Why I Finally Signed Up
There are two things that always kept me from online dating: one was efficiency and the other was pride. I’m the guy that a year ago wrote, “Am I a Failure as a Man if I Start Online Dating?” With online dating, it’s a similar marketplace to the real world, except I get far less feedback from my actions — meaning I couldn’t learn from them and improve.
With internet dating I can spend 15 minutes crafting a message to a woman that shows off my wit, attention to her profile, and also set the framework for asking her out. Or I can just approach a woman at a coffee shop where she tells me “go fuck yourself” and that takes 5 seconds of my life. IRL is just more efficient and both genders preferred method of approach.
And now on to the heavy one – my pride. 90% of the reason I never signed up for online dating is because of pride, but it took me a long time to accept that’s what it was. I always told myself it was for losers and I didn’t want to do that because of the aforementioned “efficiency,” but it was actually just fear disguising itself as pride. I know that fear is an emotion that’s manufactured inside of me, so once I relabeled my pride to fear, then I knew exactly what to do next.
My policy is if I have a fear-based response to anything, that’s not literally dangerous to my life, then I’m going to make myself do it. As a paramedic, I can’t recommend all people live this recklessly, because there are consequences to your actions that you must think through. For me though, at the end of my life I’d rather have regrets for doing something than not doing something. That being said, “regret” is a useless word since you learn from your failures.
Once I figured all of that out, it only took a free (i.e. lonely) Saturday night for me to sign up for OK Cupid.
Here’s what I found out about the genders:
Day 0: Saturday – My Life In A Profile
Time to create my profile. This took me about two hours. Mostly because I’m a writer, therefore anal about words, but also because I listen to women’s rants so I know what to do/what not to do. Since she’s going to look at my photos first, then I have to put most of the attention here. A curated gallery of my life that points out that I have friends, love kids, travel often, love my family, am not fat, not short, and not poor, thereby visually touching on all of the panty-dropping elements women subconsciously look for when assessing a potential mate.
Once I demonstrated my value, I worked on the “personality” part of my profile. The name of the game is what makes you unique. If you’re the special and delicate snowflake that your mom told you that you are, then show it here to differentiate yourself from the pack. Don’t be basic.
This means you can’t say things like “I really like to chill out” and “watch sports” and “I’m really passionate about my career” because that describes every single person in the world and those are just useless words. We are defined by our actions. You can say “I really like helping people” but it’s much better to say, “I volunteer on weekends to read to blind children in the inner city.” Which of those statement is more effective? Write about what you do, not what you are.
Write something original, make her laugh, but also a crucial point — you have to keep it brief. Bullet points are even better for sections you really want her to read. She skims your profile as much as you skim her profile. When creating a profile, be sure to be unique and be succinct.
Day 1: Sunday –The Perfect Message Has Flair
Now’s it’s time to send messages. If you’re a man, this is where you’re going to spend most of your time, whereas if you’re a woman you’re just going to be passively responding to advances. In other words, it’s just like real life. I paid for the month, which gave me “A-list” capabilities to filter women by the nebulous categories of “attractiveness” and “body type.” I don’t want to date a woman that’s fat. No man does. This needs no further explanation. I don’t know how they judge attractiveness though, but why not use their filters of “hot,” “above average,” and “average” if they’re there for me to use.
With my search filters set, it was time to figure out whom to message. Because of the time and mental resources it takes for me to craft a distinctive email referencing her profile and being equal parts complementary and opinionated, I knew I had to limit myself to four emails a day to prevent burnout.
Here is my ranked plan of attack for the following week:
- Message women I’m attracted to that took the time to craft a stellar profile.
- Message women that I’m attracted to, but maybe they aren’t strong writers, so I’ll scrape their sparse profile to find something to talk to them about.
- Everybody else. Which I probably won’t get to.
The first day I sent out four messages and got one response. Kim wrote a great and detailed message that complemented me on actually reading her profile, then showed she read mine, and at the end gave me her phone number. Wow, why didn’t I do this sooner? Is it going to be this easy? It’s not. It’s definitely not. This is just an aberration.
Day 2: Monday – Set Up A Date And Then Keep Going
Text Kim and set up a date for Wednesday night. Boom. Done.
Next, I’ll find another four women to message. This is where I started to see a problem coming up for the week. With my search filters of “attractive,” “body type,” and age “27-32” (because there’s rarely any long-term potential for me with younger women), there are shockingly few women that fit that filter on OK Cupid. So I found the ones that did, and fired off four unique messages. That took me an hour of my life and there’s probably a 10% chance that any of them will get back to me.
Keep in mind that attractive women have their pick of suitors. They have Santa Claus-like levels of mail they have to sift through every day to maybe read your shitty message, so make it count.
You may be asking yourself, why should I spend that much time writing a message then? Understandably, this is why most men choose to send the “Hi. How are you?” message, because if she responds, then you’ll take the time to reciprocate. This is the wrong approach by men though, because online dating is a completely different beast. No woman is going to invest in you, if you don’t invest in her. So stop playing Call of Duty for five minutes and take the time to write an engaging message. Also, respect the fact that just because you spent a lot of time on it, doesn’t mean you’re entitled to a response. Shut up and do it anyway.
Stay Tuned For Days 3, 4, and 5!