4 Online Dating Tips Based On My Experience Thus Far
Before delving in there are a couple of things I want to make clear. These are current instructions I've set for myself to help me navigate the online dating world.
I'm on two different apps, one for men, one for women. I will only be focusing on men. My experience with straight men has been vastly different than what I've experienced with women. Both dating applications are LGBTQ+ friendly, but I made the choice to separate the two.
Lastly, these are tips are for people looking to settle down and start a relationship.
First things first. I wanted to make sure I'm using pictures I love. You know those photos you take, the rare ones, where you look amazing. That's the one. No Snapchat filters, a decent background. The ones that gets you more likes on Instagram than what you're used too.
I included two pictures of myself that I felt were must haves. One showing my face clearly and a full body pic. I didn't want to mislead anyone or hide who I really am. Like so many other's I have body image issues, but I wanted to be honest and accurately show who I am.
If you look at my profile, I have three face pictures and an additional three body photos. Taken at different angles, all taken within the last 6 months.
Again, I wanted to continue being as honest as possible. I stated that I wasn't looking for a one night stand. More importantly, I also wrote about my biggest pet peeve that would never get a response. Which is a person calling me baby, sweetie, cutie, honey, or any other term of endearment, when they don't even know me. I find it patronizing and it makes me recoil.
I love being called baby when it comes from someone I know, not from a stranger sending a short message.
Additionally, when writing my bio I made sure to include interests that would make it easier for a person to reach out. Messaging first is always hard and I didn't want to get a simple "hey" or "hi". Or worse a "wyd." I wanted to provide enough material that a person would be able to engage me in an actual conversation and not just polite small talk.
One of my favorite comedians is John Mulaney; I made sure to include him in my bio. Any messages I receive regarding him or his stand up would immediately catch my attention and I would respond.
I like to traveling, but I didn't include that in my bio for two reasons. The first, everyone has that on their bio already. It doesn't make me stand out and its not something that catches my attention when looking at someone else's profile. Secondly, I probably wouldn't respond to someone asking me where I've been or where I want to go? I don't travel often and because it's not something I engage with on a day to day basis, my attention will be short lived.
Where as, if someone sends me book recommendations, tells me to check out a Netflix series, sends John Mulaney memes, or suggests places that play great Spanish music; those will elicit a response. All of which, I included in my profile.
I wanted to make sure people had an opening.
3. Sending the First Message
This one is straight forward. I would put on my big girl pants and send the first message.
Look I get it. It takes courage sending out that first message. You're shooting your shot and rejection hurts. Whether it's a "not interested" reply or complete silence, neither is what we want.
I want to move away from being a passive user to one who takes risks. Someone who is willing to put themselves out there and is able to take that leap of faith.
4. Choosing Who To Date
I have quite a few rules that narrows my dating pool. Obvious ones, like not choosing anyone whose profile states they're not looking for anything serious.
On pictures- I won't be reaching out to anyone who takes photos at the gym or those who have shirtless pictures. Put a shirt on. You're a grown man, if I can keep my clothes on, you should too. If you like going to the gym, great! Post one gym selfie or write about it on your bio. It shouldn't make up your entire personality.
As I stated, I posted a minimum of two photos. I'm looking for the same. I should be able to see someones face clearly as well as their body. I understand everyone has preferences, but for me, I'm plus size so I don't care if you are.
Profiles-This goes back to the bio. If I find someone attractive, the next thing I do is check out their entire profile. Double checking that they live close by, some of their personality shines through, bonus points to those who write something funny, and I make sure we have some overlapping interests.
Messaging- In order for me to agree going on a date, that person and I should have been exchanging messages for at least a week. This doesn't mean we make plans for Friday on a Monday night and I don't hear back from them until Thursday night. No, not at all. This means we're communicating throughout the entire week. We're messaging back and forth, asking questions, getting to know each other, maybe talking on the phone once or twice. I want to feel comfortable meeting someone in public.
I also don't continue talking to men who won't go on an actual date. They just invite you to "come over and chill." Or any men who ask to meet up 10 minutes into a conversation. Then there are men who send mixed signals. Their profile says they aren't interested in a relationship, but when you call them out on it they back peddle. They'll say things like, "I didn't know that was on my profile," "I'd consider a relationship for someone as beautiful as you," and of course "well lets see where things go." They will not be getting a message back.
Time- Friday and Saturday nights are dangerous times. People are out, drinks might be flowing, and temptation is a swipe away. I avoid both these nights. And I don't check the app anytime after 10 pm. That's usually when I get the weirdest messages.
On being bold- Have you ever seen a really cute person and thought, "way out of my league." I'm swiping right on them. I live in LA. This city is filled with Adonis's (Adonisi?). Yeah I feel like most of them are out of my league, but I'm taking a chance.
Best of luck to all of us!