Men, you suck at online dating. You’re not just a little bit bad at it. You really, really suck. Yes, you’ve got it tough. More than half of the decent personal ads out there are just spammers in disguise, and the real girls are so inundated with potential suitors that you’re likely to get lost in the crowd. But if you think being a girl in the online dating world is easy, you’ve got it all wrong. Rifling through all of the bullshit you guys send us isn’t for the faint of heart, and sometimes it’s downright painful. So I’m going to give you a break with the hope that some of you will learn from your mistakes – and the mistakes of so many others – and tell you exactly what it is you’re doing wrong.
1. YOUR EMAIL IS IN CAPITAL LETTERS
“HI I AM 44, 205LB BLUES EYE BROWN HAIR 5’11. I AM LOOKING FOR A GREAT WOMAN WHO LOOKING FOR LTR. I ENJOY CAMPING, FLY FISH, PHOTOGRAPHY AND ALL TYOE OF SPORTS. i REAL LIKE TO GET OUT AND SEE NEW PLACE AND ENJOY NATURE. I AM RETIRED SO I HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD FOR A RELATIONSHIP. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND A WOMAN WHO WOULD ENJOY THE THING I LIKE TO DO AS I WOULD LIKE TO DO THE THING SHE LIKE TO DO ALSO.
I AM CARING,LOVING MAN WHO TREAT WOMAN WITH RESPECT. I BELIEVE THAT ANY RELATIONSHIP IS BUILDED ON TRUST, HONIESTY AND COMMUCATION WITHOUT THESE THREE THING THERE IS NO RELATIONSHIP. I BELIVE THAT A RELATIONSHIP IS BUILD BY TWO PEOPLE AND IT ALWAYS NEED REBUILDING AS TIME GO BYE. I AM SUPORRTIVE OF THE PERSON I AM WITH IN THEY CAREER AND PERSONAL LIFE.
I ENJOY KIDS AND HOW YOU WILL TOO AS I HAVE THREE DAUGHTER ALL IN THEY TEENS. THEY DON’T NEED A MOM THEY HAVE A GREAT ONE BUT A FRIEND IS ALWAY NICE. I HOPE TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.”
—You may be the wittiest, most charming thing on two (three?) legs, but everything you say is going to sound like a monster truck show if you SAY IT IN CAPITAL LETTERS. If you didn’t know by now, typing in capital letters is considered shouting.
Would you walk up to a girl in person and shout your pick-up lines in her face? If the answer is yes I suggest you give up now and save yourself, and the poor ladies that cross your path, a lot of headaches. Otherwise, take a moment to refresh your memory on proper capitalization and DO IT RIGHT.
2. Your email would make an English teacher’s eyes bleed
“Am a blak male 24yr about 5’6 an i love movies xbox an sex an fun i like all games like to laugh but hit me to know more”
—Maybe you’re not an English major and your email isn’t being submitted to a literary journal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use complete sentences, decent grammar, and (for God’s sake!) a spell checker. You’re trying to make a good first impression, remember? Sending a girl one big run-on sentence with 47 typos isn’t the way to do that.
Once you’ve finished writing your email, take a moment to read through it and check for some obvious mistakes. Proofreading skills a little rusty? Read it out loud, and ask yourself if that’s how you’d say it in person. If not, you’ve got some work to do. And, for goodness’ sake, boys, please learn the proper uses of you’re/your and there/their/they’re, and don’t EVER say “u” or “ur.”
3. You lack that personal touch
“I’m Porat I’m 27 and I currently live in Tacoma. I’ve been here for about 4 years, I moved up here from California (where I grew up).I currently work full time for a behavioral health clinic in Seattle as a financial case manager. I’m not too sure what to expect from this but I’m always looking to meet new people. Well if you’re interested let me know.”
—You guys may think you’re increasing your odds by sending the same pre-written response to every girl who posts a personal ad, but this rapid-fire approach is bound to fail. By not including anything in your response that addresses her ad directly (“I love that you only wear purple socks, that’s my favorite color!”) you’re telling her that you don’t really care who she is. As long as she’s a living, breathing mammal, you’re game. I can’t tell you how flattering that is. It sure makes me want to drop my panties for you.
