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Archive | Online Dating

Are Our Biggest Online Dating Challenges Self-Imposed?

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About a week ago,  I posted a seemingly innocent question on the Okcupid subreddit. I asked other subscribers what their biggest dating challenge was.

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I got a lot more answers than I expected to. Being my typical, analytical self, I decided to spend some time grouping all the comments into categories.

It essentially boiled down into four main reasons.

  • Having high – if not impossible – standards
  • Lacking self-confidence
  • Location
  • Time constraints

Through all of these, I realized that almost all of our challenges are self-imposed. We’re deliberately making it harder for ourselves to find Mr. or Mrs. Right by creating all kinds of restrictions on ourselves.

It got me thinking. Why is that?

Sure, we are mostly to blame. I also think it’s how online dating sites are marketed to us. Admittedly, marketers behind online dating sites like Okcupid, Match, eHarmony are really good at marketing to us why we need their services.

Dating isn’t a new phenomenon like say taking selfies on Instagram. It’s a tried and true way to meet your soulmate since the dawn of modern society.

Online dating sites ploy on many of our biggest fears and insecurities.

  • What if there is no one out there for me? 
  • What if I end up all alone? 
  • Should I start hoarding cats? 

The reality is you don’t need an online dating site to meet your soulmate. Our parents didn’t. Nor, our grandparents.

These sites are engineered to make you think there are millions of people on their site – and one of them is waiting for you. This could be the case. It may happen from online dating or it could happen in the grocery store line. No matter where you find your soulmate- online or offline- it requires a certain element of fate and luck. You can’t code a tech platform that completely accounts for the serendipitous elements of fate and luck.

That brings me back to my previous points. In order to maximize all of our chances of finding someone really great, we need to stop being so hard on ourselves and/or let our guard downs. Instead of looking for the perfect person (as perfect is nearly impossible to find), look for someone who is pretty great that complements you.

What’s your biggest dating challenge? I would love to hear from you in the comment section below or you can email me directly at selfiesandsweatpants@gmail.com 

5 Tips For Online Dating Newbies

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Joining an online dating site, like OkCupid, Match or Plenty of Fish (to name a few), can be a lot like playing Russian Roulette. You roll the dice and leave the outcome up to chance. There’s no doubt that finding someone online involves some luck and fate.

As a self-confessed serial online dater, there are some tips that can make the experience for a newbie to the online dating sphere a bit more bearable. While I can certainly share a bunch of things I have learned, I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of really good dating advice floating around on Reddit. (Yes, you heard that right, Reddit). Reddit isn’t just for video game nerds and Internet trolls, who hate the world. There are actually some really cool people in many subreddits. Here’s five tips for newbies, straight from the front page of the Interwebz.

Tip 1: Use tips from their profile in your intro message

“Profile specific messages are easy, just find something interesting and message her about it, but don’t get upset if you don’t get a response.” – Source: engraced 

Tip 2: Don’t overthink it. 

“People will be confusing, people will give mixed signals. It’s best to not freak out about it. If someone is interested, they will be clear about it, and if you’re interested in someone, your best bet is to be open and clear about it as well.” – Source: killerjiller

Tip 3: Be open-minded and don’t just cherry pick the model types. 

“Accept dates from men who are interesting, not necessarily the best looking. I’ve been pleasantly surprised more times than not.”  Source: engraced  

Tip 4: Treat your profile as an ad for you. 

“PROFILES ARE NOT AUTOBIOGRAPHIES. They are advertisements for you as a person.” – Source: LilJonOkCupid 

Tip 5: If all else fails, just get some Whiskey.

“Are you a woman? Do you like bourbons, whiskey or scotch? If yes those will get you my attention at least.”  – Source: orangefolders   

What’s one tip that you would give to an online dating newbie? Please share in the comment section below. 

 

 

5 Ways to Ensure Your Intro Message Will Be Remembered For All The Wrong Reasons (Or Completely Forgotten)

When it comes to online dating, guys statistically have a 25% chance of getting a reply back to their intro message. Girls have a slightly higher chance at 40% of getting a return message.

To improve the odds, I put together some tips to help you get more replies back to the all-important, first intro message. Here’s 5 ways to ensure that your intro message will be remembered for all the wrong reasons (or completely forgotten).

1. Resist the urge to use a blanket form message.
Blindly copying and pasting the same, exact form message to 100 folks, right down to “Hey there,” is a great way to get ignored 100% of the time. When looking for love, the absolute least you can do is swap out, “Hey there,” for “Hey <insert Okcupid username>.”

