You gals asked for it, so here it is, ladies. A handy little woman’s guide to the world of online dating or what some might affectionately call “The Twilight Zone.”
Yes, the world of online dating can be freaky, indeed. Don’t get me wrong, it works for some and I do know couples that have met online and are happily dating and/or married. But here’s the rub with this new form of meeting people – you literally have to filter through hundreds of profiles, hundreds of players, hundreds of liars and hundreds of fake people – man or woman, before potentially meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right.
After filtering, you then have to conduct interviews of sorts. Not interrogations, but you need to know how to ask the right questions, in the right manner, in order to gain the information you’re truly seeking from the individual without looking obvious while doing so.
If you’re currently dating online and NOT doing the filtering, sorting and “interviewing” like I’ve referenced above, then chances are you’re not qualifying people as a potential match and meeting a lot of individuals you have no interest in, that are off kilter, so-to-speak, and that disappear and reappear like magic. If that sounds like you, you’re probably frustrated and feel like you’re wasting a lot of time on a lot of bad dates with a lot of people that don’t even deserve your attention, whether you’re male or female.
Guys, regretfully I won’t have much advice for you here because I’m not a man. However, to truly meet a nice, mature, non-game playing, emotionally well balanced woman in the world of online dating, if you conduct yourself in the manners I’ve listed below and then follow through with them in your dating tactics, you will pull a nice woman out of the crowd of crazies. (And we do invite you to contribute your thoughts, advice or online dating experiences in the comments here.)
So let’s get started . . .
Your Online Dating Profile: Do’s And Don’ts For Women
Don’t: Be like everyone else. There are a few things we can accept most every woman will tend to say. “I like animals.” “I’m spontaneous and outgoing.” “I wish for world peace.” You get the idea. Scrap that, throw it out the window. You need to express yourself in your profile. Men can smell fake a mile away and it bores them to death. Men look for what’s real, they look for what’s different, a challenge excites them. Don’t be the 60th profile they’ve read that says all the same stuff. Be different, be daring, be a tad snarky (in a nice, funny way) and let your attitude show. Believe it or not, ladies, men like attitude. It turns them on. Don’t be mean, but dare to be a bit balsy about who you really are.
Do: Be yourself. We ran a test with this. Peaches n’ cream “vanilla” profile versus snarky, balsy profile with attitude, a bit of sass and real expression. (And we really pushed the limit in the snarky profile, let me tell you). And guess what? The peaches n’ cream profile received an average amount of views and contacts. But that snarky profile. . . it blew up! In 17 hours, 42 winks rolled in and 27 emails were received along with well over 400 views. Moral of the story? Be yourself, express yourself, show your humorous side and have fun with it. Dare to be different.
Your Profile Pictures
Don’t: Take the proverbial, “I’m in the bathroom mirror shot.” Lighting is horrible and no one cares to see your shitter or your makeup mess in the image. And dear God, do not put provocative photos in your profile. Dating is like fishing. If you’re fishing for bass, you use bass bait. If you’re fishing for trout, you use trout bait. Not all bait attracts the same fish.
If you use provocative photos, you’re going to catch a player (and an STD). And don’t put up images of you and your girlfriends, stop that right now. I actually had a male friend say to me once, “Why do girls do that? There’s always a friend who’s hotter than them and then you consider dating them just to meet their hot friend.” Yikes! Don’t do that.
Also, don’t put images on your profile of you in a bar, drinking, drunk or with a beer in your hand, behaving like a tramp. We all know you lead an exciting life with tons of friends, but common sense should tell you why it’s not wise to do this. If you want to attract an alcoholic, or a frat boy party animal or a player who will use you and then toss you to the curb, then go ahead. Otherwise, clean it up and portray yourself as a lady, not some ding-a-ling trashy girl if it’s a gentleman you truly seek.
Lastly, don’t post photos of yourself with other men. And don’t post photos of yourself with other men with their head missing – we all still know he has a penis and that it’s a man. We know you want to look popular, but there are other ways to portray that. Leave the past in the past.
