Why You Suck at Online Dating

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Kelle Sparta offers 14 tips to help show the world the best parts of yourself – instead of the worst.

If you’ve been trying to find a relationship online and you’re not getting the results you want, read on, dear fellow.  Perhaps you’re making social faux pas without even knowing it.

All of this advice has been collected through my own personal experience of being a woman looking for a relationship online, and by talking with other women like me. Of course, some women may disagree with me. I’d love to hear from readers what others in the comments whether they have made the same observations that I have.

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Your Profile

Let’s start with the fact that your profile looks more like a laundry list than an essay. You’ve listed facts and given me nothing emotional or even personal to hang my hat on.  I want to know who you are, not just what you do for work and that you enjoy going out to dinner and long walks on the beach. (And please avoid this cliché! If you haven’t been for a long walk on the beach in the last month, you don’t love it.) Give me something real. Give me an idea of how you would make me feel if we were on a date together. Paint a picture of who you are with your friends and family. Let me get to know you.  And write twice as much as you think you need to. We want more information, not less.

Your Photos

I want to see a picture of you—up close—without your sunglasses on. I want to see your eyes—they are the most important thing about you because they tell me if you are kind and strong. I want to see a full body picture of you. And please, pretty please, with sugar on top—smile! Now let’s talk about what you’re wearing in these pictures. I don’t want to see an “I’m With Stupid” or “Female Body Inspector” shirt. It shows a lack of respect and I don’t want that lack of respect applied to me. I don’t want to see you with a bevy of hot girls around you (who wants to compete with that?)  I don’t want a picture of you and your ex—even if she is still your friend. If it’s your sister, you’d better say as much in the caption or else you look like a player. If there is a beer in your hand in every photo, I assume you’re a drunk.  If you’re in a costume in every photo, I assume you’re a child.  And if you’re alone in every photo, I assume you have no friends. Your photos are a pictorial of your life. Choose wisely, young Jedi.

First Contact

Ever wonder why you don’t get women contacting you? Right or wrong, many women feel like it isn’t our job to make the first contact. Don’t get me wrong, we’re likely cruising your profile too, but we might not drop the first “hello.”  We’re more likely to do is to rate you highly or wink. Or we might see that you’re online and come back to your profile again so that you see us arrive. It’s the cyber equivalent of a glance and a smile from across the room—it’s the invitation to engage.

Opening Lines  – “You’re Hot” – And Other Indicators That You Didn’t Read My Profile

I went to a lot of trouble to create an attractive profile. I looked at not only the words I chose but the subtle nuances of how those words played off one another. I spoke from the heart about what was important to me. I told you about my likes and dislikes. I agonized over which photos to include and what they said about me.  I said “great kisser” when I meant “great in bed” hoping that you would understand what I meant but not take it as an invitation to talk about sex. I said “open minded” rather than “kinky” because God forbid I should be able to admit to being sexual without that admission meaning that I was no longer to be respected. I wrote, rewrote, published, edited, solicited feedback from friends, edited again and am still not fully satisfied that my 1000 word essay encompasses the lush complexity of me. And after all of that effort, you open a conversation with “Hey sexy”?

I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. In that one sentence, you’ve said “Hey, I didn’t bother to read that thing that you slaved over to give me a sense of the essence of you—I’m only interested in what you look like and I like what I see.” You gave no effort to get to know me. You made very little effort in contacting me.  You expressed interest in the shallowest part of my being and somehow you’re surprised when I don’t bother with a response? You insulted me out of the gate. I don’t waste time on men who will never respect me.

Want To Get Me To Engage? 

Read my profile. Comment on something that I said there. Reveal yourself a bit in your answer (“yeah, I really enjoy that too”, or “funny story about that…”).  And then ask me a question—preferably not a “yes” or “no” answer one so that I know what to say in my response to you. A good conversationalist always leaves a door open to more conversation. Don’t shut me down. If I like something that you don’t, fine. Just say, “oh, interesting” and then move on to the next subject. I’ll follow along. If you say “I don’t know anything about that” or “I hate that”, then you’ve just sucked all the wind out of the sails of the conversation boat. You want to keep that boat moving because it’s what takes you to Date Land.

Chatting and Pet Names

If you do catch my attention enough to get me on chat, be kind, be respectful, be interested in something other than sex or my big tits or even my eyes. I am someone on the inside. Get to know her. And flirt with me—but be smart about it. Don’t suggest that you’re going to spank me for being a bad girl. Even if that is my thing, you haven’t earned the right to say it yet. And for the love of all that is holy, please do not call me by a pet name before we meet. Calling me sweetie, honey, love, cutie, etc. is a way of assuming a level of intimacy that does not yet exist. It makes me shrink back. It’s like a woman saying “I love you” on the first date. Right? There’s a scrotum-shrinker. Same thing here, guys. It makes you come off creepy. Leave the pet names for after the first meeting.

Meeting

For years I’ve heard guys complain that women take forever to meet you. And for years I’ve agreed that it’s better to meet quickly to find out if there is chemistry before wasting a lot of time online. But here’s the rub. In recent years, this policy has come back to bite me in the butt. If I don’t require that a man at least exchange 8-10 emails with me, then there is a really good chance that on that first date, he will stand me up. So don’t be surprised if other women have had that same experience and insist on spending a little more time getting to know you before agreeing to meet.

Now For What Should Be Obvious But Clearly Isn’t

I’ve been on the online dating sites for a while now and let me say this—as a woman, it’s pretty scary out there. If you have written a good profile and have a decent picture of yourself looking relatively good, you’ll get somewhere around 3-5 emails a week. If you’re hot, make that 8-10 per day. Fully one quarter of those emails will be from men offering nothing more than a “hey, you’re hot” or the ever popular “wanna hook up?”  I even had a conversation once with a 20 year old (I’m 43) that went like this:

Him – “milf” [Yes, this was his first comment and it was one word.]

