Master Your Online Dating Game

By Ryan Thomas. Co-Founder and Host of the podcast and sexuality focused, personal growth company, Modern SexTalks.

13702366_571371426640_286608583_oDo you prefer reading? Or listening? If you want listening instead then click here for the podcast on this topic.

Online dating has its fair share of pitfalls.  Unsolicited and uncreative dick pics, people who don’t look anything like their photos and weird messages.

In a TedTalk (that I can’t find for the life of me), the speaker showed a statistic that for every 10 emails a man sends, the average number of responses is only 2. That’s a 20% sales ratio for a response.

That doesn’t even equal conversation or meeting.  And women spend so much time trying to sift through all these messages that a lot of good guys get glossed over due to a poorly written message.

Personally, I once spent a 2 week period sifting through close to 200 profiles, crafted 55 original messages for women I wanted to meet, and I received 12 responses, met 5, and only made it to date 2 or 3 with 2 of them.

That all said, there are some great merits to online dating. In Forbes magazine, a study declared that one third of happily married couples between 2005 and 2012 met online. And they’re more satisfied and less likely to split-up!

So how do we narrow down our search, avoid meeting people who just want a hook up, and get into that “happily married/partnered” realm from online dating?

A recent interview on with Nicole Haley from outlines her proven advice on finding love and romance online. Here are some of the key takeaways to get yourself started:

1. Give context to your profile. Ask yourself, “Why am I telling this person this thing about me?”

Select your wording in your profile to demonstrate where you’re currently at. If you don’t hike much, but you enjoy it, you can say, “I love hiking when I get out, but I haven’t been going as much as I’d like. I’d like to make it out more, and it’d be great to have a partner join me.” That indicates a clearer picture of who you are and where you’re at, and what you’d hope to find in a partner.

2. Photos need to be clear, recent, at least one fully body, accurate, and identified. That means that if your photos are of you and your friends, tell the onlooker which person you are in the photo.

Never put up a bad photo.

As for the number of photos, let’s say at least 2. Men are more visual as per Love Factually author Dr Duana Welch, so cater to the male mind and have a few good photos up to entice them to read your profile.

No unsolicited dick pics.  Would George Clooney send an unsolicited dick pic? No…he wouldn’t. Before you send one, think “WWGCD?”

If you’re a woman, and you want wholesome and relationship, then avoid too much cleavage.

Lastly, smile in your photos! No one wants to date a negative Nancy. Your first photo should be captivating.

3)  Don’t go online unless you’re ready and willing to meet someone offline.  What’s the fuckin point otherwise? Communication is 90% non-verbal. Keep that in mind when reading emails and text messages. The longer you converse via text or email, the bigger the story you will create in your mind of who you think that person is.

Body language, tonality and conversational agility will tell you what you need to know about a person. Text messaging and emails will not.

4) Avoid negative comments. Negativity on your profile where you tell what you don’t like about people, emails, men/women/partners etc, communicates that you’re damaged, too focussed on what you don’t like and negative. Instead, emphasize the values that you appreciate.

5) Take the pressure off! Don’t look at it like you’re trying to find the One. Instead, look at all your interactions as practice with the other gender, and simply have fun meeting new people.

6) Everyone should put in effort. This includes women. Dating online has different rules than the ‘real’ world. Women can send the first message.

But after that first message, it’s up to him to take the lead. That first message simply says that you’re open to his “approach” like you would at a club or a bar with a smile/drunken wink/twerk/flash of the boobs/etc.

7) Emails should require some effort.  It’s going to take time. If you’re not willing to put in the effort, you’re going to be at a loss. Your first few emails only need to be 3-5 sentences long. State one or two things you liked about their profile, and ask a question. If you don’t hear back in a few days, send one more email. Still nothing? Then drop it.
There you have it. Some basic principles to really get your profile popping.
Listen to the whole interview to get all the nitty gritty details. You can find it here or on iTunes.

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