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Online Dating: Determining Your Approach

Nov 18, 2013

The results of my online dating decorum survey are in! When I first put up the survey, I thought I'd write one post on all the research I did. I think that's going to be a little overwhelming -- for me to write and for you to read. So let's keep the Online Dating series going and I'll segment my findings as I go, with some commentary and anecdotes along the way, as well as thoughts from a few bachelors who offered their input.

And now, for today's post, we'll talk about your approach.

First, survey results:

Bachelors Weigh In:

Matt @djsheeno 

Online dating is a way of meeting women on my terms and time. I don't take it too seriously because I know everyone is trying to put on their best face, and who knows if their profile is for real? Most of the time, what you see is what you get, though. 

I feel like I would have better luck if I were a better writer, and I get jaded because of the lack of responses from the messages I write to potential dates. I like the concept of How About We because I don't like to write, and it seems to be a better idea to just suggest a first date, exchange contact info and talk in person.

I was not happy when I read you telling your female readers not to pay on a date; it makes me feel like you are encouraging women to get a free meal/drinks from nice guys. I heard recently that some women feed themselves by going on dates with guys they have no interest in. These types of things turn nice guys into jerks...and no one wins. 


Online dating should be the igniter for real life dating. When I did online dating, I once connected with a girl and wanted to get a drink early on. I didn't want to go back and forth talking online when I could talk to her in real life. She was a little surprised, but I think she was most impressed with my forwardness. I like talking to someone in person, having a normal experience with another human being.  


Online dating is not like blind dating. You've looked at the person's profile, maybe e-mailed them a few times, and think you could get along with them, so you ask them out. If the guy hasn't done any filtering and is just looking to get laid, that is slightly dumb. Maybe more than slightly.

My Thoughts:

When I started online dating, I was definitely looking for love. After a year of it, I have since fluctuated between hopeful but cautious and staying in the game. I have never gone a date to get a handout, and interestingly, 0% of respondents said they were doing it to get a free meal. 

Since my initial post on online dating, I've received a lot of flack for promoting the freeloading lifestyle. I was so confused by this accusation at first, because, even though I said "enjoy the free meal," I meant it much more tongue in cheek or as a pep talk than a suggestion on how to save money for fall boots/rent. 

Apparently freeloading dating is a problem these days, but if the respondents to my survey represent a cross-section of my readers, none of my readers -- or very few of them, I'm guessing -- fall into that category. So to the guys who are wary of these types, I offer a warning and a consolation prize: 

If she's 22 or younger and you're in your 30s, you should be worried she might be a freeloader. However, you can boast to your friends that you're dating a 22-year-old, so there's that. 

And if you decide not to go out with her again, text her a couple of times then ignore her.
She will obsess over your texts with her girlfriends and friend zoned guys who wish so badly they were you. 
If she's closer to your age and you get the sense she's freeloading, enjoy the view of her cleavage and bash her to your friends the next time y'all meet up for beers or whatever it is boys do. 

This? Guys should meet up and do this.

Freeloading issue aside, my approach, as I mentioned before, is to not take online dating too seriously. Too many times I have set my expectations high and been disappointed. Few dates have led to second ones, but most have been okay (meaning not blogworthy).

A word of advice to whomever is the pursuer: keep the online interactions to a minimum. According to a recent study out of California State University, online dating "enables people to get to know each other online and then plan a first date, but the vast majority of adult romantic relationships still start after men and women meet in physical locations...and somehow express interest in getting to know one another better."

I personally lose interest after three messages, if there's no mention of meeting up, and I have fallen into the trap of telling my life story or too many personal details without meeting the guy. This ALWAYS creates a false sense of connectedness and trust, and when it doesn't work out, I have been left wondering what the heck happened. Sometimes guys will write me long introductory messages, telling me all about themselves, and I often wonder if they've copied and pasted it into messages to several girls. It's a huge turn-off. I'd much rather a guy say, "Hey, I like X about your profile. Seems like we'd have some interesting things to talk about. Would you like to meet up sometime?" Knowing he wants to meet me, in person, is more flattering than any witty thing he could write me on an online dating site.

Finally, don't buy into the promises of eHarmony and Match that you'll find your perfect one on there. Getting depressed, jaded, angry, etc. doesn't do anyone any good.

We all feel your pain, Char.
Realize that if you're meeting someone online, he/she is putting him/herself out there at the very least. That counts for something. Some people just want to get laid, some are looking for love, and  a lot are somewhere in the middle. Weed out the ones who aren't near where you are on the spectrum, and try to have fun -- respectful, non-freeloading fun.

Does this resonate with you? Have you had a different experience?


  1. You make it all sound so reasonable and simple. I'm still not gonna enter the fray! lol

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