So let’s assume for a moment that you’re a dude. And let’s assume that you are currently on several online dating websites and apps. Now let’s take a real leap of faith and assume that you are actually looking for a relationship, and not just to get laid...crazy, I know.
How’s that been going for you?
For some men, online dating is like a virtual mall of pretty women who they can put into their shopping carts while they decide whether or not they want to buy them. Those men have an easy time finding women who will interact with them and who will actually meet them in person. Whether or not those men are totally sincere or complete dicks is to be determined, but the reality is, when it comes to sealing the deal (whether that meets getting a phone number, a date, a relationship, or just getting laid), they are successful. So why aren’t you?
I’m going to be blunt here and state the obvious. There is a chance that the reason you’re not having much success is because you’re not great looking. Unfortunately, to some degree, there’s not much that you can do about your appearance. Sure you can try to get in better shape, get a haircut, shave or grow facial hair, etc. – but we all know that guys are at a disadvantage when it comes to improving their looks whereas women can learn some hair and make-up tricks and bring themselves up a level if necessary. Like it or not, when it comes to online dating, appearances are nearly everything.
The good news is, even if you’re not a 10, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The even better news is, you are at an advantage right now if you are a single guy looking for love. You see there are way less of you men out there than there are of us ladies. For every 1 single man, there are about 50 single women (this statistic is not based on any actual research, just from my own experiences. The number is probably even higher). The beauty of you having this advantage is that if you can step up your game a notch, you could end up landing yourself a lot more dates, or at least a lot more responses to your messages.
Now let’s get to those messages.
Aside from your photos and written profile (depending on the site), the exposure that a woman has to you is your initial message to her. And most of you suck ass at writing your openers. I cannot tell you how many times I have opened a message from a guy (and yes, I usually read about 98% of them…and respond to about 1%) and I have had one of several reactions:
- Eye roll / sigh
You guys just do not get it. Even if you are at an advantage, most of us – the good ones at least, are not that desperate. We are not on here because we want to be, and most of us have never had to try this hard to meet a guy before. We know our value and we know that any guy would be lucky to have us. We have lives of our own and would prefer to watch TV in our sweatpants then meet a guy who does not stand a chance with us for coffee or drinks. We can make our own coffee or open up a bottle of wine at home. We can feed ourselves too! Regardless of what you might think – WE DON”T NEED YOU!
Therefore, if you actually want to get our attention and a response, you need to make the following improvements when creating or updating your online profile and reaching out to a woman:
Up Your Photo Game
Get that shit in order! Here’s the thing, we weren’t born yesterday. We are not fooled by the attempted photography “tricks” that you are trying to pull on us. Most of us, the ones looking for something serious anyway, will immediately knock you out of the running if you make any of these juvenile mistakes
- You only have one picture – we are going to assume it’s probably the best picture that you have ever taken in your life and that you look about 10 times worse in person. Pass.
- You have many pictures, except you look different in every single one of them. Long beard, short beard, no beard, long hair, is that even you?? We don’t care if 8 months ago you sported a man bun, we just want to see what you look like TODAY!
- All of your pictures are group shots. Here’s the deal – we don’t want to work that hard to figure out who you are. We are not in the mood to play “Where’s Waldo” so we are just going to assume that you are the least attractive one of the bunch.
- Your age says one thing but your pictures paint a different story. You know that amazing picture you once took on the beach when you were in your early 30’s that every girl used to swoon over? Well, now that you’re 42, it’s time that you get that shit off of your dating profile. If your photos are more than 2 years old and you’re trying to pass them as recent, you’re a douche. And guess what, we are on to you!
- A photo collection consisting of any of the following: you drinking a beer at what looks like a college party (unless you are, in fact, in college), in more than one picture posing with women, wearing a sports jersey and face paint to a sporting event (or worse, just out in public), you with your kids or someone else’s kids (not appropriate to put your kids picture on a dating site – and it does not make us swoon nor does it make us think you would be a great father), you throwing out hand gestures (peace signs, gang symbols, flipping the bird, whatever. Are you 12??), you petting a tranquilized tiger or holding up a fish that you just caught (why??), a picture of you making a silly/ugly face, you taking a selfie in the mirror, at the gym, or even worse, in public bathroom, or a picture of you as a child (seriously?)
- Enough with the shirtless pictures, or worse, the shots of you in your underwear!!! Ughhhhhhhh. We get it, you love yourself. We think you’re a tool. If you want to throw in one pic of you at the beach, we will check you out and try not to judge you harshly, but you shirtless in your bathroom, just no. And forget about the headless / shirtless profiles! We definitely assume that your face looks like Sloth from the Goonies. Nope.
- One picture of your face and 5 more of inanimate objects. Pictures of your car, guitar, lunch, motorcycle, snowglobe collection, etc. are not making me wet, hate to break it to you! One pic of you WITH your dog is cool though… cause dogs are cool. Cats on the other hand…
Your pictures really do matter. So let’s start there. It may be time to take some new ones. Revisit my list above and make sure that none of those images on that list are in your profile. We want to see a variety of recent pictures – some full body shots, several photos where we can see your face (at least one with you smiling – we don’t need any dental surprises!), and maybe even one or two that show you participating in a hobby that you enjoy. And they all must be current and clear (who has blurry pictures these days anyway??)
Write something – anything!
If you have the opportunity to create a profile, do it. Otherwise, use the space that you are given (every app will let you write something) to give us some info on you. Being too cool to write something about yourself on a “dating app” is not a cute look. Whenever I see that a guy had not filled out his profile or wrote things like “ask me” or “gjsdhkshslsd” he immediately becomes out of the running. Laziness is not sexy, and if you’re too lazy to actually try to make a connection, we will assume that you are probably just as lazy in your relationships or that you aren’t really looking for something serious.
