Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
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Survey Says! The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide For Women

Many moons ago, a few thousand of you filled out a survey about dating online. A few moons after that, we compiled all the best tips and tricks shared by folks who date men. And now here we are with advice for women, kindly suggested by the men and women who date them. Some of this advice is the same advice that people wanted to give to the men! But some of it is different. Then next week we'll share your many, many horrifying (although sometimes okay) Online Dating Stories and we'll all have a good cry, laugh or "awww" together. For now, though, here's what our respondents had to say about dating women.

Post true-to-life pictures, and be honest about your weight.

• Ladies, apparently a lot of us are posting high-school-circa pictures of ourselves on these dating sites, and we need to stop doing this. Also, no one said this explicitly, but I'm going to say it: be true to you! If you are cool with you as you are, someone else will be cool with you as you are. Don't hide behind pictures of a younger you. You are great!

Don't do duckface photos.

• I had to look up what that meant. I had just called that "looking attractive," but apparently I'm just as wrong as the rest of you, because the dudes and dudettes that are checking out our pictures see right through our faux-hollow cheeks and plumped-up lips and they are having none of it. Don't try to look sexy! Just be sexy.

Don't lie about anything except for the one thing that you've rationalized it's okay to lie about.

• "Better to be straight up front and not lie. If what you are hiding is a deal breaker, it's better to break the deal from the outset. Now, having said that, I lie about my age but most people think I am 10 years younger than I am and if I told the truth, I'd never get a date with a younger woman."

I repeat: Let your true self shine through.

In your profile, use specifics about who you are and what type of relationship you're hoping for.

• "Please do not state that you like to 'have fun,' 'just hang out,' or 'listen to music' in your online profile. This suggests that you are in fact not human, just trying to sound like one."

• "Write why you're on and what you want, rather than 'I like cycling, tea, wine, reading and cheese.'"

But if that doesn't work.

• "Have a lot of good -ooking pictures on your profile. Also, make a shit load of money."

Don't hurry love.

• "Chill out on the 'I love you' thing within, like, a month of dating. It kind of creeps most guys out to be jumping into that too soon. Especially mid-coitus!"

• "On the first date she asked, "Do you believe that you can love somebody for just one night?" As she clumsily ran her boots up and down my slacks under the table. She proceeded to tell me about her 'Before Sunrise'-esque night of passion in Kiev during a semester abroad."

Tweeting about your date is bad form.

• "I went on a date with someone who complained via Twitter about me being late before I got there."

• "Immediately after hanging out she posted on Twitter, 'Ugh, what's with all the shitty boys on [dating sites]?'"

On the first date, don't lead with all that's Debbie Downer in your life.

• "I have had SEVERAL first dates with people who spend a long time talking about dead parent(s). FYI: I empathize! Having dead parent(s) sucks! But I do not want to talk about it when we are JUST MEETING."

• "Discussing family and medical issues is not a good idea on a first date."

Unless the health problems are Relevant To Their Interests, in which case, spill.

• "Nowhere on her profile did it say anything about her being an acid casualty and ketamine dealer."

• "The problem is that, just like pre-Internet dating, it does end up taking a while to really get to know someone, and by that I mean 'realize after dating for six months that they are pretty clearly suffering from borderline personality disorder.' Unfortunately, people in general do not have a habit of making this clear when composing their profiles … so until sites start allowing you to filter profiles by DSM diagnosis code (I'm a 296.32 if that's a deal breaker, ladies), your luck as is good or bad as ever."

Beware of this in yourself and others.

• "The worst part is the general feeling of self-disgust that comes with sleeping with someone despite loathing their personality … when I find myself on a date with someone that is reasonably good looking, there is some biological fuckedupness that kicks in and says, 'sleep with this woman despite everything.""

Sometimes it's good be a quitter.

• "It's happened a couple of times to me where we've met and *instantly* known that we're not really interested in each other – and gone through with a couple of hours of date anyway. So you see something right at the beginning – this person is really unhappy, or dull, or just really doesn't like me – and you can usually pick this up in about 10 seconds – and you sit through it anyway. Mad."

• "If the convo isn't flowing, time to get going."

What's there online isn't always there in person—and that's okay.

• "I don't have any real horror stories, mostly just disappointment that there ends up being no chemistry with someone who I've so enjoyed talking to online."

Please don't use your dates as an opportunity to scout for "material." (At least openly.)

• "Going on a date with a woman who told me halfway through that she was writing a book on online dating, that's the only reason she went on the date with me."

Don't hate on online dating if you're online dating.