2. Make sure to only talk about YOU.
The entire intro message should only talk about you and just how great you are. Don’t reference anything about their profile. It’s all about me-me-me. All this will do is raise a major red flag that you are a self-entitled, self-absorbed jackass.

3. Send an intro message with only the words, hi or hey.
A good intro message should range in length from 3 sentences to 3 short paragraphs. “Hi or Hey” should be reserved for starting a quick IM not for sending an actual intro message.

4. Send a five paragraph essay as your intro message.
At the same time, it’s also not the best idea to write a 5 paragraph essay or short novel as your intro message. Extra negative points if you get all philosophical in the message. Save that stuff for the second or third date!

5. Send a photo of your junk.
This should go without saying, but as someone who has personally been on the receiving end of many dick pic intro messages it had to be included. Nothing screams desperate or creepy more than sending a photo of your junk in an intro message to a complete stranger online.

What tips do you have for writing intro messages? Please share in the comment section below.

The Surprising Place To Get Really Good, Free Dating Advice

When you think of online dating, your first reaction is probably some mix of panic/fear and why am I doing this to myself. However, as online dating continues to grow in popularity (well, maybe it being forced on us all), there are more and more places folks can go to get advice. One place that you might not to think is Reddit.

I’ll be the first to admit that up until recently I thought Reddit was just a place for video game nerds and folks who were angry at the world go to. While there are definitely some Internet trolls on there, the vast majority of the content is quite good. There’s a ton of subreddits devoted to online dating. Here are seven of the top subreddits to get dating advice and tips.

Where’s your favorite place to get dating tips and advice? Please share in the comment section below. 

 

Six Tips For Choosing The Perfect Photo For Your Online Dating Profile

For better or worse, it’s no secret that photos are generally the first thing people will scroll through when browsing an online dating profile. However, there are some things that you can do to stand out from the millions of other folks, who are on these sites.

1. Make sure you are uploading only timely, up-to date photos.

In general, your profile photo should have been taken within the last few years. If you are a little chunky, bald and have tattoos, your profile photo should show that.  It shouldn’t be of you with a full head of hair and fifty pounds lighter. Embrace yourself for who you are at this moment.

2. Use a candid photo of just you.

The best profile photos are candid shots of just you. It can be taken in a fun environment/background. Ex: A photo of yourself at the Grand Canyon, chilling at the beach, a night out on the town, etc.

3. Clean the bathroom mirror if you must take a selfie.

While I would encourage you to avoid taking cliche selfies (or let’s be honest, any selfie), if you absolutely must take them, clean the bathroom mirror first. There’s nothing cute about taking a selfie in front of a smudged up, dirty bathroom mirror. Windex is your friend.  🙂

4. Keep your shirt on.

Dear all guys, as much as I love admiring your six pack, posting a shirtless selfie is one of the douchiest things you can do on an online dating site.

5. No dick pics.

I can’t believe that I even need to list this. There is nothing “sexy” or “cute” about sending unsolicited dick pics to girls on Okcupid.  It’s actually just a great way to get blocked.

6. Don’t go overboard with Photoshop.

You aren’t fooling anyone when you try to crop out your ex from your profile photo. We all see the awkward pose or the weird, phantom limb that you missed. Just don’t do it.

The Date From Hell

I have been on a lot of bad first dates. Maybe, it’s because I’m impatient and don’t like to waste tons of time exchanging “Small talk messages” on online dating sites when you are just going to rehash the same awkward topics on the first date.

Or, maybe that I am terrified of being the victim of a “catfish” level scheme.

Little did I know, I think I would have preferred being catfished over the date I went on a couple of weeks ago.

You know when you have that vague inkling that you have nothing in common, but you really aren’t sure quite yet. My spidey senses were thinking this was going to be a long, dreadful date from the first “awkward text message,” after we exchanged numbers. Well, in my case a vague Google voice number.

Anyway, our “date” started innocently enough at a popular upscale burger bar. The guy walked in and to my pleasant surprise, the guy actually looked like his profile photo. That’s a rarity. Trust me.

But, that was the sole positive of the night.

Little did I realize, this bar would be absolutely packed on a Monday night. Seeing how Mr. Winner and I were already struggling to hold a conversation, two minutes into exchanging pleasantries. We quickly decided to go to the Greek food place next door with no wait.

That’s always the sign of an excellent date. Finding any way I could to speed this date up. So, I can say goodbye, get the fuck out of there, drive home and enter into the land of comfy sweatpants.

Anyways, we order our food. Then, we are met with an incredibly awkward silence. From the initial silence, we get to talking about our work and our family life.  The guy brings up that he works in a warehouse. And, is kind of sort of going to community college. Nothing terribly exciting, but I can respect that not every 20-something knows what they want to do.

