Support & Appreciation

Look Who Stopped By

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Confessions of a One Date Wonder

A couple of days ago I mentioned that my dating mentor and blogger hero Jane of Confessions of a One Date Wonder was going to be kind and gracious enough to educate us (me) with some tips and tricks for successful online dating. And as the lack of dating blog posts can attest to, I need all the help I can get!!

So ladies and gents, pull up a seat and hold your hats because here it is! Jane is starting us (again, Me) off easy with the basics on introductions and first contact how to's.

Part one

Here we go:

So Mollie has invited me here to talk a little about the rules and regulations of online dating. Please note that while none of these are hard and fast rules, they are certainly old faithfuls that have seen me through the years. Too many years, if we're honest. Let's just ignore that part and move on shall we?

First up is the tricky subject of first contact. You have searched the web and found someone who might just make your heart pitter patter.... so now what? You write to them of course. I recommend not using a site's IM utility even if they have one and it's turned on. This usually takes people off guard and not in a good way. So we're emailing. Initial contact emails should be short and to the point. This is not the time to profess your love of their profile or share your life story. A few lines is usually sufficient and gives the other person a sense that you actually care about their time.

My favorite trick here is to focus on a quirky aspect of their profile that caught my eye. In the past this has included (but not been limited to) various uses for paperclips, their lack of resemblance to an airplane, and an affinity for zombie survivalist techniques. Quirky is kind of my thing though, so take that with a grain of salt. Still, keep it short, sweet, and leave them wanting more. Make sure your grammar is reasonable and your spelling is correct. And don't be an idiot. Easy, see?

Okay you say, but what if they contacted me? Ahhh yes..... now our wicket is much stickier it would seem. If you are interested and have been the receiver of the initial contact, do not let it go too long. Personally I like to reply within 24 hours. Although you should NOT reply right away. Even if you are online and they are the hottest McHotterson you've ever seen. Contain yourself for a few hours at least, ok? No one likes to be overeager. This of course assumes the best case scenario.

Moving right along, what if you are not interested? Then what? You may not like the advice that is about to come. If I am truly not interested in someone's message, I simply don't reply. I know it's rude. I know why it's wrong. BUT! In my not so humble experience, answering when you know it will go nowhere is a bad business. And this goes for everyone from those who repulse you to those you think you might like as a friend. Any reply at all is enough to encourage some people, even if the content of the reply is indeed not encouraging at all.

I have seen it all from being yelled at and called names, to the guy coming back and begging for a date on the grounds that he likes my "directness" or I've "got spunk" or some other ridiculous thing that will still not make me like him. Best to just let it go. And trust me, 99.9% of people out there will take the same approach. Forget what your mother taught you and just let this one go, okay? The only exception to this rule is when someone specifically asks me to answer either way. If that request is made I will send a polite message declining further engagement and using an innocuous reason which may or may not be true. Believe it or not, in that situation it has never backfired on me. Yet.

Please be warned that in the world of online dating, at least 90% of all interactions will go nowhere. You will not get beyond intial contact, or they will just vanish mid-conversation, or they'll start to set a date and never finish. Do not take this personally as it is simply the nature of the beast. Just make up your mind that this is how it will be and keep on truckin'.

Part 2; "So you've scheduled a date.. now what?" coming soon, stay tuned!

1 People who coughed on a furball:

Red said...

My best friend and I theorize that all men are crazy. Especially those unmarried by 30. But the two best guys I've ever dated I met online. I wish you lots of luck!