Do: Take photos outside with nice backgrounds, preferably in the sunshine. On a subconscious level, those images trigger nice thoughts in an individual’s mind and convey happiness, emotional well being and stability. If you have a pet, post a photo of you smiling and enjoying your pet’s company. Always post a nice close up headshot and always include one full body shot. Take the images seriously and have a friend take them for you. Take the photos at interesting angles in artistic ways (try cocking the camera to one side to add interest) and don’t always smile big in every single one of them. Mix it up a bit and be real, you don’t want to look like a Barbie doll with only one expression in every shot. And always show off your best assets – but in a classy manner.
You’re shooting for sexy, fun and playful here. Not slutty, troubled and an emotionally unbalanced train wreck.
Online Dating Conduct: Do’s and Don’ts For Women
If A Guy Gives His Telephone Number To You In His First Email Contact
Don’t: Ever call or text him and don’t even bother to respond in an effort to get to know him. These men, 9 times out of 10, are either lazy or they’re players who aren’t taking dating seriously and treating it like gambling – a numbers game. He’s handing out his number to dozens of women in that manner, knowing that the odds are in his favor. After dozens of giveaways, one woman will actually fall for this and pick up the phone and call him. No man in real life walks up to you, without saying a word, hands you his number and says, “Gimmie a call.” And if he did, you’d probably be suspicious of him. Well the same goes for the online world. There should be an introductory period. If there isn’t - be suspect of him.
And because he isn’t taking any of this seriously and he’s treating dating like a sport or a game of gambling, he won’t take you seriously when you actually pick up the phone and call him. He’ll assume that you’re desperate and he’ll simply take to toying with you, much like a cat does with a mouse. Men sleep with desperate women but they don’t take them home to see mama. These are lazy men that are seeking the perfect victim (i.e. a woman with low self-esteem that’s desperate for male attention, who will sell herself short by reversing the roles, becoming the aggressor and doing all of the work.) Don’t be the perfect victim.
Do: Expect more for yourself and a little bit of effort to be invested from a man before giving him your attention. Delete that email immediately and move along.
If A Guy Gives His Telephone Number To You After A Couple Email Exchanges
1.) ask you for your number
2.) hint around about chatting sometime
Never, ever, ever be the one to make the first call or text – EVER. Trust me on this, Ladies. The very few first communications you have with someone set the tone for how you will communicate with one another from that point forward. If you become the aggressor, he’ll become lazy and take you for granted. You will spend the entire relationship making attempts to get to know him, making attempts to communicate, making attempts to get his attention – making ALL the attempts.
If you start a relationship out in that manner, he won’t value you; he’ll see you as desperate. He’ll never lift a finger for you, because you’ll be signaling to him that you’re willing to settle for no investment on his part and you’re willing to do all the heavy lifting, all the work, to get this thing off the ground. Never begin a relationship by being the aggressor. It turns men off, they see you as easy prey, and in two weeks, he’ll be disappearing on you and blowing you off - but he will sleep with you before doing so.
The best way to gauge a man’s interest and intentions is to see if he’s willing to invest in you. Men go after what they want. If he wants you, he’ll come looking for you. And when he does, it is at that point that you give him your attention, once he’s put a little bit of effort into it.
No one gets anything for free and only cheats and liars expect something for nothing.
Do: Give him your phone number in return (if it’s unlisted and cannot be traced back to a physical address and if you’ve had several email exchanges where you’ve “felt him out” a bit first and are ready to speak). The other option is to connect with him via a service like the Match.com phone service. Either way, always let him make the first move. He’s a man, let him be one.
If A Guy Invites You To Meet In Person In The First Email Contact
Don’t: Ever go meet him without exchanging several emails first and speaking on the phone several times. Many men will attempt to rush things along (then wonder why they’re disappointed once they get it).
The courtship process is exactly that – a process. If you truly want to connect with someone in an authentic manner, then the process needs to be authentic, too, the tried and true way. Otherwise, he’ll be (secretly) disappointed that you gave in so quickly, he won’t take you seriously and you’ll either end up a hook up – or dead. And I mean that, girls. Never go meet a strange man you met on the Internet that doesn’t even have the common courtesy to exchange conversation with you first or even ask your damn name before asking to meet up with you. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Do: Consider him lazy (or a serial killer) and move along. A gentleman that’s seeking to truly connect in an authentic manner with a woman would never ask her to do that. Nor would he ever expect a true lady to be crazy enough to do so. A serious man will want to converse with you first and find out your name and your interests before he invests any time, effort or money into you.
