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What to Expect from Online Dating

One of the dating experts that I’ve discovered in the twitterverse is Dr. Christie Hartman. I really enjoy her writing think she’s full of a lot of great knowledge. She’s down to earth and realistic. I just really like her.

christie-hartman

So I’ve been surfing through her website, checking out older blog posts on dating and relationships. She’s written a series of blog posts for “Intellectual Badasses”, as she calls us, and there was a group of posts that dealt with online dating. The post in particular that peaked my interest was on what to expect from online dating.

You should check her article out, but I’ll hi-light some of the points I found exceptionally true and awesome.

Dating Online is a Numbers Game

In conventional dating, you’ve met the person and developed at least some interest in him or her before you go on a date. Thus, the weeding out process begins before you go on any dates. Online dating is different: you have to go out with someone to even know if there’s interest. In other words, the weeding process often occurs during or after a date.

What this means is that you have to chat with and go out with far more people than in conventional dating, and it takes weeding through a lot more people before you find a “good” one.

I can’t stress that point enough. Online Dating is a process and to get anywhere, you’ll have to date a few people at once and then weed out the ones you don’t want while you stick with the one you DO want.

 

First Dates are Different

The conventional first date is dinner, possibly more. And why not? You’ve probably already established mutual interest and a longer, more involved date is warranted. When dating online, first dates are shorter, less involved, and cost less. Really, a first online date isn’t a date at all – it’s a “meet-and-greet,” an opportunity to meet someone and decide if a date is warranted. If you view it otherwise, it can raise expectations too high.

Oh look, someone else agree with Laurie and me when it comes to the first meeting.

 

Men: Not Getting Replies is Normal
Women: Getting Emails from the Wrong Men is Normal

Boom. There it is.

 

Alright- so make sure you check out Dr. Hartman’s website. She’s got a lot of great posts. I’ll definitely be linking to her a lot from here, too.

 

xoxo Jess
http://www.friendflirt.com
@FriendFlirt

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Things to keep in mind for online dating safety

Online dating can be a blast, but sometimes it’s tricky to figure out what to put in your profile and what to leave out. Sometimes we get carried away and share too much info when we find a match we’re really into. It happens so fast.

However, there are a few things that should NEVER be a part of your profile- and most of them are for your own safety.

I’m not trying to scare you away from online dating. Online dating is a wonderful way to meet people, but it can be very dangerous if you don’t look out for yourself.

click

Laurie Davis of http://www.eflirtexpert.com has a nice little chapter in her book, Love At First Click, that lists the biggest DON’T when it comes to your online dating safety. I’ll list them for you here, but you should definitely check out her book for more information.

  1. Full name- um, hello. Obvious, right? Don’t give your name in your profile and you should hold onto your last name until after you meet a time or two.
  2. Username issues- Don’t use the same user name that you use on social media sites. For example, I’m not going to use RedSoxChach as my username for online dating, since that’s my personal twitter handle. If my match were interested, he could go and look up my twitter feed, since it’s public, and find out all sorts of information on me. Not a good idea.
  3. Phone number- duh, again obvious. Wait to give out your phone number until you’ve messaged a few times and are comfortable with meeting. You’ll want to give your number out before meeting so you can find each other for the date, but save it for a bit. Also, a good idea is to register with Google Voice- then they won’t have your actual number and you can block them if you need to!
  4. Regular hangouts- I tend to frequent the same few places in my neighborhood. I leave them out of my dating profiles. Why? I don’t need a stalker showing up and following me around.
  5. Home address- You can mention your neighborhood, if you live in a city, but don’t give the specific address. That’s obvious, right?
  6. Work details- You can mention what you do for work, but be careful about writing your job title if you have a unique one. For instance, I’m the Social Media Love Gun for Friend Flirt. If I write any of that, my match can look up Friend Flirt and look up the Love Gun. I’m also pretty sure I’m the only Social Media Love Gun out there, so it would be easy to google information on me , too.
  7. Links- Don’t put up personal links to blogs or articles you’ve written. Just not a good idea. Too much extra information that’s not needed before you meet.
  8. Social Media privacy- Double check your privacy settings. If you’re public, like I am, then remember that your match has the ability to look you up and find out information about you. A match might not be too excited to see how obsessed with the Red Sox I am, or that I reference certain players as my boyfriend sometimes.
  9. Email address- If they have your email address, they can find you online. Duh. Eventually, you can give out your email address, if you want to take the conversation off the dating site, but you should probably register a new account somewhere without your full name- for safety purposes. Be careful before emailing off the dating site- too soon is a red flag for scammers.

Hope these help! Make sure to check out the book because it has a lot of awesome pointers!

You’re on your first date and you’re not attracted to your date. What do you do?

Personally, this has happened to me a million times. I could write a million posts about the dates I’ve been on where I was banging my head on the table the entire time (figuratively, obviously), trying to figure out how to get out of there.

I’m too nice to just flat out say “Hey, this isn’t working out for me, I’m just gonna head home, okay?”. In the past, I’ve gone through with the whole date and then just either texted the guy later saying something like “I’ve been dating around and I actually met someone else that I’m more into and I don’t want to lead you on” or “I’m not really sure what I am looking for right now- not sure that I want an actual relationship and I don’t want to waste your time if you’re looking for something more serious right now”.

