So, you think you’re ready to journey into the wilds of online dating? You’ve passed my initial checklist. Now what? I’m so glad you asked…again. While my advice is derived from a few years of heartache and pain, it should always be ingested with a grain of salt.
1) Photo: Post a freaking photo! Pardon the 80’s reference, but you don’t have to look like Fabio or Cindy Crawford to get a date. Have you watched an episode of My Strange Addiction or Hoarders? How many of those freaks are single? Very few…which always makes me feel so happy about my singledom, but that’s neither here nor there.
My point is take a photo. Don’t wear sunglasses. Don’t wear a hat. Don’t make a duck face. Don’t grip your chin thoughtfully. Smile. Take it outside…the light is more flattering, but don’t take it in your car. You are supposed to be driving, not posing for a photo. Don’t take it in the bathroom. If you do, use this trick: Turn the damn phone around. You see that big old screen? You can look at it in the mirror and no one will know your friends can’t be bothered to help you find a date.
2) Content: If you don’t write anything, how is anyone supposed to start a conversation with you? How are they supposed to know you are quasi-sane? How are they supposed to know you are semi-educated and probably not in jail?
For the love of God, write a first draft, but don’t post it. Just sit down and write, “I hate writing about myself. I don’t know what to say…” and all those other cliches like “I work hard and play harder” or “I’ve got a great sense of humor” or “I’m really sarcastic” or “I’m full of shit.” Wait, scratch that last one. Get all the contrite bullshit out of your head and then start showing us the real you. Say that you go hang gliding every Tuesday night, you named a star after your child or you recently learned how to count to 1,000. Whatever, just show us something. Keep it short. No one has the attention span to read novels online.
3) Honesty: If you lie about your age, weight, height, gender, hair color, existence of hair, or relationship status it will be found out sooner or later. The whole point of chatting people up is to meet them in real life, preferably sooner than later. I mean wouldn’t you rather be having sex in real life than just sitting at home being sad and lonely?
Want to know how I’m doing with the whole online dating thing? In a word: Crap. I’ll put more thought into it tomorrow in a special Friday rant edition.