank with you: Women see these messages and delete them immediately. No questions asked. The other kind of first messages I’ve gotten a bunch of are the ones with a reference to or question about something I’ve written in my profile. These are better, but still a tad generic. The best kind of message to receive is one that indicates that you have something in common, shows your personality or sense of humor and expresses interest in getting together. Examples: “You krump? So do I! We should go krumping. I know a place.” “I like your sense of humor. Can I buy you a glass of wine and attempt to make you laugh?” “What kind of writing do you do? I have a bunch of friends who are writers. I like to read, so this could work.” Good first messages come so few and far between that its likely you will get a date just for writing one.
2. Describing themselves as “always smiling” or “up for anything.” The Online Golden Rule should be: If you don’t have anything original to say, don’t say anything at all. It’s better to leave a section blank-ish than to fill it with cliches. Maybe you are always smiling. I’d kind of rather find out in person.
3. Posting crappy pictures of themselves. That photo in the mirror where the camera’s showing, or that pic where your ex is cropped out, or that blurry shot of you drinking beers with your buddies is not going to get you noticed. As lame as you might feel doing it, have a friend take a clear (as in NOT blurry) picture of you so we can see what you really look like right NOW (not 10 years ago when you were on a skiing trip). If we can’t see what you look like, we are going to be hard pressed to agree to meet you for coffee.
4. Looking at my profile over and over again. I know online dating is like shopping, and you want to make sure you are purchasing something you actually want, but when it comes to online dating, it’s impossible to be sure. You kind of have to meet in person to find out. When I see that you’ve viewed my profile 16 times without writing me, I’m already wondering … Why? What’s holding you back? Or are you just weird? If you do perchance send a message after the 17th viewing of my profile, I will probably be wary.
5. Waiting too long to ask me out. I’m sure this is a matter of personal preference, but I don’t really want to talk about anything besides where and when we should meet before we’ve met. It’s nice if a guy is interested in what I think about the latest episode of “Breaking Bad” (haven’t seen it yet), but I’m not particularly invested in exchanging emails until I know if we have chemistry in person. If three email exchanges have passed and there’s no mention of a date, I will assume that you’re: A) Looking for a buddy, B) don’t actually want to date, just want an ego boost or a distraction or something or C) are hiding something. Don’t waste time if you want to go out with me. Skip the email banter and get straight to the part where you make a date with me. We can banter all you want then.