If the mere thought of online dating churns your stomach, or if you think it won’t work, guess what? It probably won’t. If you expect that everyone you’ll meet through a dating website will turn out to be a fraud or not good enough, you’ll need to transform your mindset into one that is truly positive. Recent statistics show that one in five marriages stem from online connections. Believe that you can meet your life partner through a dating site!
In the world of cyber-dating (where over 40 million people search for love), first impressions are everything. You have about three milliseconds to captivate your target, or he/she will move on to the next person. Invest in photos taken by a professional who gets online dating. Or grab a buddy who is a talented photographer. You need 4-6 headshots and body shots no more than one year old. Dress to impress and give yourself different looks. Don’t include other people, pets, kids, etc. in the shot—you are the merchandise!
Nine out of ten women’s profiles sound generic, with boring lists of adjectives strung together. “I’m cute, I’m fun, I’m chilled” Blah blah blah. If you want to convey that you’re adventurous – show it with short stories. For example: “I’ve never met a mountain peak I didn’t like, and have climbed five of the world’s tallest mountains to date. Care to join?” This method will help you stand out and connect with the reader. It also gives him a concrete way to start up a conversation.
Be smart, positive, specific and playful in your profile text. Don’t be negative, critical, or talk about what you’re not looking for. For instance, don’t write: “If you are looking for a 3 AM booty call, delete me!” That kind of information tells men that you have made some bad choices and are angry with them. Men want women who are nice, kind, positive—and cute, of course. Showcase your best self, and cap your profile at 200-300 words.
Think of your username as your product brand name; it’s valuable real estate online, and will be the first way a man greets you. Pick three adjectives that describe you in a clever way. If you’re an author, and are kind and stylish, try something like “ChicSweetScribe.”
Good things can happen for online daters who set goals and actively work towards them. For example, if you decide that you’d like to go out on one or two dates per week, you’ll need to email at least a few new people every day – and keep at it. Build online dating into your daily routine. (If you feel you’re too busy to spend 30 minutes a day on sorting through and emailing potential dates, call me and I’ll find the 30 minutes for you.)
If you widen your search parameters, you’ll increase your chances of finding what I call a “great value” partner: someone who is cute to you, isn’t getting 500 messages per day and has some quirks. Maybe he’s a little shorter than average, lives farther away, is older or younger than your ideal. This strategy can bring in thousands of promising new candidates. Remember, all you need is one prince! And here’s an important note about male height: only 12 percent of the US male population is over six feet tall—that includes eighth graders and your great grandfather. The average US male is between 5’8” and 5’9”. Yet most women start their searches by seeking men who are 5’10” or taller. Don’t be a “heightist”! How important is height to long-term happiness?
Writing dating emails and texts isn’t like writing work memos. One-word responses won’t do. Generic cut and paste emails won’t do. Read his profile, greet him by his name (instead of Hey! or Hey You!). Find something in his profile that interests you and compose a few fun, positive sentences. End your email with a question and your first name (it’s creepy not to use your first name).
There are over 1,500 registered online websites, and new apps spring up everyday. Which ones are best for you? I advise focusing on sites with big denominators instead of small sites, although you can often find success on smaller, targeted sites that are based on common ethnicity, race, religion, or lifestyles. A smart strategy is to register on a few dating sites simultaneously. Then give it everything you’ve got!
Rome wasn’t built in a day. It isn’t realistic to expect to find love in a day. Think of the dating process as something fun to do, and set a reasonable goal for yourself. For example, you could aim to go on 10 first dates by the summer. If you have one or two bad experiences, don’t throw in the towel. If you ate a bad meal at a restaurant, would you quit eating out for good? No. The women who succeed at online dating are relentless, patient, and hard-working (like the Little Engine That Could). Believe that love is out there for you—and don’t quit until you find it.