Me – “I’m not a mother” [What can I say? I like a little subtle humor.]

Him – “cougar” [Clearly he missed the subtlety.]

Me:  “You’re not very good at this are you?”

Him – “Wanna fuck?” [At which point I lost interest in my entertainment with the conversation and hit the “block” button]

Okay guys, I know that there is this heady kind of thrill to being behind a computer. I know that the fact that the woman isn’t in front of you makes you bolder than you would normally be. But here’s the thing—there’s a reason you’re not that bold in person. We’d slap you. Or throw a drink in your face. Or call you mother and tell on you.

Sadly, I often find myself in a position of wishing there were an app that requires a man’s mother to watch the conversation.  It might actually cause them to behave like respectful human beings once in a while.

Penis Pics – Seriously?!!?  Come on.

You can’t walk around with nothing but an overcoat on and flash any pretty woman you see. You’d be arrested. So what makes you think that I want to see your dick in my email box? And yes, that’s true even if you are terribly well-endowed. There are very few women I know (and I talk to a lot of women about sex) who would rule out a man or choose one for the size and/or shape of his penis. Truth be told, in my experience, and according to those I’ve asked, men with larger penises are sometimes worse in bed than those with average or smaller penises—because they figured their natural size was sufficient and they never learned any of the other skills. Regardless, your dick is not a selling point for most women.

Sexting

If I’m on a regular dating site, it’s likely NOT because I want to sext with you. There are places for that—try AdultFriendfinder or Fetlife. I’m just a nice girl looking for a nice guy to date. I’m not your personal porn star designed to play out your fantasies on command—much as you’d like to believe that was true. As a woman, I am not going to talk to you about sex until I am considering having it with you. Until then, it’s none of your business.

Dating Is About Connecting

It’s that simple. Your job as a man is to connect with me on some level—intellectual, emotional, and, yes, eventually sexual. But the key word in that sentence is “eventually”. Most women don’t think about having sex every few minutes. You’re lucky if I think about it even five times a day. What I DO think about is kissing you. I think about your strong arms holding me. I think about how it would feel to have your breath on my neck, your lips nibbling my ears, whispering softly to me how much you want me… mmm… sorry, I went to my happy place.  This is what turns me on: the suggestion of those acts and the implied (NOT explicit) promise of more to come.

Why You Turn Women Off

I WANT you to turn me on. Really, I do. And I want to talk to you about sex—eventually. But you have to wait to be invited. Asking sexual questions without waiting for me to open the subject (which I am unlikely to do until after at least one, if not more dates) is like walking up to me in a bar and groping me. I feel violated. I feel invaded. At best, you’ve disrespected me and I pull back. At worst you’ve done emotional violence and I block you. Is this really the approach that you think is going to get you anywhere?

Invite Me To Connect

I want to be invited in. I want to be left the space to invite you back. The movie Hitch wasn’t wrong. It’s your job to lean in 90% of the way and then wait for me to cover that final distance. If you don’t, I don’t feel like I have any choice in the matter, I feel trapped, and even if I did want to connect with, kiss, or have sex with you before, I’m left feeling like I’m not so sure now—because you didn’t leave me a choice and having that choice taken away makes me feel somehow vulnerable and frightened.

Stop Skipping The Good Stuff

The most magical time in a relationship is at the beginning. That first glance, that first touch, the exchange of names and the thrill of the possibility. If you go straight into sexual conversation online, you’ve skipped over all this other amazing stuff. If you strip me bare before we’ve ever met, what more is there left to entice you with? When you walk down the path of sex-before-meeting, you cheat me out of being the seductress and you out of being seduced, and the entire world is worse off for it.

 

 

Photo: Flickr/Jo Amelia Finlay

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About Kelle Sparta

Kelle Sparta is a Thought Alchemist, Shaman, and Coach who is the expert in accelerated personal growth. She helps you develop personal power, set good boundaries, and cultivate self-love. For more information about how Kelle can help you unleash yourself, visit her website at www.KelleSparta.com and sign up for your free energy scan to find out where to focus to amplify your growth.

Comments

  1. “I WANT you to turn me on. Really, I do. And I want to talk to you about sex—eventually. But you have to wait to be invited. Asking sexual questions without waiting for me to open the subject (which I am unlikely to do until after at least one, if not more dates) is like walking up to me in a bar and groping me. I feel violated. I feel invaded. At best, you’ve disrespected me and I pull back. At worst you’ve done emotional violence and I block you. Is this really the approach that you think is going to get you anywhere?”

    So basically you want him to wait until you grope him in the bar and open it up without knowing if he’s ready? If he opens up to soon, how about letting him know you aren’t ready yet without thinking straight away he’s violating you? Because someone has to open the subject and it’s a risk since we aren’t mind-readers.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      That’s a huge leap of logic, Archy.

      She wants to invite him. Perhaps by saying something gently sexy, like, “I am so attracted to you.” Or saying, “Are you feeling how I am?” etc. The best thing people can do is gauge the other’s sexual comfort, and the best way to do that is just to ask.

      She could also say, “I’m totally in the mood to tell you want turns me on, what do you think?” All of these things are invitations. And not at all what you’re suggesting.

      • True, but given the general level of discussion around gender roles a double standard has a pretty high prior probability.

      • Ah, my bad. Thought it was more about her not wanting ANY discussion of sex till she was ready. Thank-you for clarifying, wish that was in the article because it sounded more like stfu on the topic of sex til she decides it’s ok.