• "The few times that online encounters turned into dates, it seemed like both parties were slightly embarrassed for having met online. It's not the best atmosphere for trying to enter the other's pants/skirt/jeggings."

Know your audience.

• "She called "herself a 'foodie' and used the phrase 'it's whatevs' way too many times. Really, any more than two 'whatevs' in a night and a red flag goes up."

"Be honest about yourself and your reasons for dating"

• "The one thing I will say is that when I dated women of a certain age – say, early to mid-40's -there was a palpable desperation tinged with anger, as though they wanted to know by the end of the first date whether this was going to be a serious relationship or not, and I found that off-putting."

Manage expectations, and be open to deviations from your fantasy image of your date

• "Hang onto your expectations only so tightly. No one is exactly what you think they are when you first meet them, and no one can describe themselves perfectly. These are fundamentally good things to understand when dealing with people in any context."


Previously: The Complete Online Dating Advice Guide for Men
Related: My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever and Party Of One


Photo by Foxtongue, via Flickr

49 Comments / Post A Comment

omitofo (#4,921)

wow- this seems waaaay douchier than the female version

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@omitofo No shit. I got a kick out of this one:

"when I find myself on a date with someone that is reasonably good looking, there is some biological fuckedupness that kicks in and says, 'sleep with this woman despite everything.'"

So, you are talking to an attractive woman in the general context of "mating", and you start having these feelings and thoughts about fucking her?

Amazing!

And to make matters worse you don't have the thing that would help you not act on any physical urge that naturally comes to you, if you don't wish to do so: a brain!

Captain Bathroom (#222,808)

This guy made a good point that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise: people like to fuck people.

Multiphasic (#411)

"Manage expectations, and be open to deviations from your fantasy image of your date"

I once had a date that was immediately preceded by witnessing a kitten get run over by a car.

The girl was lovely and smart and funny, but man, dead kitten.

So, yeah, I'm gonna be adamant and say dead baby animals are right out.

Captain Bathroom (#222,808)

There's an episode of Louie about that, where he witnesses a decapitation on the way to a first date. A little bit of a downer.

jolie (#16)

Ha weird this is mine: "I don't have any real horror stories, mostly just disappointment that there ends up being no chemistry with someone who I've so enjoyed talking to online."

Except I meant it about dates with men? I've never had a chemistry problem with a woman! ('Cause, ya know… boobs.)

logan (#2,811)

@jolie i'm not sure how that could have POSSIBLY HAPPENED, as we only used The Most Scientific Survey Sorting Methods Available Today (TM)

jolie (#16)

@logan Ha well? I'm sure I answered the first round of Qs by saying that I date BOTH men & women so it's fair! It's just a funny thing seeing your answer about chemistry woes directed at the gender with whom you've never had chemistry woes!

yamtoes (#214,495)

@jolie That's why I made the decision to not go beyond a few emails (over no more than a few days) before meeting up with someone. Wayyy too easy to have email chemistry and then no in-person chemistry, which then makes it more awkward to not take things further. (Incidentally, my husband and I exchanged a few emails, agreed to meet two days from our initial contact, and here we are 6 years later).

jolie (#16)

@yamtoes Congratulations. How wonderful.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

I don't see anything wrong with writing out basic likes. "I like cycling, tea, wine, reading and cheese." Now I know some interests, this is helpful. Actually, +1000 points for reading and eating cheese simultaneously, that is hot.

Multiphasic (#411)

@whizz_dumb I'm more likely to award points for reading and cycling simultaneously.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Multiphasic Cycling while drinking Wine-tea. Creativity and impossibility points. What would a wine+tea combo be called?

Multiphasic (#411)

@whizz_dumb "Pacing yourself."

Vicky (#7,168)

"Better to be straight up front and not lie. If what you are hiding is a deal breaker, it's better to break the deal from the outset. Now, having said that, I lie about my age but most people think I am 10 years younger than I am and if I told the truth, I'd never get a date with a younger woman."

So basically: never lie to get what you want, I hate that! But I expect you to be cool with me doing it, because I *really* don't want to date women my own age.

City_Dater (#2,500)

@Vicky

I'm guessing he's the same charmer who described women in their 40s (i.e., his own age or likely younger) as exhibiting "palpable desperation tinged with anger."

I have never met a (non-Asian) man who accurately described himself as looking "10 years younger" than his actual age, yet I know many women who could probably get away with such a dramatic lie if they wanted.

paddlepickle (#8,731)

@Vicky Yeah but like, if he DIDN'T lie about his age, he would actually be hiding something important about himself, namely that he's a big dumb douchebag with a ginormous ego. So women for whom his age isn't a dealbreaker might have to go more than one date before this crucial information is revealed! He's doing us a big favor by lying.

