Pros and cons
Online dating allows men to avoid approach anxiety through anonymity, buys time for responses, reduces women's beauty power and increases men's brain power, provides an endless free supply of strangers, and can be used as a test lab for communication, particularly cheekiness. But it avoids remedying shyness, thus delaying social opportunities of meeting, and can encourage insularity to deepen.
It is not ideal for finding out about each other, but allows people to get as far as setting up a meeting where they start to do so.
The classic misuse is to get stuck in chat, and not escalate quickly enough to phone and meeting, leaving the woman to lose interest on the basis the man just wants to be friends or is too shy to be boyfriend material.
The first thing the man should do is decide that he is a one-man exclusive members club to which only the best women will be admitted, on the basis that the best women would not want to be a member of any club that would allow them to join. He could even drop into conversation that he worries that good looking women tend to be unreliable.
With the limited bandwidth of online chat, the need to be interesting is greater, as voice, body language and looks are absent - the words have got be amazing. This typically includes teasing the target often, projecting that they are annoying and the writer is busy, and exaggerating the target’s negative attributes.
There are arguably three stages to online chat. The writer should 1) prove they are not unsuitable, 2) prove they are interesting enough to talk to and 3) prove they are exciting enough to meet.
A man's profile should
- avoid anything that sounds like he or his targets have low standards.
- reveal a harmless flaw
- say in casual language that he is busy, picky, challenging and looking for someone to improve his already brilliant life
- portray that he is clever, classy, quirky, funny, energetic, confident, adventurous and optimistic
- show he realises that she is contending with some crazy and stupid men messaging her
Its purpose is to put the woman's mind at rest that he is not unsuitable and is human.
People like what is new. Some sites propagate profile updates to the top, so it is worth constant refreshing. It is also worth staking out the new members page to be first in their inbox (since the man should be a sociable guy who welcomes new members).
By creating another profile of the opposite sex one can learn how to avoid the mistakes their gender makes by reading their profiles and messages.
Photos can be tested at www.hotornot.com. The main image should be self-shot.
He should show himself looking away from camera not smiling, and include an animal, or if he has any worth showing and is below his mid-thirties, bare some muscle, or be doing something interesting. He should then include portfolio pics showing he is cool with his mum, a pet, women and the guys to show he is sociable, loyal, attractive and caring; the best portfolio pic is one that shows him leading.
She should show herself smiling and preferably flirting into the camera flashing some cleavage, especially if in mid-twenties or over - which is when women tend to switch from cleavage to outdoors pics - to help make for fading looks. However this merely increases messages, whereas conversation increase with a pic of her doing something interesting or with an animal. The younger she is the more she should use an animal or activity shot, as the extra contacts from cleavage only outweighs timewaster messages for older women.
It is best not to tell oneself and others that one is desperate by talking to people who do not fit one’s criteria.
- open with "how's it going"
- be chatty
- be spellchecked
- not include textspeak, except laughter
- include no physical compliments
- use positive words like "awesome", "fascinating", "it's nice that" or "cool"
- mention some keywords about music, films or food
- highlight that you've read their profile by using "you mention", "good taste", "noticed that", "your name" or "curious what"
- show a touch of self-effacement like "sorry", "apologise" or "awkward" but never "please"!
- be about 150 words (more doesn't help, fewer reduces replies and over 400 scares them off)
If you are going to mention religion, say you are atheist.
The first message should communicate that the man is so busy, picky and understanding of what the woman has to wade through that he does not mind if she does not reply.
If a woman is beautiful the man should accuse her of living too far away or having a fake picture, or query why she is not meeting men offline. Requesting several pictures helps avoid fake profiles and projects high standards.
If a woman does not reply the man should only chase her once and by being funny and teasing. This often works. More is being a stalker.
Giving virtual gifts or pointing to similarities in attributes looks needy so is to be avoided.
If a man meets a woman who approached him but whom he would not have approached there is a risk he will end up stuck with somebody he is not really into.
He might consider that the top third of women in attractiveness get half the messages, so by going for 7s and below he is much more likely to be taken seriously. Bizarrely, of the few women who make the first move, half go for the bottom third of attractiveness in guys, so most maybe don't think they could get even an average looking guy. He could also bear in mind that the best looking women get 26 times the messages that the worst looking ones do, so stunners are swamped whilst many women may be desperately waiting for attention.
The equivalent effect for male attractiveness is only half as strong, so, again, guys don't need to have model looks to do well. Generally the best response rate for men is when good looking ones message less good looking women, until the guy is very good looking or has model looks, when his response rate falls if he messages the worst looking women, probably as they know he is out of their league.
Whereas women get replies to half their messages, and the best looking get about two and half times the proportion of the worst looking - suggesting below average looking women should make the first move, men get replies to about half and the best looking get more than double the proportion of the worst looking, suggesting good looking guys get tons more unsolicited contacts but only get about 50% more replies than Mr Average.
Replies should be delayed, avoiding the impression that the sender has nothing going in their life but reply to that one person.
If a woman looks like rejecting a man and turning him into a friend, the man should get in first to suggest friendship, to imply that she is not good enough to be his girlfriend.
Follow-up messages should often have an unpredictable and random touch, eg implying that the man is busy or suspicious of the woman's qualities.
It is best never to explain or apologise. A person in demand does not have to, as they have a queue of pursuers waiting to have an occasionally edgy conversation.
The time to get off the site and onto messenger is about the third of fourth email when you should give your email address. The time to ask for a number is as soon as the correspondent is happily engaged in chat. All you need to do is send yours and say something like "it's been such fun chatting to you I'm thinking we should meet for coffee like normal people lol".