      • Archy

        What Joanna is implying here is that she is a woman and is in control of every aspect of (online) dating. When, how, where sex and physical intimacy enters into the equations is up to her to decide. Why cant you understand what she is saying?

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Actually, Tim, you’re wrong. That’s not what I’m implying. I think the man can bring it up too, if he does it in a respectful way that is intended to obtain consent.

    • QuantumInc says:

      I don’t think it’s that huge of a leap. Just because it’s the normal way of doing things, don’t assume it is the best, even a remotely decent way of doing things. There are reasons women are super subtle when expressing sexual interest. Sparta touches upon it by saying, “I said “open minded” rather than “kinky” because God forbid I should be able to admit to being sexual without that admission meaning that I was no longer to be respected.” Half the essay seems to be saying “don’t be the guy who wants just sex”. That is a fair and fairly common request. Most people are looking for more than a sex partner.

      However when it comes to actually bring up sex being subtle is massive hindrance. It is frustrating and potentially frightening for the guy who has to guesstimate whether he’s about to commit sexual assault or not. It can also leave the woman feeling like she’s either talking to a brick wall, or apparently ugly. The only benefit to overly subtle phrases like “Are you feeling how I am?” is that it protects the woman from appearing slutty (and thus unworthy of respect if the guy is even slightly sexist).

      Of course Kelle Sparta here seems to have high standards, a lot of patience, and a specific desire to delay sex until after there is a relationship going already. This leaves plenty of time for people to decipher whatever “Are you feeling how I am?” is supposed to mean.

  2. Jeez. Most of this could be avoided if you would get up and take some initiative.

    It really isn’t that hard to pick out something from your profile to make it seem like I read the whole thing. Toss in a generic compliment (hey, I love your tattoos!) And I tend to have a pretty good shot at a reply. After 2 messages or so, I can usually tell if I will be sleeping with you. All of your “safety measures” can be rendered inert within… about half an hour of typing.

    I don’t put forth effort because dating is a numbers game for men
    Why waste an hour typing something that you won’t even respond to when I can copy/paste a one or two line message and change a word or two, send it to about 5 different women and actually get results?n

    • Diz

      “”””””After 2 messages or so, I can usually tell if I will be sleeping with you”””””
      Really?

      • I’m not saying I can hook up in 2 messages. I’m not nearly that good.

        What I can do is tell if the conversation is a waste of time or not, and proceed from there.

  3. OirishM says:

    “And if you’re alone in every photo, I assume you have no friends.”

    Why would someone be uploading pictures of people other than themselves? I don’t think that’s a cool thing to do without the permission of their friends – but they may want to keep the online dating thing to themselves for now – not every guy wants his mates seeing him make a move and get shot down in excruciating detail.

  4. I cannot understand why people do online dating. The guy is still a stranger to most women. So, what the big deal about talking to a stranger while shopping in Whole Foods?

    After reading this, I am convinced a man with the means is better off with an escort. Two thirds of this can be avoided and the sex is probably 1000 times better.

    Instead of “leaning in”, men I say (a la Fat Joe) just lean back!

    • Because she gets to choose who to reply to without face to face rejecting someone, and get to know a bit about their personality.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Not everyone is comfortable talking to people at Whole Foods, and lots of people don’t want to be hit on at Whole Foods.

      The cool thing about Online Dating is that everyone is there for a specific purpose and so there’s no bullshit pretense. I have three cousins who met and fell in love on Match.com or others like that. Really happy marriages. Two of those people were simply too shy to go out and aggressively pursue strangers, and getting to know someone’s mind first was really appealing to them.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I met my wife through a local newspaper’s personals ad. Back in my day, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, you had to get ink on your fingers to find someone in the personals and had to shell out a couple bucks to leave a phone message. Kids today!

    • What does ” leaning in” mean?
      Does it mean that man shall do everything ?

      • It means “foroverlent” – som i på hugget, klar for innsats, proaktiv: http://www.logistikk-ledelse.no/2004/kv/kv06-02.htm

      • Iben

        I understand you’re from Scandinavia and it might be different there

        In America dating is supposed to be a lot more difficult for men than for women.
        More things are expected of men. Men are held to higher standards in every area. More effort is required of men.

        • Bay Area Guy says:

          @ Iben

          I actually am genuinely interested in the dating norms of Scandinavia. Are men expected to pursue, initiate, and put in all the work?

          At least in the U.S, men are indeed expected to put in all the work, as Tim pointed out.

          • Hi Bay Area gay
            I shall see if I can find some research about this,or good articles . It will take some time,

            As a woman my answer is that men here is not expected to do all the work. In fact the young men now are must learn how to say no to sexual initiative from women.
            I think it is easier to be a man here than in America.

            It is pity Google translate can not translate well but give it a try!
            . Here is a newspaper article where men discuss reseach about how it is to live in the most feminine society on earth .
            Different countries are decribed as masculine or feminine.
            Sweden is considered the most femine country on earth by this researcher. Norway is number two.
            America is categorized as a masculine country.
            http://www.aftenposten.no/amagasinet/–Norge-er-verdens-mest-feminine-land—bortsett-fra-Sverige-7209495.html#.UaA3UMsaySN

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              “As a woman my answer is that men here is not expected to do all the work. In fact the young men now are must learn how to say no to sexual initiative from women.”

              Also my experience so far. About sex women initiate a lot, rarely I have to work hard to share some fun in bed. Sometimes they are so open about the topic that they ask for it directly. And I have seen Scandinavian women laughing at females from other countries where they “punish” their men with denying them sex. The usual response from scan women, are…im not a fool that I go and punish myself. And why should I punish my man? But I dont say they dont exist, just I never met them.

