Popular, cool, and fun, online dating is now big business and stigma free. That’s great news for single guys, but having success in the fast moving world of internet dating involves a bit of skill.
Finding the Right Dating Website
With the rapid and slick growth of online dating, the stigma of match making agencies being for the desperate, middle-aged, and slightly odd has well and truly been blown out of the water. The sheer volume of online dating websites now baying for your custom is staggering. Want an adventurous partner to go scaling mountains with? Perhaps an indie rocker who knows her Killers from her Kaiser Chiefs? Maybe a professional workaholic who can relate to your marriage to your job? Whatever you’re into there’s a dating website aimed at you so do some research and pick a site that best fits your lifestyle.
Choosing a Good Picture
Don’t bother registering on a dating website if you’re not willing to post a picture of yourself. Few sane women will risk corresponding with a guy who’s hiding his identity so get a photo and make it a good one. Before you go rummaging through your pictures for a great snap there are a few do’s and don’t’s you need to be aware of:
- Do chose a picture where your face is clearly visible (Ditch snaps where you’re wearing sun glasses)
- Do make sure you’re smiling (You’ll look friendly and approachable so avoid moody shots)
- Do use a recent picture (lying about your age will only get you into embarrassing situations later on)
There are certain types of pictures which many women quote as a turn off. Here are some of the biggest bugbears:
- Don’t post shirtless pictures (no matter how buff you are, keep it covered)
- Don’t use party shots (A drunk guy thrusting a can of beer at a camera is not sexy)
- Extreme sports photos (You may like wrestling sharks and bungee jumping off skyscrapers in your spare time, but too many crazy sports photos can be off-putting)
Writing your Profile
Now it’s time to introduce yourself. Put some thought into this and come up with something that will be genuinely interesting for the person who’s reading it. Don’t make lazy, bland statements. Be specific and inject some personality into it. Instead of saying something like “I love travel, eating out, and movies.” Turn it into a meaningful statement such as “I recently fell in love with Italy after backpacking there, I love cooking spicy Thai dishes, and I’m a big fan of 1950’s science fiction movies.” You’re giving the reader a snapshot of your personailty not telling them your life story so keep it short, interesting and honest.
Checking your Spelling
One of the biggest turn offs according to women is men with bad spelling and grammar. If you’re not too hot on your written English, run your writing through a spell check. And one more important point on writing your profile. Don’t write in capital letters or you’ll come across like a serial killer.
You’ve got a couple of good pictures up, an introduction that makes you sound interesting and approachable, but your inbox is empty. It may be the liberated 21st century but women still like to be approached by men so don’t sit back and wait for the messages to roll in or you’ll be going on very few dates. You need to make an effort and start sending emails. Searching through all those profiles, checking out the pictures, reading up on who they are and what they’re looking for can be a major job so put a bit of time aside and take it seriously. To make it easier a lot of dating sites have favourite buttons where you can save a profile that’s taken your interest. Research the various tools available on the site you’re on and use them.
Sending the First Message
The first email should be nothing more than a polite introduction to let them know they’ve grabbed your attention. Once again, there are some big do’s and don’t’s here:
- Do Make it short and to the point (long first emails can seem a bit daunting)
- Do ask questions (it will prompt a response)
- Do make a reference to their profile (it will show that you’ve actually read it)
- Do be relaxed and casual (you’ll come across as friendly and approachable)
Not getting responses? Maybe you’re guilty of one these big no no’s:
- Don’t copy and past a generic message and send it to 100 women (It’s obvious, lazy, and rude)
- Don’t harass them if they don’t respond (They’re obviously not interested so move on)
- Don’t send sexually charged messages (It’s inappropriate and could get you banned from the website)
- Don’t talk solely about yourself (Asking questions shows you’re interested in more than just yourself)
So you’ve clicked with someone, there’s been a bit of good email banter, and you like the look of each other. What next? It’s really advisable to chat on the phone before diving straight in with a date. You can tell a lot about someone over the phone and you could save yourself an awkward meeting by sounding each other out on the phone first. Some women are understandably uncomfortable with handing their phone numbers out to guys they’ve met online, so offer her your number first.
Keeping the Date Relaxed
Most regular online daters say the same things about the experiences they have. There’s the occasional great date, the occasional terrible date, and a lot of dates that are just okay. You meet up, get along fine, have a good time, but there are no sparks. Meeting someone you click with through online dating is a numbers game so don’t go building a first date up too much. Try going for a casual meeting after work on a week night. A weekend night seems a bit serious for a blind date and it may give the impression that you don’t have much of a social life going on. A Saturday or Sunday afternoon can be another good option too.
Choosing the Date Venue
Choosing a causal venue will help to keep the vibe relaxed. Ask her if she has a preferred place to meet that she’ll feel comfortable with. If she’s cool with you picking a venue, a relaxed cafe for a coffee is a great idea. If you’re going for the bar option, choose one that’s chilled out as noisy bars can be a bit intimidating and hard to converse in. Dinner in a restaurant isn’t a great idea for a first date. It’s too formal, and if you don’t get on it can be a long uncomfortable experience.
Sticking with the Dating Game
Don’t get disillusioned if your dates aren’t sparking. As mentioned earlier, it’s a number’s game so stick with it. If you do happen to meet someone on a dating site and end up going out with them, don’t be tempted to pop onto the site occasionally to check if you’ve had any other emails. It can lead to all sorts problems, so log back on purely to delete your profile. Happy dating.