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Online dating is a maze of websites, chat rooms, and free "swipe to meet" apps that all center around one concept; men seeking women, or women seeking men (or men seeking men etc, etc) sign-up, chat, and (hopefully) find love.
And really it should be that simple - but it's not. The world of online dating is a maze of unsolicited d*ck pics, terrible chat-up lines, shady pickup techniques, and all-around clueless men who mean well but make you want to scream...
Look, guys, I can't guarantee that you'll find "sexy women in your local area" if you follow these tips, but I can assure you that you'll be less likely to seem like an idiot, creep, or douchebag.
In fact, these tips won't even help you get her in your bed tonight - they will, however, increase your chances of seeing her tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.
So, without further ado:
10 Key Tips for Men Seeking Women Online:
1) Fill out your profile.
Please, oh please God, fill out your profile with more than one picture and your Snapchat name. I can guarantee you that sane, successful, and relatively mature adult women will think twice about cold-friending you. You'll be left with the girls that want to be told how sexy they are without commitment (or even personal contact), the girls who go from zero-to-marriage in point two seconds, and the ones that are really not sure what they want but would like to look at your abs.
If that suits you, by all means, crack on.
If you want to start going on dates and find women willing to take a chance on you then consider two or three profile pictures, and a short bio which gives us an idea of who you are and what you want.
2) Read her profile.
Just do it - if a woman takes the time to fill out her profile it's because she's looking for something that has potential. Furthermore, pay attention to her profile. If she says she's not looking for a "FWB"(friends with benefits) arrangement or hookups she means it; don't straight-up proposition a woman who's looking for dates and a potential relationship.It's rude, it's creepy, and it'll probably make her feel uncomfortable as all hell.
3) Think about your opener.
If I had a pound for every time I had replied to a man who approached me on PoF, or Tinder, with simple "Hi" I'd have...
Er, Zero Pounds, actually.
Why? Because this tells me one of three important things:
1 - You have no imagination
2 - You don't give a shit
3 - You haven't read my profile
Now, if you're not a creative, witty person that's ok (ish) - not everyone can have razor-sharp wits and a clever tongue, but if you can't think of anything to say (even with the profile to help you) at least add in a question.
"Hi, how are you?"
"Hey, what's happening in X profile picture/ where were you in Y photo?"
Are better than just "hey" by a long shot because they indicate you're at least willing to try a little.
4) Don't tarry.
Messaging is great - talking with someone who makes you smile is intoxicating; I know I'm onto a winner when I lose hours to messaging without even realising it.
But, and there's always a but, that stage won't last forever - strike while the iron is hot and ask for a date (if you want one). A relationship can't blossom in a vacuum; if you stick to messaging eventually it will fizzle out and you'll be left wondering what happened.
5) Don't rush.
Forgive me for contradicting myself here, but don't rush either; you need to find the balance.
"Hi - how are you - dinner at 8?" Is a confident move, but it could backfire badly. Why?
Online dating can be a daunting frontier for many people, and you just don't know what a person has gone through; you should be aiming to chat through the dating site or app for anywhere from a few hours to a day. Move off the platform once you both feel comfortable and start talking about meeting at around this point.
All relationships are about trust - take time to build a little trust. Pro tip; suggest a short, casual first date in a public place,for example, coffee, a light lunch, or even a walk in a local park.
6) Don't be a creep.
If a woman's profile states that she's not looking for a hookup or a FWB arrangement don't dive right into inviting her to your house, talking about sex, or flirting in a heavy duty way.
For example, if a girl responds to the question "what are you looking for" with "to date and see how it goes" don't respond "to get my dick sucked, haha, no I'm joking - same - wanna come over?"
I wish that was a fictitious example, but it's not - that's a conversation I had on Bumble. And no - I did not go to his. In fact, I made a new account to get away from him after a day or two.
7) Take the lead.
Ok, so call me old fashioned, but I like it when a guy arranges the first date. This is especially the case with Bumble (where women message first). Why? Well, the first date says a lot about how much effort you are willing to put into a relationship.
Now, I don't mean you have to pay for everything, book an expensive restaurant etc, I just mean take charge. Make suggestions, be willing to travel - actually ask her on a date.
"Can I take you for lunch/dinner/a coffee so we can get to know each other?" Is a sentence 100 percent more likely to get a woman excited and amped to meet you than a winking face, an eggplant, and a tongue. Trust me - women get turned on by everything around sex; the courtship, the flirting, and the conversation are big parts of that.
If she plans the first date, you plan the second!
8) Put your phone down.
You might have met online, but when you meet her in person put your phone on silent or turn it off. Even if you're waiting for an important call don't have it on the table; keep it in your pocket or jacket.
No-one will be upset if you have to take a key call to do with family or work, but if you make a habit of it expect to drive her away; she's looking for an equal relationship, not to be ignored until you're ready to look her in the eye.
If you're too busy to get through a twenty-minute coffee meeting without your phone, you're too busy for a relationship.
9) See her home.
If you're going different ways see her to her bus stop/ the train station safely (especially for a night-time date) or to her car if you both drove. This shows good manners and will make her feel that you're a safe person to be with.
Once you've had your date follow-up with her; a text to say thank you for coming is always good. If you had a good time and want to see her again, tell her so. If you didn't feel it tell her so; nothing is worse than being told someone had a great time and never hearing from them again.
If you tell her that you just don't feel the spark then she can move on without agonising over whether or not she did something wrong.
On that note, if you do feel she did something wrong don't start an argument just politely tell her "I found X very rude/ off-putting."
She probably won't thank you for it, but she might think about it and change her behaviour in the future. If she tells you that you did something wrong take the same tack; you might not agree with her, but the feelings came from somewhere. Take it on the chin and evaluate yourself.