A successful guy’s online-dating guide, Part I

by GK on March 22, 2012 · 2 comments

I would have written my own post this week, but I’m on “Mad Men” lockdown for Sunday’s two-hour premiere. My glass of water looks like an Old Fashioned, my office co-workers suddenly resemble Joan and Roger, and I’m introducing myself as “Don” without even realizing it. This is what waiting two years between episodes does to you. I can barely speak.

While I regain coherency, I have a special two-part guest post for you. I’ve been critical of online dating recently, including the algorithms that go with them. But Gal, a friend of this blog, actually found his wife that way.

So here he is with a sweet, simple primer on finding your own success online, especially if you’re looking for something long term. Part I helps you screen out the women, and Part II will cover getting your game where it needs to be.

Gal Josefsberg is a blogger, author, dog owner, husband and entrepreneur. He blogs about personal fitness at 60 in 3self improvement at Equally Happy and he recently launched a website dedicated to helping men and women find good present ideas for each other called Diamonds or Dogs. He’s not a professional anything, nor does he wish to be. He also met his wife online, which makes him at least somewhat qualified to speak about online dating.

A while back I remember being ashamed of telling people I was using online dating sites. There was a stigma associated with it back then that said, “Oh yeah, I do this because I suck at meeting people outside the Internet.”

Fast-forward a few years and that stigma is rapidly disappearing. These days, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t at least tried online dating and finding a friend’s profile is no longer a cause for giggles and cheap jokes (unless their profile is that bad). Online dating is now just another tool for people to meet each other and, like all other tools, it should be used with care by people who know how to use it. Here’s how:

First, What Are You Looking For?

All dating sites are not the same and before you invest the time, effort and money into one of these sites I would urge you to pay attention to what you’re getting.

Seeking the Trekkie of your dreams? There's a site for that.

General sites: These are the most popular sort.  They’re filled with people looking to meet each other for anything from casual dating to serious relationships.  These sites include Match, Plenty of Fish, OkCupid and others.

Niche sites: Like the general sites but catering to a specific sort of person. For example, jDate is for Jewish people. There are sites for Mac fans, Trekkies, Goths and pretty much any other subculture. If you’re not from this subculture, you’re unlikely to be successful meeting people on these sites.

Special-interest sites: These are for folks who are looking for something more than just meeting up. For example eHarmony caters to those looking for a serious relationship while AdultFriendFinder is for people looking to hook up and not much else.

As for me, I played around on Match and Plenty of Fish at first. Both are nice, although I think PoF is better because it’s free. Eventually, I decided that what I was looking for was a serious relationship, so I switched to eHarmony. It has more of a matchmaker vibe and presents you with a few preselected matches each day as opposed to making you search through hundreds of profiles.

It’s a more structured approach but it works. My future wife was the fifth woman I met off of that site, and the first four were all great. Come to think of it, I never had a bad experience meeting someone from any of these sites, which is a lot better than my experiences with women I met offline.

Second, Who Are You Looking For?

I was very upfront with what I was looking for. I specified age (I was looking for someone in her early 30’s since I was 35 at the time), education (I wanted someone with a college degree), religious beliefs (I wanted agnostic or atheist), preference on kids (I wanted someone who was interested in having them) and so on. That’s one of the best things about online dating – you can ask for exactly what you want and there are plenty of people out there who match it.

However, you will usually end up with a ton of profiles to look through, even if your criteria are narrow. So here are a few tips to help you not be overwhelmed: (By the way, don’t expect women to do this. It’s your job as a guy on one of these sites to do the searching and contact initiation. Sorry fellas, that’s life.)

  • Profiles with no pictures are out – These girls are trying to hide something or they’re too shy to bother with. Sorry, I put my pic out there and I expect the girl to do the same.
  • Profiles with only pictures are also out – They’re either fake or someone was bored. Odds of getting a reply from someone who couldn’t even answer a few questions about herself are too low to waste my time on.
  • If it’s too good to be true … If she says she’s a bisexual 19 year old looking for fun, it’s probably a scam.
  • Everyone lies – Men add 2 inches to their height, women subtract 15lbs from their weight. Count on it and act accordingly.
  • Most of these sites will allow you to search by how recently people logged in. Use this option every time. If they haven’t logged in for more than 1 week, they’re probably not going to do so just to answer your message.
  • Be honest with yourself – Are you really a good match for this girl?  While it’s awesome to picture myself with that free-spirited guitar player who posted a pic of herself on the beach, she’d probably drive me insane with her hippy crap within the first two weeks.  Don’t waste your time and go for the girls you can really see yourself with.

{ 2 comments }

1 Boss March 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

So far so good, and agreed on all points. Looking forward to Part 2, and eager to add in what I’ve noticed from the girls in the 22-27 crowd.

However, I will add these items:

1. “Be Honest” portion: If you’re a guy reading this, you’re already up a leg on pretty much everybody else messaging these girls. Odds are that if you’re half decent at GK’s Big Four and other things, you can pick and choose women on the site of your choice and sleep with every one of them (within reason). But don’t do this! It can be fun, but if you’re not honest about actually wanting to *date* the girl, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time.

2. I agree that screening is very important and you should do your homework. But don’t be surprised when women message you. My best friend has gorgeous women messaging him constantly — he is a good looking guy, but he’s also 5’9 and under 120lb. Point is, use good pics and you *will* be sought out. Everybody has a type. In fact, several of the girls I went out with said they got so many messages that they were only interested in the guys *they* picked.

Yep, really pumped for Part 2. Tuned.

2 Gal @ Diamonds or Dogs March 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

@Boss

1. Totally agreed. Life’s too short to be dishonest. If you’re confident and honest you’re already capable of whatever you want. Why lie to try and get more?

2. Sometimes true. However, I don’t want to set people’s expectations too high. Expect the worst and you’ll always be pleasantly surprised :)

Gal

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