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Online Dating
Get loads of great online dating advice from Amelia McDonell-Parry of thefrisky.com.

1. DOES ONLINE DATING WORK FOR EVERYONE?

I would say it doesn't work for everyone but it has the potential to work for everyone. It depends how open you are. You can meet the perfect person for you anywhere.  Great thing about online dating is that people are always interesting and willing to have a serious relationship.


2. WHAT DATING SITES DO YOU RECOMMEND?

EHarmony, Match.com and OKCupid are the most well-known and popular dating sites  OK Cupid is great for a younger demographic -- 20s and early 30s, particularly in metropolitan areas. Both Match and OKCupid tend to have a wide variety of daters -- people looking for both serious and casual dating relationships. EHarmony is a more focused group of people who are looking towards the future and ready to settle down. I also like a new online dating site called How About We, where people find their match based on ideas for fun first dates. EHarmony, Match, and How About We you pay for, while OK Cupid is free.


3. WHAT KIND OF PICTURES SHOULD YOU USE ON YOUR PROFILE?

DON'TS: No quirky photos of yourself e.g. with fake mustache etc., don't post a zillion photos of yourself in a bikini, drunk photos, etc.

DOs: Show a pic of what you look like day-to-day, how you REALLY look. Include a full body photo so people can get a sense of your height and body type. Crop out other people, if you can, as they're a distraction from the star -- YOU. Post 5-6 photos that show you in a variety of different situations -- I love photos that show a person DOING something they love. Action shots! Also…

DO flirt with the camera!

DON'T use headshots -- this is a dating profile not an audition for a movie!

DO use photos from the last year -- there's nothing worse than showing up for a date and realizing the person you thought you were meeting aged 10 years.

You want to EXCEED expectations in person -- not disappoint!


4. WHAT ARE THE DOS AND DON'TS OF BUILDING YOUR PROFILE?

DO show your personality.

DON'T go overboard and write super long answers to every question.

DO give little hints ... things that you are not looking for in another person.

DO keep your answers fairly concise but also specific about what things/activities you like. People can search for you if you have like minded interests.

DO take it seriously. DON'T be overly jokey.

DO give real information about yourself, a true sense of who you are, what you are doing with your life, things you like to do for fun.

DON'T use clichés. I hate it when people say "I love to laugh" -- who doesn't?

DON'T lie -- about your height, your age, your income.

DO be flexible. You want to be specific about what you want in terms of compatibility and interests and worldview, but you also want to appear open-minded -- sometimes opposites attract! It's okay to be different -- a profile is about starting a conversation with many people, not just looking for one person.

Studies show that what men look for in a profile is something they can use to engage the woman in conversation when he messages her. Fill your profile with potential conversation starters.


5. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT MESSAGING SOMEONE YOU'RE INTERESTED IN?

DO keep emails short. Think of an email as an appetizer. Keep him hungry for more.  You don't want to release all information at once. Write a quick little note about you, a couple of sentences.  After that you can start writing back and forth.

As women you'll get a lot of messages from guys that are copied and pasted. If you do email a guy, mention something that you noticed specifically in their profile, then offer some tidbit about yourself in exchange.

DO make the first move if you want to. If he's the kind of guy who's turned off then he's probably not for you.  But it's still nice for a guy to make the first move.  There are so many people online dating that if you see someone you're interested in, reach out. There are a lot of people online and you don't want to get overlooked.

DO initiate conversations with people you find both extremely attractive, but also just average attractive. Once you meet someone and you find them interesting, you'll also find them more attractive.

DO ask at least one question in each email.

DON'T double-email. One email for each email received, OK? You don't want to look obsessed. Never email something and then write "I haven't heard back from you." It's not like you're applying for a job. You haven't met each other yet!


6. WHEN DO YOU GO FROM ONLINE TO A DATE?

I think it depends on the person. There are women who want to go back and forth a number of times to develop a familiarity with them. Then there are people who don't like the back and forth process and would rather see if theres a connection in person.  After 2 or 3 or 4 message sessions back and forth, that's the time to go out to a drink or get coffee. But it really depends on the preference of the dater.

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