When we meet a potential love interest in person, we’re taught to look for certain red flags—like being rude to the waiter, calling incessantly or not at all, or claiming that his favorite book is The Da Vinci Code.When we’re choosing potential dates online, though, we sometimes have little more than a picture and a paragraph to go on.Maggie from New York City specified in her profile that she wanted to meet someone between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five who lived in Manhattan, so receiving emails from sixty-five-year-old men who lived a hundred miles away was not amusing.Someone who blatantly disregards what you’ve stated you’re looking for is simply wasting your time.The hope is that my two young daughters will read it some day, and become immune to these antics. All it takes is a witty remark or flirty jesting to make a girl smile and break down any defensive shields around her heart.This is difficult to accomplish in person, because it requires very quick thinking and perfect timing.Some practiced daters have a standard letter they send to every single person they find even mildly attractive.Someone who truly wants to get to know you will take the time to write a personalized message responding to specific items in your profile, not send a generic cut-and-paste letter saying, “Hey girl, I saw your profile and was intrigued …” Think about the hundreds of other people who’ve gotten the same letter, and decide whether you’re willing to accept only the barest minimum of effort.
Of course, back then, “online” consisted of IRC chat rooms on the IBM Mainframe that connected together the University systems across the state, as well as the online email and electronic bulletin board system that all of the college students used to stay connected to one another. I was painfully shy when meeting new people – bordering on some kind of clinical social anxiety disorder, I’m sure.
However, I found when I introduced myself to a girl online, and they got to know my personality first, the first date would go smoothly.
Unfortunately, through a combination of hormones and immaturity, I learned to perfect this system into one where I could convince nearly any girl at all – from the shy bookworm to the bubbly cheerleader – to become fascinated enough with my persona that they would go on a date with me Now, over twenty years later, I’m going to spill the beans on the tried and true tricks that guys still use online today.
But is this a positive development or something to be concerned about?
Is online dating making the world better and dating more effective, or is something important being lost or sacrificed as a result?