Enter more awkward silence. By this point, By time, I was seriously thinking about ways to exit the date gracefully or semi-gracefully.

Would Mr. Winner notice if I excused myself to go to the bathroom and never came back?
Should I pretend to stab myself with this butter knife so I could get out of here soon?
Do I use one of those fake a phone call apps? 

Then as the conversation continued to struggle along, the real dealbreaker comes out. The guy still lives at home with “mommy.” And, mommy does everything for him, while he sits on his ass reading comics and playing Halo.  See where this is going?

He’s the kind of mama’s boy, that is stuck at age 12 or 13. Permanently. All he cares about is beating his video games and his mommy’s cooking. Nuff’ said.

The date ends rather uneventfully about 45 minutes after it got started.

And, it’s time to go back to the drawing board – screen dozens upon dozens of guys on OkCupid – hoping to find a grown ass man. Or, at least a man, who knows how to cook a basic meal and doesn’t live at home with mommy.

What’s the worst date you have been on? Please share below in the comment section. Or, tweet me at @ATXDating.

Want to stay in touch? Subscribe to my email newsletter to get behind the scenes of my crazy dating stories and ramblings.  

7 Things Guys Should Stop Doing on OkCupid

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Trying to be active and engaging on an online dating site can be disheartening, to say the least. The amount of crap that you have to sort through just to find a guy that isn’t a sexist pig, a serious creeper or about one step away from being a serial killer is no small task.

Once you get past the soon-to-be serial killers and creepers, you are then cast into the world of bad online dating profiles filled with desperation from guys who would do and say just about anything to get laid. I do mean anything. Here’s seven instant turn-offs that guys do in their online dating profiles.

1.) Sending an intro message, with the word, “Hey” or “Hi” and nothing else and expecting a reply. 

This is pretty much the equivalent of giving a “thumbs up sign” to every girl in the mall and then walking away.  I know it’s hard to write an intro message to a stranger. But, at least put a little effort into it, instead of just saying, hi.

2.) Sending photos of your junk in your intro message. (Yeah, that actually happened.)

Yeah, just don’t be that guy. Just don’t, please.

3.) If are more than 15 years older than the person, don’t message them. It’s kind of creepy. 

Unless the person specifically states in their profile that they only date older men, please don’t message a female who is more than 15 years younger than you. It’s just creepy. I really don’t want to date someone, who is old enough to be my father.

4.) Enough with the bathroom mirror selfie photos already. 

Enough with the bad selfies. There is nothing cute about taking a selfie in front of a dirty bathroom mirror. In fact, it actually makes you look kind of pathetic.

5.) While on the topic of photos, please refrain from using the profile photo where you have tried to “photoshop” your ex out of. 

I’d rather see a photo of you passed out drunk in the bathroom before I see a photo of you badly cropping out your ex from your profile photo. The extra legs and arms aren’t fooling anyone. K?

6.) Asking to have sex in your intro message.

While I respect the honestly, just like in point #2: Don’t be that guy. Just don’t be that guy.

7.) Finally, nothing screams “warm and fuzzy” quite like receiving a “form message” that you have clearly sent 100+ other ladies. 

Enough said.

What’s the worst online dating message you have received? Please share below in the comment section.

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The Inspiration Behind Starting Selfies & Sweatpants

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A few weeks ago, I had a bit of an epiphany after having a conversation with an amazing mentor in my life. You see, I have been at a crossroads lately when it comes to my personal relationships.

I’m pretty much convinced that I’m hopelessly single. I can’t remember the last “relationship” I have been in that lasted more than oh- three or four dates. Hardly a fling.

Regardless of how appealing it may sound on some days, I’m too young to give up on dating and men entirely and enter the land of no return- filled with cats. Lots and lots of cats.

Hence, the idea for Selfies and Sweatpants was born. You see I have been on OkCupid and Match.com before. I took it seriously for one or two weeks. Went on a couple of nonchalant dates, got discouraged and closed up my account.

In hindsight, I realized I probably was giving up on finding “the one” too soon. I have been known to have extremely high expectations – both for myself as well as the guys I want to date. Let’s face it- it flat out sucks to go on first dates. They are awkward, uncomfortable and depending on who the guy you are with is, can be exceedingly creepy.

That’e exactly what inspired me to start this blog, Selfies and Sweatpants. It’s an outlet for me to get out of my comfort zone and share the trials, tribulations and misadventures that come along with dating. I’m going to challenge myself to go on at least 50 dates this year (2014.)

Follow the journey by subscribing to my blog here.

I can’t wait to hear from each and everyone of you. Please contact me anytime with your date suggestions, words of encouragement, or if you just want to chat.