People connect through conversation – they get screwed by meeting up with nameless strangers in the dark of night.
If A Guy Has His Shirt Off In His Photos (And He Isn’t At The Beach)
Don’t: Ever communicate with him. He’s trolling the Internet for sex and he’s signaling that that’s what it’s all about in those photos. Especially if one of those shirtless photos is of him lying in bed, holding the phone up, looking down on himself (portraying the view you’d have if you were on top of him –ick).
Chances are he’s got a profile on all of the seedier sites, too. The free sites like Plenty O’ Fish, where folks openly troll for sex and no-strings-attached hook ups. Stay the hell away from those free sites, Ladies. Creeps troll those. A good man looking for a good woman is willing to pay for a service to make that happen. Creeps trolling for sex don’t want to spend a dime to get laid and, as a result, the free sites are full of creeps trolling for free sex.
Do: Grab a quick shower to get the “ick” off your skin, have a good laugh and move along.
If You’ve Exchanged Several Emails With A Guy And He’s Asked To Meet You
Don’t: Go unless you’ve had at least one or two telephone conversations first. Again, courtship is a process and people connect in an authentic manner via conversation. If you skip this part, there’s a really good chance you won’t feel a connection with him and he won’t feel one for you (although he’ll pretend to in an effort to make the date worth his while to see if he can at least get laid from it). This is the biggest mistake people make when dating online, they rush things, and then wonder why they’re not connecting with anyone or are constantly disappointed. Men, this goes for you, too. If you don’t speak to a girl first, you’re not going to feel connected to her on any real level on the date either (except possibly physically).
Imagine it this way. Would you feel a connection with a total stranger that approached you in public, never spoke but gestured for you to join them for lunch? Hell no. Why? Because it’s a stranger and you’ve never even heard the sound of their voice, that’s why. The “getting to know you” period MUST take place in order for two people to connect in an authentic manner with one another. Skip that step in the courtship process and you’re doomed to be disappointed.
Additionally, people connect with the sound of another’s voice, women in particular find the tone of a man’s voice to be very important. If he squeals in a high pitched tone, you’ll run. If he sounds a bit like Barry White and has a nice, deep, manly voice, you’ll be turned on. Do yourself a favor and find this out BEFORE you agree to sit across the table from the man for two hours.
Do: Give him your phone number and invite him to call you.
On The First Date: Do’s And Don’ts For Women
Don’t: Sleep with him!! Unless, of course, you want him to disappear the next day. I’ve had men tell me that women they meet online show up on the first date with an overnight bag packed. That’s absurd. Do you really think a guy is going to respect you as a woman and want to date you long term when you behave as if you’re worthless and give yourself away for free like that? No way. He’ll sleep with you and then poof, he’ll be gone in a week or two.
Do: Conduct yourself like a lady. Be funny, be smart, be kind, say thank you and be appreciative of his efforts. If you like him, an quick peck on the lips after dinner is acceptable. It’s also acceptable for you to say, “Gimmie a call sometime.” But that’s it. Don’t come off looking desperate or eager. A kiss on the lips and an invitation to call are all the “green” lights a man should need to proceed with a woman.
After The First Date: Do’s And Don’ts For Women
Don’t: Call him and chase him and pursue him. Don't stalk him or view his profile repeatedly. Don't focus on how often he's on the site and don't stay off the site just because you've had one date with a guy. Don't start revising your profile or taglines to send subliminal messages to a guy. Don't take your profile down, leave it up and stay active on it. If you begin to behave as desperate, too eager or too emotional, that's exactly what you'll look like to him. You'll look desperate and worse yet, bat shit crazy and he’ll run faster from you than you can say “bastard.”
