*Disclaimer: this is my own personal view on online dating, and what would work for a dime like me.*
“You should try online dating.”
You may have heard your friends try and loop you in to this one, and my friends have been no different. I have been against online dating for what feels like forever, but I do understand the appeal and the successes some people have had. This was enough to intrigue me in the concept as well as seeing it as a possible platform for me to give feedback to help guys through the web as well as a way to distinguish the best approach for women who are interested in online dating.
So I took the plunge as Cam and I set up my very own account on POF to try a social experiment on online dating. Being new to the online dating community I didn’t really know what to expect. We chose a playful yet hilarious headline that says “I don’t put out…evar” to see what kind of responses I would get. I kept my profile congruent to who I am rather than a fake facade as I knew some people I know would probably come across my page and question it.
Dudes vs. Chicks
Online dating is a laid back version of speed dating except you don’t need to be physically presentable; you need to arm yourself with catchy headlines, subject lines, and come up with a successful way to approach and initiate conversation to a complete stranger. Ultimately you are shopping through profiles, looking at the ingredients of the individual to see if it’s something you really want to purchase before putting it back on the shelf or carting it. It’s hard to gauge who is being authentic and who are trying to mold themselves in to the perfect candidate for you.
So here is my experience and what I have noticed in the POF (Plenty of Fish) world. The guys pursue the women a lot more aggressively than the women pursue the men. Girls get swamped with messages, with an average of 17 messages a day, that means if you are a guy who is legitimately interested in a girl you need to have a snazzy subject line in order to not get scanned over and deleted. “Hi” or “Hey” or “How’s it going?” is just not going to cut it in the online dating world, nor would it really go over well via Facebook or Twitter. Also those bathroom pictures of all those guys with washboard abs are an instant turn off (insert 14 year old flashbacks to the good ol’ Nexopia days here.) This picture tells me (and the other girls) nothing more than that the guy is probably insecure and need a body shot in order to gain my attention. That this guy has really nothing more to offer than the external. Women are emotional creatures, yeah we all like something to look at but we rather have someone who we can relate to and feel connected to on emotional level.
Some do’s and dont’s.
If you are interested in a girl then definitely send a message, keep it short and sweet. Don’t overwhelm her with a giant story about yourself, keep it minimal, don’t state your name right away and don’t give away your email or phone number like it’s going out of style. Having pictures of you with friends or doing a hobby is a must! If you only have pictures of yourself from your webcam it looks as if you don’t do anything with your life except sit at home all day messaging girls on POF… which is unattractive. Make sure all your photos are clear, keep sunglasses to a minimum, and I’d stay away from the shirtless pictures. Plus its far more intriguing to not know what’s going on under that shirt, adds a little more mystery.
Don’t apologize, unless you said something really idiotic. It’s amazing how many guys would apologize for complimenting me – “Sorry but I have to tell you that you have an amazing smile.” Apologizing screams insecure and if you are comfortable with who you are you will stick by what you say and not be sorry about it. If a girl doesn’t respond back to you right away, take a chill pill, and don’t keep sending the same message over and over. No better yet, don’t message her again. When it comes to a girl not messaging you back it’s one of two things: One- she isn’t interested or two- she is busy and hasn’t gotten around to responding. Which brings me to my next point- If she isn’t responding then don’t send a message to her saying something like this “What? I’m not good enough?” *face palm* It screams insecure and desperate which are both undesirable qualities in a man, and it’s a great way for you to never get a message. You are a cool guy, you don’t need to seek validation from strangers on the internet, if she is interested than awesome, if she isn’t than move on. It is really that simple.
Do be cheeky, flirtatious, and humorous. When girls are asked what they want in a guy they always say “a guy with a good sense of humour” or “a guy who can make me laugh.” Watch a little stand up comedy! Do your homework. Do pay attention to her profile, read it, and ask questions related to her interests. Don’t use the ‘copy and paste’ tactic, this is when a guy uses the same general message for every girl, most women can see right through it and it gives off the impression that you made no effort to read her profile. If you are lazy enough to not make an effort in making the message that is directly for her, then she will more than likely not reply. Don’t sell yourself like a product, “Are you looking for a fun, spontaneous, nice-guy!? Well look no further!” Gag. I dig the creative approach but you shouldn’t have to sell yourself to get a date.
Now I could write all day about online dating but I’ll leave it at this. Keep your messages short and sweet, do talk about what she is interested in, and always have a creative subject line! This is enough to experiment with. Now ladies don’t be disappointed, I’ll be following up in a few weeks with a post for you on how to be successful with online dating and how to discern between the guys who are serious and those who aren’t. For now… happy ‘fishing!’