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Simply Solo Spotlight: Online Dating and Don’t-ing

December 28, 2010

Happy Simply Solo Spotlight Tuesday! This week’s guest post is written by Darcy from Darcy Dates. This girl has some serious experience (and some great stories) online dating, so it seemed only natural to ask her to share her online dating tips for men. Do you have any tips to add? Be sure to share them in the comments. And stop by her blog, her stories are hilariously cringe-worthy and a great read.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

Online Dating and Don’t-ing

It’s almost New Years. Time to make your resolutions. This year, if you are single, why not make a resolution to be a better online dater? For those of you who follow my blog, I have written a bunch of posts about Online Dating, or Online D(egr)ating as I have lovingly referred to it. The truth is, while it takes some work to navigate, in 2010 (going on 2011!) it is an excellent way to meet someone. People do everything from order groceries to order books online. Ordering love online seems like the obvious next step right?

They say you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. If that’s the case, I have made out with the entire friggin’ pond. I have had some mishaps, and I have had incredible success. You can’t reap the benefits without taking the risk. I am no expert, but I have learned a few things along the way. Do with my words as you wish. I am just a regular person like you. I am Darcy. These are my experiences.

Be honest about your age.

This is something I never got. If you are 39, don’t write: “I am 39, but list my age as 35 for search purposes.” If I wanted to search for a 39-year-old I would. I wouldn’t search for a 39-year-old masquerading as a 35-year-old. It’s that simple.

While we are on the topic of masquerading … I love a gay man as much as the next person, if not more, but please. Please don’t be a gay man masquerading as a straight man. My best friend Max is gay, and I love going out with him. As a friend. But if you want to be play for my team, you need to wear the uniform. A uniform that doesn’t involve a beard of any kind! But, I digress.

Respect other people’s age limits. But when setting yours, be realistic. If you are a 45-year-old man, asking for women that are 23-31, I will assume you are either shallow or you aren’t seriously looking for someone you are compatible with. Most likely, it’s both.

Also, regarding age and any other specifications you may have: take that list and chuck it. I am guilty of having a list of deal breakers. We all are. But you just may be surprised when you step outside your box. I did. I stepped outside my box that didn’t involve crossing a bridge or a tunnel of any kind and who did I fall for? The guy that lives in Brooklyn. (See: Deal Breakers). Take a chance. You never know.

Be honest about your height.

In my experience, I have found the height field on profiles to be a creative, Mad-Lib type answer. A ballpark, if you will, of 3 to 4 inches. If you are honest, at least I know what to expect. Set expectations low to realistic. That way, we can only go up from there.

Post realistic, recent pictures.

Pictures. Ah, the pictures. An entry unto itself really. What have I learned? If people only post one picture…you have to wonder. Was that picture taken on a day when someone looked so perfect, the light was just right, the angle was just so and hours of Photoshop made that picture so ideal no other picture could compare? Folks, post a few pictures of yourself doing things that show you from different angles. Do not post random picture of mountains, monkeys, or your cat. I, personally, find it creepy. I am looking to date you. I’m not looking for a random travelogue on Flickr.

I subscribe to the “show me, don’t tell me” philosophy. But not when it comes to shirtless pictures of yourself you take in the bathroom mirror. In the case of your pecks, just tell me. In a subtle way. “I exercise regularly” will suffice and it will prevent your online dating profile from looking like amateur porn. Ah! Speaking of amateur porn! If you get your date’s phone number and or e-mail address, do not send her pictures of your penis (yes, it has happened to me not once, but twice! See: Real Texts From Real Men) and or invitations to a late night rendezvous of any kind. Do not constantly make sexual innuendos in effort to get her to respond in kind. Men: we can see right through this. We know a booty call when we see one.

Just an observation: judging by online dating profiles, 4 out of 5 men have been a pimp for Halloween. If you were a pimp for Halloween, or at any other point in your life, please don’t post a picture of it on your online dating profile.

On an aside, if you wear a Bluetooth at any time (See: Can You Hear Me Now), not only do I not want to know, but I certainly don’t want to see a picture of you wearing it on your dating profile. It is the same thing as man jewelry as far as I am concerned. But worse.

My favorite: “I don’t have pictures, because my job is important but if you give me your e-mail address, I will send them to you.” This would imply that you think my job is not important. Next.

On Travel & Leisure.

What is the story with online dating profiles, and travel? I like to travel and I travel a lot. However, I live in New York City, which is where our presumable date would take place. I write about things I like to do in the city. Maybe my favorite neighborhood to hang out in, my favorite type of restaurant I like to frequent. A local venue I like to attend. Do I really need to write a paragraph about my love of Italy and France and that my perfect date would be at a bistro in Brussels sharing a steaming bowl of moules frittes? Sure. That would be great. If I lived in a bizarro land where first dates meant flying to other countries with strangers.

Then there are the over-the-top mountain men who describe their ideal date as an ascent from base camp. One man wrote to me once, after describing his ideal woman as someone who could go camping and not need a tent or food or water or any other accouterments to sustain life in 10 degrees below zero on a snowy mountain top somewhere. “I just don’t see myself carrying your equipment up Everest without a Sherpa. I’m just being honest,” I wrote back. At least I was direct.

