Welcome to the D&D [Internet Dating] Thread.
This thread exists to help with navigating the complexities of using the internet to find awesome people like yourself and hit it off with them! To that end, the thread has a few high-level purposes:
- Provide way for forum-goers to find, and ask for, profile-authoring advice and critique.
- Provide general discussion, and growth-advice, about messaging and general dating etiquette as it relates to internet style dates.
- Provide a place for people who are successfully meeting and dating people to share their stories so that others can see and share in the positive vibes!
This OP follows the historically established pattern of providing general dating knowledge all previous threads have gathered. Read it well.
Internet dating is similar to regular dating, but with additional complexity because internet
. Using an internet dating site is basically bringing in an additional tool into a dating-centric toolbelt. It is like being invited to a ridiculously big party where you might know a few people, but there are also lots, and lots
, of new and exciting folks that you can talk to and see if you hit it off.
Generally speaking, internet dating has a spectrum of people with various goals. Some folks are just looking for a quick hook-up, some folks are looking for something short-term because they're moving, and others are looking for that one person they can settle down with for the rest of their lives. No matter what your goals are when using the internet to date; always remember that there is a person (that you're trying to get to like you!) on the other end of your messages, so treat them kindly!
Just like legacy dating, internet dating requires time and a sincere good-faith effort in order to get a good experience out of it. Also, do note, that by using an internet dating site, you're increasing your exposure to a social interaction. This also means you're increasing your chances of receiving rejection by just as much. Having a healthy perspective on life and yourself before jumping into the online dating pool can tremendously improve your overall experience.
All previous advice in a nutshell:
YOU 👏 ARE 👏 SELLING 👏 YOURSELF. 💯
General but important communication tips:
- DO - Treat the other people with respect. It's another human being on the other end of that message, act accordingly.
- DO - Describe yourself in a positive way.
- DO - Acquire and keep a positive attitude.
- DO - Avoid self-deprication, or apologizing in your profile and messages, and instead give preference to highlighting positive aspects of you and things you like to do.
- DO - Make confident statements without following them with insecure "lol" or "haha" or "i guess".
- DO - Fully own your life path, if asked, and talk about it in a positive light ("I've been a Starbucks Barista for 6 years, and it's been interesting interacting with all of the people, I have a ton of stories! Just ask!, but I have outgrown it, so that's why I'm currently pursuing a culinary education.")
- DO - If you must use any sentence that says, "I am [adjective]" (i.e., calling yourself nerdy or geeky or dorky or funny or witty or handsome or sarcastic or anything else), expect to put up or shut up.
- DO - Write well composed messages to people that you find interesting, regardless of any imagined reservation you might have (i.e., you're convinced they're too good/hot/popular/smart/whatever to be interested in you). Making the decision for them, by not writing them, turned your possible chance of meeting someone awesome into a 0% chance.
- DO - Have Fun!! - It's dating. Dating is supposed to be fun, so have fun. Fun.
Choosing a Site
Before setting-up a profile, you'll need to choose a dating site. There are a few criteria that you'll want to consider before picking a site that fits your particular situation.
- Geographical Location - This is one of the most important aspects of choosing your internet dating site. While each site will have representation in each city/region, usually one or two of them will have the lion's share of the population. You can ask in this thread other peoples experience for a particular region.
- Budget - Some sites are free to use, other sites are subscription based. Additionally, some of the free-to-use sites put desirable features behind a paywall.
Some popular internet dating sites/apps that folks have used here in the past:
- OKCupid - Free classical dating site that lets users message each other with no prerequistite 'match' criteria preventing certain users from messaging each other. Even though the site is free, there are features that you can pay to use (did the person read your message, etc).
- POF - Free classical dating site that lets users message each other with no prerequisite 'match' criteria preventing certain users from messaging each other.
- Tinder - Free swipe-based dating site that only lets users message each other if they 'swipe right' on each other. Tinder requires linking to a Facebook account.
- Bumble - Free swipe-based dating site that only lets users message each other if they 'swipe right' on each other. Requires that the person that identifies as a female send the first message (a feature that is geared towards hetero couples, but I'm not sure what, if any, improvements have been made to make this a more inclusive feature). Bumble requires linking to a Facebook account.
- Grindr - For gay and bisexual men. Not sure of the features, etc. Need input here.
- No dick pics.
- Your main picture should feature you, alone, and your face should be visible. Preference should be given to a low depth of field, thus keeping the focus on you.
- Other pictures can include other people, but do specify who you are in the picture through captions, blurring out other people's faces, a giant arrow, something. No one like to play the game of "guess who's the person in common in all these pictures".
- Do not put up pictures where you are not at all. It's a dating site, not a tumblr repost album.
- No dick pics.
- Do not put up pictures with your ex. Why would you think that's a good idea?
- Do not put up blurry, poorly-lit, poorly-framed, or just generally bad pictures. Cell phone pics are notorious for that reason.
- No dick pics.
- Try to include one full-body pic to show what you look like completely.
- Show, don't tell. Use stories to show that you are interesting
- Vague things like, "I like to travel" or "I read books for fun" are bland and won't stand your profile out from the crowd.
