So a while back we talked about the Do’s & Don’ts for the ladies when it comes to their online dating profiles.
Now it’s your turn, guys. So grab some coffee, pull up an actual work document and then minimize it so you can quickly pull it up when your boss comes walking by, and settle in…
First, Luke was once again generous enough to offer up some great tips to his fellow men concerning online profiles. His comments are in bold italics, and I offer my two cents in regular type. Sometimes, his insights actually serve as the rule.
Like this –
1. “Don’t say that you’re just “looking for friends.” It’ll just annoy women when you try to get in their pants on the first date.”
First of all, most women won’t really believe that you’re just looking for friends, anyway. Ratio of guy friends who have pushed for something more vs. me pushing for something more with my guy friends – 6:1. See? Girls aren’t stupid. We know that guys usually only put that on their profile to look “nice”, but that if the girl is at least half-way decent the code of friendship conduct will go out the window. If we pretend to believe you, just know that we don’t – we’re just hoping that you’ll at least pretend long enough so we don’t have to suffer through the awkward silence after you drop the “So…friends make out, right?” bomb within the ten minutes of meeting.
2. “Do include pictures with women in them, preferably a large group of them. It’ll make it appear like you don’t spend all your nights sitting in squalor with your roomates drinking Natty Ice.” Actually, don’t do that. If you want to play it safe, don’t ever post a picture of you with another girl. We won’t assume it’s just a friend (or if we do, we’ll assume that it’s just a friend you’ve been in love with for 12 years or a friend who will make our lives miserable because she’s been in love with you for 12 years), and if it looks like it’s an ex-girlfriend (and no, blacking out her face with Photoshop tools doesn’t help, guys) it will immediately send up red flags. Just. Don’t. Do it.
On the other tip, if all you have on your profile are group shots of you and your guy friends, please specify who you are if there’s another guy in the picture. If you don’t, we will suspect that you’re the ugly one and that you don’t point yourself out because you’re hoping to trick us into thinking you’re the hot one.
3. “Look below and find the type of woman you’re hoping to attract. List these as your favorite authors and musicians:
– Hippie chick: Barbara Kingsolver, Bill Bryson; O.A.R, Phish (don’t put down Dave Matthews, sellout);
– Chick with glasses: Noam Choamsky, Neil Postman, Dave Eggers, any foreign authors; Bjork, Interpol, Van Morrison, Modest Mouse.
As a girl who wears glasses in private, this is still true.
– Former cheerleader: David Sedaris, Dan Brown, any book authored by a famous person; Death Cab for Cutie or anyone else who’s been on Gossip Girl, Modest Mouse, Maroon 5.
I can fully attest to the truthfulness of this one.
– Don’t care, you just wanna get some: Just be honest – you don’t read anything playa!; “Let’s get it on” by Marvin Gaye, “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails, whatever was playing at last week’s frat party.”
4. Maybe read her profile before you message her, slacker.
Dudes. C’mon. I’ve been in this game a long time, and even I do the thing now where I look at someone’s pictures before I give 5 minutes of my life towards reading their profile. Yet I also know that if I find them attractive, I should maybe just read what they wrote on their profile. You know, to figure out what they’re like and stuff. Oh, and also because I know that I’ll look like a total douche if I ask them something in a message that they already talked about in their profile. You know, since people write stuff in their profile for a reason?
It’s called courtesy, and I’m down with it.
And so is almost every other girl in America.
5. Remember who you send messages to.
While it is flattering to receive messages – even from those I am not interested in – that feeling vanishes when you send me another message that makes it obvious that you have forgotten who I am. Unlike you, I remember the people I exchange messages with, and thus you do not need to introduce yourself again. When you send me three messages similar to each other and I have not updated or changed my profile in any way, I start to wonder if you have amnesia or short-term memory loss.
This might just be a personal thing of mine…I don’t like to chat online. As I have mentioned before, I’m not a big fan of the phone, and esp. not before I have at least exchanged a few messages with someone. Considering that online chatting can be even more stilted and awkward, it annoys me when guys try to chat online with me before they even send me an actual message.