I’m soooo original.

Anyway, I feel that this is a big issue when it comes to online dating. You find a guy (or gal) that looks pretty attractive, they seem interesting enough, and you’ve sent and received some messages that led to your first meeting. Then you meet in person and you’re like “wait, no this is not what I was expecting!”

The other night, I went to a book launch party for Laurie Davis of eFlirtExpert.com fame, for her Love at First Click book that was just published. First off- she’s absolutely fantastic and her book is incredible (as far as I’ve gotten into it so far anyway). Second, she gave out a few quick tips to the audience (and to us lucky few that had some drinks with her afterwards).

The best tip of the night, in my opinion, was about the first meeting during online dating. She told us that the first meeting is NOT a date. In “offline” dating, you meet someone out in the “real world” and you can tell from that meeting if there is chemistry. Then you go on a first date and what not from there. In online dating, you miss out on that opportunity to figure out if you two jive or not in person, so that’s what the first meeting is for!

Instantly, I knew what my issue was with my dates and why there were so many awkward first encounters.

I was putting too much pressure on the first meeting. And then we’d go out to some bar or to dinner and it would be hours of the two of us awkwardly figuring out if we were into each other in person.

Laurie’s advice was that the first meeting should be between 45 minutes to an hour. Something low key and simple, just to see if you two click. You want to leave that first meeting right when the chemistry is at it’s peak so that you leave on a great note and are already scheduling your second date.

Or if you don’t click, you didn’t waste a whole lot of time and money on the whole thing.

I love this idea. With the pressure taken off of the first meeting, you two will feel more natural and at ease. Also, if you don’t click, you won’t feel too stressed about it. It was just two people meeting, not a horrible first date.

I love it.

I also like reading And That’s Why You’re Single and she recently posted about telling your date that you’re not interested while on the date itself. Ballsy!! You can read her article here. Personally, I couldn’t do it, but I admire her courage and bluntness (is that a real word? It sounds funny…). I do like that she tells her dates that she’s not interested before they spend too much time/money on the date, but man, I could never do it.

What do you guys do when you’re not attracted to a person?
Any stories you want to share?

xoxo Jess
jessica@friendflirt.com
http://www.friendflirt.com
@FriendFlirt

Red Flags in Online Dating

Here’s a list of annoying things that online daters do. If you’re an online dater, make sure you stay away from these!! And if you see any of these red flags, move on!

  • No photo
  • Confusing photos (more than one person in photo, photo unclear, old photos, etc)
  • Photos with members of opposite sex that aren’t labeled (could be sister….or an ex…who knows?)
  • Photos with children that aren’t labelled (are they theirs or no?)
  • Shirtless photos
  • Use negatives (“don’t like ___” “i hate when___” etc)
  • Be a Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer
  • Empty profile/not enough information
  • Too much information
  • Entire profile is in bullet points
  • Mentions sex in the profile

The following phrases are bad, too:

  • “I hate drama”
  • “I’m just trying this out”
  • “My friends made me do this”
  • “I never thought I’d try online dating”
  • “Thanks for reading’
  • “If you like what you read…”
  • “I don’t like writing about myself” or “I’m bad at this part”

facepalm

What are some red flags in online dating profiles that you’ve found?

Online Dating vs. Social Network Dating

People keep asking me about Friend Flirt and why I think it’ll be so much more awesome than other typical online dating sites.

Well, buddy, let me tell you.

I’ve been online dating for a few years, personally. However, I’ve only lived in Boston since August 2011, so we’ll just talk about my experience since I’ve come to live in the Hub.

I’ve tried several different sites. Some sites I found to be quite skeezy. Whether it was a crappy web design or just the users themselves, some sites just didn’t please me. Other sites, I found to be alright, but nothing was coming out of it. I went on many MANY dates through online dating- a few second and third dates, too. I saw potential in some guys, but there were always flaws that I found with each guy that just didn’t work out (not neccessarily online dating’s fault alone, but nonetheless- none of those guys have worked out). Then there were the guys I didn’t go out with. The guys with the RIDICULOUS profiles and OUTRAGEOUS messages were awful. Then there were the fake profiles. Like this one guy that had 20 different profiles, but it was all him. Another guy messaged me, set up a date, and then deleted his profile! We never went out! Oh, and then there was the guy that had like no profile at all and only 2 awkwardly posed photos so you couldn’t really see him. I went out on a whim and went out with him- pretty sure he’s married or his a girlfriend. Great. So yea, rolling the dice with online dating, while fun, is mostly nerve wracking.

Image

To date, my most successful “relationship” since I’ve moved to Boston is with this guy I’ve been casually seeing for the past few months. We actually met in person, through a mutual friend, at a party. Which leads me to why I think Friend Flirt will work better than regular online dating.

