Dating and the single mom Getting into single mode after being married can be extremely hard. For me I hadn't been single since college and the men I dated in college were not what I was looking for as a now 28-year-old mother of two, full time working professional. After taking roughly a year to myself to learn who I was and to create some amazing girl friendships, I decided it was time to date.
After a few frustrating encounters and awkward dates I decided the online route was the way I needed to go. I was totally freaked at first, "What if I see people I know? What if I get catfished?" Then I said screw it, I'll sign up and at least I know all the other people are here for the same reason and with limited time it was my best option.
During my time online dating, I met some really nice people and some not so nice people. Here is my quick DONT'S list for all of the guys out there.
1. Take a simple approach to your username. First things first, when you create an online profile, the start to the process is creating your username. Usernames are a lot like first impressions, women will judge you (sorry, it's true) on what this username is. Don't go for unique here, a simple combo of your name, initials and numbers is usually the way to go. What NOT TO DO:
- DO NOT use the word "boy" or any variation of it. For example CajunBoi22 (BAD)
- DO NOT make sexual references in your username. For example SexyOilfieldMan69 (SUPER BAD)
- DO keep is simple, use your name or initials. For example Michael79 (GOOD)
2. Honesty is best. Keep the information on your profile true and honest. Your profile details are essentially a resume for the job of being someone else's significant other. Hobbies? If you don't like reading, don't put it on your profile to make yourself sound smart, you will attract the wrong type of girl and end up with a few awkward conversations where you have no idea what she is talking about. Talk about who you are and elaborate with details, women like to know a little bit about a guy before reaching out.
- DO put details about your real hobbies and things that make you unique
- DON'T fill your profile with tons of things that you are looking for in a mate - this is about you.
- DO have someone else proofread your profile for grammatical errors, things that sound weird/douchy etc.
- DO keep a little mystery too. There is a fine line between sharing too much and too little, your profile is a way to grab her attention without making her read the novel that is your life.
3. Photos are VERY IMPORTANT. Let's be honest, we are all a little shallow and we look at photos most of the time before anything else. This doesn't mean that you have to have the face of Leonardo DiCaprio and the abs like David Beckham to get a girl to like you. Women are on online dating sites because they want to meet real men that they can actually date, not some fictional celebrity to lust over. Choose photos that are of you (no group photos please) having fun, being happy and smiling.
- DON'T include a shirtless photo unless its doing an activity that requires shirtlessness (waterskiing, swimming etc.)
- DON'T include the douchy gym mirror photo. We get it, you like to work out, talk about it on your profile not in your photos.
- DON'T include photos of yourself with tons of girls. I am not a jealous person but it just puts off the wrong vibe. Can you say playa?
- DO smile, everyone wants to see a friendly smiling photo during a search.
- DO a close up. Women are more afraid of what they don't know. It will ease anxiety if she knows what to expect when she actually meets you.
4. Communication is key. When you see a girl that you actually may be interested in, do your homework. Read her profile and contact her with something friendly. "Good morning! I checked out your profile and it looks like you like outdoor sports, I just got back from an amazing hiking trip in Colorado and can't wait to go back! Where is your favorite hiking spot?" By noting that you read something on her profile, the conversation is more natural and it shows her that you actually read her profile rather than just looking at her photos.
- DON'T ever use cheesy, scheezy, or sexually charged greetings like, "Sup Sexy?" (That one is pretty popular)
- DO compliment her appearance but not too much, you will come off creepy. Also compliment things respectfully. "You have a beautiful smile" works well, "Your cleavage looks amazing in your profile photo" DOES NOT work well.
- DON'T push for a date or phone number too soon.
- DO ask her if she has Facebook, that way you can be "friends" first and she can see that you are a real person and not some 13-year-old girl "catfishing" her.
5. Make a move - Most women are on dating sites to actually date and hopefully find a mate, boyfriend, man friend etc. Use email to get to the point of getting her number for a call or texting to ultimately set up a date to meet. Women are not looking for pen pals or chatting buddies. Once things feel right get her number and ask her out already.
- DON'T ever use the words "digits" when asking for her number, this is 2013, people.
- DO let her know your intentions. "Let's get together for coffee sometime. Send me your number and we can hash out the details."
- DO pick an easy low-key place for your first date. Coffee, lunch or a simple dinner is perfect.
- DON'T over plan. First dates can be super awkward, you don't want to be stuck in a date just because it took so much time to plan. Pick something simple and short for a first date, if you hit it off you can always keep the date going.
- DON'T ever suggest a movie for a first date. You are getting to know each other and sitting in a dark room being quiet is the worst way to do that.
While it can be embarrassing to date online I have no shame in my game (or experience.) It was overwhelming positive and I met some nice people and now a great bf that I am proud to say I met online - I am ready for my match.com TV testimonial. Just putting that out there.