Online dating has been around for a long while now and though there is still some stigma attached to going on the internet to find a date, it is much more common than it used to be. Unfortunately, when you get out of school you have a lot less time and way less exposure to women than you previously had. Your options at that point are bars/clubs, social circle, and online dating. I don’t think that you should do any of those things exclusively to meet new women but each of them has their benefits and drawbacks. It is hard to go out every night when you have to get yourself early in the morning, I mean, I love to go out and party but the shit is exhausting after a while. However, it is more of a challenge and really helps you get over social anxiety and things like that. Getting girls through your social circle is also great but it is limited unless you keep expanding it and have new potential dates coming around on a consistent basis. Meeting girls through online dating sites is cool for the most part but it is more difficult to convey things about yourself, and it is harder to get a response when the perception of your personality is based on text and still photography. It is extremely easy to contact a large amount of girls in a short amount of time who you know are interested in meeting someone, even if it isn’t you. I wanted to create a sort of guide to online dating for guys because it is a fairly different experience than meeting a girl at a bar. Note: I’ve also written a Part 2 which gives further examples of what to do and what I had success with on my latest Online Dating adventures.
One good thing is that once you’ve got a phone number and a meet up it is just the same as any other method for meeting women. It can be a crapshoot sometimes, so it’s best not to rely on meeting girls on the internet. I use online dating sporadically as a supplement to the girls I already meet. I am a big believer in casting a wide net and having a lot of options, that way you don’t fall for some chick because she’s ‘what’s available’, instead of being an interesting person worth your time. Then again, if you are a dude that just wants to sleep with a bunch of girls, I suppose online dating will be much more conducive to that end.
Keep in mind that this is geared more towards younger guys probably (18-29), who aren’t in college anymore (Where to Meet Women after College), and are looking for more casual dating. If you’re in college, your best bet is meeting through social circles, it is insanely easy if you make the effort and involve yourself in as many groups and activities on campus as you can. Of course, you can also you online dating sites as well but it shouldn’t be necessary. Here is my post about meeting girls at college parties, if you haven’t already read it.
The Dating Sites Guide
Zoosk has had a pretty large TV advertising campaign for the past couple of years, so on the plus side it has lots of people, and also on the plus size are the people (attempted fat joke, you like?). Seriously, maybe it is just in my area but this site was awful. The setup sucks and I did not find one girl that wasn’t a two time baby momma, an obesity statistic, or a high school dropout. It is free, so I guess check it out…?
Plenty of Fish
A step above Zoosk. If you can sort through all of the hot mess that inhabits that site there are some good looking chicks amongst the masses. I would only use this site to contact those few and then be out.
I don’t know why but this site in my area seems to have the greatest number of cute girls and it’s not even close. What I like about this site is that it is easy to sort through, more information, and an overall higher number of girls that don’t have a million kids by the age of 23. You can also hide profiles on the main screen so all of the girls that you are not interested in can be filtered out so that all you see are the girls you want to message and new users.
I haven’t tried Match or any other paid dating websites because I’m not going to pay to meet some girl online. If that’s my option I’ll pay a bar cover or go to a concert and give myself a chance to get her interest in person instead of through text message. There are all of these other sites like Christian Mingle and other niche dating websites, but I have no interest in those.
Your Dating Profile
OK, so you’ve decided to use online dating as a supplement for meeting more women, now it is time to talk about the profile itself. I keep a profile up on the site that is already filled out but I remove my pictures while I’m not actively using it. This prevents anyone from messaging me that I don’t want to deal with. Like I said, I like to use online dating strategically to find attractive girls I wouldn’t have otherwise met, not to let any girl with a laptop into my life. Also, this is a numbers game. Your pictures will be the biggest factor in getting responses followed by an engaging message and then the content of your profile. Expect to get no response from lots of girls and send out plenty of messages. Because it is harder to convey your personality through a dating profile and because it is easier for her to reject or ignore you outright, don’t expect to get the same kind of responses that you would be able to receive in person. You can certainly get better at meeting girls online but never take it personally if it doesn’t go well.
The actual text of your profile isn’t necessarily all that important but it is a good way to get your personality across. Don’t sit there and list every book you like or TV show you watch every Thursday and don’t talk about serious issues either. Keep it short and to the point but also try to mix in a bit of humor. It’s about being positive and fun loving, someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously or brag about how great they are. I don’t even have some of the categories filled out on my profile. It is a simple introduction that conveys my lifestyle and personality and then some stuff about what I am passionate about. Simplicity.
