Third, Who Are You?
For a guy, the Internet is no different from a club. It will still be up to you to make the first move and you will still need to impress your target. With online dating you have three tools: the picture, the message and the profile.
- Picture: Looks matter, even online. This is the first thing a girl will look at when she gets your message, so get a picture that makes you look good. Do NOT post idiotic pictures of you looking like a douchebag. Do not post pictures of your genitals (yes, some guys do this). Do post pictures of yourself doing something interesting. OKCupid did an amazing study of online dating pictures which you should really read: http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/the-4-big-myths-of-profile-pictures/. My most popular pic was of me running through the snow with my dog. Second popular was hiking. Neither showed my six-pack abs.
- Message: Authenticity counts. After checking out your picture, the girl will check out the message you sent her. Remember, these girls are getting dozens and sometimes hundreds of messages a day, so you need to stand out. Don’t just send a picture that says “hello” or a “wink.” Spend some time and show her you actually read her profile and didn’t just check out her cleavage. Pick out something from her profile that you have in common and comment on it. Compliment her smile in that picture of her with her puppy and take the time to say something about yourself in this message that isn’t in your profile. When I sent out messages, I would always be upfront and tell the recipient why I sent her a message. For example: “I noticed that you loved ‘Firefly,’ that’s my favorite show! I’m still waiting for the second season…” or “Love your smile in that pic of you hiking. Is that Yosemite?” And yes, always ask questions. You want to give them a reason to respond back and not just forget about your message.
- Profile: If your pic and message are good, she’ll now be checking out your profile. Again, be honest and have a sense of humor. Don’t go for cheesy stuff like “love to travel and enjoy long walks on the beach.” Girls can spot bullshit like that a mile away. Tell them what you’re really like, be funny, say something unique and don’t be afraid to share something a bit embarrassing (On my profile, I stated that I had a horrible taste in movies and mentioned that I just saw “Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus.” You’d be amazed how well that works).
Fourth, Take It Slow but Go For The Close
Don’t rush things. Exchange a few e-mails first before taking it offline but do move it offline sooner rather than later. If you’ve been writing e-mails back and forth for the last four weeks, you’re building this up to be something more than it is and you’re going to be disappointed. My usual rule is three messages. If she’s not meeting me after the third message, I’m polite but I move on.
A few tips
- On your second exchange of messages, ask if you can send a message to her personal e-mail instead of her dating site inbox. If she’s not willing to do that, she’ll never actually go out with you.
- If she responds and tells you to check out her hot pictures on her personal site, don’t do it. To quote Admiral Ackbar, IT’S A TRAP!!! (I’m assuming most people aren’t this dumb but it still needs to be said).
- Don’t suggest something high pressure. A fancy dinner on the first date is bad. Suggest something public and low pressure like coffee. I met my wife for our first date at the farmer’s market, by the way.
Finally, Set Your Expectations Correctly
You’re a guy on a website full of guys trying to land a date. The average response rate I got was around 20% and that’s considered really good. It’s just like a bar where sometimes you’ll strike out and sometimes you’ll hit a home run. Just enjoy yourself and the experience.