(Since People Gotta Act As Stupid Online As They Do IRL)
2. Speaking of pictures? Use accurate ones.
Like recent ones. From the past year. That show what you really look like. Right now. Full body. Not the head shot with the hands tucked under the chin to hide extra. Or the “in the shadows” shot. Or the Snapchat flowers and dog tongue shot. Look your best, sure. But be HONEST.
Seriously, tho. Do you really think that someone is honestly going to say “Oh, it’s ok that you are actually 6 inches shorter and 50 pounds heavier than you implied now that I’ve met you in person and am bowled over by your sparkling personality”? No. They may have been totally fine with a shorter, chubbier you. But now you’ve already marked yourself as a fucking liar. So what else are you lying about???
And that’s a plural. Have a few photos. Head shot, body shot, you doing interesting things in your life shot. Pictures with cute dogs or cats shots. You know.
And if they DON’T want to go out with a shorter, chubbier you? Then fuck THEM and find someone who respects your cuddly ass for the excellence it is.
3. Be honest in general.
Are you looking for a LTR? Or just a bit of strange? Are you separated but not actually divorced yet? Are you poly and have other partners already? Do you have an STI? Are you moving at the end of the year? We all have shit that may limit our options out there. But be honest NOW. Let people self-select out of the process rather than wasting time.
Don’t have sex of the first date? Totally cool. Tell people that and weed out the hook-up artists.
4. Be interesting.
“I love tacos and music.” Good. That makes you human. It also makes for a really boring profile. Could you at least talk about the KINDS of music y”ou like and your favorite taco dive? Ask your friends what makes you interesting and fun. And use THEIR answers to shape your profile.
This also goes for the messages you send others. “Hey.” “Sup?” “Nice pics.” “Cool profile” etc., are really boring openers that will likely get you very little response. Show you actually read their profile and comment on THAT. Like “I noticed that you said your blood type is coffee. I was super excited to read this, because now I have a blood donor match if I ever need one.” Or “You say Taqueria Jalisco is the best in town. I will fall on my sword over Chella’s Tacos downtown. Shall we investigate both side by side and see which one is clearly better? By which the answer is clearly Chella’s?”
5. Be humble. But not falsely humble.
Enough bragging to show that you’re secure is a good thing. So much bragging that you look like Donald Trump isn’t. Saying that you are pretty sure that you make the best chocolate chip cookies in town is appropriate. Saying that your “hands” are so big you can’t find “gloves” in your size isn’t.
But also don’t go looking for ego strokes with false humility. “I’m no good at this” or “You probably won’t be interested in someone as lame as me” etc are gag-inducing cries for attention that are icky and gross.
6. Put down the scorecard.
Y’all I went out with a guy who had just been burned pretty bad. The girl he was dating actually went into her therapist’s office and they rated him out on his positives and negatives. He almost made the cut but he “didn’t have a Crossfit body.” And I’m not even saying he was a big dude. He just wasn’t a Crossfit dude. And that was a deal breaker.
And of course, that saved him the trouble of being with someone critical, and awful, with a literal checklist of what she wanted from others.
But the real bummer was she missed out on dating a REALLY nice guy.
There are some things that are deal breakers. It may be smoking. Or them being married. Or unemployed. Or way older or younger than you. Whatever. That’s fair. But once you start going in with a wishlist for Santa, you are setting yourself up to miss out on meeting some great people.
7. Have a reasonable response window. Or if you can’t, explain that.
Respond within a day if you’re gonna respond. If you legit can’t because you work crazy swing shifts or some shit, tell people that upfront. Like “I’m a line cook. I don’t even check my messages when I’m on the line. My days off are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I will HYU by then, promise!” Dating site research shows that responding in a timely fashion increases your chance of keeping the conversation going.
On the flip side? Settle the fuck down and give people time to respond back to YOU. It’s creepy as fuck to get a message then a few hours later another one “Guess you aren’t interested in me then, bye” when, damn son, I was at the movies and my phone was off. Dating site research also shows that people who do that decrease the chances of getting a response as well.
8. Be a little suspicious. And be careful.
For example, they only talk to you on KIK? Won’t meet you in public? Vague about every damn thing? Something may be up there. Do your research. A Google Fu may show you that the person you are chatting with is VERY married and their partner is not hip to their shenanigans (You aren’t poly if your partner doesn’t know, y’all. You’re just CHEATING.”
Coffee dates are good first dates. Not a lot of money or time spent, and escape is easy. And don’t park places you can get boxed in. And don’t be left without a way home. And let people know where you are and who you are with. And have a friend check in on your so you can claim emergency and jet if need be.
9. Go out with them or move on.
Don’t spend weeks and weeks chatting online and not actually meeting. Set a DATE. If they aren’t interested in anything but online flirting but you are looking to actually go out, then move on. Otherwise you create this whole relationship with tons of investment that may not withstand real life.
Now if you are long distance, and there isn’t much choice, at least try to have phone and video chat dates and the like so you get more of a handle on each other’s communication styles and conversational interactions (without the ability to edit).
10. Remember it’s just DATING. Not RELATIONSHIPPING. It may take a while. And if it is wearing you out, take a break. It’s supposed to be (at least relatively) FUN.
If you aren’t interested, move on. And let them know politely.
(And as an aside? If they fuck with you about it, block them. Don’t respond and keep up the dialogue. If they are fucking with you in real life, get legal help.)
And if you are interested, get back in contact with a day after your date. “Hey, I had fun! If you did too let’s go out again!” is super simple.
And if you are interested, don’t assume the feelings are at the same level unless you’ve had that conversation. They may be dating other people. They may think of you as a time filler. So don’t plan your wedding just yet. And if they end up ghosting out pretty quickly? That’s so much about them. I’ve written about this before. They don’t know you near well enough to be rejecting you the person. Just your offer at this time. And someone else out there is gonna think you hung the moon. So keep looking for THAT person. You’re fabulous and they’re out there.