Pictures, like I mentioned previously, are the most important aspect of online dating. Online dating is much shallower than meeting someone in person. You should have at least three pictures on your profile, less than that and it seems to give off a negative vibe. (Look good in your picture: Dressing Well for Men)
I try to have one of these pictures be one where I am with other people, like a party or something along those lines. Don’t have too many pictures where it is just you and a girl in the picture because that also seems to have a negative ‘player’ connotation to it. I have one from a Halloween party where my arm is around a girl but she’s cropped out. This works well because it shows a fun and social context, plus the added benefit of showing my personality through my costume and facial expression.
Try to have other pictures from something like a vacation or an event you went to but you want pictures that are interesting and capture your lifestyle in a fun way. Maybe a goofy picture, one picture that has you looking your best, and then another one where you are with other people. Pictures convey personality and lifestyle better than text can, unless you’re a great writer, and thus the minimum amount of pictures should be 3 but by all means put up more if you’ve got good ones. Another thing is to clean up your photos a bit. I’m not saying photoshop your pictures but sometimes you’ll have pictures where you’d look great if the lighting or flash wasn’t so bad. Don’t outright lie, but try to make these pictures work for you.
Pictures you should avoid putting up are selfies or anything else that makes you look bad. Girls specifically write in their profiles about these pictures because they can create the perception that you are a douche, even if that isn’t the case. It’s okay to have one, if you have other pictures like the ones I mentioned before, but a bunch of shirtless pictures you took with your cell phone will probably ruin your chances with some girls right off the bat (however, it is a good idea to look great on the date, see: How to Get Ripped Abs).
I don’t have a set strategy of things that I say in the initial message but I’ll try to break down a bit what works and what doesn’t. First of all, simply saying ‘hey’ or ‘you’re cute’ is pretty damn ineffective. There is no substance to that and it is very unlikely that she will engage you in conversation. Also, you guys who send some sexual message, my question to you is what are you thinking? A girl might be down on the first meet up but why are you pressing it that early? I understand that all that you may want from girls is sex but why are you messing it up with girls who may be willing but don’t want to be talked to in that way from a stranger? Keep in mind that girls, especially the cute ones, are in some cases receiving literally hundreds of messages from other guys. If you don’t set yourself apart in a good way, you’ll be just another message that gets deleted.
It is perfectly okay to tell a girl that she is cute right from the start but it should be in context of a more in depth message. I find that playful messages get the best responses, something that will make her laugh a bit and will get her attention. There should also be some sort of question in there that she can respond to, like an either or question, or a question about would she rather do this or that. There’s no sure fire stock message but use your imagination and experiment until you find something that works.
Don’t have super long conversations on the dating website either. Have a two or three message exchange and then move the interaction to the phone. Say something about how this email back and forth is kind of lame and ask for her number or send her yours and perhaps a Facebook profile link and tell her to text her name to your phone. From there, it’s all about text game and getting a meet up.
A Few Things About the Women to Watch Out For
If a girl has only one photo be a bit wary and try to get her to send you more pictures before you attempt to meet up. One picture can be completely deceiving about what she actually looks like and sometimes if you get two or three pictures, you start to wonder who this girl is because they will all look different. Some will be scary. Of course, also make sure you get a few full body pictures as well. Cameras can be angled and photos can be manipulated easily to make it look like she is extremely attractive when it’s all a well-played illusion.
Watch out for female losers. It’s weird how sometimes men are always perceived as the one who is a ‘loser’ but on these sites you will come across plenty of girls that you do not want in your life at all. Let me repeat that, regardless of how good she looks, you do not want some of these girls in your life under any circumstance. Take the time to actually read their profiles, I swear some of them are like a complete psychological analysis. Watch for things like, ‘I can’t stand being alone.’ Also, look out for any hint of bitterness about exes or their material expectations for a man. It’s hilarious to see a girl who doesn’t have a GED, rant about how she is a princess who deserves a man with a good job, car, and that will take her out constantly. Really read these profiles because most of the time it will reveal so much about her that she doesn’t intend for it to do.
You will have to sift through a ton of girls that you don’t want but there are some good ones on there that you could form some kind of relationship with whether it be serious or not. These girls will usually write in complete sentences and just generally have a positive vibe about them. The crazy or the too much trouble for it to be worth your time girls will almost always reveal themselves in the crap that they spew on their profile.
I’ll leave the dating logistics to you for now, though I may write up some examples of exchanges and my new online dating shenanigans in a few weeks after I get through this new round of messaging. Take online dating for what it is, a tool to help you meet more girls and not necessarily ‘the girl’. There is a bit of an art to it and I hope that this little guide has been somewhat helpful, like I said there should be more to come with this so subscribe and stay tuned. (Update: Here is my Part 2 Guide to this article with the real life examples.)