Up your online dating game

Swipe the slate clean by following these tips on how to up your online dating game, because what you think is hot and she thinks is hot is often, well, not.

When setting up your profile

You think: I rock a six-pack in my mirror selfie, I’ll post that.

She thinks:This dude has no friends. Also, no job.

Try this:Pictures are a split-second opportunity to land that right swipe, so:

  • 1) Get a great headshot to lead with (read: smile, take off your sunglasses).
  • 2) Demonstrate your interests with a landscape shot in which she can also see your face in all it’s online glory. That Ironman finish is badass; a close-up of you surfing Mavericks will get her wet, too.
  • 3) Avoid clichés: At Machu Picchu. In a ski suit and goggles. On a boat looking off at the horizon. Arms around a bunch of bros holding drinks. In a fancy sports car. Cuddling newborns. Holding a fish. Holding a gun.
  • 4) Women love pets, but two or more shots with your animal besties veers into furry fetishism.

When outlining the girl that you are seeking

You write: “I want a partner in crime. We’ll travel across the country, where we can be 4:20 friendly, GGG, do CrossFit, eat healthy, meditate, and banter like my grandparents who met on Tinder.”

She thinks:Left. Also, yawn.

Try this:This isn’t an essay contest. Answer four basic questions: who, what, where, and how tall. Classic blues lover, unrepentant hedonist. Skier. Surfer. Sydneysider now, Tassie boy at heart. Six feet tall, 10 feet deep.

When revealing who you are

You think:In a world of bunny rabbit boilers, reveal no identifying details.

She thinks: I know nothing about him.

Try this: Be Google-able and create an online presence that conducive to dating. Offer a Twitter or Instagram handle. Dangle enough data for her to find you on LinkedIn or Facebook. If she’s Nancy Drewing you, she’s interested.

When talking about your past experiences

You write: “Be real. No serial daters. No pen pals. Look like your picture. No bitches.”

She thinks: His baggage is showing.

Try this: Frame qualities you’re seeking in the most positive dating light possible—otherwise you’re just taking your neuroses for a walk. Never underestimate the power of “Looking for a connection.”

When you’re ready to make online contact

You write: “Hey, wuts up? ;)”

She thinks: I don’t date illiterates. Or speak emoji.

Try this: The first conversation: Now this is the essay contest. Run up the score with full sentences even though this is the online world. Craft a cut-and-pastable opener you can recycle: “It’s harder than I like to admit coming up with a clever intro to follow a few pictures and a 200-word profile. Now I’m feeling kind of bad about people I may have overlooked because all they wrote was a mere “Hello, [YOUR NAME HERE].” So, hey, here I go: “Hello, [HER NAME HERE].”

When you’ve made the connection

You think:We’re texting back and forth, she totally wants me.

She thinks:Is he ever going to ask me out?

Try this: After the third volley, make the call to action: “We can’t really learn about chemistry on an app, Want to grab a drink Thursday?” [YOUR NUMBER HERE] Get off your app fast. GPS alone will never be enough to find a soulmate. You still have to go out and meet her. There must be fireworks. And there’s no app for that—yet.

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