              “I think it is easier to be a man here than in America”

              I agree on this, I hear horror stories from America, sometimes I think they are exaggerated, other times not. But in the end im glad that I live here in Scandinavia.

            • Well f**k, I’m moving there then. Men largely have to do the work here in Australia.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              you are welcome here ;-)

            • Flyingkal says:

              Don’t forget that what you see and hear is probably not the general opinion, but a (small?) sample of people having a self-interest in promoting a picture of themselves/their culture that may not be entirely true.

              Also, not all men get to “share”. I think you need to be pretty high on the attractiveness scale to have women coming on to you like that. Then again, IME Scandinavian women have always been suckers for foreign men.

            • Flyingkal :

              sucker=
              Noun
              “A person who is gullible and easy to take advantage of”

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              “Don’t forget that what you see and hear is probably not the general opinion, but a (small?) sample of people having a self-interest in promoting a picture of themselves/their culture that may not be entirely true.”

              true, but keep in mind that MY experience is unique to my own persona. If I have it easy in dating, it is not only related in culture but there may be other influencing factors : look, communication skills, job (im a designer and part time DJ in nightclubs and the last one gives me a upper hand in dating, especially with young women) etc

              And going back to culture and traditions there is a general consensus between foreign men that skandinavian women are “easy” especially for southern europeans/arabs, north african, slavs etc. In reality it is a honest misunderstanding, since most of us come from close or traditionalist cultures (Im Italian btw) and once in contact with the open northen reality it is both shocking and confusing especially around the topic women and sex.

              “Then again, IME Scandinavian women have always been suckers for foreign men.”

              I dont know. Scandinavian women generally have a weakness for exotic men, but the same thing in reverse goes happens for Nordic men. So the interest for foreign darker people is more related IMO to curiosity and fascination for warmer countries. But interpersonal contact is complex so there are lots of other factors playing in.
              Finally its not all gold that shine, I have also my share of bad experiences ranging from infidelity (beware of julefrokost, Christmas lauch. Its a Nordic tradition, where family or friends or coworkers gather to eat and heavy drinking around the time of christmas. A research showed that the majority of infedelty in DK happens around that time.) to being to dark for her.

            • Hi mr Supertypo
              May I ask you a question ?
              This feeling of not being attractive that some men express here on GMP, have you heard many Italian men say a thing like that?

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              “Hi mr Supertypo”

              Hi Iben :-)

              “May I ask you a question ?”

              Sure, go ahead….

              “This feeling of not being attractive that some men express here on GMP, have you heard many Italian men say a thing like that?”

              If you mean in Denmark? no I havent, at least between the people I know. But I noticed that lot or some italian men (but also other foreign guys) have trouble in relating with Danish women, and they miss traditional long term loving relationship. This is true for guys 30+, younger generations not so much.

              If you mean guys not feeling attractive, in my home country, well no, never heard somenthing like that. But it doesent mean there aren’t. It means just that I didn’t pay enough attention to the topic when Im in the country.

            • FlyingKal says:

              Mr Supertypo:
              My comment was mostlly directed at Archy (i must have mixed up the Reply buttons) but thanks for the answer.

              Yes, you are right in that every personal experience is unique. But that’s exactly what I was trying to emphasize to Archy, before he jumped on the first flight he could find… ;-)

              Also, I think you are right about being attracted to the “exotic” i.e. what we are not familiar with or perhaps see every day, probably goes for both men and women. (Some also say it’s a genetic trait,) But if the women comes from or live in a more traditional society, it is probably more difficult for the “exotic” men to get the benefits from that.

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              Oh I just saw your comment, the mistake is mine I though it was a general reply. :-/

              ” Also, I think you are right about being attracted to the “exotic” i.e. what we are not familiar with or perhaps see every day, probably goes for both men and women. (Some also say it’s a genetic trait,) But if the women comes from or live in a more traditional society, it is probably more difficult for the “exotic” men to get the benefits from that.”

              True, I have a Turkish friend of mine, a man up in his age, he came in DK in the ’70s. He told me people used to touch his hair (he had long hair back then) and he got lots of girls. But that was the ’70s, today the ‘exotic’ craze seems to have tone down a lot. Nobody EVER touched my hair in wonder. And I came in DK in ’99 :-/

            • Herschele says:

              Iben

              that sounds interesting and I really hope its easier for men in your country.

              However I’ve talked to a few Scandinavian guys and their views were mixed. Although they all agree that dating norms are much simpler vis a vis America, but that ‘advantage’ is neutralized by the fact that Scandinavian women also tend to be very picky (compared to other women) and many are just uninterested in dating and relationships for that reason. Some said that many guys prefer to go to Poland and Eastern Europe to meet women, whenever they can, because they have no chance with a Swedish, Danish or Norwegian woman !

              Do you think there is any truth to it?

            • Mr Supertypo says:

              Yes and no, the easy part is to find a woman who share your own interest for sex, but a long time relationship is all another matter. Lots are lucky but not everybody. And some guys desire the stereotypical submissive woman then they turn they eyes to eastern europe, africa or asia. Others desire a foreign woman for other reason like, they find Russian, Polish etc more attractive than Scandinavian women. But everyone have their own reasons so its not easy to generalize.

            • Mr supertypo

              Yes I agree!
              When a Scandinavian man go abroad to find a wife he can choose the most beautiful women. Prettier than the one he can get here.
              But never forget the power unbalance. Men( and women ) from wealthy countries can always go to countries with powerty for sex or to find a spouse .

              Women try to escape powerty.

              Just like white women travel to Africa and Carrabien for sex. Sex tourism for women. The film festival in Canne show films about this phenomena and it is not pleasant to watch .