Don’t always be available to him. Make him work for this and make him prove he’s genuinely interested in you. This is where you “qualify” the man. Is he genuinely interested or is he just looking to get laid from easy pickings? By hanging back and not always being available to him, you’re making him prove himself and his interest to you. And realize, many, many men will fall off and disappear on you after a first date when you do this. Expect it. But also have faith that you are weeding out the whack-a-doos and the men who are only half interested – the one’s that will sleep with you a couple of times before disappearing on you.
Do: Continue to date other men, keep your options open and respond to texts a couple hours later. Do return calls a few hours later or the next day. You want to look valuable to this man. And the only way to do that is to make him understand that you have a life and that others out there are demanding your time as well. Once a guy gets a whiff that you’re sitting at home by the phone, jumping on it when he calls and responding to texts two minutes later – he’ll begin to take you for granted. Being too available to men tends to invite bad behavior from them.
Accepting More Dates: Do’s And Don’ts For Women
Don’t: Accept last minute requests for dates from the man. Remember, how you behave from the moment you meet a man sets the tone for how the relationship will be from that point forward. If you make yourself too available to a man and accept short notice dates, you will be treated like that by him from that day forward. It will be like opening the door to him taking you for granted from that day on. Use the good ole “3 days rule” when accepting dates. If he doesn’t ask you 3 days in advance, you’re busy and you’ve already made plans. This will signal to him that if he wants your time and attention, he’s going to have to treat you with respect by scheduling dates in advance rather than taking you for granted that you’ll be there – waiting, willing and ready.
Do: Accept date invitations when they are requested 3 or more days in advance. If it’s Tuesday and he wants to see you on Friday, accept the date. If it’s Thursday evening and he wants to see you Friday night, don’t accept the date. But DO NOT tell him you need advance notice. Speak not with words, but with your actions. You simply say, “Gee, I’d love to. Unfortunately, I’ve already made plans. How about Sunday instead?” (3 days later.) Do that repeatedly and he’ll get the hint – he needs to respect you and your time and book time with you in advance if he wants to see you. Using the 3 day rule also paces the relationship. Because men like to rush (into bed) and then when they lose interest quickly afterwards, they don’t understand why. The reason is that the relationship was not paced and he has no time to miss you, long to be with you, or think about you constantly. Men equate longing with love, Ladies. Let them long for you and your time.
NOTE: If a man sticks around and is pursuing you as a genuinely interested man should, you can consider taking it to the next step and sleeping with him after the 7th or 9th date. No sooner or you may play your cards too soon and he may disappear unexpectedly on you. Make him prove he's interested before giving yourself (and your power) away to him.
Conduct Yourself In This Manner From That Point Forward
By not always being available and making him book time with you in advance, you are actually looking very desirable to a man and you’re also setting a nice slow pace – one that won’t overwhelm the man and have him disappearing – looking for air and room to breath – a month or two into it. Men like the chase, they like to compete and they enjoy a good challenge. It excites them and it keeps them interested. Give them what they want.
And realize, you're both dating online. He will date other women and you should date other men. That is, until one of three things has happened:
1.) You've exchanged I love you's
2.) You've agreed to be exclusive with one another
3.) Commitments have been made
If none of the above has taken place, both you and he are free to explore options. And you should take full advantage of that by continuing to do so. This will keep you emotionally healthy and keep you from obsessing over one man.
And again, I repeat, lots of men will disappear on you when you follow the above advice. But that’s actually a good thing, expect it to happen and do not be discouraged by it. You’re weeding your way through the crazies, the users, the players and the flakes. You’re watching out for yourself and you’re “qualifying” men as to whether or not their worth your time or effort. Any men who do not want to do any of the above with you – let them go. They would’ve only slept with you and then disappeared anyway. Don’t put yourself through that. Don’t put yourself out there to be used and dumped and hurt like that.
You’re the only one that can protect yourself in relationships. So do that and get comfortable with the fact that many men who may seem too good to be true – actually are. Realize that many men will not go through the efforts of proving themselves to you. And that’s fine, you’re okay with that, because those are the men not worth knowing anyway.
I recently read a study that stated that modern day women have to kiss approximately 75 frogs before finding their Prince Charming. Yes, 75, ladies. That’s the harsh reality of modern day dating and mating.
So if 74 frogs leap away from you – know that the 75th is on his way to you.