Probably the biggest reason why this annoys me is because I tend to think that these guys are just bored…trolling through the profiles and just chatting up anyone else who’s online. It’s a little insulting. This is even more suspect when you are from Brooklyn and request a chat from someone in Montana (we will be getting to this distance thing next, also). If I wanted to just chat someone up, I’d go on one of the many D&D or Ren Friends message boards where at least I know I’ll be somewhat entertained and can use my extensive knowledge of junior high typing slang (I am fond of alternately typing these two phrases – “OMG, U R 2 kewl” / “OMG, dat sux” – over and over, no matter what the person I am chatting with asks or says).
If you still really love chatting so much that you dream of a girl that you can just IM with all night long, then at least shore up your castle walls with a real, personalized, actual message first (that means writing more than, “Hey! You’re cute. Care to chat?”).
7. Messaging people who don’t live in your state.
I know girls who have received messages from guys who live in New York but are regularly in the Twin Cities for business, and that’s fine – that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is when you receive a message from someone who lives in Florida and has no future plans whatsoever for visiting your fine state. If you are one of these people, and you are just messaging them to tell them you liked their profile and that’s it, then that’s actually really nice and you get coolness points. However, if you expect them to keep corresponding with you, then you’re kinda Grade A Lame. I can’t help thinking that if you have to search five states over to find dates…then buddy, I’m sorry, but it’s not going to happen for you. This is similar to the really ugly girl in high school who claimed she had a boyfriend but that he lived across the country. Everyone suspected that even if he wasn’t an imaginary boyfriend, the fact that he never had to see her on a regular basis probably was a selling point for him to agree to the relationship. Or she paid him after getting idea from the movie Can’t Buy Me Love.
Basically, don’t waste other people’s time. If you have absolutely no intention of ever getting together for a date, then state as much in your first message – that way, people won’t feel like they were cheated out of time and brainpower just to entertain you because you were bored.
8. Winks are for dinks.
I understand the people who are a little shy and who wink at others to feel out whether or not that person is interested. But here’s what I don’t understand – you already took the first step in approaching that person, so why not just write them a damn message?
Let me break it down for you – winks are like that guy who keeps hinting at the fact that he wants to go out with us, but won’t actually make any moves to make that happen. That guy who just stands there and tells us hey, you like this band and I like them, too, and they’re coming to town soon…and then he just stands there and waits for us to be the ones who will man up and make a move to turn that hint into a solid date. Fuck you. Grow some balls and write a message. If you wink at me, I’m just going to wink back at you as an act to force you to man up. Because if you’re gonna play the game, you might as well play like a champion.
9. Keep it in your pants.
Guys, please have some patience. I, personally, dig the guys who aren’t online to find pen pals. If we’ve exchanged two messages that didn’t make us cringe, let’s talk about meeting. However, there is such a thing as pacing. It comes off as skeezy when a guy messages for the first time and asks a girl to call him instead of message back, or asks that she message him back using his regular email address (also, when you do the whole “I’m leaving the service but I’d like to keep chatting” thing, it can come off as “I didn’t like you enough to message you before, but now I’m just messaging all my last resorts to see what might turn out.” Just a side-tip). If I already know I’m interested in someone, then I’m fine with e-mailing them at their regular address; but otherwise it’s usually just a good idea to exchange at least two messages through the site before moving onto other forms of communication, for safety’s sake.
And I always appreciate it when a guy asks to move to the next level of communication but adds a disclaimer that it’s okay if I’m not comfortable with that yet. Those guys are what we girls refer to as gentlemen.
Stalkers are a reality, as are annoying people. Girls are instantly reminded of these individuals when you come on too heavy too fast, and we also know that giving out our regular e-mail address is a great way to give a potiential psycho a lead in finding out personal information about us.
Okay, that’s it for today. There is plenty more that could be added to the list (pllleeeennnnttttyyyy more), but I can’t give away all my secrets, otherwise what would you pay me for? But I will say this: There are always exceptions to every rule (and no one knows that more than me). However…those exceptions are usually accomplished with an unprecedented amount of style and grace. Unless you’re willing to go big so you don’t have to play by the rules, just suck it up and put the work into doing it right. Because if you’re the guy who thinks you don’t have to…
Then you’re exactly the guy who does.