This is true even for apps like Tinder or Bumble where you are limited to how much you can write. Something is always better than nothing. Even a couple of sentences can make us look at you in a new light and see more potential. If we are undecided about your photos, a blank profile becomes a quick no. If you wrote something interesting or funny you definitely stand a better chance.
On the other hand, do not write an entire fucking book. At some point your profile can go from informative to just plain sad. Keep it short and make sure your personality comes across. We want you to describe yourself and your personality honestly (and we are not all “sarcastic”, just saying, so make sure you’re actually being honest – maybe ask a friend…). Tell us something interesting about yourself, a couple of your interests, what you’re looking for (honestly – don’t say you want a relationship if you’re looking for a friends with benefits), and try to throw in something funny or unique that will make you stand out. If we can see that we have something in common with you, or just like how your personality comes across, we will be more likely to respond to you (and just writing your height doesn’t count…although you probably should throw that in there, just saying…)
But whatever you do, do not leave that shit blank! Not unless you’re Brad fucking Pitt.
Step Up Your Opening Lines
Ok, so either we have both swiped right or you have grabbed the bull by the horns and are about to send your first message to us. This is an important step that can seriously make or break your success at this point. Assuming you have passed the photo inspection, women will make a snap decision about whether or not they will even respond to you based on what you write, so do not write any of the following:
- You: “Hi” or any variation of that. (Us: zzzzzzz…)
- You: “Hey beautiful.” or worse “Hey sexy!” (Us: this guy is a player, misogynist, douche, tool, etc. ` and calling us sexy tells us that you are just looking to get laid.)
- You: “How on earth can a girl as beautiful as you possibly be single (Us: “Thanks for reminding me. Probably because men like you are my only option right now. Now go fuck yourself.” And also “How many women have you used that line on today?”)
- You: <insert corny joke here> (Us: thanks, but I’m not looking to date my father or my old science teacher)
- You: “I want to lick your…..” (Us: “Kill yourself, you pervert pig.”)
- You: <insert paragraph telling us all about yourself and telling us that you would love to take us out and get to know us better> (Us: “Total cut and paste job!” You’ve clearly sent that to every woman on the entire site in the hopes that something will stick).
- You: “Hey, you seem great! I’d love to take you out. When can we meet? Here’s my number.” (Us: “Um, nice to meet you too… ahem, DESPERATE.”)
- You: “So what do you do for fun?” (Us: “Way to NOT read my profile!”)
So you’re probably asking right now, “ok, then what exactly can I write in order to get a response??”
Well, here’s the deal. I’m not going to lie and say that the perfect opener will get you a response. Like I said before, your pictures and your profile count a lot. But assuming you haven’t made any of the offenses mentioned above and have written a decent profile, there are a few ways you can up your chances of a response.
First, and this is really important, you must read our profile. While you are reading it, ask yourself, “Do I sound like the kind of guy she is looking for? Do I look like the kind of guy she has described that she likes (if she has mentioned her type or if the dating app or site shows preferences)? Do we have the same religious or ethnic background, and if not, is that important to her? How tall is she? Will she have a problem with my height?” Are we both looking for the same level of commitment? Depending on the girl and the dating app, you can sometimes find the answers to these questions. Some apps show “compatibility” scores by having you answer questions – look at that number and read her answers to the questions if you are uncertain about whether to reach out or not. By no means are these scores 100% accurate, or even close, but they can give you a bit of insight.
You must do this, and then you must be honest with yourself. If you are not our type, or even close to it, don’t bother! It’s not worth it unless you really enjoy rejection. You have way better odds of meeting a girl and getting her to give you a chance, even if you’re not her type, in the real world when you’re at a bar or out with friends, then you do online when it’s much easier for us to just ignore you. The odds of us giving you a chance if you fit zero of our wants or requirements are slim to none. You can still try, but don’t get all pissy when we ignore you.
If you’ve asked yourself these honest questions while reading our profile and still actually think you are someone who we might actually like and who might write you back, they go ahead and reach out to us. There really isn’t a perfect opener or a guaranteed line that you can use (although as mentioned, there are guaranteed “nopes”) but here are a few suggestions that can potentially help you:
Be original. Keep it short and sweet. Personalize it by mentioning something from our profile that you liked or that you have in common with us – this way we know you actually read our profile and are writing to us, specifically, and not just sending the same message to everyone and their mother. If you want to throw in a compliment, make it genuine and appropriate (smile, eyes, hair, even shoes!) But be careful of how you come off. Again, there is a difference between telling a girl “damn, you have a sexy smile, girl!” vs saying “you have a really nice smile”. The first one makes you sound super gross, immature, and creepy. Don’t ask us out in your first message to us. Don’t say you would like to get to know us (How do you know? We haven’t even written back and forth yet? Maybe we have the personality of a wet rag!). Tell us something interesting or funny about yourself and ask us an open-ended question.
Even then, after doing everything right, you may not get a response. I will be honest, I don’t write back if I’m not interested and if I know nothing that the guy can say will make me interested, because. A) I don’t feel like making small talk just to be nice and leading someone on, B) I don’t feel like going back and forth with someone about why I am not interested and trying to be convinced to give someone a chance. Awkward. And C) I cannot spend hours of my life responding and chatting with everyone who messages me. I have a job, and a dog, and a really busy TV schedule!!!
Most importantly, just be cool about it. There is nothing more obnoxious and pathetic than writing a girl, not getting a response, and then writing her again to tell her that she’s an ugly asshole. It just makes you look really sad and loser-ish.
Stay cool, brush it off, and just keep on trucking. The good news is, there are literally a gazillion more fish in the online dating, shark-infested, polluted, murky sea. You’re bound to catch one eventually.
Just don’t post a picture of yourself holding it like a trophy on your profile!