Let's identify my biases. I am 60 years old. I am not looking for hookups or ONS's. I would prefer to find a woman who shares my interests and beliefs and can share the rest of my life without telling me to stop eating fried chicken. In fact, I think that I have found her. We've been dating for 4 months now and everything is somewhere between east of hunky and west of dory. I found her online.
I read a question earlier today from a young man complaining about his lack of success with online dating. He asked for some suggestions, so let's get down to it.
1. Pick the right online site. Some online sites cater to a particular crowd. Christian Mingle appeals to a certain sector. Black People Meet has an obvious target population. Other sites seem to be geared towards older people, while some are notorious for promoting hookups instead of relationships. Oh yes. There is also a site called Ashley Madison; I guess you know what they are all about.
So . . . what are you all about? Are you looking for a serious, long-term relationship that might lead to marriage? Are you just looking for casual dating with no commitment? Looking for hookups? Threesomes? Be honest with yourself. Guys, if you are 24-25 years old and you are getting tired of dating the girl of the week and you have actually started to think about one day being a father . . . it's time to admit that you want to find a wife. You don't need to say it out loud and you certainly don't want to make this admission at the boys night out, but you do need to admit it to yourself.
Find a website that gives you a higher likelihood of success at finding what you are truly looking for. Do some internet research and ask your friends. For a 60 year old guy who looks and acts younger, Plenty of Fish worked well for me. I tried match.com and met a few women but I also had frequent messages from obvious scammers.
2. Paid vs. Free? If there is an option for free vs. paid membership, consider the paid membership. It usually offers more possibilities for communicating and the costs are not prohibitive. What you are seeking is too important to worry about saving $50-60 (unless you don''t have $50-60, in which case you need to be thinking about how you can afford to date at all.)
3. Take a sneak peek. Before you create a profile, use the option of perusing a site as an unpaid guest, especially if you can view profiles. This will sound weird, but . . . look at profiles of users of your gender. Know what your competition is. Guys, if most of the guys on a site look like stoners or drunks just looking to get laid . . . you need to know that. If most of the ladies post pictures of themselves in lingerie, . . . you ladies need to know that.
4. Don't pick a stupid username. This is not a good time to show your sense of humor. How many girls will be interested in a guy who calls himself IFartAlot? I would probably not even read the profile of a lady whose username is NotReallyABigSlut. Choose a username which gives a complimentary reference to your character or your interests. A username like SouthernGentleman1955 will get the interest of many women in my age group. Think about what will be appealing to the opposite gender in your age group.
5. Post pictures. Profiles with no pictures get very little attention. Guys, don't post pictures of you not wearing a shirt, hanging out with some unidentified girl (unless it is obviously your mother,) drinking beer, driving a jacked up pickup truck, etc. Your pictures project an image of you, What kind of image do you want to project? Online dating is not like knocking a chick over the head with your club and dragging her into your cave. Properly written, your profile can be persuasive but it will never be overpowering or compelling.
Ladies, if you post pictures of you in a sexy teddy, guys will assume that you are interested in hooking up. Pictures of you in front of the Eiffel Tower? They'll assume you are high maintenance.
Make sure that your pictures are current. Don't use glamour photos. Review and revise your pictures occasionally.
6. Write a profile that is different. First, several women who contacted me were impressed because my profile had no misspelled words, no typos, no stupid slang, and it conveyed an impression of intelligence. If that is not the impression you want to convey . . . enclud sum dum goofee stuf like this.
A profile should briefly explain what someone would learn about you if they spent several hours with you on a first date. What is your educational level? Occupation? Smoke? Religious? Strong political beliefs? Ever been married? Interests and hobbies? It should also briefly describe what is truly important to you? Are you devoted to stray dog rescue? Save the whale? Passionate college football fan?
Guys, women will read your profile before they respond to your messages. Don't say the stupid cliches that everybody else says, like "I like to take walks on the beach." If you are looking for a serious relationship, tell them things about yourself that would make you sound like a good catch. ("I like to spend time with my nieces and nephews . . . I've worked at the same job for three years . . . I'll be starting college in January," etc.) Talk some about long-term goals, so you don't sound like one of those guys whose major concern in life is having beer and cigarette money for the weekend.
Ladies, guys will look at your pictures and MAY read your profile before contacting you. Tell them what you are looking for. "I want a man who wll take me for rides on his Harley on Sunday morning." That's very clear. If that's what you really want, why waste time with guys you don't ride? "I want a guy who will treat me like a lady and who opens doors for a lady." The guys who don't interest you won't bother you . . . if they read youir profile.
7. Get a second opinion. Ask a very trusted friend of the opposite gender to read your profile and give you some feedback on the impression it makes. I have done this before and you will get significant insights if you do this.
8. Keep revising your profile. As you spend some time communicating with other users, you will get some comments about your profile. You will decide that certain words or phrases in your profile are conveying a bad impression of you. Change it! There is always room for improvement so don't be complacent.
9. Guys, contact many women. My response rate for emails I sent was not higher than 10%. There are many profiles that are fake or were created by women who wanted to browse but they never subscribed and they are not active on the web sites. So, send out many messages but don't send a "canned" message. Read the woman's profile and say something in your message that indicates you read her profile. "Hey, that's really cool that you're such a big college football fan," or "I have a friend who recently moved to your hometown."
Guys, keep your initial email relatively short. Five or six sentences should be quite sufficient. Avoid anything that sounds too serious.
10. Girls, please respond. Girls, many of you will receive a message, and you then will read the sender's profile and decide that you are not interested without even reading the message, so you will delete it unread. As soon as that occurs, we receive a notification that the message has been deleted without being read. Imagine how very cold that feels for us! You can help to make this a kinder and gentler world. Yes, some of those messages were canned messages but some were written especially for you. Read every message and send us a reply, "I appreciate the expression of your interest. After reading your profile, I believe that we would not be a good match. Good luck in your search." How easy it often is to be kind!
11. Guys, online dating is scary for women. Understand that online dating is scary for women. They could be corresponding with Jack the Ripper without realizing it. Do everything that you can to allay their fears or concerns. Tell them that you don't want to be pen pals forever but you don't want to rush them into meeting you before they are ready. After exchanging a few messages, give her your cell phone number. Let her call you. She feels safer being in control of this. Talk on the telephone a few times before suggesting a meeting.
12. Your first meeting. When she is ready, agree to meet her at a public place that will be safe for her. A coffee shop on Saturday afternoon is a good safe meeting place and time. A bar at 10 PM is not. Your apartment is not a safe meeting place - not for your initial meeting - at any time. Some ladies may be interested in meeting you for dinner, but some will not, so give them a choice. "Would you like to meet at the Caffeine Fiend on Saturday afternoon or the Olive Garden for dinner Saturday night?"
When that first meeting has come to an end, don't suggest that she get in your car to go somewhere else. From her perspective, that is not a safe thing to do.
Some women consider the first meeting to not be a date while others do. Even if she considers it a "date," she may not be expecting a good night kiss at the end of the first date. Trying to get that good night kiss when she is unprepared may ruin an otherwise successful meeting.
13. Have realistic expectations. Most first dates, whether facilitated through online dating or the more traditional methods, do not result in long term relationships. You may have 5-8 first meetings before you meet someone who is worthy of the investment of your time and attention. As is true of all dating, you will have many brief meetings and a few prolonged but ultimately unsuccessful relationships and it will come to an end only when you meet The One.
14. Don't let the process bring you down. You will encounter some jerks and rude people but don't let them make you disrespectful of others. If you succumb to that influence, you will have allowed those people to bring you down to their level.
I hope this helps. Good luck in your search for The One!