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5 Online Dating Tips for Men

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Most guys assume they can upload a few photos to Tinder and they are ready for online dating. But in reality, after several messages go unanswered and matches disappear, they are often left wondering – what did I do wrong?

The truth is, online dating is a lot more complex than swiping left and right and hoping it leads to some real-life interaction. Think of it this way: when you approach an attractive woman in person, do you get results if you just tell her you think she’s pretty? Most of the time, a lot more effort is required. Women are told they are attractive by guys all the time – so you have to stand out from the crowd.

When you’re online dating, it’s the same. Women are inundated with matches and messages – much more so that the average guy. Most women like it when a man pursues and takes charge, rather than leaving her to do all the heavy lifting. So if you want to improve your online dating game, the first thing to do is put in a lot more effort. The following are 5 tips for online dating:

State what you are looking for.

Most women don’t want to date a guy who is vague or ambiguous about what he’s after. If you say “I’m up for anything” or “let’s see where things go” you’ve already lost her vote. Why should she reach out to you when you aren’t sure what you want? Women don’t want to be kept guessing, they want to know who you are and what you want – whether it’s a hook-up or a relationship - so tell them.

Share what makes you happy.

If you can describe what you love via a photo, then use it. People are visual creatures and you will capture more attention if you show what you love to do – surfing, playing guitar, whatever. Also, instead of saying you like movies, talk about the last movie you saw and what you liked about it. The details are important, so you don’t sound generic.

Watch your words.

When you message a woman, keep in mind that “ur hot” has been used before. A lot. Don’t speak in text, speak in sentences, and make it interesting. Talk about something you saw in her profile, or ask her what she did the day before to keep her engaged.

Make the plans.

There’s nothing hotter than a guy who takes charge and acts like a grown-up. Ask her out. Tell her where to meet you. Do a little research in advance, and show up on time.

Leave out the negatives.

She doesn’t want to hear about your ex girlfriend, the women you’ve dated who didn’t work out, or any other past romance. Keep it focused on the present, and on the possibility with someone new. The past is in the past – leave it there.

5 Signs You Should Swipe Left

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If you use dating sites or apps and haven't run into a creep, weirdo or jerk, you're rarer than a unicorn. Sometimes it seems like online dating is only horror stories.

It isn't. There are stories that end happily-ever-after, with the lovebirds riding off into a picturesque digital sunset – you just may be the protagonist of a few less desirable tales first. It's part of the process, whether you're dating online or off.

The good news is, there are red flags that warn of dating doom if you're observant enough to spot them. If you see these bad dating behaviors, especially if you see several combined, it's safe to say you should swipe left.

  1. Their profile is excessively short. Two sentences and a mirror selfie doesn't cut it. The first sign that someone is serious about dating is that they apply that seriousness to their profile. They should have filled out the text portion completely and have a thoughtful selection of photos. If they're not willing to put time into that, odds are they aren't willing to put time into you.
  2. They talk about their exes. We all have them and it's ok to share stories of former relationships eventually. It's part of building intimacy. But someone who talks about their ex immediately – right there in their profile, before you've even started a conversation – is stuck in the past and probably not ready for something new.
  3. They speak ill of anyone, ex or not. Trash talking is not a good look. For the same reason you shouldn't date someone who treats a restaurant server poorly, you shouldn't date someone who is rude or crude about others in their profile. If they don't have anything nice to say, they should keep their mouth shut and their fingers off the keyboard.
  4. They use negative language. Trash talking isn't the only way someone could be negative in their profile. There's an endless list of things they could complain about. If their profile is focused on life's negatives, it probably reflects their real-life personality. Do you want to be in a relationship with a committed pessimist?
  5. They're already flaky. Rewind to #1. That's an early sign of flakiness. Later on, you may find that they're excessively late to answer your messages or don't respond to messages at all. Or maybe they divert the conversation when you try to arrange a date. Don't waste time trying to change their mind or change their ways. If they are really interested, they'll put clear effort into getting to know you.

Watch for theses red flags and eventually you'll swipe your way into that sunset.