Additionally, sending an email to every single girl that posts means you haven’t personally selected her ad based on the things she said about herself and what she wants in a potential partner. In the unlikely event that a girl responds positively to this approach, the likelihood that the two of you will get along is much lower than if you had only contacted women that are interesting to you and looking for the same things in life. In short, this approach is a waste of everyone’s time.
4. Gratuitous Ab Shots
—I know you’re proud of all of the hard work that goes into those sweet abs, but please don’t be so pushy about showing them off. Unless a girl has posted her ad in the casual encounters section of a dating site or specifically mentioned the importance of a nice body in her ad, these kinds of pictures are inappropriate for a first email and, honestly, just plain ridiculous. Try showing her there’s more to you than just a set of abs. Unless there isn’t, in which case you’d better just use what you’ve got and hope for the best.
5. Throw me a freakin’ bone, here!
“I went to an Ultimate Frisbee game last June with a girlfriend. Never been to one before. Met some cool people.
—Replying to a personal ad with small talk, a description of your dog, or a dull question about one of her interests (“Since you’re a baker, maybe you can tell me how they get that delicious creamy filling into a Twinkie.”) may seem like a great way to get a conversation started, but if you take this approach, you’re really missing the point. Unlike in a bar or club, when a girl posts a personal ad she’s putting herself out there as available and asking you if you’re interested. This isn’t the time for small talk, you’ve got to get in there and tell her you like her. I can assure you, there are 20 other guys who have already told her, so if you’re wasting time on small talk why would she waste her time on you?
6. LOL, you’re not as funny as you think
“How is your week goin so far? My knee has been bugging me this work week. I can’t wait for the weekend! Lol… Looks like it going to finally rain out there. Its about time. We are due for a good rain.”
—I’m not sure how else to say this: Guys, please stop laughing at your own jokes. Sprinkling your email with a bunch of LOLs doesn’t show your sense of humor. Every good comedian knows you don’t laugh at your own material, so just stop it. And if you simply must LOL at yourself, at least make sure you’ve said something funny.
7. You think short is sweet
“We should talk. I saw your ad and think we’d have fun together.
—In most cases, I’ve taken a few minutes to write out a thoughtful personal ad telling you a little bit about myself and what I’m looking for. If you don’t have time to do the same in your response, then you probably don’t have time to be dating. Next!
8. Your picture is not worth a thousand words
Whether it’s a snapshot of your sweet smile or your kick-ass abs, expecting your photo to do all the talking isn’t going to cut it. Even the pretty boys have to open their mouths eventually, so make sure to include a few consonants and vowels with that jpeg.
9. Save the drama for your mama
“I believe life is but a journey and with each new experience we grow ever closer to understanding the existential nature of who and why we are. Everything you are is the culmination of everything you have been. Therefore if you are someone I enjoy I have to have reverence for the collection of events that is your past.
The notion of a perfect mate is a myth. My own life is rife with imperfection and it has been my experience that your own level of perfection is inversely proportional to how perfect you believe yourself to be.
As far as has been proved to me, we have but one life to live. Our days should be cherished and our moments celebrated with as much rapture as we can muster. With this in mind my most beloved moments were in the company of those nearest and dearest to my heart and soul.”
—[snip…blah, blah, blah]
—Look guys, I didn’t want to read your shitty poetry in high school, and I don’t want to read it now in response to my personal ad. That means both actual poetry and overly-dramatic attempts at being charming. You may think your prose is sex on wheels, but odds are you just sound cheesy.
10. If I wanted to read a novel I’d be picking up guys at the bookstore
Yes, I told you not to make your responses too short, but don’t go overboard. Your first email is about introducing yourself and letting me know what you liked about me and what I might like about you. This isn’t the time for your hopes and dreams or a detailed look at your family history. Just a good paragraph or two will get this thing started. If I am wading through 45 email responses and open yours to find a 10 page essay, I’m likely to just click the Next button and never look back.
And now for a few honorable mentions:
Using ellipses instead of periods
Will you use that many dramatic pauses when we meet in person? I…hope…not…
I’m just not that into you
Let’s face it: Even if you haven’t broken any of the rules, I just may not be into you. Them’s the breaks.
Talking about your appearance when including a picture
Dude, you don’t have to tell me you have brown hair, I can see it for myself. And don’t tell me how cute you are. Aren’t I supposed to be the judge of that?
Including your Myspace link
We’re all adults here, okay? Let’s act like it.
(you can read more from Misty at www.HerKnees.com)
(return to MAIN PAGE)