It’s tough to date in your 30s, especially if you work in a field that keeps you travelling often. And if you’re a bit on the reclusive side? Man, forget it! 3 years ago, I decided to sign up for Yahoo! Personals (before it folded under Match) as means to maximize my dating opportunities. In a short span of 3 months, I saw very well-written profiles and I’ve seen women who shouldn’t be surprised that they’re single (yes shots f@cking fired!)
I’m no expert, but this advice is coming from a place of experience. There’s certain things that you should and shouldn’t do when putting out a dating profile. So I’m merely giving those who are still skeptical or considering it some realistic tips and expectations.
1) Know why you’re doing it!: Before you even pick which website to use, you have to commit yourself to the process of dating online. When you know exactly why you’ve chosen to take the computer love route (rather it’s something long-term, casual sex, an activity partner, a tour guide while you’re settling into a new city, etc), that will eliminate a lot of wasted time on your part and others.
2) If you pick a free site, know that you’re going to get exactly what you pay for: The worst stories that I’ve heard about online dating have come from free sites like Plenty of Fish and Ok Cupid. Stories ranged from the chick was far from her “thick/curvy” descriptor to the guy had a fresh, visible tan line on his ring finger. Think of free dating sites as a dive bar. They let anybody in with no respect for decorum or image. Regulars ruin it from getting new business and the bar won’t attract the echelon of men that you may deem worthy of your attention.*
* Women often think they deserve more than what they actually attract and receive. Another post for another day.
3) Pick photos that highlight what’s aesthetically great about you: I saw this faux pas on Yahoo/Match a lot. If you’re the type that has excessively oily skin, don’t use the flash on your camera every single. If you have Justin Tuck shoulders, stay away from halter tops. As much as I’d like to say online dating is about being a charismatic wordsmith, it’s really not! It’s superficial and the people who get chose are the people who can hard sell their best visual assets.
4) Don’t state the obvious: I came across some women who were visually my type, but I could tell they were boring just off what they inserted in the “what I’m looking for” box. No woman wants a liar, cheater, sexually imprudent, Satan-worshipper that still spells school “skool”. Even in a non-conventional medium, it’s perfectly fine to have a standard; though it doesn’t need to be restated. It’s okay to be snarky or quote your favorite alt-rock emo lyric. Something has to resonate with Mr. Right(Now) out there if you want him to come to you.
5) Break the rules you apply to other methods of meeting singles: The 1 problem I ran into while I was actively online dating was the fact that women’s follow-up sucks! I’d offer my number to a woman and wouldn’t hear from her for a few days. And when I finally did, I’d already moved on to the next prospect. Ladies are traditionally the passive ones. They sit back and wait to be approached, as to avoid rejection. But what they fail to realize is that an attractive, grammatically coherent, tall
(sorry short stacks) guy is not going to react virtually any different than in a club or at a singles event. You can’t afford to wait long to make that initial connection. Don’t be afraid to send a message 1st if he said something that made you smile or you really like a specific picture on his profile. You have absolutely nothing to lose and perhaps a lot to gain by asserting your interest.
I did a guest post for my man, Jimmy over as PersonalsFacts.com about the difference between a date and an outing. Before I answer the “what now?”, let me be clear (POTUS voice); you cannot date someone you barely know! Period! If you’re trying to figure them out, that’s hanging out. So you have to employ a different set of rules than you would if you’d been dealing with a guy for awhile.
It’s awkward enough when you don’t know if the person you’ve been chatting with is going to bring all that personality to the 1st meeting. But the moment I see so many people struggle with is how to end it. Be honest with yourself and the person. If there’s no chemistry or the attraction didn’t translate in 4D, do not give them false hope! If you part ways with the “this was fun, let’s do this again”
knowing damn well you’re marking him as do not answer soon as you bolt for the exit, you’ll never be able to get rid of them. If things do go well, you don’t have to be in a rush to see them again. Have fun with it and leave your preconceived notions at the door.
Have you tried online dating before? Would you? Do you think it’s more or less effective than traditional means of meeting people?