Friend Flirt is going to first of all eliminate those ridiculous “about me” sections and horribly put together profiles. Also, you won’t have to worry about what photos to post, because your facebook photos will already be there! And don’t worry about those fake profiles and scammers- only real people will be on Friend Flirt! And even better- those real people are your friends’ friends! No need to worry about Catfish, here!

Who knows you better than your friends? No one. So who better than your friends to hook you up? Exactly!

So what are you waiting for? Friend Flirt will be launching before Valentine’s Day so hurry up and sign up to be a Beta tester!

Make sure to pass it along to your friends as well!!

xoxo Jess

http://www.friendflirt.com
http://www.facebook.com/friendflirt
http://www.twitter.com/friendflirt

The Best Dating Advice You’ll Ever Read

This goes for online dating and “offline” dating. Really, just dating in general. Actually, it can just be great life advice.

Ready for it? Here it goes:

BE THE PERSON YOU WANT TO DATE.

Seriously! Do you want to date someone funny, interesting, smart, and outgoing? Well you better be funny, interesting, smart, and outgoing, too!

If you’re unsure of what I mean, look at this way:

IF YOU MET YOU, WOULD YOU DATE YOU?

Now don’t be all cocky and silly and say “yea of course, I’m fabulous!”. Sure, you’re great. But think about this really hard. If you met yourself, would you be interested in getting to know you better?

Now don’t start following your crush’s favorite football team if you don’t like sports. That’s not how this works. Your personal interests can be different.

However, if you want to date someone with particular qualities, then you better be sharing some/all of those qualities.

xoxo, Jess

Don’t forget to sign up for Friend Flirt! Launch is coming soon!!
http://www.friendflirt.com
http://www.facebook.com/friendflirt

Online Dating Tip #2: Profile Pictures

Ah yes, profile pictures.

Generally, on a dating site, you have one main image and then a gallery of photos (with about a 10 photo limit). How you utilize these photos is up to you.

My personal advice on photos: The main photo should be SOLELY of you, preferably a headshot. Why? I want to know who I’m looking at (hence- no friends in the picture). A headshot is better because when a user is looking through profiles, they’ll usually only see a thumbnail. You want your image to jump out, so make it a headshot so they can instantly see your SMILING face!

Aside from the default photo, I personally recommend NOT using all the slots available for photos. I don’t really have a reason for this- I just feel that 10 photos is too much, while only having 1-2 photos is just not enough. 5 seems like a good number. Mix up the photos of headshots, full body shots, and “action” shots. Show different sides of your personality! People want to know that you’re already interesting and that they’re going to enjoy spending time with you. If you look dry and boring, no one is going to want to message you.

I know most people would disagree with me, but I’m okay with self shots- as long as not every photo is a self shot. To me, ONE self shot is acceptable (usually your headshot photo). If all your photos are selfies, people are going to think that you have no friends/life and again- not want to message you.

Tips for the photos:

  • Make sure that users can tell who you are in the photos. Don’t put up photos of you and your friends- what happens if someone thinks you’re one of your friends? Talk about a disappointing first date experience!
  • I don’t care how hard you work at the gym- keep your shirt on.
  • Ducklips
  • No mirror shots.
  • UPDATED PHOTOS- seriously! I don’t care if you look the same. And you BETTER be updating if you look different.
  • Think about what you like to see in other people’s photos- do the same.
  • Show users that you’re fun and interesting! Don’t be robotic.

Today I was lucky enough to join a Twitter chat about profile photos with the fabulous Laurie Davis of eFlirtExpert fame. She had some awesome pointers as well, which I’ll post here for you! These are direct tweets from Laurie, so how exciting for you if you missed the chat!

  • 4-6 photos for your profile
  • Your pics should showcase the Real-Time You. Make sure you look like the gal or guy who’s going to show up on the date.
  • Remember, your photo is just a thumbnail in search results. Close ups help you pop off the page
  • Range of outfits in photos
  • It’s a good idea for your eyes to be central in at least 2 pics. windows to who you are! (This was a tip from Laurie’s photographer, Michelle!)
  • Mirror pics are def the worst! And duck faces.
  • Pro shots that don’t look so “pro” are best.
  • Catch 22: Oversell yourself in pics = matches may be disappointed in person. Undersell = may not meet the right matches.
  • A “good” photo’s definition can vary on niche sites depending upon the crowd. (sites like Farmer’s Only, J-Date, or Christian Singles will be different than Match, eHarmony, or OkCupid…)
  • A Univ of Rochester study found that men rate red outfits in women’s profile pics as most attractive. (someone also mentioned that the same goes for women prefering men in blue outfits, but not sure on the source).
  • For men, BOLD colors are best. Avoid neutrals which is what every guy wears so you stand out in search.
  • No selfies. They are cool for social networks but not for your dating profile. Show your lifestyle
  • Every online dater should upload at least a few action shots. It gives a sense of what your lifestyle is like.

I hope you find these tips helpful! Feel free to comment to ask questions about profile pictures!

Also, Laurie’s book Love At First Click is available for preorder now! If you preorder now, she’ll help you pick your profile photos AND you’ll have access to an exclusive video course on online messaging! So check it out!

Don’t forget to check out FriendFlirt and sign up for our email list today!