Online Dating Advice

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It’s safe to say online dating has gone mainstream. Sure, you’ll still lie to your friends about signing up for it, but it was once described to me as going into a bar where you know every woman in there wants to meet someone. Pretty enticing. I gave it a go a few months ago, not because I need the help, but because I’m so devilishly handsome I needed a method of screening the myriad girls trying to date me (citation needed). It’s been fun, but it’s also been pretty frustrating. Why? Well, for starters, you learn quickly that a 2D image is actually a very poor representation of a real person you’ve never met.

There are entire online communities directed at helping men meet women online. There are forums that offer advice on everything from how to design your profile to how to choose the right pictures. If that’s not enough, there are businesses out there that will not only build your profile for you but will even handle all of your communications leading up to a first date (yes, that is a real thing). However, it doesn’t seem like any of these services are targeting women, and they should be. Women are no better at this than we are. Allow me to explain.

Use Pictures As A Guide, But Don’t Always Trust Them

If you learn nothing else from my experiences, remember that the picture section of a girl’s profile is far and away the most important part of it. It’s literally the only thing you have to go on until you’ve physically met and spent time with her, and even then it can only take you so far.

The reason for this is that people can easily lie right through their teeth, and that’s doubly true when they can hide behind a keyboard and a user name in their profile. Sure, she might say she loves dogs and hiking and museums, but if she has pictures showing you that, then it adds a lot of credibility to the persona she’s selling you.

Another thing to keep in mind about pictures is that nine times out of 10, a girl is only as attractive as her worst picture. It sounds cruel, but it’s true. The picture that some girls select as their main profile picture often varies wildly from the ones you don’t see without looking for them.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a girl’s profile picture and thought, “Oh, here we go,” only to look at the rest of them and immediately wish I hadn’t. Everyone wants to put their best foot forward, but some girls find shots of themselves that look so much better than any of their other pictures that you’d swear they were Photoshopped. Some girls don’t have pictures at all. I’m almost positive these are all serial killers. Avoid them.

Finally, understand that if you go out on enough first dates, you’re eventually going to be dealt a losing hand in the form of a girl that looks nothing like any of her pictures (and never, ever in a good way). Honestly, I don’t see the point in misrepresenting yourself. Physical appearance is the one thing that you can’t hide from someone you’re meeting in person.

You may be able to hide your smoking habit, and she can certainly keep her religious beliefs to herself, but if I see pictures of a girl that show her being one size and she shows up looking completely different, it’s not like I’m not going to notice. There was one date when I walked right past a girl in the bar where we were meeting, not out of malice but because I honestly didn’t recognize her. That’s not a good way to start a date.

Nice Girls Will Wait For You To Email First

First of all, nice girls don’t make the first move. I don’t know why, but it’s true. When/if you get an unsolicited email from a girl, they almost always reek of desperation, and in my experience, they aren’t much in the looks department. That’s not to say you should ignore them because you never know what might happen, but the desirable ones tend to know they’re desirable, so they have no incentive to reach out to you, because they’re getting 50+ emails per day and can take their pick. No, if you want to get the good ones you have to put yourself out there. I’m fine with that. It more or less mirrors real life. In doing so, you’ll probably want to read her profile first. When you do that, this is what you’re likely to find:

“I love to laugh and have fun with my friends. I’m driven and ambitious, but I also have a silly side. I’m just as comfortable with a night on the town as I am staying in and cuddling on the couch. I love trying new foods and curling up with a good book, but above all else, I love to travel and experience new cultures.”

Or something like that. I’d wager that she enjoys breathing and sleeping as well. I don’t know why girls tend to write the same kinds of things about themselves, and it makes it really hard to distinguish the interesting ones from the not-so-interesting. In fairness, most of the guy profiles I’ve seen aren’t much better and tend to run along the same lines (note: checking out profiles is a great way to get invited into a girl’s place, as everyone wants to know what the other side of the coin looks like).

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