            • Herschele. You ask:
              “Do they go to Poland and Eastern Europe ?”

              Once in my life a man told me that he traveled to Poland because was so cheap to buy sex there. He was married …

              I have also read about a politician in our most right wing anti immigration political party to to a East y European country to buy sex. He was also married….and obese. He was also unethical enough to bring with him young member of his party to visits brothels/ sex workers. Journalist had evidenced about this,and it was a scandal . It is illegal to buy sex in Norway and Sweden. I am not sure a out Denmark.

              The women you see in porno produced in Europe is mostly from Eastern Europe. There is POVERTY there. The difference between wages in Norway and Romania is said to be 22:1

              So in my view these men travel there to use and exploit women. Real men do not buy sex.

              Fortunately some also marry women from other countries and of course I am not at all negative to that,as long as they treat the girl/ women with dignity and respect. The women are mostly from Russia, Thailand the Philippines..

              I have never read any research about these men. All I know from newspapers is that some are abusive,and seek a weaker partner. There is research in Denmark about what happens to the women. Some( or many) get divorced and end up selling sex./ giving massage.

              . But other men marry out of love and seems to be happy.

              My guess is that some( but not all) these men found it hard to find a wife in Scandinavia. I do not know why . It can be their attitudes towards women. Like men that want old fashion gender roles in a society with equality of the sexes. Or maybe they lack education.
              I should not speculate because I have no idea why they want to find a spouse abroad.

              Even Anders Behring Breivik brought in a women from an East European country. She left him! And is now married in America.

              Maybe some of these men are simply love shy and Thai women treat them better than Scandinavian women do?

              I have only one of these women among my friend. The man she married to get citizenship ship lived on welfare money, could not support her and the children and was troubled with alcoholism and serious emotional distress as well. She married him to save her children and herself from starving in Russia. He did not make love to her after the first months. She wanted it and concluded that he had ED.

            • Herschele says:

              Iben

              I agree that paying for sex might be the reason why some Scandinavian men head south. But I’m not talking about old obese married men. The men I talked to were all single guys in their 20’s who said they much prefer the bars and clubs in, say, Poland or Russia because the girls are much friendlier and less picky than back home. Perhaps you can ask a male friend and confirm if this perception is widely held among Scandinavian men or just an anomaly I encountered.

              Btw, old obese men aren’t the only ones paying for sex. Single young men also do it because they don’t have the looks and confidence to attract women. Scandinavian men are generally good looking compared to men of other origins. To an outsider, it seems they are all tall, nicely built, blond and have nice facial features. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for guys who are less than that, to attract women given such competition.

              When Sweden made it a crime for men to pay for sex, it was met with a lot of criticism. It is a sexist law that says women can sell sex but men cannot buy it. There is a sizeable number of men who are opposed to it. Sweden is, ironically, a society where women are most assertive sexually; where a woman is not judged for having many sex partners but a man who pays a sex worker is put in jail and despised. I don’t think most men who pay for sex are bad or want to use/abuse women. I have paid for sex too a few times so it doesn’t go down well with me that you think men who pay for sex aren’t real men.

            • Hi Herschele

              No I do not know any men that travels to East Europe to meet women in bars.
              Poland is a catholic country.

              But the few women I know from Eastern Europe are nice,friendly women.
              It also looks to me that they work hard to take care of thems selves, with slim bodies. . I am not surprised if men like them. And the culture is also friendly.

              I hope I can travel there some day myself.

              About prostition. Men do not go to jail if the police find them when they buy sex ,at least not in Norway. The police hardly bother to notice.

              The laws agains buying sex is ment as a signal from our government that it is contrary to our VALUES as a society that men buys sex. Women and men are not a commodity.
              After our election this fall this can again be legal. But it is not a big issue.

              Trafficking is the problem,and how to save men and women from modern day slavery. We have lots of slaves in Europe to day. Some of them are slaves forced to work as sex workers ,others work in private homes or in factories.
              Slavery is not over,it is as brutal as ever but invisible.

            • Hi Herschele

              You write:” Scandinavian men are generally good looking compared to men of other origins”

              I wonder have you lived in Scandinavia?

              Many Scandinavian men are tall and some are solid build that is true and they are sporty most of them. But men here are not better looking than men from other places on this earth. If you lived here you would know that.

              I do not have time to discuss the issue prostition. If someone starts a new thread about that I will participate. But it is not something I am passionate about.
              Forgive me if I offended you.
              I set up borders for me self and not for others.

              I am not one of the white women that will travel to Africa or Carrabbien as a sex tourist. I will never happen.

            • FlyingKal says:

              Herschele:
              “However I’ve talked to a few Scandinavian guys and their views were mixed. Although they all agree that dating norms are much simpler vis a vis America, but that ‘advantage’ is neutralized by the fact that Scandinavian women also tend to be very picky (compared to other women) and many are just uninterested in dating and relationships for that reason.”

              I don’t know if they are uninterested in dating and relationship.
              I just think that with the “erosion” of the societal norms, it’s easier to “have your cake and eat it, too”. I mean, you can have (lots of) sex without finding “The Right” and confining yourself to an exclusively monogamous relationship. If you didn’t manage to seduce that good-looking man you had your eyes on this week (and your libido isn’t high enough to put up any obstacles), you can just wait one or a couple of weeks and he will probably be available for another shot. ;-)

          • Mr Supertypo says:

            its 50-50 the roles are overlapped sometimes they initiate, sometimes we do. Its not rare to meet a woman who pay the dates and invite you out but sometimes it also go traditional, but it depends of the person.