5 Dating Tips From The Most Popular Woman On OkCupid

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Popular

Lauren Urasek was surprised when a reporter from a major New York magazine contacted her to interview "the most popular girl on the dating site OkCupid."

The makeup artist and self-proclaimed technology nerd became an internet celebrity when the dating site declared her its most messaged female user in New York City. She made the most of her new-found notoriety, spinning it into an article for xoJane, a Tumblr blog and now a new book.

In Popular: The Ups and Downs of Online Dating from the Most Popular Girl in New York City, Urasek offers advice, personal stories and essays to help singletons navigate the crazy world of digital dating. Here are a few of her tips for making the most of your online dating experience:

  1. Post photos that are flattering, varied and recent. Flatting goes without saying, but it doesn't count if your pictures are pixelated or highly filtered. Show off the real you. Group shots, sunglasses and outdated photos are also on the don'ts list. Be sure to choose a selection of snaps that feature face and body from different angles, as well as different facets of your personality.
  2. Have realistic expectations. It's ok that you want to ride off into the sunset with Prince or Princess Charming. Just don't expect do it on the first date. Someone who seems awesome online may prove incompatible in person. Anticipating instant fireworks puts too much pressure on the date and is bound to lead to disappointment. Focus on more lowkey goals, like having fun and meeting new people.
  3. Don't waste your time. Online dating can be a total time-suck. It's easy to fall into the trap of an endless message exchange, but writing back and forth for weeks before meeting can backfire. You don't want to go on a date only to discover that your fiery text chemistry translates to zero chemistry in person. Meet sooner rather than later so you can both move on if the spark isn't there.
  4. Answer the compatibility questions. Not every dating service includes these, but if yours does, answer them. They may seem pointless or tedious, but they serve an actual purpose. Whether or not you believe in a dating algorithm's scientific accuracy, there's something to be said for knowing that you have common interests and values (or don't) with people you're interested in.
  5. It's ok to be single. Despite being OkCupid's most popular female user, Urasek says she's happily single. If your swipes and messages and winks don't lead to love, that's ok too. Don't let societal pressure to couple up get to you. Being comfortable with your self is just as – if not more so – important.

Urasek's debut book Popular is available now on Amazon.

5 Online Dating Tips For Introverts

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You'd be forgiven for thinking dating is an extrovert's game. With all the messaging and the meeting and the inevitable talking, dating sounds like an introvert's nightmare. The kind where you wake up screaming and then realize you've wet the bed.

But even the shyest of the shy need love and companionship, right? Online dating is for everyone, and in fact may even offer advantages for introverts.

First, online dating can be done from the comfort of your own home (or whatever space you're most comfortable in). Second, it doesn't involve any of the pressures of meeting via traditional methods, like striking up conversations with strangers or jostling for space in crowded bars. And third, it eliminates the pressure of needing to having insightful, witty, flirty conversations on the fly – all of your communication can be done thoughtfully, on your own time, over a series of messages.

With that in mind, here are 5 tips for introverts dipping their toes in the online dating waters.

  1. Proceed at your own pace. Your friends are swiping like crazy and you'd almost swear they go on dates 10 days a week. Don't feel pressure to do the same. Go on one date a week, one date every two weeks – whatever works for you. And if it ever feels overwhelming, take a break.
  2. Be honest in your profile. Own your introversion. You can outright call yourself an introvert in your profile or, if that's uncomfortable for you, indicate it in more subtle ways. Mention how much you value quiet time, or how happy you are curled up with a book. Drop enough hints and people will get the picture.
  3. Choose your dating service wisely. Some dating services may be more suitable than others. A site highly focused on compatibility, like eHarmony, may make you feel more at ease. Or a service like Bumble, that only lets you communicate if mutual interest is established. Or perhaps a personality-specific niche site, like ShyPassions.com.
  4. Screen carefully for compatibility. Isn't that what everyone is doing online? Well, yes, kind of, but this is about something very specific. If going out every weekend isn't your style, avoid profiles with tons of party pics. If, on the other hand, you're looking for someone to bring you out of your shell, perhaps the party pics are exactly what you need.
  5. Share your interests. So you're not into loud clubs and vodka-soaked dance floors. That's OK. Tell people what you are interested in. You'll attract suitors who are interested in similar things and – added bonus – possibly have a first date built right in.

