Ah, online dating! How we love to love and hate you. For some guys, Internet dating sites are the solution to a limited local dating pool. For others, they’re a big lake where you’ll find all those other fish in the sea everyone keeps telling you about. And for some of you guys, they’re just one more place to get rejected. Seriously, dudes, no one has to strike out online. It just takes a little knowledge, a little research and a little skill to find the girl – or the guy, for that matter – you want to be with forever, even if forever only means until the sun comes up in the morning. Need a little help getting started with the online dating scene? Check out these top ten dating tips from guys who have found what they really want online through online dating.
1. Find the Right Site
You wouldn’t go looking for a gallon of milk at the butcher shop, would you? There are lots of online dating sites out there, and every one of them attracts a certain type of user and promotes a different type of relationship. If you’re not finding the girl of your (wet) dreams, it may be because you’re looking at a site that promotes happily-ever-after. You’re not going to find a one-night-stand at match.com or eHarmony, for example – and you won’t last long at either site if that’s what you’re looking for. Check out our guide to the top online dating sites to help you pick the right site to find your wildest dreams.
2. Pick a Good Name.
So, okay, in real life, you’re stuck with the name your parents gave you (unless you changed it later in life and if you did, rock on!) Online, you get to pick a name that really represents you. Think of your online dating profile name as the headline for your dating profile, or better yet, as your brand. It’s going to get attached to every interaction you have on the site, and in most cases, you’re stuck with the one you pick when you first set up your profile. So does that mean you should pick a name like WellHungStud4U? Looking4ReelGirlz? Probably not, unless you’re looking for ridicule. Best advice? Go with your initials and easy to remember numbers, or your first name and the same.
3. Fill Out Your Profile. No, Really Fill It Out.
See, here’s the thing. Your profile is the way you show people who you are. It’s kinda like a dating resume. The more completely and realistically you fill it out, the more likely it is that someone will see something they like in it. A blank profile is a dead end for anyone who might be interested in you. It also suggests that you’re not really interested in getting to know someone – you can’t even be bothered to spend half an hour answering a few questions.
4. Don’t Agonize Over It.
Hey, it’s just your one shot to impress your future wife – or tonight’s hook-up, or something in between. Don’t stress over it. No, really. Think about what you’re writing and how it reflects you, but don’t torture yourself to sound like someone you aren’t. Just be honest. It will show.
5. Avoid Cliches.
“I like long walks on the beach, cuddling in front of the fire and having deep conversations about the nature of life and the universe.”
Yeah. That wasn’t even original before the Internet and no one believes it anyway. Way back when, some shmoe told guys that these are the things that women like, and every playa in the world has used it to get over ever since. Want to know what other dating profile clichés to avoid? Check out The 10 Worst Dating Profile Cliches (and What You Should Write Instead)
6. Be Honest.
Do we really need to say it? If you’re looking for real life meetings and dates, any lies you tell will probably be discovered the first time you meet face to face. And really, how do you explain losing 6 inches of height since you posted your profile? “I got hit with an incredible shrinking ray?”
Of course, appearance and personal traits aren’t the only thing guys lie about in their dating profiles. You should also be honest about what you’re looking for. It will avoid a lot of missed connections and hard feelings down the line.
7. Do Proofread It.
So, okay. Just be honest and be yourself – but do it with correct spelling and grammar, mmkay? Proofreading, spell-checking and editing don’t keep you from being yourself – they just allow your real self to show through. Spelling errors and gross grammatical errors distract people from your main message, which is selling yourself as the guy someone wants to meet. Publishing your profile with spelling errors intact is like going out with spaghetti sauce on your face.
8. Post Pictures
And not just any pictures. The pictures you choose to post should:
- a) Be of you (duh!)
b) Clearly show your face
c) Only contain other people if it’s obvious which one is you
d) Not be professionally posed – this isn’t a business card. It’s a dating profile!
e) Only show you being stupid if that’s the image you want other people to have of you
Be aware that shirtless pictures might get you voted up in the Hot or Not sweepstakes, but are likely to turn off as many prospects as they attract – and if you’re tempted to post pics of your junk, well – just don’t.
Need more advice about picking and taking good online dating profile pictures? Check out our advice on taking great pictures for dating profiles.
9. Reach Out and Touch Someone.
In a nutshell, girls get more inbox messages than guys, generally. You’re not going to meet someone if you don’t make the first move. Oh, sure, there are always exceptions, but as a general rule, the guys who go out on lots of dates, or who meet the right girl, are the guys that sent out a lot of messages.
10. Be Polite.
The Golden Rule applies here. Treat your dating prospects with the same courtesy you’d want to have shown to you. If someone messages you, respond. If you reach out to message someone, do so politely. Dropping into someone’s inbox with “Dayuuum, you hot!” is the online equivalent of yelling at girls from a car window. You know how well that works, right?
When it comes right down to it, online dating isn’t all that different than meeting dating prospects in the real world. The rules are pretty simple: look in the right place, show off your best self and treat other people the way you want to be treated. If you follow those rules, you’ll find yourself meeting the people you most want to meet.