Published on April 10th, 2011 | by thevyne1
Online Dating: A Few Things You Should Know
Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always been lukewarm on the whole online dating thing. Mainly because I’m more of a “meet people organically” type of person. But lately, I’ve heard more and more success stories from friends of mine who have ventured into online dating and found someone special. So I thought, instead of being snarky about it, why not try it? So I did <pause for dramatic effect>. Here’s the thing…kind of wish peeps would have given me a heads up on the dynamics of online dating. So in the spirit of helping those who may be thinking about doing the online dating thing, here are a few tips based on me and some friends experiences that you may find useful:
- Profile and Pic – If you’re going to do it…do it all the way. Get your profile AND picture together and post it. Keep your profile short, sweet and interesting (guys don’t want to read a long, drawn out profile). Select a picture of you that’s one of your best shots, without other people in the shot and that’s close enough for your face to be seen. Also, if you want a little initial anonymity, refrain from using your real name but don’t use a handle that’s ridiculous like “hotgirl911”.
- Invest in a Catcher’s Mitt – So if you do a lot of emailing for your job, grab a catcher’s mitt and be prepared to man another inbox. Generally when you first sign up you’ll get the most hits, which will include a gang of random emails from guys asking for you to respond.
- To Respond or Not to Respond – It just doesn’t seem right to not respond when someone takes a risk to be vulnerable and send you an email asking if you would be interested in writing them back. I wasn’t prepared for how much of a “jerk” I would feel like for not responding. But apparently, that’s the etiquette…respond to whom you want to and don’t to who you don’t. I imagine if you get into the habit of responding to everyone, it could become a part-time job. So respond with caution.
- Race Matters – This is not to discourage you, but rather to give you a fairly interesting and statistical perspective. According to analytics research from online dating site OkCupid, there is a noticeable imbalance around who sends and receives the most messages via online dating and the imbalance is along the racial lines with white people receiving 89% of the “messaging” pie. You may say, “Well of course they do because there’s more of them online”. But then how do you explain the fact that black, latino and asian people in the online dating pool tend to message white people more often (by an overwhelming majority) than their other black, latino and asian counterparts? If you’re into data, check out this article and then check out this one. Pretty interesting stuff.
- The Phone Convo– Recommend you have at least one or two phone conversations before deciding to meet up with a person. Be warned though, the first phone conversation can be weird. Largely because everything you would have wanted to ask is already in their profile. So I suggest, using humor to break the ice and then eventually start with something simple like “so how was your day?” It’s a broad enough question to get a semi-organic conversation going.
- The Meet Up – Best to decide on a public place to meet during the day for coffee. This way if you’re not feeling the person, you won’t be committed to suffering through a full meal.
- “Break-up” Etiquette – Once you’ve decided to meet up with a person, you may find that they’re not nearly as charming as you thought they were over the phone. So now what? They have your number and can call or text you whenever they want. Rather than ducking every time your phone rings, a guy friend of mine said it’s best to keep it short and simple as in, “hey, I don’t think this is going to work”. Which sounds counterintuitive to women because we generally want to give a full explanation. But remember, they’re guys, less is more.