Reach out once. Anything more than that, is well … annoying.

The thing with most online dating sites is you can actually see if your messages have been read. If your message was read and you get no response, please take that as your answer. Do not write: “Can you just write back and say if you aren’t interested?” No. “I know you aren’t interested but I figured I’d be persistent.” Unless your goal is to be persistently creepy, leave it alone. Anything more than that is just … well … annoying. DO NOT take it personally if someone doesn’t write you back. Maybe you are super fit and sexy and they are looking for someone out of shape and frumpy? Did you ever look at it that way? Their loss. Next!

Do not send Winks or Flirts.

Don’t “wink” at me. Here’s why: Would you actually wink at a girl you saw across a room in real life? My guess is no. So why fake wink to a stranger on the Internet when you can just say “Hi. I am John. You sound like an interesting person and it seems like we have a lot in common. If you agree, drop me a line.” Done and done.

Also, regarding those canned flirt messages you can send someone, i.e.: “FedEx called, they said that you were the perfect package.” My advice, before sending such a thing, is stop, take a step back and think: “Would I actually say this to someone in real life? If the answer no, which I am guessing it is, then you shouldn’t send it. Trust me.

Bottom line: Just like anything else, be yourself. Post real pictures, your real age, your real height, write about your flaws (no one is perfect and I always find this endearing. I actually wrote in my profile that I was incredibly disorganized. Perfect, by the way, is boring and unrealistic.) and open your mind a bit. Write a simple “Hi” and something personal. Do not copy and paste a manifesto you send to 20 women a day. We will know.

Make it snappy!

One last thing, before I forget! Here is a quick important bit of advice for your first meeting: Make it snappy!

You will most likely know within the first two minutes of meeting someone if you have even a hint of chemistry. For that reason, make your first date brief. Meet for a quick drink, which by the way, does not mean ordering a bottle of wine. Unless it is a mutual decision. Do not hold your date hostage! I once stepped into the bathroom to plot my escape from a “quick drink” date, only to return to the table and find that my date had ordered a 7 course Mexican meal replete with a mariachi band! I tried to roll myself up in a tortilla and slither out the door, but nothing was working!

Anyway, with that advice … go get ‘em! Oh! And let me know how it works out. I love a good love story, and don’t mind a bad date story either. We have all been there!

Signed,

Darcy


27 Comments leave one →
  1. December 28, 2010 9:10 am

    Thanks Catherine! I love your blog and I am so touched and honored that you included me!!! Thanks again!!!

    • December 29, 2010 11:59 pm

      Thank YOU! Sorry I wasn’t able to comment yesterday, but I am obsessed with your blog (you are just too funny) and I seriously just hope that some guy out there reads this post and learns a lil something about online dating. If you can help just one person, your job is done 🙂
      Happy Holidays!

  2. December 28, 2010 9:35 am

    Great advice. I’ll add: Leave out the irony. When you don’t know someone, it’s too hard to tell if they are making an ironic comment or a slightly scary one!

  3. December 28, 2010 10:33 am

    I’ve never understood why people lie about their age and their appearance. When I meet you, I’m gonna know you lied, and that makes an awful first impression. Good tips!

    • December 28, 2010 11:49 am

      I always say this. It will just be a huge dissapointment! And a lie! Thanks so much for reading and thanks for your comment!

  4. December 28, 2010 11:01 am

    About online dating:

    How about send more than one sentence in your first e-mail. Especially if the one sentence is “Hey.” This is not IM chat or a conversation in person. Sending less than a paragraph per e-mail (especially without at least one question in it) guarantees that the interaction will be tedious at best.

    And don’t ask me questions that I have answered in my profile — it lets me know that you didn’t read my profile, you just looked at the photos — you superficial ass.

    On a side note:
    I love your paragraph about the mountain men. I live in the Black Hills and these guys are everywhere. They want a girl to go mountain biking and climbing with them every weekend — and who can keep up with them even when they are semi-pro. And I have two feelings about this:

    A.) Unless you are a wuss and she is a stud it’s very unlikely that she will always be able to keep up with you at your top speed physically. Men are stronger and more athletic than women in general that’s biology baby accept it.

    B.) You need more male friends. Go mountain biking, fishing, hunting and rock climbing with them. Have your masculine time. Bathe in the testosterone and fun. Then go home to your woman for some masculine and feminine time. Eat food, have sex, share your feelings dreams and plans for the future. And in exchange ask her not to make you go shopping.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    • December 28, 2010 11:51 am

      So true about asking questions you already answered in your profile. good point! Good points about the mountain men! Thanks so much for reading and I really appreciate your feedback!

  5. Keep Your Woman permalink
    December 28, 2010 11:13 am

    very good in that HONESTY is what it’s all about… if you’re not up front from the get, the truth WILL come out, eventually – wasting everyone’s time and energy.

