Internet Dating - A Man's Guide
So, you are single or divorced and want to try finding love on the Internet. Let me give you a few tips to help you on your way and perhaps keep you from making some mistakes.
First, you have to decide what you want. Serious relationship, casual date or something in between.
If you are seriously looking for a relationship - I recommend eHarmony. I found they actually match you to women that you will somehow get along with. In the rare instances when you talk with a woman and you clash - it is because SHE (we will assume not you) answered the questions in a way that she thought might get her the kind of man she thinks she wants, not one that is necessarily compatible. It will be very obvious, and unfortunately it does happen.
Casual dates are best found on Plenty Of Fish.com. You can still find true love there, but I don't feel the matching system was as comprehensive as eH.
There are MANY other dating sites! These are my two favorites. I have tried match.com, singlesnet, perfectmatch, mate1, and quite a few others. Before you pay into all these sites and create profiles and figure out all the ins and outs of each - just step back and think about what it is you want. It is very time consuming, and costs a bit of money too. There is even a site that caters to "the successful and attractive"! Yes, I tried that one too.
Second, you have to decide how much money you want to spend. Obviously this is a two-edged sword: spend alot and get quality contacts (with the slight danger of finding a woman that just wants a sugar daddy); spend little or nothing and you will have to wade through the hundreds of ads looking for the 'good' women.
That brings up another point: don't assume that the women on there are all the same, or that there is 'something wrong with them' if they have to resort to internet dating. YOU are on there! Most adult women you find on the dating sites are there for the same reasons you are. They are lonely, or just want a man in their life. So think about why you are trying it, then remember the women have the same desires (sort of)...
I'm not here to tell you how to do pick-ups or one-nite-stands. There are plenty of sites for that sort of thing. If you are going to the legitimate dating sites looking to get it and go - you are part of the problem. Stay out of the places that real men go for real women and go find your fix somewhere else.
We know that men are visual. Most women know this too. Obviously, the women with the best pictures on their profile will get the most attention. If YOU want to get noticed by HER - you have to be different than every other guy out there who sends her a message telling her you like her picture. Your best bet is to actually READ her profile, then say something about it. You may find that after reading her profile that you are not even interested. This will be a very foreign experience for most guys. Usually, we SEE a woman, approach her, get on enough to make conversation, get the name and number, call to set up a date, go on a date and THEN decide if we can put up with her or not and want to have a second date or not. We find out AFTER we are already vested in the 'relationship'. Women seem to be the exact opposite. They find out all they need to know BEFORE the date, and then hope the guy likes them. While the guy already made up his mind she is 'attractive' and therefore he 'likes' her and all the date does is let him find out what she is really like. It doesn't matter at that point if she is a communist and skins cats for a living - she is hot and they are on a date together - he is happy. Can I get a witness?
SO - whether you choose the FREE PlentyOfFish or the other extreme EliteMeeting.com, you have to make a profile. You can't just browse and pick a woman, you have to have something for them to look at and decide, "Yes, I think I WOULD like to get to know that man".
Start with your picture. Now just because WE want to see naked pics, don't make the mistake of thinking they do. Just keep your shirt on, smile a little and get a friend to take it for you, so you have a chance at getting an actually good picture. Don't try and get your cool car or tatoo in the main profile pic - just your dumb mug.
Then - don't worry about sounding bad, or selfish or anything - just be friendly, positive and say what you are hoping to find. Women like a man who knows what he wants. But be careful! Remember that most women THINK that they are fat and few women believe that they are truly 'attractive' - so be very careful not to say things like "pretty and slim women only". You will get NO responses. You may desire those things, and there is nothing wrong with that - just know that women think differently of themselves and are super-critical of their own perceived 'flaws'. The best approach is to tread very lightly in these areas. Just say what you like to do. For example: you like motorcycling, going to football games or whatever you are into. Say the kind of music you like, if you like to cook or what kind of restaurants you frequent. Be honest. Don't say 'fine dining' if you really like McDonald's. If you LIKE McDonald's SAY SO! Wouldn't it be great to find a woman who likes that too? Don't get into what you don't want; don't talk about your past romantic events, your marriage; don't mention your kids and how you get them every-other-wekend. This is about YOU. The real you. All that other stuff can come later if at all.
So, you have a nice picture, a good profile - time to start looking!
Browse, click, "No."... Browse, click, "No." (this is you, wasting time...)
Just contact any woman that is not an obvious turn-off off for you. Sort them by how close they live, age, whatever - but just START writing to them. It's the best way to get the ball rolling. In POF (plentyoffish) you can add them to your favorites, then come back later and write to them. In eHarmony just contact the matches they give you - it's easy!
Things to Avoid:
Don't waste time emailing, texting, talking on the phone endlessly with a woman who will not give her picture. (unless you are into that - but I am assuming you want to actually MEET a woman..) There are ONLY three reasons why she won't give you a picture: she is ugly/fat/some other weird thing and tired of rejection; she is married or has a boyfriend and is cheating; she is a teacher at your kid's school or has a high profile job or some other similar situation.. So if you can't get a pic and she works at Walmart somewhere - run.
Don't tell a woman all about yourself right away. Keep your actual place of employment and your residence to yourself at first. Yes, I have had a woman over, and yes she did steal from me. Meet out in the world at a fun, brightly lit spot. Walk around a mall with a cup of good coffee. Talk and get to know eachother.
DO NOT go to an expensive restaurant - unless you just don't care and have money to burn and would have eaten there anyway. I have wasted more money at reastaurants on first dates that turned out to be LAST dates... Don't do it!
DO NOT continue the date if when you meet she is nothing like her picture or there is some obvious problem or red-flag. Just politely excuse yourself saying: "Excuse me, I have to go". Just LEAVE. She knows what she did. You do not need to apologize or feel bad. She tried to trick you - do NOT get guilted into a 'date' after you make some discovery of this nature.
That's all I've got for now - except one final thing: try craigslist. There is no matching of any kind except what you say in your ad and what she says in her's. I met a woman on craigslist and we have been great friends, dating on and off these past three years. We may not be a perfect match - but who is? And it was free! Free is good. Good luck.