I have a feeling that advice for women dating online is written by men. By single men who want to live in a world where every woman waves them in with a large flag that says, “Hey, we are open.”

Do the authors of “be friendly, be sweet, market yourself well” advice actually know what’s out there for us? Have they ever come to a mailbox stuffed with dick pics? Have they waded through messages from men who can’t spell words longer than four letters? When an average woman complains that she’s “tried all these sites and found nothing,” she’s not complaining that she has actually found nothing. She’s complaining that what she’s found is completely and utterly unsuitable. A waste of time and effort. A losing ticket.

So if you are that kind of woman – with a profile on every dating site and nothing to show for it, though you’re reasonably attractive, smart and have a job – I will tell you what you are doing wrong. In a word, your profile is a funnel. I bet it says things like, “Hi,” and “Looking to meet someone special” and is generally wreathed in smiles and bits of sunshine. What loser can resist a kick at that can? No cost to them, no harm, and a chance that you might put out, after all. Or at least look at their dick pic.

No, what your profile should actually do is weed out the undeserving, while ushering in the ones you are willing to give the time of day to.

Make your profile not a funnel, but a filter.

Pick a name that screams “if you failed high school, don’t apply.”

For example, 3.1415926 for a dating site name is fab. Anybody who asks you why you’ve got numbers on your profile – tell them it’s your bank account number and never speak to them again. The man is too dumb to Google first and ask later, never mind recognize the digits on first sight. However, everyone who sees that name and runs to you screaming, “Date me, date me,” is guaranteed to be at least an engineer.

Pick an intense hobby

If you haven’t got an intense hobby, consider getting one. Women who snowboard, fly planes and sail yachts have a far more vibrant dating life. However, even if you only start seriously biking, running marathons or playing tennis, mentioning these sports on your profile with kick off the guys who spend their week-ends hugging a pizza box in front of the TV. Mission accomplished.

Books are major shibboleths

There are definitely books out there of the “sapienti sat” variety. If you happen to know the answer to “life, universe and everything” or believe that some people should be “disqualified from the human race for shoving,” use the advantage. The guy you’ll love to date will recognize these quotes. Or anything else literary that you adore – mention it. (All right, Dante’s “Inferno” in the original Italian might be a bit much, but who knows). Even if he hadn’t read it, he’ll know that in your corner, “ignorant” is not written on the welcome mat.

Point is, even if there’s only one man in the world who would share your hobby, recognize your quotes, and is exactly what you are looking for – that’s really all you need, no?

So why waste time on all those who are so not it? Why?

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Posted by Rachel Cohen

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