            I have been living in Denmark since 1999 and I have met only two women who were traditional. The rest are quite fair, and share both the work and the interest. Like Im currently dating a woman, who contacted me on a dating site and she invite me out, sometimes she pays everything sometimes I do but usually we share the bill. I think if we should define the actual way of dating at least in DK (cant speak neither for Sweden nor Norway) its all about sharing, financially, emotional etc. (Naturally charm and look also play a important role). Thats also the way they see a relationship. At least thats my experience….

        • Tim,

          “In America dating is supposed to be a lot more difficult for men than for women.
          More things are expected of men. Men are held to higher standards in every area. More effort is required of men.”

          Other than being the one to make the first approach (something we women are penalized for if we try it – and think about how frustrating THAT can be – knowing you’re interested in someone and having to wait for him to notice you), the only other thing that most women these days expect from men is respect. And that, it seems, is the biggest challenge we have. I, and many of my friends, have been inundated with the most extreme, rude, ridiculous behavior by men.

          Just last night I had a man grab my ass and pound me on the dance floor as though we were having sex and then wonder why I pulled away. He then told me that I was “just too big” and said I needed “what, like an Alaskan?” But then followed the comment with “But I don’t mind” – as though this magnanimous gesture would clinch the deal for him. And, after all of this disrespect, he was shocked when I walked away and refused to speak to him again. And this is what happens in person. Take that and multiply it by 15 guys a week and you have the online dating experience for women.

          We are expected to receive the penis pics, the lewd suggestions, the puritanical standards, and the disrespect and still be open and receiving when one of the rare good guys come along. It’s really challenging. You have to send a few more emails because not all of us respond. We receive insults daily. Which is easier? Neither is appetizing.

          It’s a non-optimal environment. But a little bit of good manners goes a long way is all I’m really saying here.

  5. Hi Kelle – please take this criticism as constructive: much of your advice reads like Harlequin Romance with extra retro sugar on top. Some common sense stuff, but much of it boils down to the man performing for me, passing a test, enticing me, on my terms, before I allow him a whiff of my sacred vagina.

    “Lean in 90%” – except when I don’t want him to lean in at all of course….

    But, your advice still comprises a sizeable reality of the dating world – enter the popular counter measures of PUA advice.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Even if it does read a bit like a romance novel, being as they are most of the time the best-selling books in the nation, I think that’s sort of a good idea.

  6. Sage Autumn says:

    Ack! Sexting and hookups is NOT what FetLife is for!

  7. I write online dating profiles for a living (and yes, it’s honest because I use all that person’s words and stories, not mine). I’m constantly touting the importance of emails. For one, they’re a huge safety factor. After a few exchanges – and by that I mean more than three (your suggestion of around eight is great) – you can uncover red flags, inconsistencies and deal breakers. They also help you uncover ice breakers. That way, when you do meet, you have topics to cover and a conversational flow going so that the all-important chemistry actually gets off the ground. After all, chemistry is more than looks. I wrote a blog on the subject of emails. I hope you don’t mind that I share it: http://www.trysweettalk.com/online-dating-and-the-top-3-reasons-why-emails-matter/ Thanks for the thoughtful article.

    • Thank you. I will visit your blog.
      Maybe online dating then can be safer than many other ways to meet men, if red flags are there already after three letters?

      • I’m not suggesting that online dating is safer than other ways to meet men. Nor am I saying that red flags are there after 3 emails. I’m saying that emails give you an opportunity to learn more about a person from deal breakers and red flags to ice breakers. I hope that cleared up the misunderstanding.

        • Hi Kate

          Yes. I see.
          I have already visited your blog.

          I want to try online dating,and browse The Guardians Soulmates. But it takes a lot of courage to do it.
          I mean it takes a lot of courage to met the men in real life. That is the scary part.
          Maybe I will come back to you.

          • Hi again. I don’t want to post another link to my site here because I think that might be a little tacky. However, if you google 10 Online dating safety tips every woman needs to know, you’ll find an article I wrote with the help of my local police force. It has very good advice. If you can’t find it, feel free to contact me offline. I’m happy to send the link to you. All the best.

  8. I suck at online dating because I am male. That’s the main reason.

    Online dating is for women. Almost every woman does great at online dating.

  9. All very practical, if somewhat obvious, advice. Just curious about one thing though: doesn’t it take more time and effort writing 10 emails back and forth than it does to just meet? So, even if you get stood up, you’ve still technically invested less time.

    I only tried online dating for a week (3 dates!) but I just can’t stand the process of messaging back and forth. That’s just me though.

  10. Hi Kella Sparta

    This was interesting and well written.
    I have no experience with online dating but I once had a cyber romance.

    Why do you recommend ( or decribe) women not to take initiative ?
    Do you prefer men that wants to be in control?
    . Or is it that you are convinced men do not like women that show their interest ,or is it that you think he will never respect you if you do?

    • Why do you recommend ( or decribe) women not to take initiative ?
      Do you prefer men that wants to be in control?

      The biggest reason is that women tend to be more scared of rejection. They feel its a huge blow to their ego and self-worth to be rejected by a man or to put a man in a position to choose. They feel they have a lesser ability to handle rejection and the uncertainty of pursuing someone, than men.

    • Iben, I don’t recommend that women don’t take the initiative – I just say that we don’t take it often. And the reason for this isn’t the fear of rejection as Sam says. It’s because a lot of men feel emasculated by the approach. The notable exception to this rule is if a woman is contacting a guy in the geek world. Geeks seem to love strong women and will take a first foray from a woman as being VERY sexy. It’s also true that if I woman is online regularly on any dating site, she’s likely getting emails to respond to already and just doesn’t have additional time to commit to searches. She might visit those who have visited her and give them a thumbs up (in the form of a rating or a wink or some such thing) for contacting her. But online dating can feel like a second job sometimes. Especially when we spend so much time fending off the hookup requests.

