From the man’s side of the fence — indulge me?
Being an online dater off and on for the last ten years and stringing together over 100 first dates from online dating sites, you learn a huge lesson: you can always get better.
I’d like to preface this conversation by saying that, as a guy in my 20’s, I’d made a plethora of mistakes in trying to impress, convince and seduce women online. Yes, I had that profile every woman has seen, looking for a “casual thing” with a girl and just doing the “online thing” for fun since I had “plenty of options.” Ha. Who was I kidding?
No, I’m not proud of those moments when I thought I had to be more than I was, making more money, reading more books, etc. At the end of the day, my inbox was empty, and it sucked.
It wasn’t until a good female friend of mine called me out for “peddling b.s.” on my profile that a major shift happened. No more listening to self-proclaimed guru pick-up artists! I let my walls down, and the emails began trickling in. The pendulum had swung my way. And now I had…options (for once!). I could pick and choose who I emailed, who I dated, and ultimately who I wanted to be in a relationship with. And in this humble journey, I saw a glimpse of a blind spot I once experienced with my own profile: how women were handling their online “game.”
If you’re not meeting the type of men you’d like to encounter, here are 8 common traps to avoid to help broaden your selection to include genuine guys that are sure to please:
1. You Sound Angry in Your Profile.
By now, it’s certainly common knowledge among men that women can receive up to 50-100 emails a day from guys. And that most of those emails might be far from flattering — or just plain gross. I know, some guys can muck things up, come on too strong and make you run for the hills, shunning online dating for good. Totally understandable. We get what you’re up against, and we apologize for those who don’t better represent the male population. Hey, I was there in the beginning. Take a look at the tone of your profile and try to make sure any negative experiences don’t overflow into how you choose to represent yourself. Happiness is magnetic and you’ll certainly stand out.
2. You Sound Like You Might Be “Above It.”
This may stem from the high rate of emails from the creepers, and we don’t envy that position you have. It sounds awful having to deal with ab-shot “selfies” and trite pick-up lines for an hour after work. Yikes. Too much sarcasm or attitude in your profile, however, might be conveying a personality trait that doesn’t best represent you. You might come off high maintenance or unapproachable. As long as you seem enthusiastic to meet and greet with the right guy, this one won’t be an issue at all.
3. You Have a Long List of “Don’t Contact Me If(s)…”
This is definitely for the more callous or jaded woman who has dated dud after dud. It might feel necessary to raise your standards so sky high that your profile will become a barrier to all those boys who don’t fit your bill — but this may quickly boomerang on you. Not only does it make you more of a challenge to the exact guy you’re trying to avoid, who want to “crack your code” and have got nothing to lose in the process because they’ll just spam the next hottie they see, other men who desire to meet someone nice like you will pass you by with little thought. The creeps will always be hitting you up. Focus on attracting the men you want to communicate with and forget the rest.
4. You Wrote a Novel For A Profile
This one is a fun one because it can be beneficial — if you don’t go overboard. The idea here is you offer your personal history in exchange for proof of the man actually reading what you wrote. It’s a brilliant screening tool. Because of the internet, though, we want information in smaller clusters, not long narratives. Save some of the good stuff for your first dates and give him just enough to start the conversation. And for those of you who bury some arbitrary phrase like “dill pickle” in your profile and request we put it in the subject heading of our email to you to make sure we read your whole profile like some job recruiter — don’t stop! We love that stuff! It’s clever and keeps us on our toes.
5. You Added Out-Dated Photos of Yourself
Consistency and harmony of your photos as they interact with your profile will garner the best results over time. You’re telling a story; the best story of you you can. When you meet up for that cup of coffee or drink, the other person should be thinking “Wow…this person is exactly like they are in their profile!” They’re pumped and your authenticity has payed off. If you’re currently out of shape, wish your hair was longer/lighter/etc., whatever it is you wish was different, own it. Give them the best snapshot of you right now. No need to misrepresent who you are in this moment. Besides, no one likes those types of surprises anyways.
6. You Added Scantily Clad Photos of Yourself
Clearly, photos of you parading around in a bikini is going to attract attention. It’s summer, you’re tanned, you’re toned and you look good. No harm, right? Maybe not, but I can guarantee you will attract emails from all of those guys that are only looking for a physical relationship. You’ve got plenty of time to show off your goods — after date three or five. Hey, we don’t mind working for it. Let us use our imaginations with a photo of a classy sundress in the meantime.
7. You Responded to His Email with Less Than Two Sentences
It can take some time to fully absorb a profile of someone we’re interested in and write a thought-provoking, clever email to them. There is nothing more annoying than receiving a response that doesn’t acknowledge the content of that email, but turns the conversation around abruptly back on us. If you’re not interested, kindly let them know. Hard-to-get tactics over the internet like this tend to backfire because there in no investment yet. After all, it’s just an email. Next! Engage in the conversation if it’s worth it to you.
8. You Didn’t Show Up On Time or At All
This is a big one for men, as for women, I’m sure. If you don’t bother dropping us a text to let us know you’ll be half an hour late, we’ll check out. Dropping us a text to say you can’t make it, we’re over it. It’s an equal investment for both parties to show up on a first date. Be respectful and courteous of each other’s time. Don’t commit if you know you can’t.
I’ll end by saying that online dating is as much fun as you want it to be. I thank it for my current relationship, even though I didn’t meet my girlfriend of two years online. It forces you to do the work, grow, and become more in tuned with the opposite sex. Be authentic and rope ‘em in.