A friendly PSA to guys that are dating online.

It seems like it SHOULD be common sense but lately I've been seeing these things far too often. I feel as though guys need to read and sign a document stating they've read basic tips for creating an online dating profile. 

I've had my fair share of online dating experiences. I feel like it would be quite rude to send someone a message telling them what is wrong with their profile. So, I'll do it here. I speak from experience with every one of these situations. Sad, I know.

Here are my two cents to guys that are online dating. 

1. Iwanturpanties just sent you a message!

Pick a decent user name. That is an example of a real user name of a message sender in my inbox. I'm not even going to open the message. Go with something simple. Your first name, last initial and a number. Stay away from anything dumb like "BigFun4U" (also a real user name I've seen).

2. Take the chick out of your pic

There should not be another girl in your profile picture. I don't care if it's your sister or your cousin, we don't know this. Seeing you with a woman is unattractive and naturally, as women, we'll be curious. It isn't that hard to crop the photo so it's just you. In fact, ask the nice lady in your photo because she'll probably know how to do it. 
I recently saw a photo and the guy didn't even bother with cropping. Instead, the woman's face was literally blacked out with a marker before the photo was scanned (who scans photos anymore?).

Try to limit the animal photos. Unless you moonlight as a black lab, I don't need to see the pic of your dog. Okay, you like to fish and you caught 60 fish, but we don't need 3 photos of you with the fish. A photo of you with a bloody deer? Kind of gross. Save that picture for your guy friends and show us a picture of you without a carcass.

I'm a real catch!
So, what photos can you use?  A face shot where you're smiling would be ideal. Have more than 1 photo. There has to be a good RECENT photo of you out there somewhere.

3. "Your very pretty!"

Make sure that you're using correct grammar.  Know the difference between your and you're. Capitalize words. Tonight I saw a guy that looked like a normal guy but his entire "In Your Own Words" section was lowercase and using slang. In fact, here's an excerpt from someone that showed up as one of my "top matches"... 
"heyo im a real cool guy. i love hanging out and fishing. i have a job and a car and i am a student in business and marketing."
This is not someone that appears as though their first language is not English, so I don't cut slack for that reason. If writing isn't your strength, then maybe online dating isn't for you.

I don't think I'm being too picky when I say I want to date a man that can spell and form a sentence. 

4. Steer clear of the obvious

So now that you've got a solid user name, a basic photo and you can use your words in a positive way, what do you write about? As a woman, I want to know a few things from your profile. Keep it short and sweet, but not TOO short. Personally, I think 2-3 paragraphs is good. Women have a longer attention span and focus more on the words than men do, so this advice would be different for women. I don't mind actually reading a profile. First and foremost, don't lie. Just be honest.
DO: Tell me what you like about where you live. Especially in the Twin Cities, there are so many unique neighborhoods and it can tell a lot about you. If you're passionate about Uptown, you're probably a hipster. If you spend all your time in Dinkytown, I bet you're in college. Crocus Hill kind of guy? You're clearly classy. 

Talk about what goals you have. Are you an athlete? What are you favorite sports to play? Are you training for a marathon? Mention that. What are you looking for? I don't mean saying you want a hot blonde with blue eyes. I mean, are you looking for a serious relationship or casual dating? I know it may hard to actually think about what you want but if you're online, there's a REASON, right? What do you hope to get out if it?

DON'T: Talk about how busy you are. Everyone is BUSY, this is obvious. If you're looking to date then you don't want to say that your free time is consumed by grad school and 4 rec softball leagues. Chances are, we'll think you don't have time for us.

5. The message

If you've found someone that gets you jazzed up, send her a message. Don't be intimidated. What do you have to lose? Keep the message short and sweet. Comment on something in her profile. Don't send a standard message to every single person but personalize it a little. Ask a couple of questions that will warrant a response.

I hope that my friendly public service announcement helps you or someone you know with their problems with online dating. As a young, single woman that is actively online dating, I'd like more men to know some basics things to do and some things to stay away from when creating their profile. It will make it easier and less painful for all of us. 


Romance On The Web said...

so true and very good. I like it!

Amber said...

The message bit is something that gets overlooked a *lot*. Guys get points for at least putting themselves out there and initiating the approach, but I can spot a form letter from a mile away...and if you're calling in the first point of contact, it makes me wonder what else you're going to try to slack off on. Poor form.

Meagan Linn said...

This is hilarious.
Good words Leah, good words.

Anonymous said...

I'm not female, so I can't comment on the validity of her opinions, but she is absolutely right. Circle gets the square.