      • Hi Kelle
        Thanks for your answer.
        You write:
        ” It’s because a lot of men feel emasculated by the approach. ”

        And I am sure you are right. It is a pity isn’t it?
        I think it just fine if I scare away those men. We will not be compatible anyway. I am not a strong woman,but I like men that do not fear strong women.

  11. The author seems to imply that because SHE hasn’t seem to found a lot of success with online dating, that somehow means that us men collectively “suck” at it. Seems a bit insulting to me, but whatever…

    Honestly, outside of the penis pics thing, I’ve successfully ignored every single of one of these little guidelines and gotten away with it. OKCupid has done extensive research on what works and what doesn’t work on their dating sites (much of which is published in the now-defunct OKTrends blog), and from what I’ve read there, though most consistent way to dates is being white, fairly good-looking, and taking great pictures. If you’re an older male, you will up your chances of success significantly if you message women primarily in their mid-30s or older. Everything else is a crapshoot.

    • Actually, I’ve had a lot of luck in online dating. Found my last two long-term boyfriends there. But I’ve also had to wade through a lot of problems along the way. And what I can say is this. While the men here are complaining that I’m being unreasonable. The women are writing to me on Facebook and from other sources saying “THANK GOD someone FINALLY said this!” So take it as you will. But know that I am not the only woman out there feeling this way. If you take what I’ve said to heart, you may find your chances improve.

  12. Mr Supertypo says:

    I use Badoo,its better faster and the best part there is no letters or using long time filling a profile. Its about real time contact through personal chat, like messenger. Put some good pictures on and start typing the ladies. Usually after 48 hours display and typing I end with few dates. Few times the women have come to my place and I end up bein contacted several times.
    Im quite fond of that site because I dont have to write a letter to a woman I have never met before (what am I supposed to write?) instead I have just to type few words to the woman online before we end up chatting the entire night.

    IMO thats the best dating site in the world.

  13. PsyConomics says:

    I am not sure how to feel about this article. It seems like more or less “solid” advice – if steeped in gendered stereotypes, though, that is probably how the “dating game” is played so there is probably nothing that can be done about that in the short term. I am not sure however how much succor these rules can offer to someone who is having a terrible run of bad luck in the online dating arena even when following all the rules. It happens, sometimes a person tests as being one thing when they’re not (I’ve had quivers full of completely nonsensical matches from okc).

    To all those reading this and having emotions of frustration or anger at getting no results despite following all the rules, I think the biggest rule to remember is that it might not be your fault. People end up in odd situations, people end up lonely for a while. It sucks. There are no two-ways about it. You can try to tweak some things, improve some parts of your profile, but at the end of the day if one happens to be in an area where everyone is looking for steel, and you’re zinc, it’s going to suck. You’re allowed to feel pain.

  14. steve R says:

    Might as well have written “why you’re sick of online dating”

  15. FlyingKal says:

    First Contact

    Ever wonder why you don’t get women contacting you? Right or wrong, many women feel like it isn’t our job to make the first contact. Don’t get me wrong, we’re likely cruising your profile too, but we might not drop the first “hello.” We’re more likely to do is to rate you highly or wink. Or we might see that you’re online and come back to your profile again so that you see us arrive. It’s the cyber equivalent of a glance and a smile from across the room—it’s the invitation to engage.”

    This.
    Smacks me like “Here’s a long list of what you should do. But don’t you tell me what to do or expect anything from me!”…

  16. AnonymousDog says:

    If online dating success were as easy as just following your advice, why, we’d all be successful. Unfortunately, following your advice has no guarantee of success.

  17. Here’s a link to a site that got it right with the connection to Facebook. I LOVE this woman! http://www.policymic.com/articles/47681/what-to-do-with-a-creep-s-unsolicited-dick-pic-send-it-to-his-mom

    • Kelle

      Yes, I love her to!
      A female politician in my country started to retweet all the ugly sexual tweets she got . Since she had thousands of followers it was very effective.

    • Hot guys who are worthy of being pursued by women often complain about this problem too. Case in point, my gym trainer. He gets a lot of boobs /ass pics from girls. I’d recommend him the same strategy to fend them off, if its bothering him. He can send those pics to their fathers, brothers or perhaps husbands.

    • Yes because sending an unsolicited pic to another person as payback to the person who sent you an unsolicited pic is good right? The mother may be a rape victim or someone who has a low triggerpoint and that act could trigger a bad reaction. But hey anything to get back at the creep right, including doing pretty much the same thing to someone else because that’s not hypocritical at all right?

      • Archy
        Psychologist advice persons in abusive relationships to expose the abuser. And yes,that means mothers and fathers and all the family will also have emotional reactions. Just like they will when their kids get arrested or kicked out of school.

        What is your advise?
        Do you mean we just have to accept this kind of perverted behavior?

        • A letter without the picture would suffice. You don’t have to force people to look at the image. The more polite option would be to have the image linked as text with a warning “This is a nude picture” so the person doesn’t have to look. It doesn’t change the unsolicited aspect but it does stop the person seeing the image without choice.

      • Archy

        Do mothers fear rape by their own sons?
        I don’t think so Archy. But I am sure there are many ways to take down guys like him,and some are better than others. . But women who fight back have my support.

        Pictures of naked men is not at all scary. To see a naked man does not trigger panic attack.
        It is this guys attitudes towards women looking for a boyfriend or a husband that is repulsive.

        If he dream of exposing his genitals to strangers I am sure he can find websites deigned for for that.

