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Five Rules To Help You Not Suck At Online Dating

The other day, M was iming a buddy, and he turns to me and says, “So, R’s on Match.com.”

“Wait…what?” I asked, incredulity tinging my voice.

“Yeah. He’s frustrated with his single status, and can’t find a date in his wood shed, so he’s signing up for a Match.com account.”

“Finding a date at his computer would be easier than finding one in his wood shed,” I mused. I mean, there are very rarely any women in his wood shed, and they’re usually married.

My first reaction, of course, was, “Why Match.com?” I personally have never used dating sites because when dating sites started getting popular, I was already married and monogamous, but I’ve got a bunch of friends who have. And to hear them tell it, Match.com is one of the worst. However, they’re also pretty adamant that none of them are any good, so I dunno that I believe them. Plus, most of them are women, and their complaints have less to do with the site and more to do with the guys on it.

My second reaction was that R’s totally going to be the belle of the ball on that site. He’s definitely Latham’s most eligible bachelor, and not only because he already owns a house and basically has three jobs. But also because he’s far too classy to do any of the stupid stuff my girlfriends say “all the guys” do on dating sites.

But some people just don’t know how to act when they’re trying to get a date. Instead of being themselves, they try to be someone they’re not, and end up looking pretty stupid in the process. So here’s what to do if you’re looking for a lady friend on Match.com, or Plenty of Fish, or where ever you crazy kids are hooking up these days.

1 – Fill out your entire profile

Every single section. And not with fluff and BS. This is where you make your first impression, so make it a good one.

If you don’t have time for that when you sign up, make sure you go back and take care of it when you do have time. Very few people are going to want to date Dave, 24, who has no interests, no job, and appears to do nothing with his life. And the ones who do probably also have no interests, no job, and are doing nothing with their lives.

2 – Be honest

I mean, you are planning on meeting the people you chat up on the site eventually. And while I’m sure you can keep up the façade you’ve created for a little while, the chances of your new-found friend finding out you’re a big fat liar are high. That doesn’t make for good relationship-starting material.

3 – Don’t use textspeak

No matter what you’re actually saying, when you use textspeak to pick up a girl, it puts out one message: You’re not important enough for me to waste time on. And while it’s true that girls are often drawn in by aloof bad boys, no self-respecting woman is going to waste time on a guy who doesn’t have time for her.

I know it’s tempting. Plus, you’ve got shit to do. Seems a quick “hi how r u” is the easiest way to go about introducing yourself. I mean, if you followed rule number 1, you’ve already talked about yourself in your bio. Why should you have to do it again in a message?

Easy answer? You don’t. Instead, ask questions about her that aren’t answered in her bio. If you’re interested, show it.

4 – Be courteous and attentive

This doesn’t mean bend over backwards for all the female strangers you encounter on the dating site, or stay tethered to your computer waiting for responses from the ones you’ve messaged.

You should, however, refrain from sexual harassment, bashing their interests, and criticism. And answer any messages you receive as soon as you have a free moment to do so. Even the ones from women you’ll never date. It’s just polite.

5 – Don’t expect your super cool lifestyle, bad ass bike, or a pic of you at a concert in a leather jacket and a Slayer shirt to carry you

In fact, expect it to make it a little more difficult for you to find a quality date

Super cool guys have a really bad name because some super cool guys know they’re super cool and are total douchebags. There. I said it.

Absolutely feel free to talk about those things. They make you more interesting. But while you’re at it, be sure to mention the charity ride you participated in, and your Monday afternoon ritual of reading in the library, and how your favorite thing to do, lately, is watch your puppy grow into a dog because he’s freakin’ hilarious. Even super cool metal head bikers have human qualities. And now your secret’s out. You’re welcome.

These are not, by any means, the only rules to follow. But it’s a good start! So get out there, and get e-dating…the right way.

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