Now that I’m no longer online dating, (thank the sweet baby Jesus!), I feel like there are some things I’ve learned that I feel would help others in their quest for virtual love. Here is a brief list of things I wish I knew when I started online dating.
1. Be creative in your profile, not your profile picture
I’ve blogged about it before, and I’ll blog about it again. Yes, EVERYONE LOVES to workout, the outdoors, going to the gym, being active, a good sense of humor, traveling and that it’s their first time on a dating site and their friend “put them up to this.” We all apparently, “work hard and play hard,” “Love all kinds of music,” and “hate drama/games.”
Well, duh. Who doesn’t? Thanks for blending in with the 400,000 other people on this site.
Work on being a little more creative and capturing my interest since that is my first impression of you. I started my dating profile with, “I am on this dating site because I don’t want to end up being the crazy lady with fifty cats…and besides, I’m allergic to cats.” Then I made sure the rest of my profile showed my specific personality. I didn’t say anything about my love for traveling, but I did mention my obsession for chapstick. Bottom line: be different.
Profile Picture: I don’t need to see your abs, your dog, a meme or a picture you with a girl that clearly was once a girlfriend (even if you tell me that it’s you and a “friend.” I rarely ever have one hand on my guy friend’s shoulder and my other hand wrapped around his upper thigh).
Yes, your photo is my first impression. It’s like I looked across the bar and saw…your bare abs? Oh yeah, that compels me to do little more than think, “What a douche,” and move on. And pictures of you in sunglasses are cool but post a few where I can see your face. If I show you mine, will you show me yours?
2. Don’t fall in love right away
It’s easy for girls to get all googly eyed and swoony over cute emails and texts but until you meet the guy, remember that he’s probably making googly eyes with a few other females as well. I’ve exchanged a good number of emails with men and have gotten attached pretty quickly and I’ve ended with is hurt when they decide that for some reason or another, I’m not the one they want to continue to have googly eye exchanges with.
3. Sign up for a few different sites
I signed up for three sites when I first started. (All free sites, so I have no experience with the Match.com/eharmony crowds) The three I signed up for were: Zoosk, which I found that most of the men I came in contact with were serious LOSERS. Like still live in mom’s basement, plays video games and low on the personal hygiene meter (at least in their profiles and pictures. I never felt compelled to meet any of them); Plenty of Fish, aka plenty of creepy men looking for hookups; and the one I stuck with the longest, OK Cupid, which was just that, OK. I met a few nice people on there.
There are lots of sites suited for all your interests and needs: Christian Singles, Military Singles, Millionaire Singles, etc.
4. You don’t have to respond to everyone who messages you
This was an error I learned pretty quickly to correct. I wanted to be nice and respond to everyone, but what ended up happening was that I encouraged the men to keep messaging me. Even if I told him that he seemed nice, but I don’t think it would work out, they’d want to know why and then blah, blah, blah, all I was doing was wasting my time emailing people that I didn’t even want to talk to. If you’re not interested, don’t respond.
5. There are a lot of creepers out there. Don’t share too much personal info.
I had one man google image search my photos and then message me with links and a weird and stalkerish message (since I do put myself out there a lot, and my job requires me to be fairly public). CREEPY! I immediately blocked him and removed all photos that could be searchable on the internet. I only used photos that did not appear anywhere else. Ack!
6. They don’t always look like their profile picture. And most of them don’t make “over $100k” as their profile might say
This probably is one of those “DUH!” things, but seriously, some people really embellish (ahem, flat out bald face LIE) on their profiles. I was surprised that so many men seemed to make so much money, use photos from 10 years ago when they had hair and sans beer belly, and by the way, some people photography waaaayyyy better than they look in real life. Thanks, angles and Photoshop. (By the way, I know both, so if you need a kick ass profile pic, call me. Haha)
Take everything with a grain of salt and be cautious. There are some very weird people out there. Be careful and have fun 😉