    • December 28, 2010 11:52 am

      Yup! Without honesty you have no trust, and without trust…you have nothing. Thank you so much for your feedback!

  6. December 28, 2010 12:03 pm

    My first thought when I saw this post was “Is it Tuesday? What day is it?” Ahhh… the holidays… Haha. Anywho… I loved this post. So true! I haven’t ventured out into the online dating world just yet, but I am sure that I will. And all these suggestions are awesome!

    • December 28, 2010 8:14 pm

      Good luck! You will do great. Just enjoy the journey and I guarantee you will have some great stories like I do!

  7. December 28, 2010 2:36 pm

    I just created my first online profile and I am scared sh*tless. I’ve been in one serious relationship my entire life, so I barely know the art of seeing someone, much less the art of online dating. Online dating is an a la carte menu at the ‘do we have chemistry’ restaurant… I’ll take the athletic and toned, but no, I don’t want that side of atheism, not for me.

    Thanks for giving me some straight up advice! Hope I can put it to good use!

    • December 28, 2010 8:27 pm

      Don’t be scared! It’s actually pretty fun once you get the hang of it and realize, its just a fun experience and not the be all end all. And if you meet someone fabulous, that’s just a bonus! Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  8. December 28, 2010 3:38 pm

    Enjoyed the post. I think the height lies are funnier than the age ones…do they think no one will notice? Your comment about including only one picture is right on. Probably the best lighting, best background, and several years ago!

    • December 28, 2010 8:28 pm

      Oh yes! I forgot to talk about the picture that are 10 years old! Those make me the most angry! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting!

  9. japanesemiscellany permalink
    December 28, 2010 5:56 pm

    I commend your advice, as I met the love of my life online a few years back by stepping outside of my ridged box. AS far as online dating went lying about height was my biggest pet peeve as a tall-ish woman of 5’9”. I have no problem dating a guy my own height ….but when a profile says 5’9” and in person the guy is 5’6”…I have a problem with that. It’s the dishonesty (I’m going to find out when we meet) ….if someone is lying from the get-go it raises serious red flags about honesty and the guys emotional insecurities. We should be honest on profiles because as flexible as we all should be …there is a limit. If a guy wants to date a blonde and I’m a brunette…I shouldn’t claim to be a blond. And If 5’9” is the shortest I’ll go when choosing a mate …then lying isn’t going to change my mind its just wasting each others time.

    • December 28, 2010 8:29 pm

      The height lies make me crazy too!!! I am 5’9″ in heels so I will know if you are lying! That’s why I said to set expectations low to realistic so we can only go up from there.

  10. December 28, 2010 8:22 pm

    Definitely liked the column. I never understood the point of winks anyhow to be honest, if you are that afraid to get a (true) word in edgewise to someone, you’re not going to make a good impression on them away. Self-confidence is key with a lot of people.

    Lying about appearances, etc, agreed, waste of time. People these days have a lot on their plates, so lying will get you a grand total of nowhere – huge pet peeve of mine.

    • December 28, 2010 8:31 pm

      Thanks so much for reading and thanks for commenting! If someone lies about their appearance it will only be a huge disappointment.

  11. December 28, 2010 9:43 pm

    Darcy, can you please convince Match.com to send your advice to ALL MALE SUBSCRIBERS??? Fabulous post 🙂
    http://www.katrichterwrites.wordpress.com

    • December 28, 2010 9:55 pm

      Wow! Thanks so much! What a great response!!! I would love them to! Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting.

  12. December 28, 2010 10:44 pm

    Winking at somebody on a dating profile is like poking somebody on FB. You’d never do it in real life, so what makes online any different?! Great post chock full of good advice. Ahh, if only I were looking to date online again. Where were you a year ago??

  13. December 28, 2010 11:09 pm

    such a great call!!! re: the FB poke. every time i have received one, i sit there staring at the screen with my eyes squinted and a furrowed brow and then…crickets. I just have no idea what to do with it. AND it makes me uncomfortable and feels a little pervy no? btw a year ago i was probably online dating! 🙂

  14. Sunflowerdiva permalink
    December 29, 2010 12:34 pm

    Interesting tips. I doubt I’ll ever use online dating because you never what sort of lunatics you’ll find, but in case I ever do resort to it, I’ll keep these things in mind. Happy New Year!

    • December 31, 2010 1:31 pm

      Happy New Year to you too!!! Thanks so much for reading and thanks for commenting! By the way, I have met some pretty awesome people!

  15. January 1, 2011 3:54 pm

    This is a great article Darcy. There’s a lot to online dating etiquette that too many people just don’t seem to get. People seem to miss the fact that if they misrepresent themselves online they probably won’t get very far offline either. Here’s another article on online dating profile advice some people might enjoy as well as some thoughts on dating profile pics.

    On a side note, though we hope that people with good intentions will read articles like your post so that they can put their best foot forward, there’s at least an advantage of being able to quickly screen out the guys that are probably just not a good idea when they put up bad profiles, emails, or pics. We’ve heard some stories of pretty awkward guys… Perhaps you could share some of those to help with safety tips and the like!

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