It’s been almost a month now on Match.com, and I’ve seen some good … and some very, very bad. Seriously, guys. You often have me questioning the male species altogether. I figured if Match doesn’t lead to an actual relationship, I might as well use my time spent on the site to help others (because that’s just the sort of person I am). So, to all the men out there: listen up! Here’s a short list of things you should never do while online dating. The ladies can thank me later.
If you are 50+ and seeking a younger female, please look at her age preferences first.
Why? Because it’s super creepy to be a 20-something female and receive messages from old men. Do not start the conversation with, “Would you consider being with a 57-year-old man?” No. I wouldn’t. You could have clearly seen that in my “searching for” section. I understand if you’re maybe a year older than what I’m looking for, but you, sir, are 20+ years past expired. Do you have a son?
For the love of all things, don’t just say, “hi.”
Please also read: “hey,” “what’s up,” “hello,” “how r u,” “how u doin’,” and so on. Yes. These are all full, complete messages I’ve actually received from multiple guys — meaning there isn’t just one culprit here. I get that it’s tough to start a conversation with a girl, especially with a girl whom you haven’t met. Chances are, though, she’s not going to know how to respond to a “hi” with anything more than a “hey” in return. Put some thought into your message, and cater it to something that you like about her (other than “u r beautiful” because that’s a whole other story). While we’re on this topic, be sure your replies are more than just one word, too. Even if it’s a yes/no question, it’s a common-conversation rule to elaborate your answer.
I’m begging you: PROOFREAD your message before hitting send!
I purposely put my headline as “I will judge your grammar” with the hopes of having guys make some effort and use proofreading skills before messaging me. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always proven to be effective. Just a few pet-peeves:
- Not capitalizing “I”
This is the only time a lowercase letter screams, and it’s screaming, “i’m lazy!”
- Using text lingo
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t stand getting a message with “how r u” or “ur cool.” Show me you’re intelligent by forming a complete sentence, please.
- Not knowing the difference between your, you’re; their, they’re, there; than, then; Fridays, Friday’s …
I could seriously go on, but I’ll stop.
- Not capitalizing “I”
Do not admit that you’ve stalked me outside Match.com.
To the guy that said he found my blog and then decided to message me on Match (yup. happened.), this one goes out to you. I think, given the tech-savvy world we live in, it’s normal to do a quick Google search or find someone on social media to see if you have mutual friends or interests. It becomes abnormal, however, when you admit to doing so before an actual conversation first.
Guy: “So, I saw you just took a trip to Portland.”
Girl: Really? Because I never told you that …
There’s a time and place to bring it up later — say, for instance, through the course of natural conversation. That first message of “I did a search on you and found your blog” may in fact read as “I watch you through your bedroom window while you sleep.” (OK, maybe not that intense. I think you get the picture that it can be awkward, though.)
Wink. Like a picture. Say nothing.
I’m still not sure what to think of the wink feature on Match. It may be a simple way to flirt with someone online or to show interest without the fear of rejection, but I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with a wink. Also, liking a different picture of mine each.and.every.day gets weird. It’s even weirder when you don’t say anything. Take my advice: wink and write. Or, just write. It shows that you’re putting forth some effort, and (for the most part) girls like that.
I’ve heard from several guys that the male experience of online dating is vastly different from a girl’s. Guys may send out several messages in a day only to receive no response, whereas a girl’s inbox is constantly flooded with “hi” and “sup” messages. The trick to turn it around, fellas? Put some thought into your message. Read her profile. Try to personalize the conversation to something that stood out to you about her. Be creative. She will in turn be more willing to give you a shot and hit that reply button. Promise.