- Put interesting things in here. Hobbies. Not JUST work-things. Show folks why you are awesome to hang out with.
- Unless it is unsafe for you to do so, Don't beat around the bush when it comes to listing your profession. Just tell people what you do for money or what you are studying in school. It's going to be a first question on a date and gives the other person you're messaging something to ask you about.
I'm Really Good At:
- You are not good at making people laugh or being funny or whatever. Find SKILLS that you have that you are good at. I can cut a deck of cards one-handed. I can drive stick shift. Something interesting that you can do that is awesome.
- List YOUR FAVOURITES. Not every book, movie, television show, and food you've ever read, seen, watched, or eaten.
- Pick 10-12 things MAXIMUM
- If you must use keywords, only keyword two or three things in each section. The favourites of your favourites.
- For books, list titles, not authors. Some authors write a wide range of books. Some authors are associated with being a prick or a poser. Book Titles tell a lot more about who you are as a person.
- Keep the list trim by only listing works that give us a window into your personality. Don't make a massively long section that indiscriminately lists everything you like.
- Add some personalization. Why do you like this stuff? What associations does it hold for you? Do you love Foo Fighters because it reminds you of the time you and your friends went ghost-hunting in New England culverts? Are you into apocalypses because you think you'd make a kick-ass zombie slayer or because you're enchanted by the idea of starting over?
- Don't list bullshit like oxygen, air, water, food, friends and family. It's boring and meaningless.
- Don't list your computer, the internet, these forums, or something else generic.
- Do list things relating to stuff you love or mentioned elsewhere in the profile. Feel free to be silly here.
I Spend a lot of time thinking about
- Don't suddenly get all deep and existential when there's nothing else like that in your profile.
- Don't say "Taking over the world" because that's bullshit.
- Feel free to be funny or silly here, too, but don't make it cliché.
- Don't say "there is no typical Friday"
- Don't say "taking over the world"
- Don't say "out with friends or in reading a book" like every other person ever
- Don't say you're busy with work/whatever Friday and really go out Saturday. The question is not literally about Friday night, it's about what you do for fun. It's your chance to prove to us what a fun person you are. If you fail at it, then you're no fun, and no one wants to date someone who's no fun.
- Be specific. If you are out with friends, what are you doing? Do you go dancing? Go to bars for trivia night? Watch movies and eat popcorn?
Message me if:
- Don't say "if you want to" or any other variation of that. BE SPECIFIC.
- Do not write "I never know what to write in those things". Think of something. It's not hard.
- Do not write "Headlines are stupid". NO U.
- Put some.
- Be specific. "Fun" is not an interest.
- "Doing stuff" is not an interest. Neither is "taking over the world".
Messaging In General
A big part of the internet dating experience is through messaging (don't send dick pics). This is also where a lot of people tend to hit the biggest hurdles and generate the most negative feelings towards internet dating.
To help with this, it's best to set your expectations at reasonable level - regular dating levels. Just because you're messaging someone on a internet dating site, it doesn't mean they're going to be automatically into you. With internet dating, a reasonable expectation is: that no matter what, you're not entitled to a response - remember that the other person might be experiencing or using the app in a completely different way than yourself. (don't send dick pics)
Sending a message and not receiving a reply, or having a conversation thread fall off a cliff, is going to happen - for many possible reasons. In my opinion, it's also the number one toughest thing to endure when using an internet dating site. Just re-assure yourself that you're a good person, and understand the other person is the only one in charge of their behavior and tastes.
Overall, you only have control of the messages you send, so any message you originate should be respectful and upbeat.
The simple rule is: be concise, comment on something on their profile to show you read it and possibly relate it to something in your experience, ask a question so they can easily follow-up, spell properly, don't send dick pics. The gold-standard template it "Hi, I'm NAME. Here's a comment on something on your profile that I liked. Here's a question about it?"
The more complex rules are: DON'T SEND DICK PICS
So, you're hitting it off with the other person in a message thread, and finally the time is right for you to suggest a meet-up. The best places to meet are somewhere public, with lots of good lighting, many exits, and in an area of town that is familiar to the both of you. A starter list to get the imagination flowing is as follows:
- Local Starbucks or trendy coffee place - It's the most generic and boring, but they have a ton of locations that are all pretty safe meeting places.
- Museum - Art, or Historical (sometimes both!) Museums are really good for having a background activity for a potentially awkward pause.
- Festivals - Meet at the fried coke stand, and go from there!
Clean and Nice. Depending on your age demographic this might mean different things to different people. Generally, for the gentlemen, this means an unscuffed pair of kicks, well-fitting trendy jeans or slacks, and well-fitting pressed shirt are a bare minimum. Along with cleaning up your facial and head hair to make it look like you are putting in a bit of effort to look presentable. For the ladies, this means wearing something clean and nice that fits your style.
Should I bring <thing> for the other person?
No. Nope. Newp. NO. You're just meeting in person for the first time to see if there is chemistry, and bringing <thing
> is off putting to most people on a first date. Additionally, the other person will have to carry it around for the duration of the date.
Should I have fun?