Advice for Online Dating from Elle

Hello again.  I’ve been working on redesigning my site to accomodate and actual wordpress blog this fall and completely forgot I had this one out in internet limbo, oops.  So Happy New Year’s to everyone… Halloween was amazing, Christmas was beautiful but stressful for everyone but the seven year old, who scored beaucoup’s of Monster High loot, and I got some great fireworks photos.  To see the highlights until I get my internet world organized again, check my Flickr account.  I’m trying to mesh several formats together that don’t play well together – WordPress (which I’m new to, I’ve used Movable Type most of my blogging life, Blogger is just a transitional state), and HTML (Adobe has discontinued my standby, GoLive, and replaced it with Muse and Dreamweaver, neither of which I’ve used before and I’m debating which one to start over with).

So moving on with the now.  I read an article in Elle a few days ago about online dating.  It mentioned several interesting advice books.  Data, A Love Story by Amy Webb is online dating dissected by a computer geek.  She tried it and got bad results, so she did everything backwards and figured out how to succeed. She created 10 male profiles of ‘the perfect man’ to gain info on what the popular women on the site looked like, how they presented themselves, which keywords they used, and the timing of their messages. I’m going to have to check that one out, that’s how I figure things out also, unfortunately I often learn by error.

And the article includes a section with tips on online dating from Laurie Davis’ book Love at First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Dating Online.  I’m going to have to read this one, her advice sounds very logical and practical.  And more than a little terrifying.

(Please note that I am paraphrasing and liberally quoting Mrs. Davis, this is not my advice, I have never dated online before.)

Here are her tips for success –

1. Play the Field – be in more than one community, join one mainstream site, one niche site, etc. Go back and forth so you’re always ‘the new girl’.

2. Ace Your Profile – pick an appealing user name, never use your real name or even your initials. Keep your about me section positive and fun, casual, under 500 words and detailed but not too specific (ex – I like HBO dramas, not I like Game of Thrones…). Use groups of threes, three interests, three words for your ideal match. Don’t mention your job and don’t be sarcastic.

3. Get Photo-Ready – Upload at least three photos, ideally seven, varying close ups, full length pics and action shots. For women, look into the camera.  For men look slightly off camera. Have good lighting for your pics.

4.  Choose Your Targets – She says ‘it’s impossible to message or date one person at a time… At that rate, you’ll be dating online for years’.  Make a list (offline) of what you’re looking for – one so specific you’d probably be embarrassed if anyone actually read it.  Her list included 72 specific qualities.  Eliminate no brainers like ‘honesty’ and trustworthiness’.

5. Beware of Red Flags (love this one) – Such as online daters who used fewer first-person pronouns – presumably to avoid spelling out who they really are – were more likely to be lying. And when a man says “I hate drama” he means he has plenty already. ‘Ready to move on’ implies that he’s not (and still involved with someone).  “I’m not sure exactly how to describe myself” is code for low self-esteem. The words ‘intimacy, massage and pleasurable all roughly translate to creep alert. And if a profile seems short – like a guy is hiding something – he probably is.

6. Make Contact – She suggests keeping messages brief – 98 words each ideally – and individualized to each recipient.  Ask yourself ‘what do I like about him?’. Choose three new people to email a day until you have a full roster of prospects and take it offline quickly, a date should be set up in six or fewer emails.  ‘Just hit reply”, don’t waste your time debating whether you should wait a day to write back.

Other books mentioned in the article include Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating by Dan Slater.

And why am I discussing this now?  Stay tuned…

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