By now you know that online dating is by far the most popular and easiest way to meet someone fabulous. And even if you work the swing shift, only date junk food addicts or are looking for someone who shares your adoration of Desperate Housewives and Sex Inspectors, it’s easier than ever to find your perfect match. Not having as much luck as you’d like? Lucky for you, upping your odds of finding your dream date online is as easy as microwaving a bag of popcorn – just follow these 6 simple tips:
- Post a photo, even if you think you look like Quasimoto
- The absolute best thing you can say on your profile
The first thing you should know is that profiles with photos get eight times the response. Why? Nobody, but nobody, wants to end up with whatever is lurking behind door number three. Here’s an interesting little factoid from Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, authors of Freakonomics (William Morrow, 2005): “A low-income, poorly-educated, unhappily employed, not-very-attractive slightly overweight and balding man who posts his photo stands a better chance at gleaning some emails than a man who says he makes $200,000 a year and is deadly handsome but doesn’t post a photo.” The lesson? Post a photo – even if it’s a quickie that you intend to take down later and replace with something else. Don’t wait until you lose twenty pounds. Don’t wait until the Rogaine kicks! in. Post your photo today – even if it’s not perfect, it’s sure a lot better than nothing.
While it’s important not to lie, it’s also important to know what’s working for you:
According to Freakonomics
- The biggest advantages a man can have? High income.
- The biggest advantages a woman can have? Beauty. And blonde hair.
And while good looks are important to both sexes, beauty is most certainly in the eye of the beholder. Don’t worry about trying to be something you’re not. It’s most important to feel good about who you are — everybody looks great to somebody.
It’s red. When we see red, our hearts beat a little faster and we get a sensation that mimics attraction. So, if you want to crank up the attention-getting level with your online photo, it’s a good idea to either use a red background for your main photo, or wear something red. Remember, red makes everybody hot. It works in person too, so be sure to wear at least a little red on your first “in-person” date.
First, you want to keep in mind that the purpose of emailing a potential date is flirting. Keep the conversation fairly light, just like you would on a first date. It’s usually best to avoid hot-button subjects like politics, abortion and gun control until after you know each other a bit better. Also, it’s never a good idea to use an email relationship as a cheap alternative to therapy. Don’t complain about your parade of exes and how the opposite sex is out to get you. (If you feel that way, you need to take a little dating sabbatical and get some real therapy before you wade back in to the dating pool) It’s also a good idea to keep your email contact balanced – try to match them one-for-one. In other words, don’t send four emails to his one. You’ll come off as being a bit overzealous.
Most people email for about three weeks before initiating a personal meeting. If it’s been more than two months and you haven’t met yet, odds are you never will. (And there’s usually a good reason for that: maybe your online sweetie is married, confined to his rec room wearing one of those prison-issue ankle bracelets, or is, hmm, otherwise unavailable.) Unless you’re just looking for a pen pal, you might want to chalk this one up to experience and move on.
Never (EVER! ) give your personal information out to a stranger. And, even though you might feel like you know someone pretty well based on an email or telephone relationship, it’s important to remember that you don’t really know them. Which means you should take precautions.
First, always meet in a public place. Next, be sure to tell a friend where you’re going and who’ll you be with. Always be sure drive yourself home. Last, take your cell phone and keep it with you at all times.
Have fun and follow these six simple tips – your inbox will be jammed in no time flat.