Back in November of 2013, tired of trying to meet men the ‘old fashioned’ way, and even more exhausted of hearing my friends urging me to try any number of on-line dating sites on which their ‘sister’s friends roommate from college’ met the man of her dreams, I made the decision to try, once again, to dip my toes in the perilous pool of on-line dating.

Largely influencing this decision was having seen first hand, a good friend of mine, marry a man she herself had met on one of the many sites out there. She and I had shared our dating woes on many occasions and seeing her so happily say “I do,” to a genuinely wonderful man made me hopeful.

Having forayed once before, albeit briefly and half-heartedly, I decided this time I was going all in. I joined every site I could think of. I chose an opportune time, a month before holiday season, when even the paid sites were giving out nearly free (and in some cases, completely free), deals. I set up my profile, chose my photos and off I went.

The following observations are made from a feminine point of view, with the purist of intentions, directed at the men out there seeking to meet women on these sites. Admittedly, when I first started looking, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, so was contacted by men looking for a variety of different types of ‘relationships.’ That being said, regardless of what I, or they, were looking for, I started being somewhat critical (and yes, skeptical), of what these guys were putting out there via their online profiles.

After a few conversations with some of my female friends who were going through the same process, I’ve come to the conclusion that some guys just need help.

Now, before I go any further, please understand, the ‘advice’ I’m about to give is solely from my own observations. I can’t speak for other women. Although, like I said, many friends with whom I’ve had this discussion seem to agree with me. Additionally, I’m sure the male perspective on what they’ve witnessed coming from the female side might be similar (I’m sure there are any number of women out there whose photo’s and info have left you guys in stitches). But this advice is for the guys…

Please understand, this is coming from a good place.  I am well aware that the female profiles you’re looking at can be just as bad if not worse. However, if you’re not getting the kind of attention you want, or, if you’re not getting any attention at all, here are some potential reasons, and, maybe some solutions. I’m not guaranteeing success, but, it might help.

Photos:

Online dating is akin to online shopping. Women love to shop. But we’re not buying anything that looks sketchy or doesn’t match the product description. I’m not saying we’re all shallow and want an Adonis. But, most of us do want something real.. and sane.. and at least recent..

Let me clarify:

Your picture

Female reaction
Eyes bulging – like Charles Manson Psycho
Mug shot ala Nick Nolte Alcoholic Psycho
Grainy picture from ten years ago What the hell’s he trying to hide ? And who the hell does he think he’s fooling?
Current picture does not match up with the age you’ve given Does he think we’re all morons? If that’s him now, he’s lived a ROUGH life.. I mean that shot makes him look AT LEAST 10 years older…
Shot of your six-pack abs, but you’re listed as looking for a “serious” relationship Same reaction YOU have to the half naked picture of some chick in her bikini, doing the kissy-duck face thing… If that’s the reaction you want, just say you’re looking for a hook-up and be done with it. No woman’s going to object to looking at your abs…. but really, again, don’t bullshit us.
Pictures of you hanging with your super hot girl ‘friends.’ Awww… poor baby is in the friend zone… pity party table for one – Next
Pictures of you with your mom Mama’s boy.. no thanks.. Next
Pictures of you at the gym Oh for fucks sake, what’s he trying to prove?
Pictures of you with your dog, your cat, your infant niece or nephew… Trying too hard to up the cute factor..

Here’s the deal. All of the above is crap. Just be you.  It should be enough for anyone who would be interested in you.  Pick pictures of who you are now.  Granted, if you are a psycho, alcoholic, mama’s boy with an inferiority complex, may the force be with you, my friend.

My advice would be to ask that really hot girl who has permanently put you in the “friend” zone to help you choose pictures that would make you attractive to other women. Chances are she knows all your best qualities and wants you to find someone who will want to be with you – if only so she could stop feeling so guilty for not wanting to be with you herself.

Your Profile – Honesty is the best policy

Look, I know guys like to think they have a general clue as to what a woman may or may not be looking for. But honestly, unless you’re going to consistently follow through, please don’t over indulge on the platitudes.

The point of your profile is to tell us who you are, not who you think we want to hear you are. You may be the best guy ever to walk the face of the planet. You may shit rainbows and fart roses. Hell, you may be a unicorn in man’s clothing. Awesome. But writing all that down in flowery prose hoping to get our panties all up in a bunch lining up to meet you is a bit disingenuous.  Also, most women – I’m not talking girls still living in a fantasy land where prince charming will rescue them and they all live happily ever after – realize, that there is no fantasy land, and that even after the prince rescues the princess, they still have to deal with one another’s crap.