6 Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Online Dating Profile

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We're officially obsessed with online dating, but that doesn't mean we're any good at it.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey, one in five adults between the ages of 25 and 34 has used an online dating site or app. We're almost all on board with the idea of meeting through the Internet. We've become expert swipers, but we haven't become experts in presenting our best selves.

Are you making any of these common online dating profile mistakes?

  1. Choosing the wrong photos. Your profile picture is the first thing anyone sees, so make it count. It should be flattering but accurate, not outdated or heavily edited. Include a range of images – casual, dressed up, in different settings, doing different things. Don't post group photos in which it's unclear who you are.
  2. Being too generic. Everyone enjoys a good meal and spending time with friends. What really makes you unique? If you want to talk about food, mention specific cuisines or restaurants you enjoy. Paint a picture of the taco that changed your life. Universal interests don't offer any insight into who you really are and don't build a solid foundation of compatibility.
  3. Lying about yourself. Shave off a few pounds here, add an inch or two there – it's an easy mistake to make. You want to make a good first impression and score the greatest possible number of dates. But in the end, you're setting yourself up for disaster. Sooner or later your lies will be exposed, and when the real-you doesn't match the profile-you, everyone loses. Dishonesty wastes your time and your dates'.
  4. Leaving your profile empty. This should go without saying, but a surprising number of people choose to leave their profiles blank. Your profile exists to tell the world about yourself. You wouldn't want to date someone you knew nothing about, would you?
  5. Writing a novel. On the other hand, there's no need to go overboard with your profile. Attention spans are increasingly short and schedules are increasingly packed. Few potential suitors have time to read your entire life story. Besides, if you say everything up front, there's nothing left over for the date.
  6. Being too picky. It's good to be somewhat selective when it comes to your love life, but your profile shouldn't include a laundry list of deal breakers. There's a fine line between high standards and unreasonable standards. Focus on who you do want to date, not who you don't want to date.

Avoid these common online dating mistakes and you'll be well on your way to making a great first impression.

6 Things To Do When You're Sick Of Online Dating

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Swipe, swipe, swipe. It may seem like a small gesture, but too much of it is mentally and emotionally draining.

Sustained effort is the key to success in all areas of life, including love, but if dating has become a part-time job, it's time to step back and hit the cosmic refresh button.

When you feel online dating fatigue setting in, try these strategies for getting back on track.

Refresh your profile. Maybe all you need to get excited about dating again is a makeover. Not the kind you get at a Macy's counter – the kind you can do from your couch. Swapping out your profile pic makes a new first impression and gives you an instant lift in attention. And while you're at it, switch up the written part of your profile. There's bound to be something outdated that needs a delete.

Cultivate other interests. Remember when you enjoyed things that didn't involve staring at a screen? It's time to bring those back. Step away from the digital device and recharge with something fun, challenging, calming – whatever it takes to make you feel rejuvenated, like a mental spa day. This is the perfect time to indulge in an old passion or test out a new one.

Schedule vacation periods. There's a reason you have vacation days at work. You can only do the same thing for so long before it drives you insane. Pencil in online dating freeze days every so often and use them to recharge. Work out, read, take a class, go shopping, or just veg-out on the sofa. Do whatever makes you feel good during your dating downtime.

Slow down. How many dates did you go on last month? Can you remember the last time you had coffee alone? Can you remember what it's like to ride public transportation without obsessively swiping? Too much of any good thing is a bad thing, online dating included. If you find your emotional energy feels drained, give yourself the gift of some much-needed alone time.

Revise your mindset. Dating – online or off – is rarely smooth sailing. You'll burn out quickly if you don't acknowledge the reality that, yes, sometimes it will suck. Sometimes you'll be bored. Sometimes you'll be hurt. Sometimes it will feel hopeless. Stay positive, have a sense of humor about it, maintain a balanced perspective, and manage your expectations in a healthy way.

Date offline. If you're tired of dating online, just... don't. Join a club, attend a meetup, go to the park. Meet dates the old-fashioned way and call it charmingly retro. Do people still say “duh?”