Al Cracka (#222,198)

@Vicky I assumed he was kidding…oh man, you think he wasn't kidding? Oh dear.

Great tips. Now look for her or him on http://www.YouHadMeAtHello.com. Found this site and it looks cool. The best part its 100% free.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

@Naso Livisi@facebook I prefer my dating sites "pay-to-play", like this one: http://www.YouCompleteMeWithYourMoney.com

Tully Mills (#6,486)

@Naso Livisi@facebook You had me at 100% free.

omitofo (#4,921)

Also- I don't think we should be giving people advice on how to write better profiles. If someone's profile is boring….they are probably boring. And that is OK, I just won't be going on a date with them.

Cocky Bravado (#212,693)

@omitofo I totally disagree! Some awesome people just suck at creating a profile and other people are charming, clever and witty in text in a way that they can't back up at all. I pretty much give anybody remotely appealing one or two dates to actually see what they're like and if there's chemistry. And I learned from experience not to get to excited about anyone based on their profile alone.

Leon Tchotchke (#14,331)

Wow, maybe I'm being a dick here, but a couple of these read like textbook lines to be said by Romcom Bad Dude Who Gets Ditched In Favor Of the Good Dude You Knew She Was Meant to Be With All Along.

Full disclosure: I filled out this survey and not one of these quotes belongs to me.

melis (#1,854)

@ReginalTSquirge Full disclosure: I did not fill out this survey but somehow all of these quotes are mine, delivered in casual conversation to several prominent obstetricians in the City over the last four Christmases.

melis (#1,854)

Sorry for the typo, I wrote "obstetricians" but I meant "centuries-old penguin fossils."

melis (#1,854)

UGH, sorry, I wrote "Christmases" but I meant, like, those hell dimensions when you accidentally dream yourself into someone else's nightmare and you can't get back for centuries and when you do you're so changed that no one recognizes you as a human.

illcommunication (#13,090)

@melis You are the best internet commenter.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@illcommunication It's funny because it's true.

themmases (#222,180)

"Write why you're on and what you want, rather than 'I like cycling, tea, wine, reading and cheese.'"

Pffffft. All of my profiles have included both, and the result was plenty of losers who messaged me for the opposite of what I said I wanted, and several awesome guys who messaged me to actually have a pleasant human conversation related to my listed interests.

And from all the comments about photos I can tell there are plenty of great guys out there scouring the text of my profile, terrified to message me because I wasn't clear enough about what I wanted out of my use of a dating site.

tropical icey (#49,740)

@themmases "Cocoaine." and "cocaine." SMF.

lbf (#2,343)

@tropical icey gah, acronyms I don't know! "Suck my face"? "Shoot my foot"? "Silence my flatulence"? "Shake my femur"? WHO KNOWS?

tropical icey (#49,740)

@lbf I have absolutely no idea. I don't remember writing that? It's up to you!

purefog (#999)

@themmases "So Much Fun," I believe. (Also "Slapping My Forehead" or "Stupid Mother Fucker." Hard to tell from the terse context here.)

vunder (#219,744)

So the guy who was mad that she tweeted that he was late – maybe he should have been on time to his date? That seems like a legitimate tweet. It's whatevs.

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

@vunder "Cops are breaking up our protest with tear gas and rubber bullets" is a legitimate tweet. "My date was late" is not.

gtrachel (#216,738)

This reeks of sponsorship. And the advice is no better than your average lifestyle magazine's.

smartastic (#2,437)

Now I feel worse about myself and know nothing I didn't know before I read this! Thanks Awl!

WF (#6,824)

Can we get an LGBT one? Or were there too few responses?

sesomai (#222,488)

"Don't lie about anything except for the one thing that you've rationalized it's okay to lie about."

"No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but…But it might work for us…"

@lsi (#241,588)

NO matter what, just be yourself. You dont have to change yourself to please the others.
Dont lie about who you are just be proud and work on yourself.
If your looking for love and healthy relationship.
you should be truthful and faithful.
after all real love is about loving the person just the way he is.
you want to be attractive ? just show the best in you, and work on yourself.
for more info check this website on dating guides and how to have a healthy relationship :http://www.datingandtaking-the-lead.com/

alsi (#241,941)

Bein honest is very important as mentioned above. I do agree with all the things said.
relationships are not easy. It requires patience, care, time.
Building a Healthy relationship should be interdependent .It requires both hands and mutual suuport.
check this website for more info on how to build a healthy and everlasting relationship :http://www.datingandtaking-the-lead.com

mendit (#282,409)

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