When I first decided to re-enter the world of online dating, I was inundated with a few messages from guys spewing the hearts and flowers, one even told me I wouldn’t need to get pedicures any more because he’d kiss all my callouses away (umm yuk).

What I’m saying is – keep it simple, stupid.

Try to avoid condescending phrases like “I’ll treat you like a princess.” And for crying out loud, PLEASE stop reiterating what a “great guy” you are.  Most women believe in actions and not words. You really want to get our attention? Admit you’re flawed. No woman can realistically expect perfection, knowing full well how imperfect she herself is. Don’t make yourself out to be the guy you think all women dream of, because judging by what I’ve been reading, most guys have no clue. Having to dig through all the bullshit to figure out what part of your fantasy world really is you is hard. And, if you are really that perfect? That’s just intimidating. Tell us about who you really are, what you really want and what you really like. That kind of honesty might get us to respond. Figuring out what a great guy you are will shortly follow.

The first guy that really got a response from me, had, in his profile (and I’m paraphrasing here), “I’m not a creeper. Just a guy. Not sure how all this works, but thought I’d give it a shot.”

After all the lengthy, almost Shakespeare-meets-Keats type of prose I was reading, I found HIS profile refreshing (it also helped that his pictures were actually him, recent, and clearly not posing for effect…). The outright honesty blew me away.

So guys, please understand, most real women stopped believing in Prince Charming a long, long time ago. What we’re looking for is a real man. We don’t want platitudes. We don’t need promises. We just want you.

First Contact:

Okay,  your profile is complete… You’ve answered a bunch of benign questions regarding your preferences in romance, music, sports, food, etc and the website directs you to a few profiles of women they believe you’d match up well with. Here’s what you should, and shouldn’t do:

DO:

READ THE PROFILES! Seriously, you can find out a lot by reading one paragraph. For instance, what she’s looking for.. you know.. if she’s looking for a serious relationship, and you aren’t – move on. If she’s looking for a hook-up and you want to meet the future mother of your children – move the hell on.

Additionally, reading her profile will clue you in to some of her interests. This knowledge would be of infinite assistance in getting her to actually converse with you should you decide to make contact.  That guy I mentioned before, yeah, his first message read: “So, a music snob, how so?” This prompted a response from me way more enthusiastically than the typical “Hey there,” or my FAVORITE first text, “Hey princess, what’s up?” Seriously? Do I FUCKING LOOK LIKE A GIRL WHO WANTS TO BE ADDRESSED AS “PRINCESS”?!!

Anyway, so yeah, read the profiles.

DON’T:

Glance at the pictures and write any versions of the following:

“Yo baby what’s up”

“Hey princess, what’s up”

“Hey sexy, wanna (insert sexual act of your choice)”

In all honesty, I’ve often wondered if any version of the above ever works and what kind of women respond to that kind of ish.

I met my current boyfriend on one of the sites. He started with a very, almost shy, “hello,” and not much else. It was direct, not condescending, or insulting, or vulgar. The fact that his profile had normal pictures along with a brief but interesting bio, sparked my interest enough to get a responding “hello.” Once we started chatting, we never stopped. He had obviously read my profile and asked me questions; I did the same; and once we met in person.. well.. that’s a different story, but suffice it to say, one year later and we’re still together, so clearly, I’m coming from a place of SOME knowledge here.

What I’m trying to say is, again, no need to be an exceptional wordsmith here, a simple “hello,” will often do the trick. Of course, if you are trying to separate yourself from the hundreds of other guys in the herd, you can always reference the lady’s profile in your first message. Believe me, that IS refreshing (PS: “Hello, you’re very pretty.” – Doesn’t count as referencing the profile.. ).

Listen, I get it. It’s a crowded field out there. It’s tempting to try the most outrageous tactics in an effort to get noticed. But it probably won’t – at least not in the way you’d like. Truly, most women (and I’m sure men) are expecting there to be some deceptive tactics involved in most on-line dating profiles. In my estimation, most folks do this to get a foot in the door. I can understand that. The problem is that when the truth comes out, as it inevitably does, you wind up shooting yourself in that proverbial foot.

So just be you. Truly. That alone would be shocking enough to get the attention you’re looking for. Try it. What have you got to lose?

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