Listen up, fellas: 7 tips for improving your online game

I’m not talking about FIFA or online poker — I’m talking about online dating. In real life you’ve got game, but are you effectively communicating that online? Do you ever wonder why the ladies aren’t sending you messages or replying to yours? And maybe they are responding, but you’ve yet to meet offline. It’s a stalemate. So how do you make the next move? Surely, you’re interested in improving your online game and venturing into the real world of dating. Here are 7 tips to help you get there!

1. Read her profile before you message her. 

Most women won’t respond to “hey, what’s up?” “How are you?” “Sweet smile” or “Are you having a good week so far?” The last line gets a half point for ending in a question mark and being over three words, but it’s still going to that special place……the trash.

So, the good news is that you don’t have to write an essay or memorize her profile because there are no tests at this stage in the game. You just have to read it. What did you like about her profile? Tell her. What didn’t you get? Ask her to clarify. How are you similar? Share with her.

2. Don’t insult her taste in music, TV shows or anything else she lists as her favourites.

So, you’ve read her profile and notice that she likes Ally McBeal. You get brownie points for reading her profile, but then your opening line is “Someone actually likes Ally McBeal?” Maybe you meant this as a joke, but it’s too early in the game and online jokes often get lost, especially when you forget to use winky faces. It’s never good to offend someone right off the bat. If you don’t share the same favourites, comment on what she’s really good at or how she spends her Friday nights.

3. Don’t post half-nude pictures.

If you are on the hunt for a booty call, please go ahead and post your topless pictures — it’s only fair that you are upfront about your offer. However, I’ll assume that you want something more, so leave something to the imagination. I don’t want to see a selfie in front of the bathroom mirror or you hiking a mountain topless. Remember women tend to read more than stare. (And the staring I do is at your eyes and lips!)

4. Don’t post pictures of your children.

True story: I confronted a guy online about posting pictures of his child on his dating profile. Well, it wasn’t really a confrontation–it went something like this: why is your child in your profile picture? It seems to be a trend among online dads looking for love, etc., and I don’t get it. Would you care to enlighten me?  His response was this: the one in front of the airplane I recall putting up but only because it was one of the only recent ones I had. Not that I would avoid putting a picture of my son up it wasn’t really intentional…….Finally that’s totally fine if you don’t think we would mesh. I will find a topless picture of me in the bathroom and post it :P.  In hindsight I should probably post other pictures of my kid he is definitely a Gerber baby but you can’t really see him in the recent one. Maybe I’m just a dorky proud dad.

What?! He didn’t even think about the fact that his child was in the picture. Don’t get me wrong — I think it’s great that men are showing up and playing active roles in their children’s lives, but I don’t think they should ‘use’ their children to attract a mate. And children’s right to privacy should be respected; did your children give you the right to post their pictures on a dating website? I think not.

I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning that you have children and that they light up your world, just don’t post their pictures. Puppies are okay.

5. Be authentic.

Be yourself. If you have a quirky sense of humour, let it be known. If you really don’t like camping and outdoor sports, just say it. If you’re not completely happy with your life, admit it. Most women want to date a real guy, quirks and all. Perfect is boring — you’re not perfect, so don’t pretend. By being authentic you’re opening yourself up to a real connection.

6. Ask her out on a real date.

Don’t let the messaging go on for too long. After two or three exchanges, it’s safe to ask her out. If she rejects your offer, then maybe you misinterpreted her ‘lols’ and emoticons. It’s likely she will accept because after all she’s on a dating site. So what next?  No coffee! I know a coffee date seems like the next logical step and it is……so don’t do it. Take her on a real date. Do you remember when first dates were dinner? It wasn’t that long ago. Now there are so many other options, too. Ice cream, live music, art gallery, Karaoke, Pottery class……


So, number 7 isn’t going to help you with your online game, but it is going to save all interested parties some time.

7. If you don’t have time, take your profile down.

I seem to encounter these guys that just don’t have time to date. With their wonderful profiles, I’m conned into contacting them. Then after a couple offline dates they tell me that dating is a low priority and that they need to focus on school, work, etc. If you’re not sure dating is what you want to be doing right now, don’t put yourself out there on a dating website. Maybe you’re not ready to date, maybe you like the idea of dating, or maybe you really don’t have the time. It does take a lot of time……searching, figuring out what to say, writing it, sending it, responding, organizing a date, meeting up, following up, and planning another date.

Sometimes it’s best to take your game offline…..take up dancing, join a Meetup group, learn a new language, or just show up. You never know who you might meet.  



12 thoughts on “Listen up, fellas: 7 tips for improving your online game

  1. I’ve actually considered to join a dating website before. *sigh* I’m a wee bit leary about it!

    So are guys using their kids to attract a woman, thinking that will get them brownie points? Oh my!

    1. Totally understand your apprehension! I would still give it a try – there are some good guys on there, and you can delete your account at anytime. And you’re also in control of how much info you share.

      I’m not sure what guys are thinking putting pictures of their kids up. I’ve heard women do it, too. I guess they’re putting the ‘package deal’ on the table. If you date me, you’ll have to accept my kids, too.

      1. Could be. Or they’re using kids as bait? Lol! I wouldn’t doubt it.

        Maybe I will give it a try someday when I have the time to date and invest in getting to know a fella.

      2. Yes, it’s best to be single before you head abroad! (I know from experience.) What are you going to be doing over there? I taught in Korea in 2011/12. It was a wonderful experience!

      3. That. I’m currently interviewing with different schools.

        I haven’t had the chance to read up on your bio very much (you see I’m just now replying to you 3 days later, lol), but I did see where you mentioned it.

        How long did it take you to get a contract?

      4. Great! How is the interview process going? I taught at a hagwon just outside of Seoul for a year (2011/12).

        It took me a few months to get a contract, and then a couple more to organize all my documents!

        Feel free to email me with any questions – 🙂

        – Amy

      5. It’s so frustrating! But I’m enjoying the preparation. I interviewed with a specific recruiter for a hagwon, but I don’t like the idea of going to SoKo without a true contract! (With this hagwon, I have to pass the training session or else they won’t hire me, thus I’d be stuck in SoKo without a place to live or a job.) It’s taking longer than I want but I’m still hopeful.

      6. I feel your frustration! Originally, I was interviewing for a government school position, and then when that fell through, I went with a different recruiter. There are so many recruiters/hagwons out there; keep your options open. I understand your hesitation about going over with a tentative contract.

        Do shoot me an email…I was happy with my recruiter, and would be happy to pass on info! 🙂

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