        The thing is Archy, guys like him can make women more skeptical to all men and their sexuality. So he hurts men even more than he hurts women,so why defend him?

        (Summer had stared in my part of the world. This means your winter has started? Enjoy it Archy.)

        • Atleast you accept they are not scary. On most feminists websites I hear they are traumatizing to women and creates an extremely unsafe environment for them.

          But yeah, I don’t see the point of sending pics of ones naked self to women. By now guys should’ve realized it doesn’t have any positive affect on women. Women are different. Where a woman who sends a man a pic her boobs or butt might flatter him, the reverse is not true

        • Winter started very wet n hot here, now it’s cooling down. :D

          “Pictures of naked men is not at all scary. To see a naked man does not trigger panic attack.”
          For some it does though, I would assume quite a lot of rape victims will have some issue with seeing a nude person who closely resembles their attacker.

          • Hi Archy
            I get your point. You are right and you are a sensitively man.
            If a woman friend think of doing something like that I will explain this to her.

            I myself have never been brave enough to try online dating,so picks like this never came in my inbox. But I understand why women hate it when it happens. They look for dates with a man and not with a penis. They want a human being to love and cherish,not only a little part of his body. And some women is also happy with a transman.

            But I will rember your advice Aechy. I have suffered from severe panic anxiety for many years of my life but was healed.

  18. Jeff Johnson says:

    Wow, not a lot here for me. I already knew that women don’t like short messages or immediate sex talk. So all I got out of it was to redo my profile and take a new picture or two (I don’t have any full body shots up). Not really a lot to go on and probably wont keep me from continuing to fail at this online dating thing.

    Good luck to the other lonely souls out there.

    • Hi Jeff
      Can you tell us why you think you fail in online dating?
      I browse a dating site calld Soulmates. Yesterday I saw the cutes man,with a warm smile and a friendly face write that he soon give up on online dating. He was a doctor. In my eyes he was super attractive.

      Can you tell us more about what happens when obviously sympatic ( and normal) men give up ?

      And have you asked your friends to take pictures of you a day you are happy?
      The photos that impress me the most of men on dating site is often a happy man out doing what he loves the most or a picture of a man that leans forwards .looks straight into the camera,brave and secure.
      A photo af his face only.
      For some reason this forward leaning pose,with eyes looking straight to me makes an impact . I do not know why. This is how we sit when we lean towards each other in an interesting conversation,and give the other our full attention.

      And do you read other men’s profiles? You should . Then you will understand why some profiles melts women’s hearts. In this kind of dating,I think men who open up are the winners. I have no scientific evidence to back up this view,but I feel I respond to men that are open and show both their strength and their vulnerabilities. That show self awareness and insight, and prove that he want to be honest about who he is….the good and the bad.

      I could post one example for you here ,but I don’t think it is ethical of me to do that.

      • Jeff Johnson says:

        There are a couple of things that come to mind when I seek to answer the question about why I fail at online dating. The big one is a personal issue. As a result of the large amount of rejection I have faced, I don’t deal with acceptance well. It is something that affects my offline attempts at dating as well. Beyond that, I made sure that I include on my profile the sort of geeky things that I want my future partner to accept. So, some women who might think I am attractive but would dislike someone who is geeky, know to keep looking. I have been trying to come up with any other reasons. But, the results usually boil down to one of these two.

        Thanks for the thoughts on the pictures. Life has been busy as of late. So it maybe a while before I am able to act on it though.

  19. Hi Kelle
    You write :
    ✺”It’s your job to lean in 90% of the way and then wait for me to cover that final distance. If you don’t, I don’t feel like I have any choice in the matter”✺

    Can you write more about what you mean? Can you explain this in other words?
    I do not understand you.
    Do you mean all men must take up to 90% initiative otherwise can you can not respond?
    You can not mean that Kelle. I hope I misunderstand you.

    • Iben, let’s say her and his head is 100cm apart. She is saying lean in 90cm of the way so that she can decide if she wants to lean in 10cm to close the gap, basically it’s a non-verbal way of communicating he wants to kiss her. If he goes the full 100cm then he gives her no choice. The movie “Hitch” and it shows it – ht tps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSpJQlBJCzA

  20. I totally agree. I seriously suck at making a good initial first impression using sites like OKCupid and Match.com. I checked out another site recently called http://www.veramatchmaking.com but it seems to only be in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, London, and Sydney(?)

    Anyone know of any other matchmaking sites like this?

    Thanks!

    Omar

  21. You don’t know what you are talking about. It has been shown that profile pics are all that matters. Profile matters slightly. Opening message doesn’t matter at all.

    It’s also been shown that men who don’t smile in their main pic get more responses. Does it make sense? No.. But this is what real world research shows.. Not what YOU think SHOULD matter.

    Race also matters. White men have the highest response rates. Black and Asian have the lowest. Its a numbers game. Online dating is a crap shoot. Look your best and play the numbers. Meeting girls in real life is far superior although 90% of guys are pusses who can’t do it or need to be blackout drunk.

    Overall, your advice is not helpful.

  22. Ive sent women nice messages all tailored to their profile and gotten shunned. I am a good looking guy too. I think a lot of men on these sites feel the same way i do. Im exhausted and tired of being ignored when i take the time to think of something thoughtful to say. Since I’m getting such a shitty return I’m not putting forth that much effort anymore. Thats my reason. Now its just a hello and see if she responds. Minimal effort= minimal let down.

  23. Also wanted to add there is an article written by a woman-Why online dating sucks for men because of women like me. Its a real eye opener. Its best to meet women out in the real world. Online has too many competitors.Too many choices=hard to make a decision.

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