Navigating an ever-evolving online dating scene can be difficult and overwhelming, but when done right love is the ultimate benefit. Here are tips from several experts on online dating for men.
- DO ask questions and be a good listener. Preparing to meet up with your potential online lover? Contributor for eHarmony.com John Gray wrote “Unfortunately on a lot of first dates, the woman may not get much of a chance to speak because some nervous guy finds it all but impossible to stop talking. This is understandable. Because they’re uncomfortable with the early dating process, most men will attempt to mask their discomfort with a barrage of words.” Simple rule: Don’t talk more than her, and do ask questions.
- DO read her profile before writing an email. Jennae from WingGirlMethod.com wrote “read her profile and make a comment about something you read.” This simple gesture shows that you care enough to get to know her. However the comment shouldn’t be “I can’t live without sex either, so why don’t we get together and save each other’s lives?” It should be more like “I really like hiking too. What are your favorite spots?”
- DO ask her out on short notice. The unwritten rule dictating formality is outdated, said Zandria, author for BlogHer.com. She wrote in her blog that timeframes are dumb and if guy wants to hang out the next night she would accept as long as she doesn’t have prearranged plans. So take a chance and ask her out.
- DO choose a great photo. Huffington Post’s Paige Parker compiled a list of do and don’t from women online. A few comments included don’t post dark pictures, more than one shot with an alcoholic beverage, or wedged between two half-naked women.
- DO be original. Be creative. Stand out in your profile. There are (literally) millions of fish in the online dating pool. The Frisky wrote “If your profile describes you as “nice,” “outgoing,” “friendly,” “sincere,” “funny,” “kind,” “adventurous,” or “hard working,” we probably fell asleep before we finished reading it. Next! Do you know how many other guys use those exact same words? All of them.”
- Do meet in a public place. Care2.com author Liz Dawn Donahue wrote “If the two of you decide to see each other again, make certain to continue meeting in a public place and do not give out your home address until you feel extremely comfortable and safe with the person. Be smart and safe!”
- Do be upfront with your intentions. In an OkCupid dating no-no’s list, Laurie Davis wrote “What can seem sleazy to one person might be flirty to another. Make sure you stay on the right side of the gray line by keeping your intentions in check and acting according to what you’re looking for.”
- Do pay attention to scams. Fraud is a very real and possibly dangerous aspect of online dating. Glamour.com authors wrote “If you’re in contact with someone who asks for money or claims to be working abroad and unable to access their bank account—and therefore needs you to act as a liaison for their finances—beware.” Keep this in mind but don’t let it affect your search for love.
- Do take time to breathe. When discouraged, it’s ok to take a break – bad attitudes won’t help anyways. The Frisky authors wrote “If you find yourself getting discouraged by the online dating waters, go sunbathe on the beach a bit and recharge. When you’re ready to come back in, you may find the tides have turned a bit, and there’s a whole new group of fish swimming around.”
- Do pay attention. Pay attention in conversations with a date. It could lead to future date ideas if there is mutual interest. Matchmaker and blogger Gina Hendrix wrote “For example, if she’s mentioned the new art exhibit that she wants to see…or a new restaurant that sounds interesting….then at the end of the date you should suggest checking it out for next time.”
- DON’T be needy. After the initial meeting, make sure to not be too needy – a turn-off to most women. John Gray, contributor to eHarmony.com, wrote “If you’re too eager to please, this makes a woman feel that she has to give more before she knows whether she wants to invest herself into the relationship.” Don’t be pushy or needy, but gracious and gentlemanly.
- DON’T take too long to ask her out. Jennae from WingGirlMethod.com wrote “The point of online dating to is get offline and actually meet to see if the chemistry is there before getting too invested.” Don’t spend longer than a few weeks of email exchanges to ask a woman to meet up.
- DON’T talk about sex too soon. Wait for sex talk or implications until you know each other better – not on first encounter. “If we haven’t met in person and we decide to “talk” through IM, do not bring up the topic of sex,” wrote Zandria, a blogger for BlogHer.com. Zandria compiled a list of do’s and don’ts for men based on her experience with online dating.
- DON’T come on super strong and then back off. Take the new relationship slow and be consistent. Huffington Post’s Paige Parker compiled a list of do and don’t from women online. One comment wrote “women crave safety, stability and consistency from their man. When you act like you can offer this, and then suddenly take it away, it can be really heart-wrenching for a woman who was feeling like she could count on you.”
- DON’T forget to proofread or exaggerate the facts. As The Frisky points out – women read everything. Therefore taking time to proofread and polish your profile is essential. And also be truthful. Embellishing info, such as age, height, income and etc., will only cause trouble.
- Don’t forget to think and communicate about what is important. It is important to be clear, especially in your profile, about what you are looking for. Liz Dawn Donahue from Care2.com wrote “For instance, it was important for me to put on the table right away that I was spiritual and was looking for someone who had similar belief.” Still keep your profile and comments about yourself straightforward and succinct.
- Don’t wait for the perfect match to magically appear. OkCupid dating no-no’s list co-author Julie Davis said don’t be complacent in your search. “If you’re not utilizing all the functionality a site offers, you miss out on the experience. Rather than complaining that you’re receiving messages from matches you’d rather not meet, search and message some on your own.”
- Don’t “high five” or “fist pound” on a date. Primer magazine writer Megan McLachlan wrote “If a guy is out with a girl and wants to show her how he feels, a high five is not the way to go. Even if you aren’t ready for a kiss, do not high five a girl. Simply say, ‘This has been great. Let’s do it again,’ and leave it at that.”
- Don’t carry relationship baggage. It is important to understand how your dating history has affected you before being a serious relationship. Glamour.com authors wrote “When you’re online, figure out triggers that will send you down a path you’ve already been down and don’t want to go down again. If you do that, you can screen potential dates properly and avoid making the same mistakes you’ve made before.”
- Don’t shop for lovers. Juggling too many at one time can be daunting, if not potentially hurtful in the long run. Dummies.com wrote “While it’s perfectly okay to go slowly and initially see more than one candidate, especially if your dates are continuing also online, the giddiness of “so many profiles, so little time” can be self-defeating.”