Men, it’s easy to get lost in all the dating advice that’s out there. You have blogs, books, videos and friends that all chime in and tell what and what not to do when it comes to your dating life. I was once in that very same position; completely clueless as to what I was doing. Truth be told, the best way to figure out what you’re doing is by trial and error.
Yes, I’m a dating coach and I’ve academically studied online dating in college. However, to this day the most important knowledge I gained was from exploring online dating on my own, nine years ago. It wasn’t the books or the blogs (definitely wasn’t listening to my friends). It was failing and succeeding during my various internet romances. You can’t be afraid to fail, men! Just know it will happen, learn from your mistakes and move on. With that said, here’s one of those “blogs” to provide some guidance. Majority of these guidelines derived from my own personal experiences along with a few examples I see daily at Icebrkr.
1.) At least 5 pictures (not all at one event or a wedding)
This is a rule I came up with on my second online date. She only had three pictures and they were all from a wedding. I don’t believe she was intentionally being deceptive, but everyone looks their best at a wedding – makeup is done perfect, probably hit up the tanning booth for a few weeks and crushed extra cardio at the gym leading up to it. Problem is, it’s Friday night in November and that wedding was five months ago (she didn’t look like her profile pictures). Was that her fault? No, it wasn’t my fault.
If you want a more accurate representation of what someone looks like you should see at least five pictures – those pictures preferably being in good lighting and from various days/settings. If her only pictures are in poor lighting, from a professional photo shoot or at a fancy event, chances are she’s no confident in her typical day-to-day appearance. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t meet up with her, just proceed with caution. And you can always ask her to send more photos, duh.
2.) “No drama or games”
I always get a kick out of these women. Ladies, you ever think what kind of hints you’re giving men when you write this? This tells me you’ve been through plenty of drama & games and those events still weigh heavily on your mind – all set with that. These women are easy to spot because they’ll either hint about problems with and their ex or make it nice and easy for you by literally spelling it out.
3.) ALL CAPS
Now I’ll excuse the older generation because those 40 and over crowd often doesn’t have a firm grasp on online etiquette. The younger women know what they’re doing. Anytime you see a women with all caps scattered throughout her profile, move on. This is usually a girl who’s trying to convince herself, “everything’s going to be OK.” Quit screaming honey, we can read just fine without caps lock.
4.) Five emails and set up a date
Don’t fall into the trap of trading emails/messages for weeks, for two reasons. The first, women who continuously delay meeting you face-to-face usually flake out. It ends up being a complete waste of time. Once you begin communicating, figure if there are a few commonalities or mutual interests, then meet up. This leads to the second reason – the fantasy element of online dating builds up to unfair levels for the both of you. It’s best to meet quickly, before neither can live up to the hype.
5.) What do I say to her?
Find a commonality or similar interest and mention in detail why you like that too. The key is searching for specific talking points, showing her you’ve managed to actually read her profile (yes, you need to read the whole thing).
Definitely a huge help when it’s not chalk full of clichés because you obviously can’t write an email about how you also like to “Live, Laugh, Love”. At the same time, don’t take her detailed points of interests and dumb it down with cliché’s of your own, because then you’ve put her in the same predicament – cliché’s kill conversations.
And for the love of god, don’t cut and paste introductory emails. I know it’s tempting and you seem like a friggin genius for saving time and energy, but it’s going to squash your chances. I’ve seen it with our clients and I’ll freely admit to trying it out myself when I was an online dating rookie. Percentages of working are low and who knows what great women you’re eliminating by this half-ass effort.
6.) Call me sometime
It’s unbelievable how many guys hand out their numbers to our female clients in the first or second message exchange. Guys, chill out. Why don’t you build some solid rapport first. Handing out phone numbers too early comes off as lazy and gives the impression you could care less about learning who she is. Also makes you come off like a huge pussy. Exchange a few messages, showing you’ve read her profile and then man up and ask for her number – after you’ve set up plans.
7.) Don’t get trapped into texting before you meet up
Remember, there are two first impressions when it comes to online dating. The first is your profile; the second is when you meet face-to-face. The face-to-face meeting is the ultimate trump card. The two of you can have the greatest texting sessions, none of that matters if there’s no chemistry when you get together. Texting for hours on end is only going to waste time and build up ridiculous expectations. There’s no idea what one another’s body language looks like yet, creating a dangerous avenue where message often get misinterpreted. More good than bad can come from early texting. Refrain from too much communication after you’ve agreed to a meeting location.
8.) Pick a mutually convenient location
Google maps & Tripadvisor should be your best tool here. Figure out the area she lives in and take into consideration the time, day and how the traffic situation is going to be. Every state has that one highway that’s an absolute nightmare to travel on in a certain direction at rush hour. Don’t make her come to you if she has to go through road rage hell to get there. She’ll be in a foul mood and you don’t want to deal with that. Conversely, sitting in traffic isn’t something you want to do either. Mind your surroundings and figure a destination that works for the both of you. Don’t listen to anyone who says you should always go 100 percent of the way to where she lives. Screw that. Let’s find out if she’s worth seeing again before putting her on a pedestal.
The atmosphere is extremely important on an online date. The media has freaked out most women into thinking we’re all psychos who live in our mom’s basement and just want sex. Of course we just want sex, but all the other rhetoric makes chicks on edge. Pick a bar in the location you’ve agreed upon that’s not going to creep her out. If you don’t know any bars in that area, look on Yelp or Tripadvisor. Read a few reviews and gauge the vibe. Don’t want to show up to some live local bad night where you’re stuck screaming over each other as some tool box does a shitty cover of an Eddie Money song. A casual relaxed atmosphere where you can hear each other think is preferred.
10.) Never give a handshake
This isn’t a night out with a business client. Flash those pearly whites and give her a hug. Yup, 90% of the time it’s going to be an ass-out hug where your crotches don’t touch, that’s not the point. A hug is always better than a handshake. You can fix out the ass-out part later in the night – if you play your cards right.
11.) Should you kiss her on their first date?
This depends on how the date goes and if she’s giving you the signals she wants you to make a move. More importantly, you shouldn’t go into a date thinking “I’m not going to try and kiss her no matter what because it’s a first date.” That’s a loser’s mentality. You only get one shot at a first impression, men. Make it count and leave it lasting.